Recently, HB Litigation’s Fracking Conference Co-Chairs sat down with an HB staff member to discuss the state of shale gas drilling operations, and the value of the upcoming conference.
Over the past year, the litigation over Shale Gas Drilling Operations (commonly referred to as “Fracking”) has progressed greatly; substantive rulings are being made and the first cases are now being set for trial.
Despite this growth, Marc J. Bern of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP says that the litigation has not reached its peak yet and he expects much more to come. Bern is co-chair of the HB Litigation Conferences’ Shale Gas Drilling (Fracking) Litigation Conference, scheduled for October 3, 2012 at Thomson Hall in New York.
“Environmental cases in many respects are difficult—they take time, they’re expensive, so I think people are still looking at cases very carefully and trying to determine the damages. In my firm, we continue to be very, very active in the litigation and have all kinds of new cases that we are evaluating and I expect will be filing many new cases over the next year or so,” he says.
Bern says that all lawyers who are involved in Fracking cases or who are interested in getting involved in these cases should consider attending the conference as they will be “instructed on the current status of the law, the developing issues, who’s involved and where the cases are being filed and looked at.”
Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, who is co-chairing the conference with Bern, says that much of this litigation is unfolding in jurisdictions that do not have substantial experience with gas development. “We are going to hear from some top notch jury consultants and litigators about how these varying public attitudes will impact how a Fracking case is actually tried,” Quinn-Barabanov says.
According to Quinn-Barabanov, “there’s a lot of misinformation out there in the public domain and I’m really looking forward to the insights that the conference speakers will have on what the latest scientific research is saying and how it will impact litigating these claims.” She also noted that this litigation is taking place against a backdrop of complex and rapidly changing regulatory requirements that “anyone who is working on Fracking issues—or wants to be—needs to know about.”
“Our speakers are on the front lines of regulatory, scientific and litigation issues—they can offer real world insights into how these cases are handled,” Quinn-Barabanov says.
Bern agrees. “We’ve got a great faculty. I don’t think that there’s many seminars or programs of this nature that have had a higher level of presenters that are really involved in this litigation,” he says.