Monday, December 19, 2011

Government Caves In FOIA Litigation and Grants Fee Waiver to Center for Auto Safety

Today, after the Department of Treasury completely capitulated on the issue, the court approved a voluntary stipulation that the government will grant the Center for Auto Safety a complete waiver of all fees associated with its request for electronic emails that will shed light on why the government allowed the auto industry to escape all liability for defective cars after the industry bailout in 2009. We had filed suit on behalf of the Center – the nation’s oldest and most prominent auto safety organization – after the Department tried to charge exorbitant fees in connection with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for these records.

The Center, the driving force behind the widespread adoption of lemon laws and major recalls of defective cars, seeks government email correspondence that would shed light on the government-led, taxpayer-financed restructuring of the two automotive giants, Chrysler and GM, which left personal injury victims without any recourse for injuries resulting from defective automobiles against the "New Chrysler" and "New GM." Rather than simply providing the Center with a disc containing the electronic documents or granting the Center a "public interest" waiver of duplication fees as provided by FOIA, the government denied access to the Center by assessing photocopying fees in excess of $33,000 for paper copies of the records. We filed a brief in October that challenged the government's position as creating an unlawful barrier to access under FOIA.

Today’s court order approves a voluntary stipulation between the parties that provides that the government has waived all fees in connection with the request and sets a schedule for the production of records.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On Eve Of 40th Anniversary of Wild Horse Act, Case Filed To Stop Extirpation of Wild Horse Population And Castration Of Wild Horses In Nevada

On Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - the day before the 40th Anniversary of enactment of the Free Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act - on behalf of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, Western Watersheds, The Cloud Foundation, and several individuals we filed a case in the District Court in D.C. to stop the Bureau of Land Management from going forward with its plan to remove the entire population of wild horses from Jakes Wash in Nevada on the purported ground that there is insufficient forage for the horses, when BLM allows thousands of cattle and sheep to graze on these same public lands. The suit also once again challenges the BLM’s decision to remove, castrate, and return gelded males to the range in other areas of Nevada.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Comprehensive Rulemaking Petition Filed Urging FWS to Regulate Wind Energy Impacts on Migratory Birds

On behalf of American Bird Conservancy, today we filed a detailed rulemaking petition with the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The petition requests FWS to promulgate regulations under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) establishing a comprehensive permitting system for wind power projects that is designed to avoid and minimize adverse impacts on migratory birds. The petition describes the need for such a system and the legal framework under which FWS has more than sufficient authority to promulgate such regulations. Further, the petition examines in detail the several benefits of the proposed permitting system and also offers specific regulatory language that would accomplish the objectives identified in this petition. The proposed regulations seek to protect migratory birds at risk from wind energy projects, and at the same time provide the industry with the legal certainty that wind developers in compliance with a permit would not be subject to penalties for violation of the MBTA.

More information on the petition is available here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lawsuit Filed To Protect Captive Orcas

On November 17, 2011, we filed a lawsuit in the federal district court in the state of Washington on behalf of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and several individuals challenging a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service to exclude the captive members of killer whales (orcas) from the population that has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The listing decision, which was issued over five years ago, inexplicably excluded the captive members of the species, including an orca named Lolita, who was captured from the wild in the 1970s and is maintained at the for-profit Seaquarium in Miami where she is kept in a small tank with no companions of her own species. Because she was excluded from the listing decision, the Seaquarium, which over the years has made tens of millions of dollars from having Lolita perform tricks on command, can continue to keep in her in conditions that “harm” and “harass” her, with impunity under the ESA.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Formal Notice Of ESA Violations Sent To U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Over Shaffer Mountain Wind Farm

We submitted a detailed notice letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concerning the agency’s September 27, 2011 Biological Opinion that purports to authorize construction and operation of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project, which is proposed to be located in Somerset and Bedford Counties, Pennsylvania. The proposed project site presents one of the gravest risks to an endangered species of any operating or proposed wind energy facility in the country, with a biologically critical maternity colony of the highly endangered Indiana bat located on the project site. Leading bat biologists have strongly urged the Service to consider alternative sites with less risk to bats, especially in light of the devastating impacts of a disease known as White Nose Syndrome that is ravaging Indiana bat populations and sending the species spiraling towards extinction, but the Service disregarded that expert advice and instead allowed lethal turbine operation subject to certain parameters. The Service’s approach was legally and scientifically baseless, as explained in our notice letter that can be found here.

