Litigation

The Public Trust Doctrine as an Anti-Corruption Weapon

Everything Old Is New Again

As Rick noted a couple of weeks ago, the California Court of Appeal has recently decided that the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater resources — a long overdue holding that flows (so to speak) pretty much directly from the landmark Mono Lake decision that applied the PTD to surface water. (Since surface and groundwater […]

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UCLA’s Environmental Law Clinic Files Brief on Behalf of Amici League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties

Brief defends local government authority to regulate oil drilling in face of industry challenge

The Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at UCLA School of Law filed an amici curiae brief with the California Court of Appeal yesterday in a procedurally complex case involving oil drilling in the City of Los Angeles. David Kaye (UCLA Law ‘18) and Sunjana Supekar (UCLA Law ‘19) contributed to the research and drafting […]

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New Report Co-Authored with California Department of Insurance Analyzes Climate Risks to Insurance Industry

Climate change threatens the industry’s viability right when it is needed most. The new report from CDI and CLEE outlines key risks and opportunities for insurers, regulators, and residents.

Climate change presents a wide range of risks to California’s insurance industry, as Californians across the state contend with unprecedented wildfires, changing storm patterns, increased risks of flooding and sea level rise, and disruptions to business from agriculture to fisheries and beyond. Potential decarbonization of the economy and litigation based on climate-related damages further threaten […]

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California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources.  The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to groundwater […]

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What is the role of CEQA in California’s housing crisis?

Ongoing research suggests that CEQA is more a symptom than the cause of the problem.

This blog post was authored by Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and Eric Biber. Discussions about what laws and regulations might drive up housing costs continue in California. One reoccurring theme in the media is the question of whether the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) significantly contributes to the housing crisis in California by either driving […]

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The Trump Administration Is On An Environmental Losing Streak

Courts Continue to Strike Down Anti-Environmental Actions

While the Trump Administration’s assault on the environment  is alarming, courts are continuing to hand the administration  an impressive string of losses that mean that, at least in the short term, the assault is much less effective than the administration’s claims of deregulating the economy would lead us all to believe.    In just the […]

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When No News Would Be Good News: The Ongoing Trials of Prop 65

California’s Proposition 65 law has been consistently making the news lately — but not for the reasons it should.

This summer, California’s unique-in-the-nation law governing human exposure to toxic chemicals, Proposition 65, has been consistently making Page 1 — but in ways that belie the adage that “all publicity is good publicity.” Most heavily reported, and acutely politically perilous to the law’s supporters, has been a state trial court ruling that coffee must bear […]

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Trump Loses Another Big Court Case

Ninth Circuit reverses Pruitt decision to allow a dangerous pesticide on food.

Last Thursday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Scott Pruitt had no justification for allowing even the tiniest traces of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos (also called Lorsban and Dursban) on food. This is yet another judicial slap against lawlessness by the current Administration. Chlorpyrifos was originally invented as a nerve gas, but it turns out that […]

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How Would a Justice Kavanaugh Approach Environmental Cases?

Reflections From a Review of Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit Opinions

As we await the outcome of President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, journalists and legal scholars have been scouring Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions and legal writings for indications as to how he might resolve pressing legal questions if installed on the Court.  I’m adding here a few thoughts to the many […]

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Awaiting the Climate Change “Trial of the Century”

Juliana v. U.S. “Atmospheric Trust” Federal Trial Set to Begin in October

The Trump Administration really, really doesn’t want the Juliana v. United States case, a.k.a. the “atmospheric trust litigation,” to go to trial. But despite the persistent efforts of President Trump’s Justice Department to have the Juliana case dismissed, it now appears that the most important currently-pending climate change case in the nation will indeed go to trial […]

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