Hogan Lovells Named to National Law Journal 2011 Appellate Hot List

WASHINGTON, D.C., 19 April 2011 – Hogan Lovells has been named to The National Law Journal’s 2011 Appellate Hot List, recognizing the nation’s leading appellate practices.

"We are once again pleased to be ranked among the leaders for appellate work,” said Cate Stetson, Director of the Appellate practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP. “The National Law Journal continues to recognize our diverse practice and extremely talented appellate team.”

The Appellate practice spans all areas of Hogan Lovells’ regulatory and litigation client base. In recent years, the group has handled, among many other matters, briefing and argument in Supreme Court merits cases; major appeals for energy companies in the gas, electric, and nuclear industries involving rates, tariffs, contractual remedies against the government, and environmental issues; multiple complex federal and state insurance, commercial, contract, tort, and white collar appeals; patent appeals in the Federal Circuit and patent amicus briefs in the Supreme Court; and amicus briefs in high-stakes Supreme Court matters for industry groups. Hogan Lovells has also defended and won major money judgments for clients; obtained important rulings in constitutional, insurance, government contracts, and administrative procedure cases; and, through its Community Services Department, maintained a robust Supreme Court and appellate presence for pro bono clients as well.

In its selection, The National Law Journal highlighted the following Hogan Lovells achievements:

Newdow v. Roberts. Lead lawyers Dominic Perella (argued), Craig Hoover. The D.C. Circuit made short work of Michael Newdow's challenge to religious components of Obama's inauguration. A federal trial judge had refused to block the ceremony, and the circuit court rejected Newdow's constitutional arguments in May 2010 for want of standing and as moot. The Honorable Brett Kavanaugh agreed with the outcome, but added that the words "so help me God" in the presidential oath are not "proselytizing or otherwise exploitative" and that the use of the phrase is "deeply rooted in the Nation's history and tradition." The Department of Justice represented the official parties and Hogan Lovells represented the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Washington Gas Light Co. v. FERC. Lead lawyers Christopher Handman (argued), J. Patrick Nevins. Client Dominion Transmission Inc. wanted to undertake a $1 billion expansion of its liquefied natural gas facility on the Chesapeake Bay, but a Washington distributor feared greater gas flow would overwhelm its infrastructure. The 3rd Circuit initially agreed, but sided unanimously with the client after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made a relatively modest clarification that Dominion must restrict gas flow.

South Coast Air Quality Management District v. FERC. Lead counsel Cate Stetson (argued), Lee Alexander, Stefan Krantz. Client North Baja Pipelines Inc. won Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval to expand an existing natural gas pipeline and send liquefied natural gas from Mexico to California and other Southwestern states. The air management district objected that the commission had failed to account for elevated nitrous oxide emissions from burning the Mexican gas. The 9th Circuit ruled that the commission had indeed accounted for that factor, and "imposed what it reasonably believed to be reasonable efforts to mitigate the impact" — clarifying the standard for environmental review of important infrastructure project.

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