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Arnold & Porter Obtains Federal Circuit Court Victory in Nuclear Waste Case

June 20, 2014

Washington, DC, and Denver, June 20, 2014 -- Arnold & Porter LLP obtained a significant victory today on behalf of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in its lawsuit against the United States Department of Energy for failing to remove and dispose of SMUD's nuclear waste as required by federal law.  The Department of Energy has required SMUD to hold nuclear waste for decades, without compensation, and the Federal Circuit Court's decision today found that DOE has been in continuous breach of contract and must immediately pay damages.  After a week-long trial in 2011, Arnold & Porter had obtained a $38 million judgment against the United States for its failure to take SMUD's nuclear waste.  Because SMUD's damages were significantly greater than the $38 million awarded, the Firm appealed to the Federal Circuit, and the Circuit found in favor of SMUD on every issue raised.  The Federal Circuit issued an order requiring the Department of Energy to immediately pay SMUD $53 million in damages, and remanded the rest of the case for a determination of additional damages. 

The litigation team was led by partner Timothy R. Macdonald, who heads Arnold & Porter's Denver office, and Howard N. Cayne, a partner in the Firm's Washington, DC office.  The team also included associates James Lyman and Michelle Albert, both based in the Firm's Denver office.

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