- Posts by Willis HonPartner
Willis Hon focuses on serving water industry clients across California on a broad range of administrative and regulatory matters. He has extensive experience before the California Public Utilities Commission where he has ...
Generally, if utilities with the right of eminent domain cause damage to private property during the operation of their facilities, they may face inverse condemnation liability. However, where the facility in question is not operating for the “public use” and instead was installed pursuant to a private contract, inverse condemnation may be inapplicable. …
When a property owner suffers damage as a result of the actions of a public agency or public improvement, the owner typically pursues typical tort causes of action against the agency, along with a claim for inverse condemnation. While liability for the tort claims is decided by a jury, liability for inverse condemnation is determined by a judge. So what happens when both claims are pursued simultaneously -- should the judge rely on the jury’s determination of causation, or should the judge make his or her own findings?
Recently in Amedee Geothermal Venture I v. Lassen Municipal ...
On June 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 350 (“SB 350”), which is intended to serve as a backstop for customers as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) completes its restructuring process and begins implementing the reorganization plan recently confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court. The bill, named the Golden State Energy Act, gives the State authority to take certain actions if PG&E does not comply with the terms of its reorganization plan.
SB 350 establishes a new entity named Golden State Energy (“GSE”) to serve as a nonprofit public ...
Our presentation on "Inverse Condemnation Exposure and Management for the Energy Industry" will be available for viewing during the 2020 American Association of Professional Landmen's (AAPL) Annual Meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be held virtually and presentations will be prerecorded and available to view on demand after the scheduled live run time on June 18th. Registration is required, but access will be available as a complimentary benefit for all AAPL members.
The 2020 event still promises to be a professional development and land conference ...
We’ve previously reported on Senate Bill 917, which was introduced on February 3, 2020, by Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco) to establish a process for a potential government takeover of investor-owned electrical, gas and water corporations. While the stated intention of the bill was to facilitate an eminent domain acquisition of PG&E by the state government, its wording goes much further. Additionally, on April 3, a series of amendments were introduced that would potentially significantly change the burden of proof on a municipalization takeover effort.
Specifically, the ...
On February 3, 2020, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 917 (“SB 917”), which would establish a new process for a potential government takeover of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”).
SB 917 would reestablish the California Consumer Energy and Conservation Financing Authority and authorize it to acquire, by eminent domain, the assets or ownership of certain electric or gas utilities that meet its criteria, including PG&E. Local publicly owned energy utilities may elect to join in the eminent domain action brought by the Authority and ...
On November 27, 2019, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali issued a Memorandum Decision on Inverse Condemnation (“Memorandum Decision”) in PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric’s (together, “PG&E”) Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 19-30088). PG&E challenged the application of the doctrine of inverse condemnation in connection with the 2015, 2017, and 2018 California wildfires. In the Memorandum Decision, Judge Montali ruled against PG&E and instead concluded that the doctrine ...
As we have written about in past posts, the issue of inverse condemnation remains on the forefront in the state given the continuing, severe wildfire risks and other climate change impacts. Brad Kuhn was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal in “PG&E Isn’t Alone in Facing Liability Risk Over California Fires,” addressing liability associated with inverse condemnation. Willis Hon also commented on the current legislative situation in an E&E News EnergyWire article: “Legal 'whipsaw' threatens PG&E's future.” If you’re interested in potential legislative ...
On June 5, 2019, the California Supreme Court (Court) heard oral argument in the case City of Oroville v. Superior Court of Butte County, Case No. S243247 (Oroville Case). This case is notable because it is the first time that the Court is weighing in on a significant case concerning the doctrine of inverse condemnation since Bunch v. Coachella Valley Water District ...
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.
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