Tort Law

"Complaints" About the Weather: Why the Fifth Circuit's Panel Decision in Comer v. Murphy Oil Represents the Wrong Approach to the Challenge of Climate Change

David B. Rivkin, Jr., Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky, Matthew S. Raymer January 29, 2010
Common law “nuisance” litigation has emerged as the strategy of choice for climate change activists and plaintiffs’ lawyers seeking to limit in a piecemeal fashion U.S. greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.  The recent decision by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Comer v. Murphy Oil U.S.A., 585 F.3d 855 (5th Cir. 2009), takes this trend to a new level.  For the first time, and what some maintain is contrary to established precedent, a United States Court of Appeals has allowed private parties to bring common law nuisance claims in federal court on the theory that particular GHG emissions from defendants’ sources injured plaintiffs and their property by exacerbating specific weather events.

A Preview of the Supreme Court October 2008 Term - Audio/Video

Audio and Video
Allyson Newton Ho, William G. Otis, Virginia Seitz, Kannon K. Shanmugam, George J. Terwilliger III, Terry Eastland October 03, 2008

The Federalist Society recently sponsored a panel of noted legal practitioners and scholars on the upcoming Supreme Court term.  Panelists included Allyson Ho of Morgan Lewis, William Otis, Former White House Special Counsel, Virginia Seitz of Sidley Austin, Kannon Shanmugam, Former Assistant to the Solicitor General, George Terwilliger of White & Case and Former Deputy Attorney General, and Terry Eastland of The Weekly Standard as the moderator. [Listen or watch!]

ABA Watch August 2011

Table of Contents
August 02, 2011

ABA WatchIn this issue, we are pleased to offer a preview of the ABA's annual meeting in Toronto, including discussing proposals regarding judicial disqualification and profiles of those lawyers being honored by the Association. We also discuss recent scrutiny of the ABA law school accreditation process. And, as in the past, we digest and summarize actions before the House of Delegates. [More]

ABA Watch February 2010

Table of Contents
February 05, 2010
ABA WatchIn this issue, we are pleased to offer an interview conducted over email with ABA President-Elect Stephen Zack, who will become president of the Association next summer.  We are publishing his responses unedited in this issue.  This issue also features a piece discussing the ABA’s policy regarding the Obama Administration’s decision to prosecute the five Guantanamo detainees accused of conspiring to commit the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.  And, as in the past, we digest and summarize actions before the House of Delegates. [More]

Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 1-31-14 featuring Andrew Grossman
Andrew Grossman January 31, 2014

Andrew GrossmanOn January 27, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper. The question in this case was whether immunity under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) can be denied to an air carrier sued on defamation-related tort theories without a determination that the air carrier's report to the Transportation Security Administration was materially false.

In a decision issued by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held by a vote of 9-0 that immunity under the ATSA may not be denied without a determination that the disclosure at issue was materially false. Reasoning that the state courts made no such determination, below--and that any falsehood in the disclosure here would not have affected a reasonable security officer's assessment of the supposed threat--the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court by a vote of 6-3 and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Alito joined Justice Sotomayor's majority opinion. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Justices Thomas and Kagan joined.

To discuss the case, we have Andrew Grossman, who is an associate at Baker Hostetler as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. 

[Listen now!]