PretiFlaherty

Oral Waiver Insufficient to Defeat Contractor’s Liability for Building Code Violation

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, in Downey, et al. v. Chutehall Construction Co., Ltd., 88 Mass. App. Ct. 795 (January 6, 2016), recently held that an oral waiver of compliance with the building code by a homeowner does not…more
| Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Real Estate - Residential

Final Office Actions - Sometimes Final Is Not So Final

Patent prosecution is a back and forth dialogue to get the broadest coverage allowable. In order to keep from bogging down the system, the USPTO can issue a Final Office Action to close off prosecution. There are limited choices…more
| Civil Procedure, Intellectual Property, Science, Computers, & Technology

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

E2Tech solar forum 2016

Today the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine, better known as E2Tech, held its E2Tech forum on solar energy. A panel of solar policy experts shared their perspectives on the issues facing Maine…more
| Energy & Utilities

The Man and City Combined to Reach Unimagined Heights of 'Buddyness'

I never had any dealings with Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, but I’ve spoken through the years with many who did. To a person, they all say roughly the same thing..…more
| Elections & Politics

FERC requires licensure of Alaska hydropower project

What happens when federal hydropower regulators discover an unlicensed project subject to their jurisdiction? A recent case involving a dam at a remote Alaskan fish hatchery ended with an order requiring the project owner to…more
| Civil Procedure, Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

Tobacco Settlement Perennially Validates the Wisdom of General Harshbarger

Back in the early-Nineties, 46 attorneys general brought a massive lawsuit against the largest U.S. tobacco companies to recover costs incurred by states in caring for persons afflicted with smoking-related illnesses over a…more
| Elections & Politics, Health

RGGI states comment on Clean Power Plan

The nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have submitted joint comments to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in connection with its Clean Power…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

NERC suggests Clean Power Plan reliability considerations

The electric reliability organization for North America has issued an assessment of reliability considerations it thinks state electricity and environmental regulators should take into account in crafting state plans to comply…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

Federal Court Finds Employee’s Explanation for Failed Drug Test Insufficient to Provide Notice of a Disability

Most employers are well aware that, under state and federal disability laws, an employee with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. What can sometimes be less clear for employers is determining…more
| Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law

Court ruling cuts demand response uncertainty

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding federal regulation of the compensation paid for wholesale electricity demand response. The Court's opinion, FERC v. Electric Power Supply Assn., hinges on the…more
| Energy & Utilities

Contractor’s Lawsuit Against Architect for Tortious Interference Allowed to Proceed

A U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts has allowed a lawsuit to proceed brought by a contractor against an architect, alleging the architect falsely certified grounds for termination to the project owner…more
| Business Torts, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

US Supreme Court upholds wholesale demand response

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued an opinion upholding regional electricity grid operators' ability to operate wholesale demand response programs under federal authority. In that opinion, FERC v. Electric Power…more
| Administrative Law, Commercial Law & Contracts, Energy & Utilities

FERC staff guidance for Clean Power Plan modeling

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have issued a white paper presenting guidance principles for modeling state plans to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan carbon…more
| Energy & Utilities, Environmental Law

It Proved Impossible to Do What the Doctor Ordered...and that Still Hurts

I can remember the morning but not the year – it was around 1999 or 2000 -- when my boss, Al Minahan, and I drove from downtown to Brookline to meet a prospective client. We had an appointment with a recently retired surgeon at…more
| Health, Science, Computers, & Technology
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