Lewis Brisbois Environmental & Administrative Law Practice Secures Win for Maine Lobstermen’s Association
Washington, D.C. (August 21, 2020) - Washington, D.C. Partner and Co-Chair of Lewis Brisbois' Environmental and Administrative Law Practice Jane C. Luxton recently secured a significant win for the Maine Lobstermen's Association when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia determined that lobster fishing along the Atlantic coast would be permitted to continue at least through May 31, 2021.
In its decision, which was covered by Law360, the court vacated a 2014 biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service that allowed coastal lobster fishing from Maine to North Carolina, but gave the U.S. Government until May 31, 2021 to complete an analysis of measures to protect endangered right whales. Extending the time frame during which lobster fishing will continue to be permitted while the government completes its analysis, the court explained that the government was actively analyzing the need for additional right whale protections and expected that it would issue a new biological opinion later this year, with public comment to follow.
In commenting on the win, Ms. Luxton, a former general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told Law360 that the Maine Lobstermen's Association "welcomes the court's thoughtful opinion." She explained that the ruling will allow the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a NOAA agency, to "complete its new biological opinion and whale rules, based on the most current science and input from the states, the lobster fishery and all interested parties."
Ms. Luxton is the administrative partner of Lewis Brisbois' Washington, D.C. office. In addition to co-chairing the firm's Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, she also serves as co-chair of its Government Investigations & White Collar Defense Practice, co-chair of its Government Relations Group, and vice-chair of its Consumer Financial Services Practice. Ms. Luxton has extensive experience in environmental as well as other federal regulatory, policy, and litigation matters. She advises businesses, associations, and coalitions in navigating all levels of the federal regulatory process, including appellate advocacy.