Stoel Rives LLP

Utah Supreme Court "Repudiates" the Federal Multi-Employer Worksite Doctrine

In an unapologetic rejection of a decades-old legal fiction hatched by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") and embraced by Utah Division of Occupational Safety and Health ("UOSH"), on January 31,…more

General Contractors, OSHA, Workplace Safety

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The Ninth Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Ruling That an Employee Who Threatens Co-Workers with Violence Is Not “Qualified” Under the ADA

The Ninth Circuit released a precedent-setting Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) decision yesterday, and it’s a big win for employers.  The Court held that an employee who makes “serious and credible threats of violence…more

ADA, Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, Discipline, Essential Functions

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Controversial New Clean Water Rule Unlikely to Significantly Change Regulatory Status Quo

On May 27, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly issued their long-expected and much-debated rule defining which waters are protected by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). In announcing the rule, President Obama said…more

Clean Water Act, Drinking Water, EPA, Navigable Waters, U.S. House

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Is It Historical Under CEQA? Court Confirms Substantial Evidence Remains the Standard

Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, et al., No. F066498,(Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., August 28, 2014) - In a two-part opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment…more

CEQA, Environmental Policies, Historic Preservation, Historical Landmarks, Substantial Evidence Standard

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Minnesota Community Solar Gardens Forecast: Partly Sunny with a Chance of Rain

Within days of its open on December 12, 2014, Xcel Energy’s Minnesota Community Solar Garden (CSG) Program had well over 300 MW worth of CSG applications submitted and by this writing nearly 430 MW. The rush of significant…more

Energy Projects, Public Utilities Commission, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Farm

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Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood…more

Historic Preservation, Historical Landmarks, National Historic Preservation Act, National Park Service, Native American Issues

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Idaho Real Estate & Development Law Update: No Action for Negligence When a Title Company Errs in Preparing Legal Description for Title Commitment

In the case of Cummings v. Stephens released September 19, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court reiterated some settled rules about when a title insurance company can be found liable for negligence. In the case, a title company…more

Negligence, Title Insurance

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Minnesota Legislature Looks to Jump Start Renewable Energy Exports

The Minnesota State Legislature is currently debating a bill that would ease the regulatory burden on independent power producers looking to export wind and solar energy generated in Minnesota…more

Exports, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power

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CEQA Baseline Analysis: Future Conditions Baseline Should Be The Exception Not The Rule When Agency Reviews Environmental Impacts, Says Divided California Supreme Court

In Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (filed August 5, 2013) (“Neighbors”), a majority of the California Supreme Court justices announced a new rule regarding the baseline agencies may use…more

CEQA, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Claims, Environmental Impact Report, Environmental Policies

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NLRB Says “Mere Maintenance” of Employee Handbook Rules May Violate the NLRA

In recent years the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has aggressively sought to emphasize that its reach extends beyond solely unionized workforces.  On March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin released a…more

Employee Handbooks, Final Rules, Human Resources Professionals, NLRA, NLRB

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Health Care Alert: ACA Health Insurance Subsidies Called into Question by DC Circuit

Yesterday, a divided three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down the IRS regulation allowing federal premium subsidies for individuals buying health insurance at Exchanges/Marketplaces…more

Affordable Care Act, Chevron Deference, Employer Mandates, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges

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Controversial New Clean Water Rule Unlikely to Significantly Change Regulatory Status Quo

On May 27, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly issued their long-expected and much-debated rule defining which waters are protected by the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). In announcing the rule, President Obama said…more

Clean Water Act, Drinking Water, EPA, Navigable Waters, U.S. House

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Health Care Law Alert: Skagit County Fined $215,000 for HIPAA Violations

Skagit County in northwest Washington state has been fined $215,000 for violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”)…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, Fines, HHS, HIPAA

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Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a…more

Amended Legislation, Biofuel, CEQA, Exemptions, Native American Issues

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CEQA Exemption Update: Westland Water District Two-Year Contract Renewals Ruled Exempt from CEQA Requirements

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, No. FO67383 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 3, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld the Westland Water District and its related distribution districts’ (Water…more

Bureau of Reclamation, CEQA, Municipalities, Public Contracts, Water

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High-Speed Rail Authority Issues Progress Report

The High-Speed Rail Authority (“HSRA”) issued a progress report for the High-Speed Rail Project (the “Project”) last week, describing the HSRA’s challenges and successes to date…more

High-Speed Rail, High-Speed Rail Authority, Infrastructure, Progress Report, Public Projects

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Air Quality Law Alert: EPA Unveils Sweeping New CO2 Rules

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced two new rules that will ultimately result in the application of carbon dioxide (CO2) standards to existing power plants. The first rule was proposed under Section 111(d) of…more

Air Pollution, Air Quality Standards, Carbon Emissions, Clean Air Act, Environmental Policies