Lawsuit Filed To Protect Big Cypress National Preserve From Invasive ORV Use

Today, we filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on behalf of a coalition of national and local environmental organizations (Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Florida Biodiversity Project, South Florida Wildlands Association, and Wilderness Watch) seeking to overturn the National Park Service’s (“NPS”) decision to introduce extenstive Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) use and ORV-assisted hunting into the pristine Addition Lands of the Big Cypress National Preserve. The Addition Lands have for decades served as a place of solitude for hikers, nature photographers, and birdwatchers, whose experiences will be severely diminished by the hundreds of miles of ORV trails authorized by NPS’s decision. Not only did NPS for the first time authorize these environmentally destructive motorized uses in the Addition Lands, but they achieved that result by improperly excluding beautiful and pristine lands from a wilderness eligibility study, which allowed NPS to bypass recommending those areas to Congress for long-term preservation as wilderness for the public’s enjoyment of these lands in their natural state. The lawsuit also raises concerns with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion, which failed to address several key threats to the highly imperiled Florida panther, as well as other species. Here is a link to the press release, and here is a link to the complaint.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Intervention Granted For Wild Horse Advocacy Groups In Lawsuit Brought By Grazing Association To Remove Wild Horses From Public Lands in Wyoming

The federal district court in Wyoming today granted the firm’s motion to intervene on behalf of several wild horse advocacy groups in a case brought by the Rock Springs Grazing Association to force the Bureau of Land Management to remove wild horses from over a million acres of public lands in Wyoming.  The Grazing Association represented to the Court that BLM told it to file the case if it wanted to get Congress to provide more funds to BLM for the removal of wild horses, which compete with domestic livestock for food on the range.  The firm is representing the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, and the Cloud Foundation.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Court Upholds Ban On Polar Bear “Trophy” Imports

Today, in the long-running litigation over protecting the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the federal district court rejected four lawsuits by sport-hunting groups challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s prohibition on importing the body parts of polar bears killed in  Canadian “sport hunts.”   In these lawsuits the plaintiffs acknowledge that the polar bear requires ESA protection because the species’ sea-ice habitat is being destroyed by global climate change.  Nonetheless, the hunters argued that the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), pursuant to which certain of these imports had been permitted prior to the species’ ESA listing, trumps these threats, and that imports must continue to be allowed.

Rejecting these arguments, the district court ruled that, by virtue of the ESA listing, the polar bear became a “depleted” species under the MMPA, and consequently neither the MMPA nor the ESA allow these imports to continue.  The Court also ruled that the import ban applies to any polar bear body part in Canada when the species was listed, and thus that individuals who had killed polar bears in Canada prior to the listing, but had not yet completed the import process, are also subject to the ban.  The decision is available here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Summary Judgment Brief Filed Over FOIA Fees

On behalf of the nation's oldest and most prominent auto safety organization - the Center for Auto Safety - we recently filed for summary judgment in a suit challenging the Treasury Department's decision to demand exorbitant fees before it would produce emails under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Center, the driving force behind the widespread adoption of lemon laws and major recalls of defective cars, seeks government email correspondence that would shed light on the government-led, taxpayer-financed restructuring of the two automotive giants, Chrysler and GM, which left personal injury victims without any recourse for injuries resulting from defective automobiles against the "New Chrysler" and "New GM." Rather than simply providing the Center with a disc containing the electronic documents or granting the Center a "public interest" waiver of duplication fees as provided by FOIA, the government denied access to the Center by assessing photocopying fees in excess of $33,000 for paper copies of the records. Our brief argues that because the government's position creates an unlawful barrier to access under FOIA, the court should order the government to provide all of the responsive documents to the Center without charge.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Preliminary Injunction Filed To Protect Imperiled Species At Sharp Park

