United States District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel issued an opinion on June 22, 2023, imposing sanctions and other penalties on the attorneys who relied on the artificial intelligence application, ChatGPT, in citing to fake cases in pleadings submitted to the court earlier this year.

Judge Castel’s thirty-four page opinion details the missteps of the

On October 28, 2021, the Department of Interior announced three major milestones to advance commercial offshore wind energy development, one of those impacting the Gulf of Mexico.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) will publish a Call for Information and Nominations (“Call”) on November 1, 2021 in the Federal Register. The Call will allow

The United States has become one of the largest and rapidly-expanding wind markets in the world, with the U.S. Energy Department investing in both land and offshore research and development projects in an effort “to advance technology innovations, create job opportunities and boost economic growth.”[i] In the future, the Energy Department predicts that the

On March 13, 2018, the US Court of Federal Claims sided with landowners seeking compensation from the US Army Corps of Engineers for increased flooding caused by the Corps’ management of the Missouri River. In Ideker Farms, Inc., et al. v. The United States, the court found that 44 initial representative plaintiffs had a

In Hogg v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Docket No. 09-CC-2635 (see opinion here), a case handled by Kean Miller attorneys, Leonard L. Kilgore, III and Richard D. McConnell, Jr., the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s denial of a motion for summary judgment based on a prescription (statute of limitations) defense.  In a 5-2 decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court clarified several issues pertinent to prescription in tort cases, in particular to cases involving allegations of environmental contamination of immovable (real) property. The Court addressed the following issues:

1.               What constitutes “actual” and/or “constructive” knowledge of plaintiffs sufficient to commence the running of the applicable prescriptive period for torts under La. Civil Code articles 3492 and 3493;

2.               What constitutes a continuing tort; and

3.               Does the alleged failure to remediate environmental damage constitutes a distinct, continuing tort?

The Court held that letters from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) received by the landowners several years prior to filing suit, advising the landowners of the potential for underground migration of gasoline constituents from a former, leaking underground storage tank (UST) located on nearby property, were sufficient to provide the landowners with knowledge of the potential claim within the meaning of La. Civil Code Article 3493. Article 3493 provides:

“When damage is caused to immoveable property, the one year prescription commences to run from the day the owner of the immoveable acquired, or should have acquired, knowledge of the damages.”

Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Dismisses Environmental Property Damages Case Based on One-Year Prescriptive Period

There are scores of oilfield contamination cases, coined “legacy lawsuits,” in which landowners claim that their property has been contaminated by historical oil and gas exploration and production operations. Legacy lawsuits are a means for plaintiffs to potentially obtain large jury verdicts to remediate property. Plaintiffs, however, are not required to use their monetary awards towards the remediation of their property. In 2006, the Louisiana Legislature, in response to windfall jury verdicts, lack of remediation obligations on landowner plaintiffs, and the adverse effect of those events on oil and gas operators in the State, enacted Louisiana Revised Statute 30:29 (“Act 312”). Act 312 reflects the Legislature’s concern that the State’s natural resources were not being protected under then-existing laws.

The constitutionality of Act 312 was recently challenged in M.J. Farms, Ltd. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 07-CA-2371. In a unanimous opinion rendered by the Court, Act 312 was held to be not only constitutional but also applicable to legacy cases.Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Holds That Act 312 is Applicable to Legacy Lawsuits and is Constitutional – M.J. Farms, Ltd. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 07-CA-2371

Environmental litigators face unique challenges in dealing with the expert phase of a lawsuit.  For example, a lawsuit involving alleged environmental contamination of soil, groundwater, or surface waters may require the use of experts such as environmental/civil engineers, hydrogeologists, hydrologists, geologists, soil scientists, agronomists, analytical chemists, toxicologists, environmental chemists, risk assessment experts, wetlands scientists, health