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List West Coast Population of Fisher as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced yesterday its proposal to list the West Coast population of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The scientific…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Comment

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List West Coast Population of Fisher as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced yesterday its proposal to list the West Coast population of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The scientific…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Comment

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Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Ordinance Becomes Law

Seattle's Minimum Wage Ordinance becomes law on April 1, 2015, raising the minimum hourly wage for Seattle's lowest paid workers. On March 30, 2015 the City's new Office of Labor Standards released the final regulations under…more

Local Ordinance, Minimum Wage, New Regulations, Wage and Hour

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USFWS to Evaluate New Incidental Take Permitting Program Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) published notice in the Federal Register announcing that it intends to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement to evaluate the effects of a program that would…more

Fish and Wildlife Service, Incidental Take Permits, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Rulemaking Process

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No Harassment, No Problem: Idaho Court Holds Harassing Comments May Still Support Liability for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

A November 27, 2013 opinion from the Idaho Supreme Court reinstated a former Assistant Vice Principal’s claim seeking damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress. This decision highlights that allegedly harassing…more

Harassment, Hostile Environment, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, Public Schools, Sexual Harassment

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What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California…more

Air Pollution, Air Quality Standards, CEQA, Environmental Impact Report, Environmental Policies

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San Francisco Is About to Begin Enforcing the Retail Workers Bill of Rights – Are You in Compliance?

On July 3, 2015, the San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights becomes operative. This ordinance creates major changes for many companies doing business in San Francisco. Employers Affected - The law applies to…more

Franchises, Janitorial Services, Local Ordinance, Retail Workers Bill of Rights, Retailers

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Corporate Law Alert: Launch of New Oregon Benefit Company Law Produces Record Signups

On January 1, Oregon launched its new benefit company law, becoming the 20th U.S. state to allow the formation of such entities. The launch produced a record-setting response, with 29 registrants signing up for benefit company…more

B Corporation, Benefit Corporations, Choice of Entity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship

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The Ninth Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Ruling That an Employee Who Threatens Co-Workers with Violence Is Not “Qualified” Under the ADA

The Ninth Circuit released a precedent-setting Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) decision yesterday, and it’s a big win for employers.  The Court held that an employee who makes “serious and credible threats of violence…more

ADA, Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, Discipline, Essential Functions

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Utah LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect

The folks at KUER ran a report yesterday on Utah’s ground breaking LGBT antidiscrimination law, which went into effect yesterday. Titled the Antidiscrimination and Religious Freedom Act, the law prohibits workplace…more

Discrimination, Employer Liability Issues, Gender Discrimination, LGBT, New Legislation

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Applying for California Minority-Owned Business Entity Certification: Process & Benefits

We were pleased to announce this week that client Southern Ute Alternative Energy, LLC received certification as a Minority-owned Business Entity (MBE) from the California Supplier Clearinghouse.  Southern Ute Alternative…more

Certifications, CPUC, Energy Sector, Investor-Owned Utilities, Minority-Owned Businesses

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Solar Installer Alert: New Countervailing Duties on Imports of Chinese Solar Products Take Effect June 10, 2014

The U.S. International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce (“ITA”) made the preliminary countervailing duty (“CVD”) rates announced last week effective today, June 10, in a published notice, 79 Fed. Reg…more

Antidumping Duties, China, Countervailing Duties, International Trade Agreements, Solar Energy

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Condominium Law Alert: Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA…more

Condominium Rules, Condominiums, Disclosure Requirements, ILSA, Registration

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California Legislature Takes Another Pass at Regulating Drone Operators

As part of our continuing California drone law coverage, today we report on the latest attempt by the California legislature to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles. Introduced yesterday by California State Senator Hannah Beth…more

Audio Recording, Data Collection, Drones, Liability, Photographs

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Don't Neglect to Understand Insurance Jargon

Unfortunately, insurance requirements in contracts are not easy to understand. The language used in insurance requirements is not always intuitive, but we all know that the consequences of not having the right insurance can be…more

Additional Insured Endorsements, Advertising Injury, Bodily Injury, Commercial General Liability Policies, Endorsements

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Condominium Law Alert: Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA…more

Condominium Rules, Condominiums, Disclosure Requirements, ILSA, Registration

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Environmental Law Alert: Oregon HB 3086 Allows Consideration of Off-Site Mitigation for Sage Grouse Habitat

Over 40 percent of the lands in Malheur County have been designated as core habitat for sage grouse by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ("ODFW"). Other counties in southeastern Oregon are also heavily affected. ODFW's…more

Critical Habitat, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Endangered Species, Environmental Policies

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Deadline Extension For California’s Industrial Storm Water Permit

The new California Industrial General Storm Water Permit (IGP) is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2015. That date was also the deadline for facilities already operating under the previous 1997 IGP to submit any updates to…more

