Environment / Environmental Law
Owners of land with substantial oil and gas resources have begun using the “takings” concept of property law to challenge local bans on fracking.
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The federal government can restrict access to public lands for oil and gas drilling purposes through a number of means.
Hydraulic fracturing and energy policy promise to be an interesting area to watch in 2015 as many competing political forces push to control the agenda.
In the final days before the November election, the Republican (then minority) staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released a report outlining the domestic economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing, entitled Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution
The EPA’s inspector general, Arthur Elkins, Jr., has rejected Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) appeal for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to drop its review of the agency and the states’ ability to manage potential threats to water resources from hydraulic fracturing. In his October 16th letter responding to Sen. Inhofe, Mr. Elkins noted that, while inspectors general (IG) report their findings to Congress and their agency heads, they do not take direction from either in deciding what to review. He added that the Inspector General Act does not require IGs to explain why they should be allowed to continue their work, and that, in his opinion, interference by Congress or the agency is contrary to the statute.
* Floridian women lawyers got their wish: Bad Judge, plagued by bad ratings, is getting canceled. [Daily Business Review]
* A round-up of write-ups about today’s oral arguments in the Israel / Jerusalem passport case. [How Appealing]
* Interesting reflections from Professor Glenn Reynolds on the controversial catcalling video.
[USA Today via Instapundit]
* Things are bats**t insane — literally — at this Utah courthouse. [Gawker]
* The D.C. Circuit gives the EPA its way on cross-state air pollution. [Breaking Energy]
* Election monitors from the Justice Department: possibly coming to a jurisdiction near you (including Bergen County, New Jersey, where I grew up). [BuzzFeed]
* Can cops force suspects to use their fingerprints to unlock their cellphones? Eric Crusius and Lisa Giovinazzo debate, after the jump. [Fox News]
Is the Canadian Bar Association sticking its nose where it doesn&#039;t belong?
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
* It’s not that Justice Kennedy cares more about gay rights than women’s rights, it’s that Justice Kennedy understands gay rights better than women’s rights. That’s a much less charitable but shorter read of this insightful piece by a former Kennedy clerk. [Dorf on Law]
* The judge caught making racist and sexist remarks about Charlize Theron’s adoption has been banned from the bench. He wants to be judged on more than this incident. To quote Dr. Hibbert: “And hillbillies want to be called ‘Sons of the Soil’, but it ain’t gonna happen.” [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]
* Adam Carolla is keeping his fight against patent trolls alive. Ziggy socky ziggy socky hoy hoy hoy! [Mashable]
* Yesterday, the man who shot young Renisha McBride for knocking on his door was convicted of second-degree murder. Sadly, it was just one more in a string of cases where some idiot bought into the rhetoric of shooting first and asking questions later that gun lobbyists have pushed for years. [New York Times]
* Here’s something, a former law firm CIO wrote a novella called I Spy, You Spy, We All Spy (affiliate link) based on the allegedly true events of the “law firm spying on its own lawyers, employees and some of its employees’ family members.” Delightful. [Amazon]
* “Why Young Lawyers Shouldn’t Hate Hate Hate Baby Boomers Holding On to Jobs.” OK, I’ll go back to hating them for being the self-absorbed Me Generation that made Gordon Gekko a role model. [Law and More]
* At oral argument in the marriage equality cases, the lawyers and the Sixth Circuit exhibited… a lot of misconceptions. [Constitutional Accountability Center]
* The battle over the EPA’s Carbon rules isn’t over yet. Gear up for a Supreme Court trip. [Breaking Energy]
* Do you need to know how to pronounce the SCOTUS case of Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk? There’s an app for that. [Law Technology News]
* For all you surprised by LeBron James, let me remind you: Cleveland is all about two non-consecutive stints. [Wikipedia]
* Speaking of basketball, Mitchell Epner takes his talents to CNBC to breakdown the 5 things he learned during the first week of the Donald Sterling trial. [CNBC]
* Who is the Litigator of the Week, per Litigation Daily? It’s Daniel Gitner of Lankler Siffert & Wohl because he became the first lawyer to beat the S.D.N.Y. U.S.A.O. in an insider trading case. Also because he’s awesome. Pardon me while I put on my LSW shirt. [The Litigation Daily (sub. req.)]
* Hey! Take a second to take our latest law firm survey. We really want your feedback on your perception. [Above the Law]
* “5 Reasons the Sleeping Yankees Fan’s Lawyer Should Be Disbarred.” Fair enough. [Internet on Trial]
* Will the EPA’s latest carbon rule survive judicial challenge? I would have said “no” but after Homer City… [Breaking Energy]
* Do blondes make more money? I guess that’s the trade-off with being the focus of revenge porn. [The Careerist / American Lawyer]
* Aereo is back. Sort of. [Comm Law Blog]
* A former Patton partner lost his new job at Pillsbury over the Chevron case. Could anybody have suffered more over this case? Oh, right, all the Ecuadorians. [Legal Times]
* While you weren’t looking, even fewer people took the LSAT. Obviously. [LSAC]
* Confessions of a litigious mind: Trial attorney admits he was trained as a spy. [What About Clients?]
