Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Supreme Court Decides Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-553, holding that a rail carrier can prove discrimination under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform...more

Three Strike and You are Out: District Court Grants Summary Judgment on Lack of Standing, No Infringement and Invalidates the...

Plaintiff NOV filed a patent infringement action asserting that defendant Omron had infringed NOV's patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,474,142 or the '142 Patent). Specifically, NOV alleged Omron's oil rig automation control system...more

PUC Steps In To Protect Supplier From Defending Phantom Allegations and Complaints Outside Its Jurisdiction

Granting a Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissing Complaints filed against a competitive electric generation supplier (EGS), Blue Pilot Energy (Blue Pilot), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued an...more

A Novel Cause of Action Coming Down the Track and Other Railway Legislation Changes

Late last month, the federal government introduced Bill C-52, which, if enacted, will amend both the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) and the Railway Safety Act (RSA). The federal government also proposed new Railway Safety...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Legal Considerations During Massive and Quick Layoffs"

Class Action Lawsuit Recently Filed Against Drilling Company for Alleged WARN Act Violations - The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) requires certain companies who conduct large and quick...more

Supreme Court Update: North Carolina Board Of Dental Examiners V. Federal Trade Commission (13-534), Kansas V. Nebraska (126,...

The robed returned to action with this week with decisions in three cases, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission (13-534), on whether state licensing boards enjoy immunity from antitrust laws...more

Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009), holding that a party must “take intentional steps to dispose of a hazardous...more

Recovery for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Under California Law Gains a Greater Clarity

The recent decision in Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co., __Cal. App. 4th__, 2015 WL 522578, provides increased clarity into the California rule permitting claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)...more

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 2/15

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, beginning at 9:00 am, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in the following three cases...more

Litigation Alert: "Texas Appellate Court Says Pipeline Must Convince Jury of Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Case"

An intermediate Texas appellate court has called for an extensive jury role in the ongoing issue of determining when a pipeline is a common carrier. Common carrier status is critical to the pipeline company’s ability to use...more

Is It Too Late to Just Throw Superfund to the Curb?

Last week, Judge Paul Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan, allowed a motion by the United States for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing a third-party complaint brought against the United States by Michigan...more

The D.C. Circuit Clarifies the Timing for Filing Petitions for Review of FERC Orders

At the end of January, the D.C. Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Smith Lake Improvement and Stakeholder Association v. FERC.  Smith Lake clarified when a party denied rehearing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...more

Court Finds CFTC RTO/ISO Exemptive Order Bars CEA § 22 Private Right of Action, but More to Come from the CFTC

Can private litigants bring claims under the Commodity Exchange Act alleging manipulation in ERCOT’s energy markets? On February 3, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas answered “no,” granting...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Unanimously: There is No Statute of Limitations Defense to Contribution Actions Under the Spill Act

On January 26, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co. that the general six-year statute of limitations for injury to real property does not apply to contribution claims...more

Missouri Federal Court Cuts Claims in Pipeline Property Damage Action

Underscoring the need for plaintiffs to show concrete proof of harm in suits alleging property damage, a federal district court dismissed a suit alleging that an oil pipeline contaminated farmland in Missouri. See Henke v....more

U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania Dismisses Majority of Water Well Contamination Claims Against Oil Drilling Company

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III in the Middle District of Pennsylvania completely adopted the “extremely thorough, well-reasoned” recommendations of a U.S. Magistrate Judge and dismissed almost all...more

High Court Finds Plausible Showing of Amount in Controversy Sufficient to Remove Action

In a decision that may make it somewhat easier for defendants to remove putative class actions from state to federal court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that defendants in such cases do not need to offer evidence in their...more

Tread Carefully When Implementing a Reduction in Force

With recent price drops in the oil and gas industry it is likely that reductions in force (RIFs) are looming on the horizon. But employers need to tread carefully when implementing any RIF, as it can raise thorny issues under...more

Ormat Defends 1603 Cash Grant Awards in Suit by Ex-Employees

Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have...more

Analysis: Early closure of the ROCs regime ruled lawful

The Government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligations Certificates (ROC) subsidy scheme for larger solar PV installations (above 5MW) two years early, and the grace periods introduced to mitigate the effects of the...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Confirms “Or” Means “Or”

On February 4, 2015, less than one month after hearing oral argument on the matter, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the April 2014 decision of Greene County Court of Common Pleas Judge William R. Nalitz in Warren v....more

Court Sustains Treasury’s 2/3 Reduction of Cash Grant for Cogen Open-Loop Biomass Plant

The United States Court of Federal Claims on January 12 rendered an opinion in W.E. Partners II, LLC v. U.S. sustaining the Treasury Department’s reduction by approximately two-thirds of a Cash Grant for a cogeneration...more

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