Category Archives: Appellate Case Summaries

Ninth Circuit rules federal common law cannot address global warming.

Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp. 2012 DJDAR 13325 (September 21, 2012) (9th. Cir. 2012) The Kivalina tribe sued major oil, energy, and utility companies, alleging they had emitted massive amounts of greenhouse gases, which was causing global warming … Continue reading

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State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards can incorporate water quality standards and the “Tributary rule” into a Basin Plan.

California Association of Sanitation Agencies v. State Water Resources Control Board No. A127207 (1st Dist., Div. 4) (August 30, 2012); 2012 DJDAR 12309 A group of Sanitation Districts and the City of Vacaville challenged the State Water Resources Control Board’s approval … Continue reading

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California Supreme Court Deals Major Victory to Policyholders with Progressive Losses

State of California v. Continental Insurance Co. California Supreme Court No. S170560 (August 9, 2012) California sued insurers (policy periods 1964-1976) for indemnity under first party property coverage for contamination stemming from the notorious Stringfellow acid pits. The state had … Continue reading

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Ninth Circuit allows recovery for intangible environmental damages to national forest caused by fire

United States v. CB&I Constructors, Inc. June 29, 2012 Ninth Circuit No. 10-55371 The United States filed an action against a contractor that failed to follow several fire prevention precautions and used equipment while constructing steel water tanks. Sparks caused … Continue reading

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Supreme Court upholds South Coast Air District rules on VOCs

American Coatings Association, Inc. v. South Coast Air Quality District California Supreme Court, No. S177823 June 25, 2012 A manufacturers’ association sued the South Coast Air Quality Management District over rules enacted to reduce air pollution from non-vehicular sources. The … Continue reading

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Court approves California Air Resources Board’s Climate Change Scoping Plan

Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board June 19, 2012 No. A132165 (1st Dist., Div. 3) Association of Irritated Residents (AIR) sued California Air Resources Board (CARB), claiming the Climate Change Scoping Plan to implement AB32, the California … Continue reading

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Supreme Court resolves conflict as to when challenge to claimed exemption under CEQA can be raised for first time in court

Tomlinson v. County of Alameda California Supreme Court, No. S188161 June 14, 2012 Petitioner Tomlinson challenged a project (housing subdivision) on various grounds at public hearings, but failed to challenge the claimed exemption from CEQA (as an in-fill project) until … Continue reading

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CEQA project approved at time of commitment to a project, which can be difficult to discern at times

Van de Kamps Coalition v. Board of Trustees Los Angeles Community College District June 5, 2012 B234955 (2nd App. Dist., Div. 2) A school Board passed resolutions in which they approved the interim use of property intended to be a … Continue reading

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Court holds attorney fees recoverable by attorney who was member of petitioner group in CEQA case

Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions v. City of Healdsburg June 4, 2012 A130374 (1st App., Div. 4) The trial and appellate courts found that an attorney who helped litigate a CEQA action, in a case where she was a member … Continue reading

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Court of Appeal trims Coastal Commission assertion of authority.

City of Malibu v. California Coastal Commission No. BS 121650, BS 12180 (2nd App. Dist.) May 10, 2012 A state Conservancy sought approval from the city of Malibu for an amendment to the Local Coastal Program (LCP) that concerned trail access … Continue reading

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