In a unanimous, precedential opinion issued on September 10, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. § 717, et seq., does not abrogate state sovereign immunity and does not give private pipeline companies the power in federal court proceedings to condemn property owned by states. See In re PennEast Pipeline Co., F.3d , Nos. 19-1191 through 19-1232, 2019 WL 4265190 (3d Cir. Sept. 10, 2019). This decision—the first on this topic by any federal appellate court—may have far-reaching implications for pipeline development and other infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and beyond.
Duane Morris Partner Rob Byer Among Faculty at Advanced Appellate Advocacy 2019
Duane Morris partner Robert L. Byer will be among the faculty at PBI’s Advanced Appellate Advocacy 2019. Join a panel of appellate judges and experienced appellate lawyers as they walk you through the process of appealing a case to a higher court. They’ll also identify potential minefields that you may encounter and provide guidance for side-stepping an explosion.
For more information or to register, please visit the PBI website.
Robert Byer Presented with 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by The Legal Intelligencer
The Legal Intelligencer has presented Duane Morris partner Robert L. Byer with a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes those who have left an imprint on the legal history of Pennsylvania during their career.
Please visit the Duane Morris website to read a profile of Rob originally published in The Legal Intelligencer.
Government Abandons Prior Interpretation of 2006 Veterans Act in New Brief to the Supreme Court
In a brief filed with the Supreme Court on September 29, 2015 in the case Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, 14-916, the government abandoned the restrictive interpretation of the 2006 Veterans Act that it pressed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (background on the case may be found here). The 2006 Veterans Act requires that the VA prioritize competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses, but the VA has for years declined to follow that mandate to the full extent Congress required. In briefing before various courts, including the Supreme Court, the government had for several years (and as recently as May 1, 2015) contended that the VA was allowed to limit competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses for VA contracts, but the government has now – six weeks before oral argument before the Supreme Court – abandoned that position. Instead, the government now contends that VA “orders” that may be filled through the Federal Supply Schedule should be excluded from mandatory competitive bidding, while VA “contracts” should not. Continue reading “Government Abandons Prior Interpretation of 2006 Veterans Act in New Brief to the Supreme Court”
Pennsylvania Powerhouse Duane Morris Recognized by Law360
This year, Law360 recognized Duane Morris as a Pennsylvania Powerhouse. Leaders from the firm suggested that the high court’s reliance on the 111-year-old firm during the high-profile scandal was a testament to the firm’s status as a major player in a state well-known for a deep bench of legal talent. Duane Morris’ appellate practice and its chair, Robert L. Byer were a focus of this article on the firm as a Pennsylvania Powerhouse.
To read the full text of the article, please visit the Duane Morris website.
Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Case Involving Competitive Bidding by Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States (14-916), a case involving competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Kingdomware seeks reversal of a 2-1 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that limits the opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses to competitively bid for contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). Duane Morris LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of veteran-owned small businesses in support of Kingdomware. The American Legion also filed an amicus brief in support of Kingdomware. Continue reading “Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Case Involving Competitive Bidding by Veteran-Owned Small Businesses”
VA’s Restriction on Competitive Bidding by Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Challenged Before the Supreme Court
On May 1, 2015, the government is expected to submit its response to the petition for certiorari filed by Kingdomware Technologies, Inc., which seeks to reverse a 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, 754 F.3d 923 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Kingdomware contends in its petition that the Federal Circuit’s decision improperly limits the opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses to competitively bid for contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”).
The Kingdomware petition is one to watch in light of the significant adverse impact imposed by the Federal Circuit’s ruling on veteran-owned small businesses. If Kingdomware’s petition is granted, the Supreme Court will have the opportunity to restore the prospects for competitive bidding by veteran-owned small businesses to the full extent that Congress intended. (Full disclosure: Duane Morris LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of veteran-owned small businesses in support of Kingdomware. The American Legion also filed an amicus brief in support of Kingdomware). Continue reading “VA’s Restriction on Competitive Bidding by Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Challenged Before the Supreme Court”
“What Trial Lawyers Can Learn from Appellate Lawyers: Effective Appellate Advocacy Actually Begins at Trial”
Duane Morris partner Robert Byer will lead an ALI-CLE video webcast on the subject of “What Trial Lawyers Can Learn from Appellate Lawyers: Effective Appellate Advocacy Actually Begins at Trial” on Thursday, October 4, 2012.
Appellate advocacy and adjudication are fundamentally different from what transpires in trial courts. The failure to recognize critical differences, including how the perspective of an appellate judge differs from that of a trial judge, can result in the loss of an otherwise winnable appeal. This hour-long webcast examines those differences, and provides tips for how to prevent issues that may be critical in the appeals process. Click here to learn more about this seminar.
Possible Split Decisions Not Related to Party Affiliation
I disagree with the premise of the opening sentence of your September 12 editorial, “Absence of Seventh Justice Impairs Court’s Ability to Act.” You write that the suspension of Justice Joan Orie Melvin “left the court divided equally with three Democrats and three Republicans, creating the possibility of 3-3 split decisions.”
I agree that there is a possibility of evenly divided decisions, and that as a result the Pennsylvania Supreme Court should exercise its power to assign a temporary justice. However, I disagree that this has anything to do with political party registration.
Click here to read the entirety of Robert Byer’s article from The Legal Intelligencer.