environmental torts

The Return of Federal Common Law

Will the federal courts take over control of climate change litigation? One judge says so.

I’m traveling but wanted to get in a few quick words about Judge Alsup’s decision today in the California climate change litigation. This is a really complex issue, and I wanted to try to unpack it a bit. In general, except where a federal statute or constitutional provision is the basis for an action, legal …


Great Sources on the BP Oil Spill

The National Commission has added some valuable additional material to its cite: A multi-media resource, especially useful for students and journalists. For those who want to dive deeper, the Chief Counsel’s report is a great resource. It presents a good deal of evidence unfavorable to BP, but also significant criticism of Transocean and Halliburton. Of …


A Question on Agency Pre-emption of State Law

Dan, any reason to think that the powers that be will actually pay any attention to the ABA?  As you know, the Bush Administration formally decided to ignore it regarding judicial appointments.  On something like this, does the ABA have any status greater than your typical interest group? It would be interesting to see the …


Agency Preemption of State Law

Administrative agencies sometimes issue regulations that have the effect of overruling state law — and sometimes that is the sole effect of the regulation.  This proved quite controversial during the Bush Administration, which used agency rulemaking efforts to cut back on state tort law.  The ABA has a adopted a new resolution dealing with this …


Deepwater Horizon and the Dark Side of the Stevens Legacy

If John Paul Stevens was the architect of modern environmental law, the Deepwater Horizon disaster shows the effects of one of his worst building projects.