Weekly energy, utility, and telecommunications law case summaries, from FindLaw.com.
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Energy and Utilities
Digest for Week of May 4th, 2016

Energy, Utility, and Communications Case Summaries

Content:

Two Shields v. US

April 27, 2016
Class Actions, Indian Law, Oil and Gas Law
(United States Federal Circuit) - In an action brought by Native American plaintiffs seeking redress for themselves and other Native Americans in connection with the government's alleged mismanagement of oil-and-gas leases on Indian allotment land, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims grant of summary judgment to the Government on Count I and dismissal of Counts II and III, is affirmed where: 1) the settlement in the class action lawsuit Cobell v. Salazar bars plaintiffs from now asserting Count I against the government; 2) as to Count II, 25 U.S.C. section 396 does not supply the fiduciary duty alleged to be breached; and 3) as to Count III, plaintiffs voluntarily chose to forfeit their claims against the government by failing to exercise their opt-out right of the Cobell class action settlement.
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New Cingular Wireless PCS v. P.U.C.

April 19, 2016
Public Utilities, Communications Law, Attorney's Fees
(California Court of Appeal) - In a case to determine whether the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California (CPUC) properly awarded fees and costs to two intervenors for their work in a complex telecommunications merger review proceeding dismissed by the CPUC as moot, the requested writ relief is denied, but the challenged awards are vacated without prejudice to the renewal and redetermination by the CPUC of intervenor's requests for fees and costs.
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Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC

April 19, 2016
Constitutional Law, Government Law, Public Utilities
(United States Supreme Court) - In a suit filed by incumbent power generators against members of the Maryland Public Service Commission, arising out of Maryland's deregulated energy market and the state's newly enacted regulatory program to encourage the development of new in-state electric power generation by approving the construction of a new power plant and requiring a 20-year pricing contract, the Fourth Circuit's decision upholding the District Court's issuance of a declaratory judgment, holding that Maryland's program improperly sets the rate the new power plant receives for interstate wholesale capacity sales, is affirmed where Maryland's program is preempted because it disregards the interstate wholesale rate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requires under the Federal Power Act (FPA).
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