The ancient common tort of public nuisance is one of the most highly visible issues in modern tort jurisprudence. Its growth is particularly notable in climate change and environmental litigation, where it seems to be the “tort of choice” for plaintiffs seeking breathtakingly broad relief from global warming and trans-border pollution. Read More »
Author: Richard O. Faulk
Richard O. Faulk is the Chair of the Litigation Department of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, which maintains offices in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas, as well as in Mexico City. He also leads the firm’s Climate Change Task Force and the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.
Mr. Faulk concentrates his personal practice in complex environmental litigation, including class actions and "mass tort" cases with international impacts. He is a board-certified specialist in federal and state appellate practice, and has argued cases before numerous federal and state trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is experienced and widely published on the complex problems raised by CERCLA litigation and the rights and remedies of persons dealing with contaminated properties. Read More »
The ancient common tort of public nuisance is all the rage these days. Its resurgence is particularly notable in climate change and environmental litigation, where it seems to be the “tort of choice” for plaintiffs seeking breathtakingly broad relief from global warming and trans-border pollution. Traditionally limited to local concerns, the tort now aspires to planetary dimensions. Its expanding scope has now attracted the attention of the United States Supreme Court in American Electric Power v. Connecticut, which will be argued this Spring. Read More »
The Civil Justice Association of California's (CJAC) Comments on the California Supreme Court's Decision in "Santa Clara"
The President of the Civil Justice Association of California, John Sullivan'a remarks on last Monday's Supreme Court of California decision on the Santa Clara Contingency Fee issue:
By disregarding the firm advice of California's district attorneys and not learning from ongoing lessons in other states, the California Supreme Court may have set our state’s civil justice system on path to a new brand of wasteful, confusing, and perhaps extortionate litigation. Read More »
On Monday the Supreme Court of California spoke for the first time in 25 years on the rule prohibiting contingency fee counsel from prosecuting public law enforcement claims. In People ex rel. Clancy v. Superior Court, 39 Cal.3d 740 (1985), the court prohibited this practice unequivocally because of the risk that the impartiality and neutrality of the public prosecutor would be compromised by contingency fee counsel’s financial interest in generating the largest possible dollar recovery in the litigation. Read More »
On Monday the California Supreme Court reversed course on itself by deciding a governmental entity can retain contingency fee counsel to pursue civil claims provided the language of the contingency fee agreement contains certain provisions that purport to guarantee the government is in control of the litigation. In County of Santa Clara v. Read More »
The appeal of the dismissal of the Kivalina climate change case has drawn fire from several amicus curiae, but some of the most notable criticism comes from Richard Faulk and John Gray in their amicus brief for The American Chemistry Council, the American Coatings Association, and several other industry organizations. In their brief, Faulk and Gray illustrate how the “standardless” liability for public nuisance sought by the plaintiffs creates a non-justiciable “political question” – and justifies the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim. Read More »