Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Trumping the National Monument Designations of Past Presidents

When a President of the United States sets aside important federal lands for conservation, the accompanying fanfare typically invokes the notion of forever.  But, in light of President Trump’s Executive Order 13792, maybe these national treasures should be asking our government the…

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Mineral Reservation Clause Allowing Mining Did Not Constrain Surface Owner’s Public Opposition

A New Mexico state court judge has rejected a mineral estate owner’s attempt to constrain a surface owner from publicly opposing its mining project on the basis of a strongly worded mineral reservation that expressly reserved mining rights and attendant surface rights. …

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What Can We Legally Ask Foreign Workers During the Pre-Employment Process?

Employers, both in New Mexico and throughout the United States, often have questions regarding what they can ask an applicant in connection with citizenship status and whether they can make hiring decisions based on the applicant’s status. Fortunately, the U.S. Equal Employment…

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An Employer’s Dilemma in Providing a Recommendation for a Former Employee

As all employers can attest, it can be difficult to determine what information to provide in a verbal or written recommendation for departing employees.  Indeed, some managers find themselves dreading a phone call from a prospective employer of a former employee.  That…

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Executive Order on Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act

President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) on April 26, 2017, directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act.1  The review mandated by the EO…

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Executive Order on the Clean Water Rule

The Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the Unites States” (WOTUS) Rule issued on February 28, 20171 articulated the Trump administration’s policy on navigable waters, and attempted to roll back…

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Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

On his second day in office, President Trump issued several executive orders and memoranda intended to overhaul the environmental review and approval process for pipeline and other infrastructure projects. Among them was EO 13755, intended to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for…

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The Demise of Deference? Chevron’s and Auer’s Uncertain Future

Introduction: President Trump’s recent executive orders and ongoing commitment to regulatory reform are finding complimentary provisions in the form of a number of bills being considered in Congress. One of those bills, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017,1 includes a provision that…

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ONRR’s Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform: A Call for Comments, Industry Here’s Your Shot

As noted in a previous update,1 on January 6, 2015 the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) announced a proposed rulemaking amending its regulations governing valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil and gas produced from Federal onshore…

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Wind River Reservation Held Diminished: EPA’s Contrary Determination Set Aside Despite EPA Reliance on Solicitor Opinion

On February 22, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, established by, as relevant here, an 1896 treaty, was diminished by a 1905 Act of Congress in which the Eastern Shoshone…

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Employment Law
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Natural Resources and Energy Law
Water Law