Compliance, Industrial Storm Water Permit, No Exposure Certification (NEC), Storm Water, Stormwater Multi-Application Reporting & Tracking System (SMARTS)

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Deadline Extension For California’s Industrial Storm Water Permit

The new California Industrial General Storm Water Permit (IGP) is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2015. That date was also the deadline for facilities already operating under the previous 1997 IGP to submit any updates to…more

Compliance, Industrial Storm Water Permit, No Exposure Certification (NEC), Storm Water, Stormwater Multi-Application Reporting & Tracking System (SMARTS)

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Condominium Law Alert: Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA…more

Condominium Rules, Condominiums, Disclosure Requirements, ILSA, Registration

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Oregon Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Which (Mostly) Replaces Local Ordinances in Portland and Eugene

Governor Kate Brown signed into law the new Oregon Paid Sick Leave (“OPSL”) law enacted by the Legislature on June 12. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2016. Oregon is the fourth state to enact a state-wide paid sick…more

Employee Rights, Local Ordinance, New Regulations, Paid Leave, Preemption

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Food Labeling Client Alert: FDA Proposes Changes to Iconic Nutrition Facts Label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed an update to the iconic Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. In light of new scientific evidence about human health and nutrition, dietary recommendations of…more

Department of Agriculture, FDA, Food Labeling, Nutrition Facts Labels

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US Dept. of Commerce Initiates 2nd Administrative Review for 2012 Chinese Solar CSPV Products Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders

On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce (through the International Trade Administration or ITA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) published a notice initiating the 2nd annual Administrative Review for the…more

Antidumping Duties, China, Countervailing Duties, Plastic Solar Cells, Solar Panels

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Condominium Law Alert: Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA…more

Condominium Rules, Condominiums, Disclosure Requirements, ILSA, Registration

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OSHA Law Update: Potential Changes to OSHA's Process Safety Management Standard

Last year, President Obama issued Executive Order 13650 which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to publish a Request for Information (“RFI”) to identify issues related to modernizing the Process…more

Oil & Gas, OSHA, Request For Information, Workplace Safety

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"Isn't there supposed to be a good cop?" -- 9th Circuit Holds Bilious Conduct Not a Disability Under ADA

Cantankerous employees beware! Being a jerk is not a disability and, at least according to the Ninth Circuit in Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, blaming bad behavior on a physical or mental impairment does not guarantee protection…more

ADA, Adverse Employment Action, Hiring & Firing

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Compliance with California Foreclosure Recording Law: What Level of "Defect" in Foreclosure Recordings "Void" a Foreclosure Sale?

In the wake of the California foreclosure crisis, one of several arguments relied on by borrowers facing foreclosure (and their attorneys) in “wrongful foreclosure” suits has been that some aspect of the statutory foreclosure…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Non-Judicial Foreclosures

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Patent Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Raises the Bar for Patent Owners in Induced Infringement Claims

In a recent decision likely to significantly impact patent holders reliant on method-type claims, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. that induced infringement…more

Akamai Technologies, En Banc Review, Induced Infringement, Limelight Networks, Miniauction

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Court Rules That Telecommuting May Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

The Sixth Circuit recently held in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. that regular attendance may not mean physical presence in the workplace, and that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation for some employees with disabilities…more

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Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 5, 2015 marked the deadline for lawmakers to pass bills out of their house to the opposite house. Bills that did not pass in their house of origin by that date have effectively died (unless such bill has been identified as…more

California Air Resources Board, Energy Sector, Global Warming, Mining, Oil & Gas

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Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”)…more

Drinking Water, EPA, Fracking, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Jerry Brown

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Energy Tax Alert: Congress Extends Biofuel Incentives

Congress this week passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which extends a number of expired or expiring tax provisions through the end of 2014. The President is expected to sign the Act soon. The Act extends a number of…more

Biofuel, Energy Projects, Energy Sector, Oil & Gas, Tax Extenders

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Minnesota Brownfields Soil Reuse Study Identifies Significant Cost-Saving and Carbon Reduction Opportunities

Stoel Rives environmental analyst Steve Heurung was among the co-authors of a Minnesota Brownfields report commissioned by Hennepin County to evaluate the potential for cost savings associated with the off-site reuse of soil at…more

Brownfield Properties, Carbon Emissions, Information Reports, Pollution Control

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2013 Minnesota Labor and Employment Update

Minnesota employers, take note: laws that impact you are changing this year. Not only did the Minnesota legislature recently expand the use of employee sick leave (as we blogged about here) and legalize same-sex marriage, but…more

Criminal Background Checks, Good Faith, Marriage, New Legislation, Same-Sex Marriage

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Energy Storage Alert: California Public Utilities Commission Approves Utility Energy Storage Procurement Plans