On Friday, September 23, 2011, in the federal district court for the Northern District of California, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the City and County of San Francisco concerning the City’s take of the California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake at Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica, California. During winter rains the City pumps massive volumes of water from Horse Stable Pond in Sharp Park out to the ocean. This pumping lowers Park water levels, stranding red-legged frog egg masses and tadpoles. The City also routinely mows grasses in habitat for the frog and the garter snake, causing additional take of these ESA-protected species. Plaintiffs’ motion is supported by declarations from three of the leading experts on these species, who detail the ways in which the City’s management of the golf course is harming these species and their habitat. Plaintiffs are asking that the Court enjoin the City from pumping water from Horse Stable Pond, or mowing grasses in the proximity of Sharp Park water bodies, until the case can be resolved on the merits. A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for November 18, 2011.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Positive 90-Day Finding On Petition To List Captive Chimpanzees As Endangered

The Fish and Wildlife Service today issued a press release announcing that tomorrow it will issue a formal positive "90-day finding" on a petition to treat captive chimpanzees as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, like their wild counterparts. The petition was submitted in 2010 by our firm on behalf of a broad coalition of animal protection and conservation groups, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. The agency will allow 60-days for comment on the petition, which, if ultimately granted, should eliminate the use of chimpanzees for entertainment, commercial advertisements, and unnecessary laboratory research.

For a copy of the agency's press release - click here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comments Filed Urging FWS to Reject Proposed Changes to Wind Guidelines

Last week, we filed comments on behalf of Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Wildlife Advocacy Project, on the recent changes to the Revised Draft Voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines, proposed by the subcommittees of the Wind Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee. Previously we had submitted comments on the original wind guidelines released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in February 2011 as well as the second draft of the guidelines released in July 2011. In this third round of comments, we urged FWS to reject those changes recommended by the subcommittees that were adverse to wildlife interests, and to allow the public to submit comments on any such changes that it may consider adopting. We explained that the proposed changes are more likely to harm rather than help wildlife. For example, FWS would be placed in a difficult position with respect to enforcement action against wind energy project developers because the proposed changes would allow developers to merely document FWS recommendations and their own reasons for “disagreeing” with the FWS to show compliance with the guidelines. All in all, the proposed changes would give wind developers enough scope to come up with their own interpretations of the guidelines, and pressure FWS biologists that the project will proceed if FWS did not meet the arbitrary 30-60 day review period.
More information on the subcommittees’ recommendations is available here:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Opposition Brief Filed Seeking to Restore Protections to Sensitive Ecological Areas of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida

Earlier this week, we filed an opposition on behalf of several conservation organizations and individuals, arguing that the National Park Service (“NPS”) has not provided adequate justification for its 2007 decision to open off-road vehicle trails in particularly sensitive areas of Big Cypress National Preserve. The decision has resulted in extensive and permanent damage to the Preserve’s soils, vegetation, water resources, and wildlife. Plaintiffs are challenging the decision under a Settlement Agreement entered into in a previous lawsuit against NPS, as well as several environmental laws including the NPS Organic Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Comments Filed on Revised Wind Guidelines Urging FWS to Comply with FACA

Last week, we submitted comments on behalf of Friends of Blackwater Canyon, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Wildlife Advocacy Project, on the Revised Draft Voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). In May 2011 we had submitted detailed comments on the previous draft of the wind guidelines; however in developing the revised guidelines, FWS has largely ignored and entirely failed to respond to public comments. Our comments highlight the fact that FWS has apparently weakened the guidelines in light of pressure from the industry-dominated Wind Turbine Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee - for example, the revised guidelines now require FWS to review wind energy project proposals within a truncated 60 day period. Further, our comments emphasize that the manner in which FWS is working with the Committee is a flagrant violation of the public access mandate of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (“FACA”) because while it is evident that the Committee has been working with FWS in developing the guidelines, the public has not been provided with complete and accurate information regarding the same. More information on the guidelines can be found here:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BLM Halts Plan to Castrate Wild Stallions in Wyoming

