Mar 20, 2019

Groundwater Pollution Liability Under Clean Water Act to be Reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court

Groundwater Pollution

On February 19, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review a unanimous decision by a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that underground wastewater injection into a groundwater channel that flows to the Pacific Ocean requires a permit under the Clean Water Act.  The Ninth Circuit decision, Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, et al v. County of Maui, 886 F.3d 737 (9th Cir. 2018), is one of two Circuit Court cases finding liability under the Clean Water Act for unpermitted discharges of pollutants to groundwater for which certiorari petitions are pending in the Supreme Court.  The Order issued on… Read more


Jun 20, 2017

Supreme Court Hands Chevron Victory In Ecuador Pollution Case

Oil Spill

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a certiorari petition seeking review of a decision that an $8.65 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation was unenforceable in the United States. In 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York blocked enforcement in the United States of an Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The District Court held, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed, that the Ecuadorian judgment was the product of fraud and racketeering. American lawyer Steven Donziger and Ecuadorians had sought to impose liability on Chevron Corporation for contamination in Ecuador linked to Texaco Petroleum,… Read more


Jan 21, 2016

Will the Supreme Court Clarify the Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees under §505 of the Copyright Act?

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to address the standards to be applied in awarding attorney’s fees under  17 U.S.C.§505 of the Copyright Act. At issue is whether Supap Kirtsaeng, the prevailing defendant in a copyright lawsuit, should be awarded his attorney’s fees.  This is Mr. Kirtsaeng’s second trip to the Supreme Court. The  Court held in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013) that under the “first sale” doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. §109(a)), Kirtsaeng, as the lawful owner of the particular physical copy of the textbook purchased abroad, was permitted to resell that… Read more