At its business meeting yesterday, the California Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) unanimously approved procurement plans for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric to…more

CPUC, Electricity, Grid Energy Storage, Pacific Gas & Electric, Public Procurement Policies

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Under Scrutiny from All Sides, Brown Taps Ph.D. in Geology to Lead the DOGGR: What This Means for the Industry and SB 4's Rollout

At last, the new Supervisor of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) has been announced. Steven Bohlen, currently Program Director at the Lawrence Livermore National…more

DOGGR, Energy, Energy Policy, Geothermal Energy, Oil & Gas

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Corporate Law Alert: Launch of New Oregon Benefit Company Law Produces Record Signups

On January 1, Oregon launched its new benefit company law, becoming the 20th U.S. state to allow the formation of such entities. The launch produced a record-setting response, with 29 registrants signing up for benefit company…more

B Corporation, Benefit Corporations, Choice of Entity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Entrepreneurship

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A Plea to Interactive Websites: Check Your Copyright Agent Designations or Prepare to Face Liability for Your Users' Content

On June 30, 2015, a New York court provided a good excuse for anyone with an interactive website to double-check that its copyright agent designations with the U.S. Copyright Office are complete and accurate. Don’t know what…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Office, Designated Agent, DMCA

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Energy Tax Law Alert: IRS Updates "Beginning of Construction" Guidance

The IRS today issued Notice 2015-25, updating its prior guidance in Notices 2013-29, 2013-60, and 2014-46, regarding the “beginning of construction” requirement for the production tax credit (PTC) under Section 45 of the…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Contractors, Investment Tax Credits, IRC

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New Report Ranks Power Utilities by Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Performance

In a first-of-its-kind report announced this morning, Ceres and Clean Edge ranked the nation's largest electric utilities and local subsidiaries on their renewable energy sales and energy efficiency savings. The report focused…more

Clean Energy, Electricity, Energy Efficiency, Energy Market, Renewable Energy

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Washington Court of Appeals Holds Independent Contractors Are Protected from Retaliation by the Washington Law Against Discrimination

The Washington courts are strict in their interpretation of the classification of individuals as employees versus independent contractors, resulting in many an employer discovering that an “independent contractor” is instead an…more

Contractors, Discrimination, Employee Rights, Independent Contractors, Retaliation

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New Proposed Proposition 65 Warning Requirements: What You Need To Know

On January 12, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released the long anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes changes to the warning requirements under Proposition…more

Distributors, Manufacturers, NPRM, OEHHA, Proposed Regulation

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In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - July 2015

The SEC has finally proposed clawback rules, here, required by Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Act. When adopted, the rules will require stock exchanges to propose and adopt listing standards that implement the requirements; which…more

Accredited Investors, Audit Committee, Bylaws, C&DIs, Clawbacks

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Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood…more

Historic Preservation, Historical Landmarks, National Historic Preservation Act, National Park Service, Native American Issues

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Labor & Employment Law Alert: New NLRB Rulings and What They Mean for Your Business

This will bring you up to date on the new NLRB rule on union elections and the NLRB’s new email decision – both issued in December – and what they mean for your business…more

Ambush Election Rules, Chamber of Commerce, Email, Email Policies, Employer Liability Issues

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Washington Supreme Court Limits Attorney-Client Communications with Employed Health Care Practitioners

Last week's decision by the Washington Supreme Court in Youngs v. PeaceHealth has significant implications for health care providers that employ physicians (or other health care practitioners) and the attorneys who represent…more

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Filing a New ITU Trademark Application? Be Prepared to Prove Your Intent

Staking an early claim to a brand has inspired many hasty (and sometimes ill-advised) trademark applications. For example, trademark applications representing political rallying cries and pop culture slogans such as JE SUIS…more

Best Practices, Brand, CAFC, Corporate Counsel, Intent-to-Use

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Idaho Real Estate & Development Law Update: No Action for Negligence When a Title Company Errs in Preparing Legal Description for Title Commitment

In the case of Cummings v. Stephens released September 19, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court reiterated some settled rules about when a title insurance company can be found liable for negligence. In the case, a title company…more

Negligence, Title Insurance

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Proposed Regulations Address REIT Investments in Solar Facilities

The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently issued proposed regulations that may facilitate using real estate investment trusts (REITs) as vehicles for financing certain renewable energy…more

Funding, REIT, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Solar Panels

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Oregon Supreme Court Provides Definition of "Data Transmission Services" for Central Assessment Purposes

The Oregon Supreme Court today released its long-awaited decision in Comcast Corporation v. Department of Revenue, 356 Or 282, (Oct 2, 2014) (argued January 8, 2013)…more

Comcast, Electronic Data Transmissions, Internet, Property Tax, State Taxes

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A Plea to Interactive Websites: Check Your Copyright Agent Designations or Prepare to Face Liability for Your Users' Content

