Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

The United States Supreme Court on March 20, 2019 remanded an $8.5 million settlement in a class action against Google to the Ninth Circuit so that the lower court could evaluate standing under the Supreme Court’s 2016 Spokeo v. Robins decision. In the case, Frank v. Gaos, plaintiffs challenged Google’s transmission of “referrer headers” as a violation of the Stored Communications Act. Specifically, the complaint alleged that “when an Internet user conducted a Google search…
Lessons In Persistence for Us All Recent actions by the New Hampshire House of Representatives provide a variety of lessons about the value of persistence, both in the political process and in life. Four years ago, a group of fourth-graders attempted to have the red-tailed hawk designated the official state raptor. Oddly, the effort was derailed by those arguing the hawk was too violent…the state raptor was too violent? Four years later, as eighth graders,…
Artificial Intelligence in Media, Entertainment and Newsgathering: Legal Issues You Didn’t Know You Have Davis Wright Tremaine will team up with Quartz and FuseMachines on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in our NY office for a CLE panel discussion on the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in media, entertainment and newsgathering. From deep learning to deep fakes, the emergence of AI in media, entertainment and newsgathering is presenting both unparalleled opportunities and unique challenges. At the…
Federal courts often rely on “Chevron deference” in upholding regulations issued pursuant to vague congressional authorization. This doctrine dictates that where the statutory language is unclear, a court will defer to a reasonable interpretation of the language by the agency designated to enforce the statute. Agencies are not prone to reading their authority narrowly, and for decades, conservatives, including those on the Supreme Court, have chafed at the courts’ reliance on that deference to expand…
Chris Ott will be presenting “Checking out of Hotel California: The California Consumer Privacy Act, and Looming Federal Legislation” at the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) LIVE 2019, April 1-3, 2019 at the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C. This conference marks the 10th year of retail banking’s premier event, and celebrates 100 years of the Consumer Bankers Association. Get more information and register for this event.…
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently denied an application by GridLiance High Plains LLC for authorization to acquire certain transmission assets from People’s Electric Cooperative, a rural electric cooperative in Oklahoma. FERC found that the transaction would have an adverse impact on FERC-jurisdictional rates and would not result in any meaningful offsetting benefits.  GridLiance is a transmission-only or “transco” company. Operating control over the transmission facilities of GridLiance has been transferred to the Southwest…
On January 25, 2019, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit rendered a highly significant opinion with respect to state water quality certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). In Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, the court rejected the commonly used workaround of the one-year statutory limit on state action by allowing multiple cycles of withdrawal-and-resubmittal of applications, holding that the States of Oregon and California had…
One of life’s eternal questions:  where do all those golf balls go that are hit into a water hazard?  If it was a pond, I knew the answer from my misspent youth – kids sneaking onto the premises at night fished them out of the ponds and sold them to other golfers.  But what about Pebble Beach?  Those balls went into the ocean! Now we know that, too.  A diver and student at a nearby…
The Washington State Legislature is completing work on major legislation that would require the state’s electric utilities to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from their generating fleet within the next quarter century.  Governor Jay Inslee, who is making climate change the focus of his recently-launched Presidential campaign, would undoubtedly sign the legislation with enthusiasm. The bill, E2SSB 5116, passed the Senate on March 1 by a vote of 28-19, and is now making its way…
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently ruled that it lacks authority to waive tariff restrictions against retroactive adjustment of transmission service charges in order to enable a transmission provider to recover transmission upgrade costs from customers that benefit from such upgrades. In so doing, the FERC reversed an earlier decision in which it had granted such a waiver. Southwest Power Pool, Inc., 166 FERC ¶ 61,160 (2019). FERC Initially Waived Tariff Restriction on Retroactive Bill Adjustment…