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Law and Policy

State-Level Construction Projects and Land Use Policy

State-Level Construction Projects and Land Use Policy

In a case seeking to settle law related to land use and zoning laws and land use policy in Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments for two consolidated cases brought to it by appeal. Town of Exeter v. State of Rhode Island et al. No. 2018-274-Appeal.; Town of Richmond, Rhode Island v. State of Rhode Island et…

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Land Law: Adverse Possession and Acquiescence in R.I.

Land Law: Adverse Possession and Acquiescence in R.I.

Recently, the Rhode Island Supreme Court issued its decision in Clark v. Buttonwoods Beach Association (No. 2018-17-Appeal). In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that they owned a beachfront piece of land directly across from their residential lot on Promenade Avenue in Warwick. The plaintiffs also alleged that they purchased their residential lot because the purchase and sale included the beachfront…

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Environmental Protection Laws, CERCLA, and the Supreme Court: This Week’s Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian Decision

Environmental Protection Laws, CERCLA, and the Supreme Court: This Week’s Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian Decision

A colleague pointed out this new U.S. Supreme Court decision. Hot off the presses, this decision is for a case related to environmental protection laws. Specifically, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability and Act, also known as CERCLA or Superfund. To understand the decision, this blog post will discuss CERCLA, a summary of the case and the holding,…

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Legal Management of Resources and Land Use

Legal Management of Resources and Land Use

On March 27, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) informed the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that it was disestablishing the Tribe’s reservation. The BIA, which falls under the Department of the Interior, assists tribes with natural resources and land use for trust land under the IRA, among other things. The disestablishment removed the tribe’s land from federal trust. As a result,…

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COVID-19 and Commercial and Residential Land Use Issues

COVID-19 and Commercial and Residential Land Use Issues

As the number of cases of COVID-19 grows around the country, the New York City metro area, and New York generally, has experienced some of the highest rates of infection. This has resulted in many people from the area leaving to take shelter in their second homes. Many of those homes are in Rhode Island. In particular, coastal municipalities such…

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COVID-19 and Environmental Law

COVID-19 and Environmental Law

In today’s time of crisis, many have started discussing the place of environmental law in responding to COVID-19. Some have argued that environmental law has no place in virus responses, and some have argued it must occur contemporaneously. Whatever your opinion is, it seems that environmental law and COVID-19 are somehow intrinsically connected. Contributors to Scientific American and The Hill…

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COVID-19 and Updates: Contract Litigation Impacts

COVID-19 and Updates: Contract Litigation Impacts

While the infection rates continue to climb, it is increasingly important to talk about the various impacts COVID-19 will inevitably have on people and businesses in Rhode Island. This includes potential future contract litigation. Since our last post, Rhode Island has been further impacted by federal and state decisions, detailed below. Federal Updates Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response…

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COVID-19 Impacts to Government Operations in Rhode Island

COVID-19 Impacts to Government Operations in Rhode Island

If you are in Rhode Island and have cases or public meetings/hearings pending, including planning and zoning board hearings, we are sure you are wondering how the COVID-19 virus is impacting the various state and municipality governments. This blog post is meant to convey, in one spot, all that we know about what the various closures and cancellations may mean…

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The Regulatory Environment for Business

The Regulatory Environment for Business

The RI General Assembly recognized the need for coordinated decisions on where to site large energy facilities in the state. Given that there is some overlap in the jurisdiction of several agencies with various areas of expertise, this recognition makes sense. In changing the regulatory environment for business, the General Assembly passed the Energy Facility Siting Act. This act created…

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