On June 30, 2015, a New York court provided a good excuse for anyone with an interactive website to double-check that its copyright agent designations with the U.S. Copyright Office are complete and accurate. Don’t know what…more

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Copyright Office, Designated Agent, DMCA

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Dispute over California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petition for review in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey. In Rocky Mountain Farmers, the Ninth Circuit addressed the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS),…more

Carbon Emissions, Dormant Commerce Clause, Fuel Standards, Oil & Gas, SCOTUS

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List West Coast Population of Fisher as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced yesterday its proposal to list the West Coast population of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The scientific…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Comment

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Energy Tax Law Alert: IRS Updates "Beginning of Construction" Guidance

The IRS today issued Notice 2015-25, updating its prior guidance in Notices 2013-29, 2013-60, and 2014-46, regarding the “beginning of construction” requirement for the production tax credit (PTC) under Section 45 of the…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Contractors, Investment Tax Credits, IRC

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US Dept. of Commerce Initiates 2nd Administrative Review for 2012 Chinese Solar CSPV Products Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders

On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce (through the International Trade Administration or ITA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) published a notice initiating the 2nd annual Administrative Review for the…more

Antidumping Duties, China, Countervailing Duties, Plastic Solar Cells, Solar Panels

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Tax Law Alert: The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Washington Legislature Adjourned on June 29

The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Legislature adjourned sine die on June 29, 2013. The accomplishment of this session was passage of a state budget, which had eluded state legislators through the Regular Session that ended…more

B&O Tax, Deficit Reduction, New Legislation, Revenue, State Budgets

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Solar Installer Alert: ITA Delays Trade Case Decision on Chinese Solar Modules | ITC's U.S. Solar Industry Injury Investigation Enters Final Phase

The U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) has postponed its countervailing duty determination by about two months, leaving the solar industry hanging for a while longer…more

Antidumping Duties, China, Countervailing Duties, ITA, Renewable Energy

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Oregon Supreme Court Provides Definition of "Data Transmission Services" for Central Assessment Purposes

The Oregon Supreme Court today released its long-awaited decision in Comcast Corporation v. Department of Revenue, 356 Or 282, (Oct 2, 2014) (argued January 8, 2013)…more

Comcast, Electronic Data Transmissions, Internet, Property Tax, State Taxes

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Qualification and Application Checklist for New DOE Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Renewable Energy and Efficiency Projects

Late last week, the United States Dept. of Energy (“DOE”) Loan Program Office issued a final solicitation for projects seeking loan guarantees titled “Federal Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy Projects and Efficient Energy…more

DOE, Energy, Energy Projects, General Solicitation, Government-Guaranteed Loans

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Negotiating a Liquidated Damages Clause in Texas? Get Out Your Crystal Ball.

"Don't mess with Texas." Apparently the slogan even applies to liquidated damages clauses. This morning, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a decision in a drawn-out fight between wind developer FPL Energy and the power…more

Liquidated Damages

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Condominium Law Alert: Condominium Units Now Exempt from ILSA Registration

On September 26, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 2600, which amends the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (“ILSA”) to exempt condominium pre-sales from the registration requirements of the ILSA…more

Condominium Rules, Condominiums, Disclosure Requirements, ILSA, Registration

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EPA Announces Plan for Rulemaking to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The EPA’s goal is to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% from 2012 levels…more

Environmental Policies, EPA, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Methane, Natural Gas

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Extend Comment Period on Critical Habitat Regulations

On June 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Services”), the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), have announced that they will…more

Critical Habitat, Environmental Policies, ESA, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service

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Washington Supreme Court Establishes Important Energy Siting Precedent

We’re very pleased to report on a significant energy siting victory achieved by our client SDS Lumber Co. and its subsidiary, Whistling Ridge Energy LLC, at the Washington Supreme Court yesterday. We believe the decision sets an…more

Permits, Wind Power

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Ralls Continues to Fight Presidential Divestiture Order Stemming from CFIUS Investigation

Ralls Corp., a privately-held company owned by executives of the China-based heavy machinery manufacturing conglomerate Sany Group, recently filed an appeal in its ongoing effort to avoid President Obama’s order requiring the…more

CFIUS, China, Divestiture, Foreign Investment, Manufacturers

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Health Care Law Alert: Skagit County Fined $215,000 for HIPAA Violations

Skagit County in northwest Washington state has been fined $215,000 for violations of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”)…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, Fines, HHS, HIPAA

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To Curtail Or Not To Curtail…That Is the Question

On June 12, the State Water Board issued a notice of “unavailability of water” and the “need for immediate curtailment” from various water users holding pre-1914 water rights. Less than two weeks later on June 23, lawyers for…more

