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Month: February 2013

February 28, 2013

Paging Jack Sparrow

As I am wont to say, things are what they are, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees: even a ‘public interest pirate’ is still just a pirate. Judicial opinions are usually pretty stuffy affairs, full of long complex sentances and arcane vocabulary; the sort of prose that only lawyers could love. They also ...

February 28, 2013

California supreme court to decide whether fish and game commission should correct mistakes

In December we reported on a California appellate court decision which says that when the California Fish & Game Commission erroneously lists a species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), it cannot correct the mistake.  The case arises out of petition that a forestry association and a timber company filed with the Commission t ...

February 28, 2013

Court says landowner can't challenge wetlands determination!

Some decisions just leave you shaking your head.  Such as today's decision out of the U.S. District Court in Belle Company v. Corps of Engineers. In that case, the Belle Company received a permit from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to operate a landfill on private land.  Years later, using a standard found illegal ...

February 28, 2013

Fighting for freedom in Humboldt County

Can the government force you to give up an interest in your real property in exchange for a building permit?  That is the question PLF is litigating on behalf of property owners Scott and Lynn Powell in the California First District Court of Appeal.  We recently filed our Opening Brief, in which we explain that ...

February 28, 2013

PLF urges reasonable limits on tort duties

Asbestos has amazing fire-retardent and insulating properties and was used in thousands of products for decades.  As everyone now knows, asbestos also releases microscopic fibers into the air that, when inhaled, can cause serious diseases.  For more than 40 years, people suffering from asbestos-caused illnesses have sued.  Then people who weren' ...

February 28, 2013

Pesticide manufacturers win big against Fisheries Service

Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a biological opinion of the National Marine Fisheries Service that would have significantly limited the use of various pesticides in the Pacific Northwest.  In Dow AgroSciences LLC v. National Marine Fisheries Service, the plaintiff manufacturers challenged the Service’s biological op ...

February 28, 2013

Kentucky takes first step to abolish anti-competitive mover licensing law

Yesterday, the Kentucky State Senate voted to approve SB 132, a bill that would repeal the anti-competitive licensing law for movers that we're challenging in our lawsuit on behalf of entrepreneur Raleigh Bruner. The bill had been quickly approved by the Senate's Licensing and Occupations Committee, and was passed overwhelmingly by the full Senat ...

February 27, 2013

PLF urges U.S. Supreme Court to take important NEPA case

PLF filed an amicus brief today in support of a petition for review in the U.S. Supreme Court to address an important issue that has been left unresolved for decades–whether those representing economic interests have standing to enforce the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). One has to have "standing" to sue in court.  The constitutio ...

February 27, 2013

Caltrans: "Disparate impact justifies racial preferences."

In my last post about our case Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego Chapter  v. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), I described how Caltrans implements the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program in a way that requires prime contractors to discriminate against subcontractors on the basis of race and ...

February 26, 2013

Gopher frog back in the news!

As noted here, we filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier in the month challenging the agency’s over board designation of “critical habitat” for the dusky gopher frog.  Among other things, the Service included a large area of private land in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, that the Service admits is unsuitabl ...