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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 12 posts by Nadira Clarke.

Defense Research Institute Reports on Beveridge & Diamond Appellate Win in Drinking Water Case

DRI, the leading organization for defense lawyers, reports in its latest issue of its online magazine The Voice on the Firm’s recent win in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In a unanimous published opinion, the Court affirmed a defense judgment for Beveridge & Diamond client DC Water, agreeing with the trial court that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that that drinking water supplied to apartment buildings owned by the plaintiffs caused pinhole leaks in the plumbing in the buildings. Cormier v. District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority, ___ A.3d ___, 2013 D.C. App. LEXIS 387 (D.C. 2013). The Court of Appeals’ ruling followed a three week bench trial in District of Columbia Superior Court, reported at Cormier v. D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, 2011 D.C. Super. Lexis 7, 139 DWLR 2157 (D.C. Super. Ct. 2011). . The case centered on extensive expert testimony on water chemistry, water distribution and corrosion science. To read the article, click here.  

Recycling Company Fined $4.5 Million for Illegal Export of Electronic Waste; Executives Receive Prison Sentences

Executive Recycling, Inc., a U.S. electronic waste recycling business, and two company executives were sentenced this month by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez for defrauding customers and illegally shipping electronic waste (“e-waste”) overseas. The corporation was fined $4.5 million and sentenced to 3 years on probation. CEO and owner Brandon Richter was ordered to serve 30 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years on supervised release. Judge Martinez also ordered Richter to pay approximately $77,000 in fines and restitution and to forfeit over $140,000 in assets. Richter and Executive Recycling received their sentences one week after the corporation’s Vice President of Operations, Tor Olson, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined $20,000. Read More ›

Beveridge & Diamond Wins Affirmance in D.C. Court of Appeals of Trial Court Victory on Tort Claims

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals on July 3 unanimously affirmed a defense judgment for Beveridge & Diamond client DC Water, agreeing with the trial court that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that that drinking water supplied to apartment buildings owned by the plaintiffs caused pinhole leaks in the plumbing in the buildings. The Court of Appeals’ ruling followed a three week bench trial in District of Columbia Superior Court in 2011, which centered on extensive expert testimony on water chemistry, water distribution and corrosion science. Read More ›

Owner of Electronics Export Company Receives a 30-Month Prison Sentence

On March 22, 2013, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced Discount Computers, Inc. (“DCI”), a computer company, and its owner for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services and for violating environmental laws related to the fraudulent export of cathode ray tubes (“CRTs). The prosecution of DCI, along with the December 2012 prosecution of a Colorado electronics recycler for illegal exportation of CRTs, demonstrate the federal government’s increased focus on using existing laws to pursue criminal enforcement to address the illegal handling and disposal of e-waste. Cynthia Giles, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, cautions that these criminal sentences should serve as a warning to all those who illegally export e-waste from the United States. Read More ›

RIN Prosecutions: Where Fraud Meets Environmental Protection . . . Once Again

On February 22, 2013, Rodney Hailey, the owner of Clean Green Fuel LLC, was sentenced to 151 months (or 12.5 years) in prison, and ordered to pay $42 million in restitution, for selling $9 million in fraudulent renewable fuel credits (RFCs) after being convicted in June 2012 of numerous federal crimes, including wire fraud, money laundering and violations of the Clean Air Act. Read More ›

Increased Federal Criminal Enforcement Against Oil and Gas Fracking Companies

While President Obama renewed his support for the “natural gas boom” in his State of the Union address last week, his administration continues to carefully scrutinize the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) as a method to access these natural gas reserves. The federal government has been stepping up criminal enforcement actions against oil and gas drilling companies under existing environmental statutes like the Clean Water Act while state and federal governments are in the process of developing policies and regulations specifically targeted at fracking.   Read More ›

First-Ever Criminal CPSIA Charges Brought for the Importation and Sale of Hazardous Toys

On February 4, 2013, a 24-count federal indictment was issued charging multiple individuals and companies with importing and trafficking hazardous toys from China into the United States.[1] The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA)[2] added stringent limits on the amount of lead and phthalates in children’s products, including toys. This case, brought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and jointly investigated by a number of federal, state and local agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is the first criminal case alleging violations of these requirements.  Read More ›

Federal Criminal Conviction For Illegal Exportation of Electronic Waste

A U.S. recycler has been successfully prosecuted for exporting e-waste containing lead to foreign countries. In December of 2012, a federal jury convicted Executive Recycling, its CEO, and Vice President of Operations on multiple criminal counts, including seven counts of wire fraud, the illegal export of hazardous waste to developing countries, smuggling and obstruction of justice. Executive Recycling was the exporter of record in more than 300 exports from the United States between 2005 and 2008, including the export of over 100,000 cathode ray tubes (“CRTs”) containing lead. CRT disposal is regulated in the United States under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). The Defendants were found to have falsely advertised to customers that they would dispose of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner, in the United States rather than overseas. Contrary to such representations, the company was found to have sold e-waste to brokers for export overseas to China and other countries.   Read More ›

Unprecedented Pesticides Criminal Penalty and Civil Settlement Announced

On September 7, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio sentenced Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG), the world’s largest marketer of residential use pesticides, to pay a $4 million fine for eleven criminal violations of the federal law which governs the manufacture, distribution, and use of pesticides (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act or FIFRA). In a separate consent agreement to resolve related civil pesticide violations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), SMG will also pay more than $6 million in penalties, spend $2 million on environmental projects, and contribute another $500,000 to organizations that protect bird habitat. (To review a copy of the civil consent agreement, click here). The total criminal penalty and civil settlement payment of $12.5 million is the largest payment in the history of FIFRA, according to Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). (To review DOJ’s press release, click here). The criminal indictment and record-breaking fines could signal a new era in the government’s enforcement of the pesticide law. Read More ›

Federal Guidance Issued for the First Time on E-Discovery Best Practices in Criminal Cases

Recent widespread attention to discovery problems in criminal cases such as the prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens has prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to explicitly provide guidelines for criminal discovery through a variety of directives to prosecutors.  One such directive is a best practices protocol for the discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”) in post-indictment criminal cases, released this February.  The protocol is the first public guidance on criminal e-discovery by the Federal Government and was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts’ Joint Working Group on Electronic Technology in the Criminal Justice System (“JETWG”) after consultation with federal prosecutors, public defenders and representatives of the judiciary around the country over an 18 month period. Read More ›