Curtailment, Drought, Farms, Water Resources Control Board, Water Supplies

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Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’ motion…more

DOGGR, Drinking Water, Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking

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Food Labeling Client Alert: FDA Proposes Changes to Iconic Nutrition Facts Label

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed an update to the iconic Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods. In light of new scientific evidence about human health and nutrition, dietary recommendations of…more

Department of Agriculture, FDA, Food Labeling, Nutrition Facts Labels

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Services Propose New Regulations For Incidental Take Under the Endangered Species Act

On September 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) jointly proposed new regulations governing the issuance of "incidental take statements" (ITSs) under Section 7 of the…more

Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Service, Incidental Take Permits, National Marine Fisheries Service

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Gov. Dayton Signs 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law

On Saturday, June 13, Governor Dayton signed the 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law. The following amendments were made after the Governor’s veto: - New definitions for “propane,” “propane storage facility,” and “synthetic…more

Clean Energy, Clean Power Plan, Cyber Threats, Energy Policy, Energy Sector

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Implications for Industry of Oregon DEQ's Final Nuisance Odor Strategy

For regulated companies and Associated Oregon Industry members, the publication of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) final nuisance odor strategy this past August brought mixed blessings. Among the…more

Environmental Policies, Nuisance

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NMFS Extend Comment Period on Critical Habitat Regulations

On June 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Services”), the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), have announced that they will…more

Critical Habitat, Environmental Policies, ESA, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service

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SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”). The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the…more

DOGGR, Fracking, New Regulations, Oil & Gas, Underground Injection Wells

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Health Care Alert: ACA Health Insurance Subsidies Called into Question by DC Circuit

Yesterday, a divided three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down the IRS regulation allowing federal premium subsidies for individuals buying health insurance at Exchanges/Marketplaces…more

Affordable Care Act, Chevron Deference, Employer Mandates, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges

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Energy Storage Alert: California Public Utilities Commission Approves Utility Energy Storage Procurement Plans

At its business meeting yesterday, the California Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) unanimously approved procurement plans for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric to…more

CPUC, Electricity, Grid Energy Storage, Pacific Gas & Electric, Public Procurement Policies

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Energy Law Alert: California Cap and Trade Auctions Upheld as Constitutional

The Sacramento Superior Court has upheld the constitutionality of California Air Resources Board's ("ARB") cap and trade auctions in the related cases California Chamber of Commerce v. ARB and Morning Star Packing Company v…more

Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Energy, Energy Policy

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Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands Rights-of-Way Regulations

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications benefiting…more

BIA, Taxation, Tribal Lands

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Are You Ready to be Ambushed? NLRB’s New “Quickie Election” Rules Become Effective

As we have previously reported, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) new rules governing union representation elections go into effect today, April 14, 2015. Congress passed a resolution disapproving the new “quickie”…more

Ambush Election Rules, Best Management Practices, NLRA, NLRB, Presidential Veto

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The Ninth Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Ruling That an Employee Who Threatens Co-Workers with Violence Is Not “Qualified” Under the ADA

The Ninth Circuit released a precedent-setting Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) decision yesterday, and it’s a big win for employers.  The Court held that an employee who makes “serious and credible threats of violence…more

ADA, Adverse Employment Action, Corporate Counsel, Discipline, Essential Functions

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List West Coast Population of Fisher as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced yesterday its proposal to list the West Coast population of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The scientific…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Comment

See All Updates »

Economic Development Law Alert: Idaho Targets Job Creation With New Refundable State Income Tax Credit for Business

Job creation efforts in Idaho received a boost earlier this month, when a new refundable state income tax credit for new or existing businesses went into effect. The Idaho Reimbursement Incentive Act creates a tax credit that is…more

Full-Time Employees, Job Creation, Prevailing Wages, State Taxes, Tax Incentives

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Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Ordinance Becomes Law

Seattle's Minimum Wage Ordinance becomes law on April 1, 2015, raising the minimum hourly wage for Seattle's lowest paid workers. On March 30, 2015 the City's new Office of Labor Standards released the final regulations under…more

Local Ordinance, Minimum Wage, New Regulations, Wage and Hour

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Energy Tax Law Alert: IRS Updates "Beginning of Construction" Guidance

The IRS today issued Notice 2015-25, updating its prior guidance in Notices 2013-29, 2013-60, and 2014-46, regarding the “beginning of construction” requirement for the production tax credit (PTC) under Section 45 of the…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Contractors, Investment Tax Credits, IRC

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It’s Coming: Overtime Pay for More Workers

Coming to a store or restaurant near you soon!  Supervisors will get overtime! “Too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve.” —President Obama on overtime pay…more

Minimum Wage, Over-Time, Restaurant Industry, Retailers, Wage and Hour

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Regulate vs. Replace: Hg Ct in MN Affirms State Commission’s Application of Mercury Emissions Reduction Statute

