Residential Real Estate Energy & Utilities

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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Legal Update – November 2015

In the past few months, we have seen some decisions regarding Property Assessed Clean Energy Loans (PACE loans) that may open the doors for additional states, counties, and local municipalities to authorize, create, and fund...more

Report: solar panels add home appraisal value

"How will putting rooftop solar panels on my home affect its value?" is a common question among those considering residential-sited solar energy projects. ...more

Are CCAA Proceedings a Panacea for Assignment or Novation Without Consent?

A purported assignment of a contract without consent and an alleged novation were ineffective, the BC Court of Appeal recently held in Barafield Realty Ltd. v. Just Energy (B.C.) Limited Partnership, 2015 BCCA 421 [Barafield]...more

Louisiana Mineral Code Article 122 Revisited

Creativity abounds: Your 16-year old “explaining” the empty Southern Comfort bottle and the roach clip; President Obama justifying his rejection of Keystone. The Louisiana Supreme Court isn’t much of a supporter, at least in...more

Texas Court Requires Expert Testimony to Support Toxic Tort Personal Injury Claims

Reinforcing the requirement for expert testimony to support toxic tort personal injury claims under Texas law, a Texas appellate court held that claims for damages due to “symptoms caused by discomfort” do not fall within the...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House 11/6/2015

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine Pulp and Paper Industry Summit on November 17 - “These are not your grandfather’s paper...more

Water Rights Adjudication Process Serving Streamlined

AB 1390 expedites comprehensive groundwater adjudications to determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin. While AB 1390, a companion bill to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, streamlines several...more

Current Water Utility CCN Decertification Issues At The Public Utility Commission Of Texas

The responsibility for the regulation of water and sewer service, including the oversight of certificates of public convenience and necessity (“CCNs”), was recently transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental...more

Texas Supreme Court to Decide Whether Groundwater Estate Should Be Granted Accommodation Status Similar to Mineral Estate

On October 14, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court heard argument in a case styled Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. The City of Lubbock, which dealt with the question of whether the accommodation doctrine should apply when a groundwater...more

Fracking-Related Earthquake Litigation Gains Momentum

On June 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision that opened the courthouse doors to lawsuits for property damage and personal injuries caused by earthquakes purportedly related to fracking activities. See Ladra...more

Oh My! Oklahoma Court Allows Earthquake Case to Proceed

What should we make of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s order sending a suit alleging injuries from an earthquake back to the trial court for further action?  Did the court unleash the lions, tigers and bears of the litigation...more

Massachusetts State Building Code Update: 9th Edition Anticipated to be Issued without Concurrency Period

The Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (the “State Board”) has announced that it expects to issue the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code in the first half of 2016, which will...more

Pennsylvania Court Holds Oil and Gas Reservations Do Not Terminate Upon Expiration of Lease

On Friday, October 9, 2015, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a reservation of oil, gas and mineral rights in a deed does not terminate merely because the lease under which those rights were...more

Court Dismisses Landowners’ Objections to Mariner East 2 Eminent Domain Request

In an Order issued September 29, 2015, Cumberland County Judge Edward Guido dismissed all the preliminary objections filed by a group of landowners challenging the right of Sunoco Pipeline LP to condemn property for the...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

UK Shale Gas - Going all out for Shale

As part of a package of measures to kick-start the shale gas industry in the UK, the UK government issued a joint Written Statement by DECC and DCLG on 16 September 2015 containing a new shale gas and oil policy. This policy...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Addresses What Creates a Fiduciary Relationship with a Land Broker

On September 21, 2015, the North Dakota Supreme Court found that a fiduciary relationship between an oil company and its landman could exist depending upon the existence of a confidential relationship. Irish Oil...more

How to “Score” a Contract from the Red Zone

Football pundits like to discuss Red Zone effectiveness. Driving to the goal line doesn’t much matter if you don‘t score. So, why would a negotiating party fail to score an enforceable contract while negotiating from the Red...more

IRS Releases Favorable Guidance for Individual Investors in Community Solar to Claim Section 25D Tax Credit

The IRS recently issued a Private Letter Ruling (PLR) clarifying that an individual investor in a net-metered community solar project may claim the federal residential Investment Tax Credit (ITC) under Section 25D of the...more

Arizona Rooftop Solar Regulations Highlight Distributed Generation Debate

Sunny Arizona is again in the middle of a nationwide debate between solar companies and utilities. Legislation adopted in March 2015, and which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, mandate certain disclosures and formats for...more

Offensive Discovery after Strudley and Changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

Toxic tort cases often involve real property, especially in areas with large mining and energy sectors like the West and Southwest. The cases frequently have large potential damage values and require extensive discovery....more

New York Fracking Ban: Insult Followed by Injury

Political actions have consequences. A force majeure clause in New York oil and gas leases does not modify the primary term of the habendum clause and the leases are not extended because of the state ban “moratorium” on...more

Federal Housing Administration Move on PACE Showcases Program’s Possible Impact

On August 24, President Obama directed the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to allow homeowners to purchase and refinance properties with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans when those loans are subordinated to an...more

You Own the Oil. Do You Own the Rock?

Riddle: What’s the difference between a hydrocarbon molecule and the underground structure which the molecule inhabits? Answer: In Texas, you can own one and not the other, according to Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P...more

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling That New York State’s Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Did Not Extend the...

New York’s 2010 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, culminating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal ban of the practice in his state on December 17, 2014, made many large waves in the political, legal, and public arenas, the...more

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