Responding to our motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, BLM today informed Judge Amy Berman Jackson that the agency had decided to rescind its plan to castrate and return stallions that it rounds up from the Little Colorado and White Mountain herd management areas in Wyoming. The plan – opposed by plaintiffs American Wild Horse Preservation Coalition, Western Watersheds Project, and three individuals – would have set a dangerous precedent on public lands. In returning geldings to the range, BLM would have undermined the will of Congress under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act to preserve and protect these horses as “wild,” “freeroaming” “components of the public land,” and it would have also violated the National Environmental Policy Act for failing to consider any of the various devastating environmental impacts of this action. Our brief in support of the motion is here. Fifty-four members of Congress also today sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar decrying the plan to geld horses as “inhumane” and contrary to law.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Almy to Speak at ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto

Jessica Almy will speak on a panel at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in Toronto, Canada on Friday, August 5, 2011. The panel, which is designed to bring together the “best and the brightest of the up and coming new generation of animal law practitioners,” will discuss widely varied aspects of animal law practice, including companion animal litigation and transactional work, wildlife law, and the laws pertaining to captive exotics and farm animals. Also among the panelists is former Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal attorney Delci Winders, who now works for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Friday, July 8, 2011


As a result of our lawsuit challenging the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse in Wyoming, the Preble’s is regaining its full legal protection under the law.  Because of a Bush Administration policy that allowed imperiled species to be protected in less than their full range, the Preble’s was stripped of all ESA protection in Wyoming in 2008, although it retained such protection in Colorado.  In response to our lawsuit on behalf of the Center for Native Ecosystems, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, and others, the government requested that the Court reinstate the Preble’s protection, and United States District Judge John Kane in Colorado agreed, over objections by the State of Wyoming and the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.  A copy of the Court’s opinion is here, and a press release is here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Court Rejects Tobacco Companies' Attempt To Impede Enforcement Of Remedial Order

On behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund, the American Cancer Society, and other health groups, we were successful in beating back yet another attempt by the tobacco companies to weaken the remedial order issued in the Court's seminal RICO ruling in United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 449 F.Supp.2d 1, 934 (D.D.C. 2006).  Agreeing with our arguments, Judge Kessler issued a decision earlier this week rejecting the industry's motion to "clarify" her order.  Specifically, the industry proposed that the Court insert language restricting the rights of the Public Health Intervenors to enforce the order in the event the tobacco industry violates the order.  Judge Kessler also soundly rejected the tobacco companies' additional arguments that would have weakened the precedential value of the court's findings that the industry committed massive fraud against the public, and would have delayed future efforts to enforce the order's provisions.  The opinion, United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., Civ. No. 99-2496 (GK) (D.D.C. June 1, 2011), is available here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Supreme Court Rules in Climate Change Nuisance Case

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit's 2009 ruling that several States, the city of New York, and three land trusts had standing to challenge utilities that constitute the nation's largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions.  On behalf of Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation organizations, we had filed an amicus brief focusing on the standing issues raised in the case.  On the merits, however, the Court reversed the Second Circuit, holding that the Clean Air Act and actions taken by the EPA pursuant to the Act displace federal common law suits because the executive branch is actively addressing the nuisance of climate change and such suits could hinder EPA's ability to exercise its judgment in fashioning rules necessary to curb climate change.  On remand, the Court instructed the Second Circuit to consider whether the plaintiffs' claims brought under state nuisance laws are viable - claims which the Supreme Court declined to reach.  The opinion can be found here:  Our amicus brief can be found here:

Motion for Summary Judgment Filed Seeking to Overturn Destructive Levels of ORV Use in Big Cypress National Preserve

