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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ordered to Reconsider Delisting of N. American Wolverine

The courts continue to be busy issuing significant Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings. In the latest one, issued in early wolverineApril, the U.S. District Court for Montana, Missoula Division, in Defenders of Wildlife v....more

Be Safe, Get Your Standing Evidence in Early

A Land Use Practitioner representing opposition intervenors in a quasi-judicial land use matter is best served to present any evidence of special damages during the quasi-judicial hearing in order to preserve standing for...more

Supreme Court Decides Sturgeon v. Frost

On March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Sturgeon v. Frost, No. 14-1209, vacating a decision of the Ninth Circuit and leaving open the possibility that Section 103(c) of the Alaska National Interest...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Some Decisions Just Make One Say “Wow!”

Conservatives sometimes talk about lawless, i.e., liberal, judges. Let me tell you a story about Judge Robert Clive Jones, who presided over the United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, until the 9th Circuit this week...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Army Corps Initial Jurisdictional Determination to Regulate Wetlands Under CWA is Ripe for Judicial...

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed on Friday to review an important Clean Water Act (CWA) decision issued by the Eighth Circuit in Hawkes Co.,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Important Case Affecting Development in Wetlands

A critical part of the permitting process for many development projects is obtaining federal and state wetland permits. The key wetland authorization is usually a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers...more

New Challenges for CEQA Review of Development Projects After California Supreme Court Invalidates Greenhouse Gas Analysis and...

In a 5-2 ruling that poses significant hurdles for developers addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance and protected species mitigation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Supreme Court...more

California Supreme Court Finds Newhall EIR Insufficient, But Partially Upholds Greenhouse Gas Analysis

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. Cal. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Case No. S217763 (Nov. 30, 2015). The decision is the first in a...more

CT Law of the Land

Week of September 23 - Limits of relief possible for Intervenor under CGS 22a-19 - In Hunter Ridge LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission Connecticut’s Supreme Court considered whether injunctive relief was available...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, September 2015

The 1st District Court of Appeal invalidated the use of a statutory exemption applicable to the State Lands Commission’s (SLC) approval of a land exchange. The land exchange related to the 8 Washington Street Project, which...more

Colorado Supreme Court Oral Argument Held in Case Deciding Whether Courts and Commissions May Overrule Each Other in Eminent...

In June, the Colorado Supreme Court held oral argument in a case that is set to shape the way condemnation actions will be tried to commissions in the future. In Colorado, a landowner has the right to choose whether a jury or...more

District Court Enjoins Federal Regulations Revising Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

North Dakota v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:15-cv-00059 (D.N.D. Aug. 27, 2015) - A federal judge, Ralph R. Erickson, in North Dakota today granted several states’ request for a preliminary injunction to...more

WOTUS Litigation Update: Confusion Breeds Confusion

Perhaps it is poetic justice. The litigation over the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is as disjointed and confusing as the rule itself. Following a key court ruling yesterday, the WOTUS rule is now...more

Court Rejects “Gotcha” Theory of Waiver Under Public Records Act

A California appellate court has ruled that inadvertent disclosure of documents containing attorney-client communications in response to a Public Records Act request does not result in a waiver of the privilege. Newark...more

30-year Eagle Take Permit Term Remanded on Procedural Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("Service") had inappropriately relied on a categorical exclusion under the National...more

Flushing Out the Safe Harbor: “General Land Area Minimum” Offers Newton No 40B Shelter

Municipalities long unable to achieve ten percent affordable housing are now turning more frequently to a different Safe Harbor to block development of low and moderate income housing – compliance with the “General Land Area...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Critical Habitat Designations Not Subject to Cost-Benefit Analysis

In Building Industry Association of the Bay Area v. U.S. Department of Commerce, a decision with significant implications for property owners, the building industry, and the development community at large, the U.S. Court of...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

District Court Issues Order Allowing Plaintiffs in Case Seeking Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides under the ESA to Utilize Extra...

On June 12, 2015, Federal District Judge Maxine Chesney issued a decision in Ellis v. Housenger (N.D. Cal.) allowing the plaintiffs to utilize expert declarations and exhibits that were not included in the certified...more

Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

This year the Utah Legislature took action on two water law issues that it has struggled with for several years—the authority of the State Engineer to consider forfeiture during review of change applications and the rights of...more

Court of Appeal Decision Extends Lake and Streambed Alteration Program to Water Diversions

In a decision that will have ripple effects on water diversions throughout California, the Court of Appeal held that section 1602 of the Fish and Game Code requires notification to the Department of Fish and Wildlife...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Ruling Restores Certainty to Federal Recognition of "Indian Lands"

On June 4, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, a case in which Big Lagoon Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, sought to compel the State of...more

B.C. Court of Appeal Overturns Restrictive Public Disclosure Standards for Development Projects

The City of Vancouver and Brenhill Developments Ltd. successfully appealed the January 27, 2014, decision of the BC Supreme Court (BCSC) in Community Association of New Yaletown v Vancouver (City), 2015 BCSC 117. The appeal...more

Clean Water Act: New Rule Significantly Expands Reach of Federal Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) finalized the long-anticipated Clean Water Rule. The Rule defines the term “waters of the United States” as used by...more

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