Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Environmental Litigation

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Medicare Seeks to Ensure Repayment in Toxic Tort and Personal Injury Settlements

Companies and their attorneys risk monetary penalties and DOJ enforcement if they fail to ensure that toxic tort and personal injury plaintiffs reimburse Medicare. By Christine Rolph, Taiga Takahashi, and Holly Bainbridge The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed numerous enforcement actions against defendant companies and law firms based on an alleged failure to … Continue Reading

Australian Government Faces Class-Action Over Failure to Disclose Climate Change Risks

The pioneering case seeks an injunction to restrain the government from further promoting exchange-traded bonds until it complies with its duty of disclosure. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 22 July 2020, investors filed a class-action claim against the Australian government, alleging that it failed to disclose material climate change risks relating … Continue Reading

UK Carbon Pricing Updates: UK Emissions Trading System and Carbon Emissions Tax Consultation

The government provides further details on UK carbon pricing after Brexit. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 14 July 2020, the UK government published the draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020 (the Order), establishing a framework for the potential UK Emissions Trading System (UK ETS). Subsequently, on 21 July 2020, … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: 2019 Year in Review

Public agencies prevailed in 71% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Daniel P. Brunton, Marc T. Campopiano, Shivaun A. Cooney, Benjamin J. Hanelin, John C. Heintz, Maria Pilar Hoye, Aron Potash, and Winston P. Stromberg Latham & Watkins is pleased to present its third annual CEQA Case Report. Throughout 2019 Latham lawyers reviewed … Continue Reading

EU Commission’s Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Enters Into Force

The sustainable finance classification system entered into force on 12 July 2020, providing a framework for other green initiatives. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 12 July 2020, the EU’s regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (the Taxonomy Regulation) entered into force, after several years of planning … Continue Reading

EU Commission Launches Consultation on Green Bond Standard

The consultation aims to gather technical input from stakeholders in the green bond market before finalising an EU GBS. By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green, and Aaron E. Franklin On 12 June 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) published a targeted consultation document on the establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard (EU GBS). … Continue Reading

Swiss Parliament Considers Responsible Business Initiative

The initiative has the potential to significantly extend liability for certain Swiss companies in relation to abuses of human and environmental rights. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green Since 1891, Swiss citizens have been able to request changes to the Swiss constitution through popular initiatives. Currently, if an initiative is put forward by … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court: Some Discharges Through Groundwater Require Permit

Decision concludes a permit is required if such discharges are the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge to navigable waters. By Janice Schneider, Maria Hoye, and Ethan Prall On April 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in County of Maui, Hawai’i v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, holding that the Clean … Continue Reading

Dutch Supreme Court Confirms Government’s Obligation to Reduce Emissions

Court finds the Netherlands’ 20% greenhouse gas emissions target to be unacceptable, citing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the ECHR. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 20 December 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal ruling in the Urgenda case, determining that the Dutch State was … Continue Reading

Satisfying ‘Daubert’ in Environmental Toxic Tort Litigation

Recent decisions have excluded plaintiffs’ expert opinions that fail to estimate actual exposure and prove it was sufficient to cause injury. By Christine G. Rolph and Laura J. Glickman Recent federal court rulings in toxic tort litigations have stressed the importance of the dose-response relationship and the need to carefully evaluate the level of exposure … Continue Reading

German Court Dismisses Farmers’ Climate Protection Claim

The court argued that the German government’s 2014 decision on climate protection goals for 2020 was not legally binding. By Jörn Kassow On 31 October 2019, the Administrative Court of Berlin dismissed a climate lawsuit brought by German citizens against the government. The plaintiffs had alleged that the government was violating their rights by missing … Continue Reading

How the Friant Ranch Decision Continues to Impact CEQA Compliance

A new webcast reveals the latest trends and approaches to CEQA compliance as the development and environmental communities react to changing law. By Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Jennifer K. Roy On July 24, 2019, Latham & Watkins’ Project Siting & Approvals Practice hosted a 60-minute webcast, “Friant Ranch: Impact of California Supreme … Continue Reading

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments Request for preliminary ruling from the Hague Court of Appeal confirms that the concepts of “waste” and “discard” must be interpreted broadly. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently handed down its judgment in response to a request … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

2018 Year in Review: Public agencies prevailed in 65% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Lucinda Starrett Over the course of 2018, Latham & Watkins lawyers reviewed all 57 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These … Continue Reading

2012 German Law on Renewable Energy Does Not Constitute State Aid

ECJ ruling provides EU Member States more flexibility in designing the promotion of renewable energies. By Jörn Kassow and Alexander Wilhelm The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently ruled that the German Renewable Energy Act of 2012 (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz – EEG 2012) did not constitute State aid (C-405/16 P). The ECJ found that the support mechanism … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Agrees Two Activities Constitute One CEQA Project

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel Brunton, James Erselius, and Derek Galey In a published decision issued June 12, 2018, County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark, Case No. B282466, the California Court of Appeal rejected part of the County of Ventura and the City of Fillmore’s … Continue Reading

Climate Litigation Targets the French Government

Four NGOs launch innovative action claiming state has not met COP21 objectives. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 17 December 2018, four NGOs filed legal action against the French state. In the legal action, the NGOs argued that the state has not met the short-term climate change objectives set at COP21. The … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court: Which Conflicting Limitations Period Applies to CEQA Claim

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass and Megan K. Ampe In a published opinion issued on October 23, 2018, Save Lafayette Trees v. City of Lafayette, Case No. A154168, the California Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer without leave … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Clarifies Procedural Requirement for Requesting CEQA Petition Hearing

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Kimberly D. Farbota, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued May 3, 2018, Endangered Habitats League, Inc. v. City of San Marcos, Case No. D072404, the California Court of Appeal determined that the Endangered Habitats League (Petitioner) … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Ruling on Area Plan Modifications

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Lauren Glaser, and Natalie C. Rogers In an unpublished opinion issued June 19, 2018, Center for Biological Diversity v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. B284427, the California Court of Appeal rejected the Center for Biological Diversity’s (Petitioner) appeal … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Dismisses Time-Barred Challenge to Development Phase

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, James A. Erselius, and Christopher Adam Martinez In an unpublished opinion issued October 22, 2018, Tennis Club Preservation Society v. City of Palm Springs, Case No. E068896, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the … Continue Reading
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