Last year, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved investor owned utility Minnesota Power’s mercury emissions reduction plan for the 585 MW Boswell Unit 4, its largest coal-fired power plant. Minnesota’s Mercury…more

Clean Power Plan, Coal-Fired Generation, Mercury, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Power Plants

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BLM Responds To Ute Indian Tribe’s Injunction Motion In Fracking Rule Litigation

Following a court hearing and order temporarily delaying the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands, the BLM submitted its response brief opposing the Ute Indian…more

Bureau of Land Management, Federal Jurisdiction, Final Rules, Fracking, Fracking Bans

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Oregon Tightens the Screws on Noncompetes: 18 Months Will Soon Be the Maximum Period of Restriction

As we blogged about earlier, courts in most states just plain don’t like employee noncompete agreements. Particularly when it comes to mid- and low-level employees, courts worry that enforcing a noncompete agreement will hamper…more

Employment Contract, Non-Compete Agreements

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California Legislature Takes Another Pass at Regulating Drone Operators

As part of our continuing California drone law coverage, today we report on the latest attempt by the California legislature to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles. Introduced yesterday by California State Senator Hannah Beth…more

Audio Recording, Data Collection, Drones, Liability, Photographs

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Patent Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Easier to Knock out Vague Patents

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the standard by which companies may seek to invalidate a patent for being overly vague, reversing a decision of the Federal Circuit regarding the definiteness standard of Section 112 of…more

Claim Construction, Indefiniteness, Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation

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Environmental Law Alert: FWS Extends Eagle "Take" Permit to 30 Years | What You Need to Know

It's official. On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") issued for public inspection a final rule to extend the maximum term for programmatic "take" permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act ("Eagle…more

Endangered Species, Endangered Species Act, Environmental Policies, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service

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Construction Law Alert: New Amendment to Washington's Contractor Registration Act

Construction and Design Additionally, “contractor” was defined in the statute to include those who offer “to sell their property without occupying or using the structures, projects, developments, or improvements for more than…more

Construction Industry, Contractors, Prime Contractor, Real Estate Development, Registration Requirement

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Marriage Equality Is Nationwide

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court held that “the right to marry is a fundamental inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment…more

Due Process, Equal Protection, Fourteenth Amendment, Marriage, Marriage Equality

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Tax Law Alert: The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Washington Legislature Adjourned on June 29

The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Legislature adjourned sine die on June 29, 2013. The accomplishment of this session was passage of a state budget, which had eluded state legislators through the Regular Session that ended…more

B&O Tax, Deficit Reduction, New Legislation, Revenue, State Budgets

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Oregon Enacts State-Wide Paid Employee Sick Leave Which (Mostly) Replaces Local Ordinances in Portland and Eugene

Governor Kate Brown signed into law the new Oregon Paid Sick Leave (“OPSL”) law enacted by the Legislature on June 12. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2016. Oregon is the fourth state to enact a state-wide paid sick…more

Employee Rights, Local Ordinance, New Regulations, Paid Leave, Preemption

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Water Quality Law Alert: CA State Water Control Board Opens Public Comment on "Final Draft" of Long-Anticipated Industrial Storm Water General Permit

As previously reported by my colleague Melissa Foster, on July 19, 2013, the State Water Board published the "Final Draft" of the NPDES Industrial Storm Water General Permit, which is intended to replace the previous version of…more

Clean Water Act, Industrial Discharges, Industrial Stormwater Rule, Permits, Storm Water

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What Does Alaska’s and Oregon’s Legalization of Marijuana Change for Employers? Answer: Probably Not Much

In this week’s mid-term election on November 4, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia became the latest jurisdictions to pass referendums decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. …more

Corporate Counsel, Decriminalization of Marijuana, Marijuana

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US Dept. of Commerce Initiates 2nd Administrative Review for 2012 Chinese Solar CSPV Products Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Orders

On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce (through the International Trade Administration or ITA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) published a notice initiating the 2nd annual Administrative Review for the…more

Antidumping Duties, China, Countervailing Duties, Plastic Solar Cells, Solar Panels

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Study Suggests EPA Underestimated Natural Gas Methane Emissions, But Not for Fracking, and EPA Releases Study Examining Fracking Emissions Controls

In several recent studies on methane emissions relating to the natural gas industry, scientists concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the quantity of methane the industry releases to the…more

Carbon Emissions, EPA, Fracking, Methane, Natural Gas

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Tax Law Alert: Oregon's 2013 Special Legislative Session Passes Changes to Oregon Tax Law

The special legislative session called by Governor Kitzhaber adjourned on October 2, 2013, after passing a "grand bargain" primarily implementing cost and benefit reductions to Oregon's public employees retirement system (PERS),…more