On behalf of several conservation organizations and individuals, we recently filed a motion for summary judgment in a case challenging a 2007 decision by the National Park Service that reversed an earlier decision by the agency to close the same Off-Road Vehicle (“ORV”) trails due to serious concerns about environmental damage and harm to highly endangered Florida panthers.  Some of the plaintiffs are responsible for obtaining a settlement in 1995 that required a comprehensive ORV Management Plan in the Preserve (which was issued in 2000), and for subsequently defending the ORV Plan from legal challenges pursued by ORV users.  The decision challenged in the current lawsuit violated both the 1995 Settlement Agreement and various federal environmental laws (NPS Organic Act, Executive Orders 11644 and 11989, NEPA, and the Endangered Species Act) because NPS reopened trails that the ORV Plan requires to be closed on resource protection grounds, and did so without any environmental analysis or meaningful public participation. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Center for Auto Safety Sues over FOIA Fees

Yesterday we filed a complaint in federal district court in D.C. on behalf of the Center for Auto Safety, the leading automobile safety organization in the nation since 1970, against the Department of Treasury. The Center is seeking emails under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to and from Treasury Secretary Geithner and members of the Auto Safety Task Force related to the GM and Chrysler government bailouts, which left personal injury victims without any ability to sue if they are injured by defective GM and Chrysler vehicles purchased before the bailouts. The government has refused to provide the requested records unless the Center pays $33,980 for duplication, and has refused to grant the Center a public interest fee waiver. To assist the Center in shedding light on the government’s role in these extremely costly and controversial bankruptcy bailouts – bankrolled by taxpayers to the tune of $80 billion – our complaint seeks to have the fees for these documents waived.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Judge Denies Tobacco Industry’s Bid To Vacate Massive RICO Ruling

In March 2011, the tobacco companies filed a motion to vacate the district court’s seminal RICO ruling in United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 449 F.Supp.2d 1, 934 (D.D.C. 2006) on the ground that the recently enacted Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act eliminates any reasonable likelihood that defendants will engage in future RICO violations.  The 2006 ruling, issued after a nine-month trial and containing more than 4,000 findings of fact, was a substantial victory for the public health and the Public Health Intervenors who we represent.  Among other remedies, the court required the companies to stop using misleading health descriptors like “light” and “low tar” and to issue corrective statements concerning their fraud. Defendants sought vacatur of the court’s findings and remedies, but we and the United States argued that the new statute is not likely to prevent defendants from engaging in the future joint racketeering that the district court had determined, and the D.C. Circuit had affirmed, is likely to continue here.  In a decision issued last week, Judge Kessler agreed with our arguments, holding that “given the type of wrongdoing in which the Defendants have engaged [the Act] simply does not eradicate the likelihood that Defendants will continue to commit RICO violations.”  The opinion, United States v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., Civ. No. 99-2496 (GK) (D.D.C. June 1, 2011), is available here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comments Filed on Behalf of Twenty Conservation Groups on FWS Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines

Last week, we assisted in submitting comments on behalf of twenty organizations, including Friends of Blackwater, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Wildlife Advocacy Project, on the Draft Voluntary Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines and the Draft Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The two draft documents have been developed to identify ways to avoid and minimize wildlife impacts of land-based wind energy facilities.  The comments provide a series of detailed recommendations for the improvement of the guidelines and their effective implementation.  Specifically, the comments focus on the legal authority of FWS to make the requirements of the guidelines binding and undertake an analysis of the cumulative effects of the development of wind facilities.  Further, the comments address several important issues such as the need for developing a process to ensure the independence of biological consultants in project decision-making.  More information on the guidelines can be found here:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almy to Speak at Northwestern Law

Jessica Almy has been invited to speak at Northwestern University School of Law, during its Animal Law Week (April 4 - April 7) hosted by Northwestern Law's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter.  Almy will speak on Thursday, April 7th during the Wildlife Law event.  Her presentation will overview historical wildlife protection cases handled by Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal.  In addition, Almy will detail cases for which she is lead counsel, including a recent success restoring Endangered Species Act protections to the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel (Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar) and a current matter challenging approval of the Cape Wind offshore wind power facility for violating the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.  The event is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm, in Rubloff (RB) 150 (Northwestern University School of Law is located at 375 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611).  For more information, please email Susan Kai (

