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7th Circuit hears Cinergy appeal

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is considering the appeal involving the 2009 retrial on clean-air rule violations at a coal-fired power plant in southeast Indiana.

On Sept. 20, a federal appellate panel made up of Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and Illana Diamond Rovner took up the case of U.S. and Hoosier Environmental Council, et al. v. Cinergy Corp., Nos. 09-3351, 09-3344, and 09-3350. The issues are whether U.S. District Judge Larry McKinney in May 2009 erred in admitting certain expert witness testimony and also whether he erred in instructing the jury on a standard that wasn’t in place at the time of the projects.

The case dating to 1999 involves violations to parts of the Clean Air Act intended to make sure that older power plants that have major upgrades also meet more modern pollution limits with new permitting and emissions controls. In a partial retrial of some claims after the original May 2008 verdict that went mostly in the utility company’s favor, jurors found that Duke – which bought Cinergy in 2006 – violated the law in two of its projects at three power plants but did not violate the law on four other projects.

At issue now on appeal is the standard used in determining whether regulations were enforceable under the federal act and whether some of the expert testimony the court permitted should not have been allowed.

The judges grilled attorneys Peter Keisler for Cinergy and Jason Dunn for the federal government about certain expert opinions and the reliability of their testimony. The judges took the case under advisement after listening to both sides.
 

Rehearing "Cinergy trial ends with split verdict" IL May 27 - June 9, 2009

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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