Retirement, Tax Reform

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Another George Clooney Film in the Making? Nevada Supreme Court Rejects Rule Against Perpetuities Argument for Mining Agreement

The Nevada Supreme Court recently decided that the rule against perpetuities does not apply to area-of-interest provisions in commercial mining agreements. While you should not expect this case to become a summer blockbuster…more

Mining, Mining Contracts, NV Supreme Court, Rule Against Perpetuities

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Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing of Medical Marijuana User

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-0 decision that Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” which provides protections to employees who engage in lawful off-duty conduct, only applies to conduct that is lawful under…more

CO Supreme Court, Coats v Dish Network, Controlled Substances Act, Dish Network, Drug Testing

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Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’ motion…more

DOGGR, Drinking Water, Energy Sector, EPA, Fracking

See All Updates »

Governor Brown Announces New 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target for California

This morning, California Governor Jerry Brown announced Executive Order B-30-15, setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The 2030 target acts as an interim goal on…more

California Energy Commission, CPUC, Energy Sector, Executive Orders, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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Chile Announces New Public Land Concessions for Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Projects

On October 1, 2014, Víctor Osorio, Chile’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced that 200 public land concessions were being made available, through a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Energy, to Non-Conventional…more

Chile, Cooperation Agreement, Energy Projects, Public Land, Renewable Energy

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ESA Law Update: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List West Coast Population of Fisher as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced yesterday its proposal to list the West Coast population of the fisher (Pekania pennanti) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The scientific…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Comment

See All Updates »

Bill Targeting 50% RPS Introduced in California Legislature

In his inaugural address earlier this month, Governor Brown, referenced several ambitious goals he would like to see accomplished over the next 15 years, including increasing from one-third to 50 percent the amount of…more

Electricity, Energy Policy, Jerry Brown, Renewable Energy, Renewable Portfolio Standards

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Economic Development Law Alert: Idaho Targets Job Creation With New Refundable State Income Tax Credit for Business

Job creation efforts in Idaho received a boost earlier this month, when a new refundable state income tax credit for new or existing businesses went into effect. The Idaho Reimbursement Incentive Act creates a tax credit that is…more

Full-Time Employees, Job Creation, Prevailing Wages, State Taxes, Tax Incentives

See All Updates »

Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood…more

Historic Preservation, Historical Landmarks, National Historic Preservation Act, National Park Service, Native American Issues

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CFIUS Issues Its 2013 Annual Report to Congress

Number of Filings by Chinese Acquirers Increased Dramatically; First Transaction Blocked by Presidential Order Since 1990 - The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency U.S. government…more

Acquisitions, CFIUS, China, National Security

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New Proposed Proposition 65 Warning Requirements: What You Need To Know

On January 12, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released the long anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes changes to the warning requirements under Proposition…more

Distributors, Manufacturers, NPRM, OEHHA, Proposed Regulation

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Seven Steps for Employers to Address the Ebola Threat (Step 1: Don’t Panic!)

The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, with the few isolated cases occurring in the United States, is spurring employers to review their emergency response plans for pandemic preparedness. In seven steps, this…more

ADA, Best Management Practices, CDC, Corporate Counsel, Ebola

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Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a…more

Amended Legislation, Biofuel, CEQA, Exemptions, Native American Issues

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SEPA Selects “Grid Market Structures” Paper Concept as a Focus of 51st State Summit

I’m pleased to announce that the Solar Electric Power Association has selected a paper authored by James Tong of Clean Power Finance, Jenny Hu and myself as one of three concepts that will focus discussion at SEPA’s 51st State…more

Electricity, Energy Sector, Power Grid, Solar Energy, Technical Conference

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Air Quality Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Blocks EPA Coal Plant Air Toxics Standards

Earlier today the US Supreme Court issued a 5 to 4 decision in Michigan v. EPA that struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule. The MATS rule imposes stringent…more

Air Pollution, Boiler MACT Rule, Clean Air Act, Coal-Fired Plants, Mercury

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Compliance with California Foreclosure Recording Law: What Level of "Defect" in Foreclosure Recordings "Void" a Foreclosure Sale?

In the wake of the California foreclosure crisis, one of several arguments relied on by borrowers facing foreclosure (and their attorneys) in “wrongful foreclosure” suits has been that some aspect of the statutory foreclosure…more

Deed of Trust, Foreclosure, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgages, Non-Judicial Foreclosures

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U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Patent Eligibility Standards

In a recent decision, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the test for determining whether a patent falls within one of the exceptions to patent eligibility under Section 101 of the Patent Act. The…more

Alice Corporation, CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Mayo v. Prometheus, Patent Litigation

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Contact

900 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 2600
Portland, Oregon 97204, United States

  • (503) 224-3380
  • (503) 220-2480

Areas of Practice
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Other U.S. Locations
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