Today Lex Machina a LexisNexis product, is launching an Environmental Analytics module which provides insights on nearly 14,700 environmental cases pending in federal court since 2009.  This is the fourteenth module in the Lex Machina suite of products. The product provides previously unreported data, e.g.  more than $22 billion in damages have been awarded in environmental litigation cases over the last decade. High profile cases included in the product include  the landmark Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Volkswagen’s “clean diesel” cases.

The Launch Webcast. As usual with their launches they are and hosting a webcast  featuring leading environmental litigator Deborah Sivas, a Prof. of Environmental Law at Stanford University; and Michael Davis, a partner at Venable (who represents government agencies, developers and lenders) – providing the corporate POV. This webcast will explore how the use of technology and analytics is becoming more prevalent as environmental litigation evolves and a potential crop of new legal issues arise with global climate change.

  • Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
  • Time: 2:00 pm ET | 11 am PT
  • Cost: Complimentary
  • Register at this link.

Like other Lex Machina modules, the environmental module includes analytics on,judges,, parties, law firms, attorneys and the courts. Advance features include the ability to analyze case documents, case timing, findings, remedies, and damages. Data can be filtered my major environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, CERCLA, NEPA and RCRA. Isses covered include disputes over regulation of the environment under any federal statute covering pollution; the use of natural resources; protection of forests, rivers, coastal wetlands, plants and animals; and other ways that humans interact with nature.

Environmental litigation data includes:

  • Case Tags – Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
  • Findings – Clean Air Act Violation, Clean Water Act Violation, Endangered Species Act Violation, CERCLA Liability, CERCLA Third Party/Landowner Defense, NEPA Violation, RCRA Violation, SDWA Violation, Preemption of State Law, Statute of Limitations Defense, Standing, Diligent Prosecution Defense, Noncompliant Notice Defense, and Other Environmental Violation
  • Remedies – Compliance/Remediation Plan, Administrative Remand, and Security Bond/Performance Guarantee
  • Damages – CERCLA Cost Recovery/Contribution, Natural Resource Damages/Assessment Costs, Civil Money Penalties, Environmental Project/Mitigation Fund, and Punitive Damages

Highlighted Trends Here are some key findings which Lex Machina has highlighted from the data:

  • Of the 13,600 environmental litigation cases, 45% are associated with Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL Associated” cases).
  • Judge Carl J. Barbier (Eastern District of Louisiana) has the most environmental cases (over 6,000) because he oversees litigation related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • When excluding MDL Associated cases, California courts litigate the most environmental cases. The Central District of California and the Northern District of California each have over 500 cases and the Eastern District of California has over 400 cases.
  • More than $17 billion in damages have been awarded in environmental litigation cases over the last decade
  • Of that, more than $13 billion were related to Deepwater Horizon oil spill – $8.1 billion in Natural Resource Damages / Assessment Costs and $5.5 billion in Civil Money Penalties
  • More than $2.7 billion in Environmental Project / Mitigation Fund damages as well as $1.45 billion in Civil Money Penalties can be attributed to the Volkswagen case, which has a Clean Air Act Violation. It currently has over 2,800 MDL Associated cases – but many cases do not have.

Litigation analytics are one of the hottest areas of competition among the leading legal information providers including Westlaw, Bloomberg Law and Fasecase/Docket Alarm.  While other vendors may offer wider topical coverage of federal cases, Lex  Machina provides the most sophisticated filers including unique filters  tailored to each area of law  such as  damages and remedies.