This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 09/20/2022 at 07:50:12 (UTC).

MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION v. NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE et al

Case Summary

On September 27, 2021, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Inc. (“MLA” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Ryan P. Steen, Jason T. Morgan, and James C. Feldman of Stoel Rives, LLP, and Jane C. Luxton of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, filed an environmental lawsuit against National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”), and Gina Raimondo and Janet Coit in their official capacities (collectively, “Defendants”), represented by John B. Grosko and Taylor Mayhall of the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resource, seeking declaratory relief, for the alleged misguided federal decision endangering the Maine lobster fishery. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, with Judge James E. Boasberg presiding.

In the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that “in 2021, the National Marine Fisheries Service (‘NMFS’) issued a biological opinion (the ‘2021 BiOp’), pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (‘ESA’), that evaluates the impacts of multiple fishery management plans (including for the Maine lobster fishery) on the North Atlantic right whale. Through a ‘Conservation Framework,’ the 2021 BiOp mandates that U.S. fixed gear fisheries (including the Maine lobster fishery) implement more conservation measures to achieve an additional 98% reduction in the incidence of ‘serious injury and mortality’ interactions between this fishing gear and North Atlantic right whales over the next 10 years.”

The plaintiff further alleged, “NMFS’s mandate ignores the reality that the Maine lobster fishery already has an extremely low incidence of interactions with right whales due, in part, to a suite of mitigation measures that have been implemented for many years. Reducing its already low impact by another 98% is not possible without driving most of Maine’s harvesters out of business permanently.” 

The plaintiff also alleged, “Defendants’ approval of the 2021 BiOp is unlawful because NMFS did not rely on the best available scientific information, made erroneous and arbitrary assumptions unsupported and contradicted by data and evidence, relied on an outdated and flawed methodology to model projections of the North Atlantic right whale population, and inexplicably failed to account for either the positive impact of mitigation measures already or soon-to-be employed by the Maine lobster fishery. NMFS also ignored or arbitrarily discounted evidence submitted by MLA and others that would have enabled the agency to correct its mistakes.”

The plaintiff listed four claims for relief, including claims for allegations that the 2021 BiOp arbitrarily, capriciously, and unlawfully overestimates impact and risk from the American Lobster Fishery; that the 2021 BiOp’s Conservation Framework arbitrarily, capriciously, and unlawfully imposes and requires reductions from the Lobster Fishery; that NMFS arbitrarily, capriciously, and unlawfully denied MLA ESA section 7 applicant status; and that NMFS arbitrarily, capriciously, and unlawfully relied on the 2021 BiOp when it issued the TRP Rule.

In the prayer for relief, the plaintiff requested a judgment seeking declaratory relief, a judgment declaring that the NMFS’s 2021 BiOp and the TRP Rule are arbitrary, capricious and in violation of the ESA and the Administrative Procedure Act, and remanding the 2021 BiOp and TRP Rule to NMFS without vacatur to address these flaws.

This is a summary of a legal complaint. All statements, claims, and allegations listed herein reflect the position of the plaintiff only and do not represent the position of UniCourt. Additionally, this case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the current status of this case. To view the latest case updates and court documents, please sign up for a UniCourt account.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-02509

  • Filing Date:

    09/27/2021

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Other Disposed

  • Case Type:

    Other - Environment

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

James E. Boasberg

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION

2 Storer Street

Kennebunk, ME 04043

Intervenor Plaintiffs

STATE OF MAINE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES

MASSACHUSETTS LOBSTERMAN'S ASSOC.

DISTRICT 4 LODGE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, LOCAL LODGE 207

Defendants

NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE

GINA RAIMONDO

JANET COIT

Intervenors

CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION, INC.

CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Jason T. Morgan

Attorney at STOEL RIVES LLP

600 University Street, Suite 3600

Seattle, WA 98101

Ryan P. Steen

Attorney at STOEL RIVES LLP

600 University Street, Suite 3600

Seattle, WA 98101

James Curtis Feldman

Attorney at STOEL RIVES LLP

600 University Street, Suite 3600

Seattle, WA 98101

Jane C. Luxton

Attorney at LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD & SMITH LLP

2112 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 500

Washington, DC 20037

Intervenor Plaintiff Attorneys

Paul S. Weiland

Attorney at NOSSAMAN LLP

18101 Von Karman Ave., Suite 1800

Irvine, CA 92612

Linda R. Larson

Attorney at Nossaman LLP

719 Second Avenue, Suite 1200

Seattle, WA 98104

Daniel J. Cragg

Attorney at ECKLAND & BLANDO

800 Lumber Exchange Building, 10 South Fifth Street

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Karen Ellis Carr

Attorney at ARENT FOX LLP

1717 K Street, Nw

Washington, DC 20006

Nicholas Nesgos

Attorney at ARENT FOX LLP

800 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02199

Samuel Peter Blatchley

Attorney at ECKLAND & BLANDO LLP

22 Boston Wharf Road, 7Th Floor

Boston, MA 02210

Alfred C. Frawley, IV

Attorney at MCCLOSKEY, MINA, CUNNIFF & FRAWLEY LLC

12 City Center

Portland, ME 04101

Thimi Robert Mina

Attorney at MCCLOSKEY, MINA, CUNNIFF & FRAWLEY LLC

12 City Center

Portland, ME 04101

Defendant Attorneys

John B. Grosko

Attorney at U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCE

P.O. Box 7611

Washignton, DC 20004

Taylor Mayhall

Attorney at U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

P.O. Box 7611

Washington, DC 20044

Intervenor Attorneys

Kristen Monsell

Attorney at CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

1212 Broadway, Suite 800

Oakland, CA 94612

Jane P. Davenport

Attorney at DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE

1130 17Th Street, Nw

Washington, DC 20036

Erica A. Fuller

Attorney at CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION

62 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02110

 

Court Documents

#78

(#78) Transmission of the Notice of Appeal, Order Appealed (Memorandum Opinion), and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals fee was paid re #77 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court. (ztth) (Entered: 09/14/2022)

#77

(#77) NOTICE OF APPEAL TO DC CIRCUIT COURT as to #75 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment,,,,,,,,, #76 Order by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number ADCDC-9513839. Fee Status: Fee Paid. Parties have been notified. (Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/13/2022)

#76

(#76) MEMORANDUM OPINION re. #75 Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 9/8/2022. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 09/08/2022)

#75

(#75) ORDER: For the reasons set forth in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, the Court ORDERS that: 1) Defendants' #48 and Intervenor-Defendants' #46 Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment are GRANTED; 2) Plaintiff's #42 and Intervenor-Plaintiffs' #41 and #43 Motions for Summary Judgment are DENIED; and 3) Judgment is ENTERED in favor of Defendants. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 09/08/2022. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 09/08/2022)

46 #1

Memorandum in Support

46 #46

Main Document

43 #43

Main Document

42 #1

MLA's Brief in Support of Summary Judgment

41 #41

Main Document

#2

1 #7

Summons Channing D. Phillips

1 #6

Summons Merrick Garland

1 #5

Summons Janet Coit

1 #4

Summons Gina Raimondo

1 #3

Summons NMFS

1 #2

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #1

Exhibit A

1 #1

Main Document

140 More Documents Available
View All Documents

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/15/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • DocketUSCA Case Number 22-5238 for #77 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court, filed by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. (ztth) (Entered: 09/15/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/14/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#78) Transmission of the Notice of Appeal, Order Appealed (Memorandum Opinion), and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals fee was paid re #77 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court. (ztth) (Entered: 09/14/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/13/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#77) NOTICE OF APPEAL TO DC CIRCUIT COURT as to #75 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment,,,,,,,,, #76 Order by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number ADCDC-9513839. Fee Status: Fee Paid. Parties have been notified. (Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/13/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/08/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#76) MEMORANDUM OPINION re. #75 Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 9/8/2022. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 09/08/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/08/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#75) ORDER: For the reasons set forth in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, the Court ORDERS that: 1) Defendants' #48 and Intervenor-Defendants' #46 Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment are GRANTED; 2) Plaintiff's #42 and Intervenor-Plaintiffs' #41 and #43 Motions for Summary Judgment are DENIED; and 3) Judgment is ENTERED in favor of Defendants. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 09/08/2022. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 09/08/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#74) NOTICE Regarding Updated North Atlantic Right Whale Entanglement Risk Reduction Modeling Estimate by JANET COIT, NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, GINA RAIMONDO (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1 - Coogan Declaration)(Mayhall, Taylor) (Entered: 08/18/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/18/2022
  • DocketMINUTE ORDER: Having reviewed the parties' submissions on a potential stay, the Court ORDERS that this matter shall not be stayed. The Court believes that deciding the issues presented on summary judgment will aid NMFS in a potential remand, the scope of which will be decided in the ongoing remedies briefing in Case No. 18-112. The Court also notes that the parties have spent significant time and effort in the summary-judgment briefing and deserve a determination. At this point, it will not stay the remedies briefing in the companion case pending a resolution of the merits here, but it may seek supplemental remedies briefing depending on what it decides in this case. Finally, given its trial schedule, the Court expects to issue a merits decision by the end of September. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 08/18/2022. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 08/18/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/05/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#73) MEMORANDUM by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of Patrice McCarron, #2 Declaration of Dwight Carver, #3 Declaration of Cindy Donnell, #4 Declaration of Russel E. Munsey)(Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 08/05/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/05/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#72) MEMORANDUM by CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION, INC., DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE. (Davenport, Jane) (Entered: 08/05/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 08/05/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#71) MEMORANDUM by STATE OF MAINE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES. (Weiland, Paul) (Entered: 08/05/2022)

    Read MoreRead Less
77 More Docket Entries
  • 10/04/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#8) NOTICE of Appearance by James Curtis Feldman on behalf of MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION (Feldman, James) (Entered: 10/04/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/04/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • DocketMINUTE ORDER GRANTING #5 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of James C. Feldman. Counsel should register for e-filing via PACER and file a notice of appearance pursuant to LCvR 83.6(a). #Click for instructions So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 10/04/2021. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 10/04/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/01/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#7) NOTICE of Appearance by John B. Grosko on behalf of All Defendants (Grosko, John) (Entered: 10/01/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/28/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#6) SUMMONS (5) Issued Electronically as to JANET COIT, NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, GINA RAIMONDO, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: #1 Notice and Consent)(adh, ) (Entered: 09/28/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/28/2021
  • DocketCase Assigned to Judge James E. Boasberg. (zsb) (Entered: 09/28/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#5) MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- James C. Feldman, Filing fee $ 100, receipt number ADCDC-8761052. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. (Attachments: #1 Declaration of James C. Feldman, #2 Certificate of Good Standing, #3 Text of Proposed Order)(Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#4) NOTICE of Appearance by Jason T. Morgan on behalf of MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION (Morgan, Jason) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#3) LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION (Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. Case related to Case No. 1:18-cv-00112-JEB. (Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 09/27/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against JANET COIT, NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, GINA RAIMONDO ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ADCDC-8758860) filed by MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit A, #2 Civil Cover Sheet, #3 Summons NMFS, #4 Summons Gina Raimondo, #5 Summons Janet Coit, #6 Summons Merrick Garland, #7 Summons Channing D. Phillips)(Steen, Ryan) (Entered: 09/27/2021)

    Read MoreRead Less
related-case-search

Dig Deeper

Get Deeper Insights on Court Cases


Latest cases where MAINE LOBSTERMEN'S ASSOCIATION is a litigant

Latest cases where CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION, INC. is a litigant

Latest cases where DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE is a litigant

Latest cases where CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY is a litigant