Monday, March 28, 2011

Squirrel Victorious: Judge Restores Protections of Endangered Species Act

Representing Friends of Blackwater and four other plaintiffs, we prevailed in a federal district court lawsuit to restore the protections of the Endangered Species Act to the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel.  Judge Emmet Sullivan’s opinion, rendered late Friday, returned the Squirrel to the list of endangered species and affirmed that the government must follow the recovery plans it creates for endangered and threatened species.  The ruling means that scientifically-based recovery criteria for endangered and threatened species, once adopted in a formal recovery plan, cannot be ignored due to political motivation or simple bureaucratic expediency.  Rather, if an agency believes that such recovery criteria are in need of revision (which was not established for the squirrel) then the agency must do so pursuant to the publicly and scientifically accountable process embodied in the law.  The opinion, Friends of Blackwater v. Salazar, Civ. No. 09-2122 (D.D.C. Mar. 25, 2011), is available here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Amicus Brief Filed in U.S. Supreme Court Case on the Application of Federal Common Law to Climate Change

Today we filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the National Wildlife Federation, supporting the State and Land Trust plaintiffs that brought suit challenging defendants’ substantial contributions to climate change as injurious to their proprietary and other interests that are being devastated by global warming and other climatic disturbances traceable to greenhouse gas emissions.  Specifically, our brief focuses on the threshold issue of standing in environmental cases, and argues that the plaintiffs adequately alleged all elements necessary for standing, especially in view of the limited nature of the Court’s inquiry in this case in light of the unique facts presented in this common law cause of action.  The oral argument will take place on April 19, 2011.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lawsuit Filed Over San Francisco Killing of Endangered Species at Sharp Park Golf Course

Working with the Wild Equity Institute, we filed a lawsuit this week in federal district court in California over the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s unlawful “take” of federally protected species at Sharp Park golf course, a city-owned course located within Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  The Complaint alleges that in recent years, egg masses of the California red-legged frog have been jeopardized by the draining of wetlands to facilitate use of the golf course, and course operations also are causing the take of the endangered San Francisco garter snake, all in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  A copy of the Complaint is here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eubanks Speaking at National Conferences on Environmental Law Issues

Bill Eubanks has been invited to speak about the environmental impacts of wind energy at the Florida Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Gainesville, Florida on Friday, February 25.  He will also speak on Saturday, February 26 on a panel advising lawyers and law students about green career paths in the legal realm.  In addition, Eubanks will speak on Saturday, March 5 at the Yale Law School Robert Cover Public Interest Law Retreat in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  His lecture will focus on a broad array of environmental legal issues including climate change, renewable energy development, and wildlife protection.  More information about the conferences can be found here: and

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MGC Attorneys Speaking about Wind Energy & Wildlife at Upcoming Conferences

Eric Glitzenstein has been asked to speak on a panel entitled “Regulatory Challenges for Wind Project Development” at the 18th Annual Endangered Species Act Conference in Seattle, WA on Friday, January 28 at 10:45am. More information about the panel and the conference can be found here: Bill Eubanks will also be speaking that weekend on the topic of “Wind Energy Development and Wildlife” at the Villanova Law School Environmental Law Symposium in Villanova, PA on Saturday, January 29 at 9:15am. More information about the conference can be found here:

Monday, January 3, 2011

D.C. Bar Magazine Highlights MGC’s Successes in ESA Impact Litigation

The Washington Lawyer recently published an article exploring impact litigation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The article highlights various recent cases litigated by Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, including the Beech Ridge lawsuit challenging the unlawful take of endangered bats by an industrial wind power facility, a successful challenge of BP's and the Coast Guard's burning of sea turtles after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and our participation in the pending multi-district litigation over the listing of the polar bear under the ESA. The article is found here: