In Chauvin v. Shell Oil Company, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment to defendants on Plaintiffs’ trespass action.  In doing so, the Fifth Circuit made clear that to succeed on a trespass claim when the contracts at issue are ambiguous, parole evidence from the plaintiffs’ experts and the plaintiffs themselves should be consistent with ownership.
Continue Reading (Plaintiffs Claiming) Trespass Beware

A recent decision from the Eastern District of Louisiana provides a mixed bag for pipeline companies or others whose operations involve canals.  Significantly, the decision from Judge Milazzo holds that during the existence of a right-of-way/servitude, Louisiana servitude law imposes a continuing duty to prevent canals from expanding and widening over time, unless unambiguous contractual language allows otherwise.
Continue Reading Federal Court Finds A Continuing Duty Under Louisiana Law To Prevent The Erosion of Pipeline Canals

On June 1, 2017, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Borcik v. Crosby Tugs, L.L.C. applied a broad definition of the intent required of a plaintiff under the Louisiana Environmental Whistleblower Act.  In doing so, both the Fifth Circuit and the Louisiana Supreme Court apply a more plaintiff friendly standard to claims of environmental whistleblowers.
Continue Reading U.S. Fifth Circuit Adopts Broad Definition of “Good Faith” for Louisiana Environmental Whistleblower Claims

Professor Jim Rossi’s lecture on “Federalism Battles in Energy Transportation,” specifically whether the federal or state government is the proper authority to exercise its eminent domain and regulatory power.

Continue Reading A Summary of Professor Jim Rossi’s Lecture on the “Federalism Battles in Energy Transportation”

On November 23, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirmed its authorization of the construction of a $3.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana and rejected the Sierra Club’s request for rehearing on the matter.

In an April 15, 2016 Order, FERC authorized Magnolia LNG, LLC to site, construct, and operate a new LNG terminal and liquefaction facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana designed to export 8 million metric tons of domestically-produced natural gas per annum, with a capacity equivalent to pipeline receipts of up to 1.4 billion standard cubic feet per day (Magnolia LNG Project). 
Continue Reading FERC Rejects Sierra Club’s Request for Rehearing and Green Lights $3.5B LNG Export Facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana

On November 11, 2016, the EPA published a proposed rule designed to update its Renewable Fuel Standards Program and support the growth of renewable fuel use. With the stated goal of removing barriers to production and distribution of renewable fuels, the proposed rule has three main components:

(1) Updated Regulatory Structure to Address Biofuel Processing at Multiple Facilities – In some circumstances, biofuel producers can decrease the costs of production by processing feedstock at one facility and converting that material—called a biointermediary—into a biofuel at another facility.
Continue Reading EPA Publishes Proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support Rule

The Third Circuit recently released an unpublished opinion making clear that when a pipeline company expropriates a servitude, the servitude is “perpetual,” and a Court cannot impose a term on that servitude.  The Third Circuit also held that a landowner must prove any damages over and above the fair market value of the property, and cannot award an additional amount simply because the landowner is upset that the property is being expropriated.
Continue Reading Expropriated Servitudes: They Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon

The question often arises whether, in Louisiana, a party can file in the public record a “memorandum of servitude” rather than the full servitude.  If the parties do that, any unrecorded provisions may not be binding on third parties. Other states’ laws may provide that recordation of such a memorandum of easement, the common law equivalent of a servitude, suffices to bind third parties to all the provisions in the unrecorded easement.
Continue Reading Servitudes: Didn’t They Get the Memo?

Louisiana Flooding - Legal Update

The Liskow & Lewis family stands by our friends and neighbors throughout the unprecedented flooding in our community. As we begin the long process of recovery, here is a brief legal update on the response of various courts and state agencies:

  • State courts: Governor John Bel Edwards has issued an executive order which purports to

On August 16th, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued an advisory bulletin to clarify the regulatory requirements that may vary depending on the operational status of a pipeline under 49 C.F.R. Parts 192 and 195 (2016).
Continue Reading All or Nothing: Regulators Strictly Define Pipeline Abandonment