Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Ninth Circuit Rejects Mental Capacity Defense for RCRA Permit Violations

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

The Ninth Circuit in United States v Spatig, 870 F.3d 1079 (9th Cir. 2017) recently held that defendants may not escape conviction under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (RCRA) criminal enforcement provisions by invoking the “lack of mental” capacity defense. Because RCRA’s criminal provisions require only a showing that the defendant “knowingly” committed the acts giving rise to the criminal allegations (as opposed to specifically intending the result), the defendant’s conviction for storing hazardous materials at an unpermitted location was upheld.

Category news | Tags:

Oregon Climate Change Battle Continues

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

This suit involves legal challenges by minor children seeking redress for alleged governmental inaction on climate change. Following the Oregon District Court’s denial of the federal government and industry intervenor’s motions to dismiss in November 2016, defendants petitioned the District Court to certify its ruling to allow for immediate review by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The District Court denied the defendants’ motion in June 2017. On June 9, 2017, the federal government filed a petition for mandamus in the Ninth Circuit seeking intermediate appellate review of the District Court’s rulings allowing this case to proceed and also seeking a stay of further proceedings in the trial court. On July 25, 2017, the Ninth Circuit stayed further proceedings before the District Court in the case.  It then ordered full responses to the federal government’s petition to be filed by the end of August, which are available here. A 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral argument on the petition of the U.S., which seeks to reverse the District Court’s denial of a motion to dismiss the entire suit on December 11, 2017.

Category news | Tags:

California appellate court holds State lacks possessory interest in groundwater

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The California Third District Court of Appeal in People v. Davis (2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 708, overturned a theft conviction for illegally diverting groundwater. Although groundwater is held in public trust by the State of California, the court held that it is not owned by the State in a possessory sense such to support a larceny charge.

Category news | Tags:

Oregon Climate Change Battle Continues

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Judge Aikens of the U.S. District Court for Oregon held that a group of minor children and an environmental activist organization have Article III standing and can sue for redress of alleged property and potential personal injuries due to U.S. governmental inaction on climate change.

Category news | Tags:

Ninth Circuit CERCLA update

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

The Ninth Circuit rejected rehearing petitions filed by the State of Washington and native tribes, confirming a panel decision that aerial transmission of metal wastes did not constitute a CERCLA “disposal.”

Category news | Tags: