Zoning, Planning & Land Use Criminal Law

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Marijuana Regulations Growing Like Weeds in California

Although California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, cities have differed widely in their response to medical marijuana dispensaries. Recently, Newport Beach joined Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Anaheim and Rancho Santa...more

Fifth Circuit Decision in Citgo Case May Place Limits on Criminal Liability Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed convictions of CITGO Petroleum Corporation and CITGO Refining and Chemical Company, L.P. (collectively "Citgo"), and in so doing placed potentially...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Apply to Incidental Takes - What It Means for Energy Developers

On September 4, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the misdemeanor convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corporation and Citgo Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P. (collectively Citgo) for “taking” migratory birds in...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

Creative Lawyering In RCRA Criminal Action Fails to Find Favor with the Ninth Circuit

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law that regulates management of hazardous waste, is complicated and compliance can be tricky... but not impossible. Our experience is that good faith efforts to comply...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The General Assembly finished the 1st Regular session of the 121st Session last Thursday, but will return the week of June 16 to take up gubernatorial vetoes, conference reports, and any of the appropriations bills related to...more

A Permit System May Finally Arrive for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act - New Opportunities and Responsibilities

For years, Federal Courts have held that individuals can be held criminally liable under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for the death of birds regardless of whether they intended to harm them. While several courts have...more

Strengthening of enforcement powers under the environmental permitting regime and tackling waste crime - what changes are...

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs ("Defra") and the Welsh Government are currently consulting on strengthening the powers of the regulators in respect of those facilities which operate under environmental...more

Much Ado About Doing Nothing: DOJ’s Latest Memorandum Cracks Open Door to Marijuana Development on Tribal Lands

In December 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a policy statement regarding enforcement of marijuana laws in Indian Country. While some media have reported the Department’s statement as carte blanche for tribes to...more

Transgender Native American Prisoner Denied Access to Sweat Lodge and Unsatisfied with the Alternative Sues under RLUIPA: More on...

Corrections Corporation of America (Dist. Idaho 2015) because the decision reflects a recent trend in RLUIPA cases: close judicial scrutiny as to whether a compelling government interest is furthered by “the least restrictive...more

California Supreme Court: Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Unconstitutional

Opinion Likely to Impact Cities’ Policies - Residency restrictions that prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park are unconstitutional, the California Supreme Court ruled this week. The...more

Enforcement undertakings may be available for environmental permitting offences as early as 6 April 2015

On 15 December 2014, the Government laid draft Regulations before Parliament which introduce enforcement undertakings in respect of environmental permitting offences. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the draft Environmental...more

Miami-Dade County’s P3 Approach to Courthouse Project

From left to right: City of Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard; Bilzin Sumberg partner Albert E. Dotson, Jr.; Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez Last week, Bilzin Sumberg hosted a two-day conference of national and...more

SHE Matters - Winter 2014/2015

In This Issue: - Fee For Intervention – Is It Set To Stay? - How To Protect Brand Reputation And Sales From The Risks Associated With A Product Recall - Review Of The Proposed Changes In The Sentencing Of Health...more

Supreme Court Update: T-Mobile V. City Of Roswell (13-975), Hana Financial, Inc. V. Hana Bank (13-1211), Gelboim V. Bank Of...

Greetings, Court Fans! What began as a trickle of decisions from the Court's October sitting has swiftly burgeoned into a flood. Yesterday, the Court announced decisions in three more cases, on top of the three decisions...more

Untamed Skies: Domestic Drones Remain Unregulated

What once was a technology confined almost exclusively to military use has now made its way into the hands of businesses, domestic agencies and private hobbyists. Small, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), more commonly known...more

Ninth Circuit: Ordinance Criminalizing Living in Car Is Unconstitutionally Vague

If you eat, talk on the phone, and escape the rain in your car, are you using the car “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise?” What if you load up the car with personal belongings for a camping...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Law

A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways. Originally published on the IMLA Appellate...more

California Supreme Court Declines Review of Cases Invalidating Local Bans on Sex Offenders

Supreme Court Leaves Intact Court of Appeal Cases Holding That State Law Preempts Some Local Sex Offender Ordinances - Local laws regulating where sex offenders may go are likely now invalid following the California...more

What Is A Bird Worth To A Regulator?

What is a wild bird worth? Does it matter whether it is a Bald or Golden Eagle, of which here are few, or ducks and pelicans, of which there are enough (as least the ducks) so that hunters may shoot them for dinner. Does it...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Rule Extending Terms of Permits for Incidental Eagle Take to Thirty-Years

Timing of Rule’s Publication is Another Indication of Renewed Focus on Avian Compliance Risk at Wind Farms - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a final rule extending the maximum term for...more

For the First Time, U.S. Extends MBTA Enforcement to Renewables

On November 22, 2013, the Department of Justice announced its first prosecution of a wind farm operation for violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a criminal statute governing take of over 1000 species of birds....more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law October 31, 2013

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Concerns Extend to Solar Plants

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) has a famously broad scope, outlawing the taking of over 1000 species of birds, ranging from hummingbirds to robins and crows. It is also a criminal statute, although most violations are...more

U.S. Supreme Court Roundup - National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit – August 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications on states and states' rights. This presentation included the court's review and opinions handed down for the following cases. -...more

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