* A Fordham Law professor running for governor. [New York Times]
* Are messenger bags unprofessional for lawyers? My firm bought us messenger bags with firm logos so this wasn’t a question for me. [Corporette]
* New carbon regulations on the horizon and industry is already gearing up for a fight. [Breaking Energy]
* FTC charging Jerk.com with deceiving customers. What a paradox, because if the FTC is right this seems like truth in advertising. [IT-Lex]
* Larry Klayman is suing the entity he founded, Judicial Watch, for defamation. Somehow Orly Taitz is involved. [South Florida Lawyers]
* Hey recent grads! Do you need to frame your shiny new diploma? Mountary is offering a 20 percent discount to ATL readers. Just enter the code “atl20″ at checkout. [Mountary]
* Bruce Allen Murphy has a new biography on Justice Antonin Scalia that proposes that far from forging a conservative Court, Justice Scalia’s actions have undermined building a conservative team of justices. Also he reminds us that Scalia was totally an affirmative action hire. Video after the jump…. [YouTube]
The Supreme Court chimed in on the death penalty today, ruling 5-4 that Florida can’t use an IQ score as a hardline rule to apply the death penalty. Justice Alito dissented, complaining that the Court turned over the issue to psychiatric doctors. Because if you’re going to make a decision on mental incapacity, why involve people who know the science? [SCOTUSBlog]
* Well, it turns out one of the reasons why Charleston Law is so eager to sell to InfiLaw is that its founders withdrew $25 million in profits over the last three and a half years, leaving the school a financial wreck. [Post and Courier]
* What?!? A judge was allegedly kidnapped by a convicted felon that she may or may not have had a relationship with while she worked as a public defender. And the alleged kidnapper escaped the police when he sneaked out of the hospital because apparently Maryland hired the Keystone Kops. [Washington Post]
* In a sad testament to what happens when zealous representation meets law firm hierarchy, a new study reveals that working hard doesn’t get you anywhere. Just deliver the bare minimum you promised and call it a day. [Law and More]
* Video game manufacturer files lawsuit against… somebody. They’re not sure. But whoever they are, they’re ruining Starcraft. [Hardcore Gamer]
* Nevada’s bar president decided to use his monthly newsletter column to opine on gay marriage. That was probably a mistake for him. [The Irreverent Lawyer]
* A new environmental law firm opens in the rustbelt and it’s ready to take on some industry bigwigs. [What About Paris]
* New York upholds the right to be annoying on the Internet. [IT-Lex]
* Lawyer-turned-rapper Mr. Kelly (@Mrkelly_music) has a new video after the jump about lunchtime and the malaise of living a corporate lifestyle. His album is available too. [YouTube]
* “Mr. Owl, how many permits do you need to complete a simple LNG export transaction?” “Well, let’s see… A-one. A-two-hoo. A-three. Three.” [Breaking Energy] * Defamation laws in Europe are way out of whack. For example when gorgeous model Anara Atanes took to Twitter to rip the manager of France’s World Cup team for […]
* SCOTUS seems divided over its greenhouse gas regulation case. Just remember, justices, there’s “no such thing as greenhouse gas,” and if you think there is, you can “go f@ck yourself and die.” [Legal Times]
* DLA Piper, Fenwick & West, and William Fry are advising on the King.com (aka Candy Crush) IPO. Cool. Know that the public will refuse to invest until those damn chocolate blockers go away. [The Lawyer]
* “Guys like them are the reason people hate lawyers.” When your lawyers do you this badly, you end up living in one of their homes as part of a settlement. Of course this happened in Florida. [Sun Sentinel]
* If you’re in the market for an apartment, we hear Brooklyn Law School just sold a bunch of its student housing to a real estate developer. Per the dean, the school is now so small the apartments were unnecessary. Yikes. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
* Amanda Bynes took a plea deal on her DUI charge. She’ll serve three years of probation and pay a fine. Maybe when she’s done, she’ll pull a Lohan and appear naked in a movie. Young men can hope. [CNN]
Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, Confirmations, D.C. Circuit, Environment / Environmental Law, Gender, Job Searches, Money, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Social Media, Social Networking Websites, Supreme Court, Women's Issues, You Go Girl
* When it comes to the air pollution case that’s currently before the Supreme Court, it seems like the justices had absolutely no difficulty at all in evaluating the type of problem at hand. It’s apparently a “tough” one and a “hard” one. [New York Times]
* Thanks to the historic new Senate rules put into action last month, Patricia Ann Millett, the co-head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court and national appellate practice group, has been confirmed to the D.C. Circuit. You go girl! [Post Politics / Washington Post]
* The Senate showdown isn’t quite over yet, folks. We could see another confirmation vote on Georgetown Law professor Nina Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit sometime today. [Blog of Legal Times]
* “We risk failure in having a profession that is as diverse as the country we serve.” OMG guys, the legal profession is bad at diversity. This is new information that no one’s heard before. [National Law Journal]
* Now that the recession is over, women are gaining their jobs back faster than all their male counterparts. Not to worry, guys — they’re still being paid 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. [Corporate Counsel]
* Here are the top five social media mishaps by lawyers and law students of 2013. If you value your career, you should really try not to do any of these embarrassing things during the new year. [Strategist / FindLaw]