News & Analysis as of

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the...more

Second District Rejects CEQA And Fair Transit Hearing Challenges To LA Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project In Lengthy...

In a 65-page opinion certified for publication and filed October 22, 2015, the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s judgment denying writ petitions by the City of Beverly...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

ADA Suit Not Precluded By State Agency Decision

A district court improperly granted summary judgment to an employer defending against a claim of disability discrimination where the district court relied too heavily on the state agency’s finding that an employee failed to...more

Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas...more

Finally Coming to Fruition: FDA’s Rule on the Sanitary Transportation of Food

Twenty-five years after Congress first tried to ensure that garbage trucks aren’t also used to haul fresh produce, a federal regulation establishing sanitation standards for the transportation of human and animal food by...more

Second Railroad Commission Decision Agrees Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

Texas Railroad Commission examiners have determined that a well operated by EnerVest Operating LLC likely did not contribute to a series of earthquakes in the state, mirroring a similar determination made on August 31 in a...more

Texas Wastewater Injection Wells Off the Hook for Causing Earthquakes

On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission absolved a second oil and gas company of causing a series of earthquakes in northern Texas finding that the seismic activity was due to “natural tectonic processes.” The...more

Railroad Commission Examiners Find Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

The controversy around whether wastewater injection wells cause earthquakes was finally put to legal scrutiny in a recent proceeding before administrative hearing examiners (Examiners) with the Texas Railroad Commission,...more

Unpaid Internships: Tips for Avoiding Legal Liability

Unpaid internships present companies with potential legal exposure, as shown by several recent, well-publicized legal victories for interns, including one against NBC, which ultimately paid out millions of dollars. To help...more

Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Asbestos Verdict on Sole Proximate Cause Argument

In Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., the Fourth District of Illinois recently overturned a $1.4 million verdict against the Illinois Central Railroad. At trial, the Court had excluded evidence of the decedent's work at...more

An Oft-Forgotten Detail in Infrastructure Deals – Telecom Licenses

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, from energy to transportation, depends upon telecommunications for safe and efficient operation. The facilities that provide such communications services generally are proprietary...more

How New Rail Regulations May Spur Midstream M&A

Over the past several months we’ve seen a rise in mergers and acquisitions among midstream energy firms. A variety of factors will likely push more firms to consider M&A, but one factor stands out: new regulations surrounding...more

PIPEDA Amendments In-Force

Amendments to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) are frequently proposed but just as frequently die on the order paper. Bill S-4, which proposed the most significant amendments to...more

To Be or Not to Be – an Insured Contract: Coverage for Breach of Warranty Claims

In Bituminous Casualty Corporation v. Plano Molding Company, 2015 IL App (2d) 140292, the Illinois Appellate Court tackled one of the most misunderstood issues in the commercial general liability policy: does an obligation to...more

Oilfield Water Recycling Could Significantly Boost Texas Water Supplies

Robust drilling and production activity in the Eagle Ford, Permian Basin, Granite Wash, and other oil-producing areas of Texas has unleashed high demand for frac water and a surge of produced water as wells come online. A...more

FRA Issues Safety Advisory to All Passenger Railroads in Response to Recent Amtrak and Metro-North Derailments

On June 9, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") issued Safety Advisory 2015-03 requiring passenger railroads to make operational and signal modifications to ensure compliance with speed restrictions. The FRA is...more

Large-Scale Privatization 2015 Approved (Ukrainian)

On 12 May 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution No. 271 “On Conducting a Transparent and Competitive Privatization in 2015” (the “Resolution”), which approved the list of more than 300 State-owned...more

Large-Scale Privatization 2015 Approved

On 12 May 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Resolution No. 271 “On Conducting a Transparent and Competitive Privatization in 2015” (the “Resolution”), which approved the list of more than 300 State-owned...more

Reed Smith’s “Crude by Rail” Series - DOT Publishes Amended Regulations for Rail Transport

As part of a 19-month initiative to improve the safety of hazardous rail traffic, on Friday, May 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) published new regulations and standards for the bulk transport of Class 3...more

Lipsky Revisited – Details and Debate

Lipsky was not Range’s lessor, therefor I know nothing about the case. Surely, this person lives in my house, where I enjoy a long history of knowing nothing about anything. (Memo to self: check progress on subpoena for kids’...more

New Federal Oil-By-Rail Regulations Published

Today, May 8, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule for rail transport of crude oil in the Federal Register. These rules come after several high-profile oil train derailments,...more

New Standards for Shipping Crude Oil, Petroleum Products and Renewable Fuel by Rail

On Friday, May 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) issued a final rule establishing new requirements for transporting flammable liquids in a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars or 35 or more tank cars loaded...more

“Peace Train” or “Crazy Train”?

In my former days defending agency actions in federal court, I had a standard line I used with frequent success when rules were attacked by all sides: “Your Honor, we’ve been sued here by both industry and environmental...more

Recent Surface Transportation Board Preemption Decisions of Note

In the last several months, the Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) has issued a number of decisions further defining the scope of federal preemption. As the primary agency tasked with the economic regulation of the...more

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