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National Marine Fisheries Service Considering Revision to Critical Habitat Designation for Southern Resident Killer Whales

On February 24, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced a 12-month finding on the Center for Biological Diversity’s (CBD) petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer…more
| Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance Promotes Alternate Source of Transportation Funding

The Second Annual Conference of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance (MBUFA) was held in Washington, DC on February 24, 2015. The MBUFA is a non-profit organization that promotes awareness and education about mileage-based user…more
| Construction Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Taxation, Transportation, Government Contracting

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss a Challenge to Natural Gas Projects in the Great Barrier Reef

On Friday, February 20, a federal district court denied (pdf) a motion to dismiss, thereby breathing life into an Endangered Species Act (ESA) challenge brought against the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Bank) for…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

How Hard Does it Have to Rain Before the Government is Liable for a “Condemnation Cloud?”

Public projects take years of planning and environmental review usually involving outreach to neighboring property owners and other stakeholders. During this process, potential right of way impacts are identified and property…more
| Constitutional Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Real Estate - Residential, Real Estate - Commercial

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy…more
| Constitutional Law, Energy & Utilities, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Real Estate - Commercial

Will we see a trend for direct pension fund investment in US greenfields infrastructure?

Although historically the investment profile for pension funds has focused on established brownfields assets, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has recently invested $525 million AUD into the greenfields…more
| Construction Law, Finance & Banking, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Transportation, Government Contracting

Florida Governor Rick Scott Breaks Ground on I-4 Ultimate Project

Florida Governor Rick Scott broke ground yesterday on the I-4 Ultimate Project, which will rebuild I-4 in metro-Orlando. The Project involves the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to…more
| Construction Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use, Transportation, Government Contracting

Is the Attorney's Fees Clause Moot in an Illegal Contract? – Depends On Your Involvement, Explains First Appellate District Court

The Court of Appeal recently clarified when a party can recover attorney's fees under a real estate purchase contract that is ruled to be illegal. California courts have previously enforced attorney's fees provisions in a real…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Real Estate - Residential

The Oregon chub is the first fish species ever to be declared recovered and removed from threatened species listing

On February 17, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its final decision to remove the Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife under the Federal Endangered…more
| Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take a Second Look at Takings Case

The burning question, is why? While this is not the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has ever granted a petition for review in the same case, it is certainly not common. And, it is downright uncommon for the Supreme Court to…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law

California Tries (Once Again) to Protect Digital Information

This month, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the California Senate that would require law enforcement to get a search warrant before accessing a person’s digital information. The proposed California Electronic…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Privacy

114th Congress Introduces Bill to Amend Endangered Species Act of 1973

On January 28, 2015, Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) introduced House Bill H.R. 585, which seeks to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) to establish a new procedure for approval of certain stipulated consent decrees…more
| Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Did You Know…PAGA Waivers Unenforceable in California Courts

The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. In Iskanian, the California Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration…more
| Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

Amtrak Bill Aims To Keep Northeast Corridor Profits on the Northeast Corridor

The House Transportation Committee has approved the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, a bill that would reauthorize Amtrak and other rail programs. The bill is substantially the same as the 2014 legislation and is…more
| Elections & Politics, Finance & Banking, Transportation

Federal Agencies Revise Killer Whale Listing to Include Whales Held in Captivity

On February 10, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (“Services”) issued a final rule (pdf) to include captive killer whales in the Southern Resident killer whale…more
| Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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