FISA Warrant

FISA Warrant: Interesting Government Authority

A so-called ‘FISA Warrant’ is an order granted to The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, also called the FISA Court).  It was established and authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

In order for FISC to issue a warrant, an application must be made before an individual judge of the court. The court may allow third parties to submit briefs as amici curiae. When the U.S. Attorney General determines that an emergency exists, the Attorney General may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance before obtaining the necessary authorization from the FISC, if the Attorney General or their designee notifies a judge of the court at the time of authorization and applies for a warrant as soon as practicable but not more than 7 days after authorization of such surveillance, as required by 50 U.S.C. § 1805.

What all this complication means is that, ostensibly, to help the US obtain information on foreign government or individual activities, there is a process by which a warrant is issued to search or monitor.  It is made through a Judge of the FISA Court and there is a process by which an appeal may be made.

Normally, the FISA warrant does not make news.  However, in 2017 there is speculation surrounding President Trump and his advisors as to whether this means was utilized during the campaign of 2016 to gather information on foreign activities.


Fracking, damages, ed kramer, attorney, Baton Rouge

$4.2 Million Fracking Award For Groundwater Contamination Overturned by Judge.

Fracking Allegedly Caused Groundwater Contamination

Dimock, Pennsylvania has been called ground zero in the fight against fracking. It’s the location that became the basis for the movie Gasland by anti-fracking activist Josh Fox. Last March, a federal jury awarded $4.2 million to a pair of Dimock families that had sued over alleged pollution of their drinking water. Today that award was reversed on appeal. The $4 million award was given to just two families who refused to settle with the company.

Only two families out of the original 44 plaintiffs in the case against Cabot Oil and Gas went to trial after years of delays, lack of representation, and legal setbacks. Lead plaintiff Scott Ely worked for the driller before becoming a whistleblower.  Full Story.

“I saw so much on these job sites,” he said after the verdict. “I’m not only working for them I’m also a resident and as I’m working for them, I end up becoming a victim of it.”

Judge Martin Carlson wrote that the evidence presented at last year’s jury trial by a pair of families in Dimock, Pa., “was spare, sometimes contradictory, frequently rebutted by other scientific expert testimony, and relied in some measure upon tenuous inferences.”

He said there were multiple “weaknesses” in the case, along with “serious and troubling irregularities in the testimony and presentation of the plaintiffs’ case — including repeated and regrettable missteps by counsel in the jury’s presence,” necessitating that Carlson vacate the jury award against Cabot Oil and Gas Co….

“We do not take this step lightly, and we recognize the significance of voiding the judgment of a panel of jurors who sat through nearly three weeks of trial and reached a unanimous verdict,” he wrote. Personal Injury Law Firm has written postals about groundwater contamination before.  Here and Here.

You generally get one chance to chose the right lawyer for you.  Attorney Ed Kramer is happy to discuss your options.  (225) 933-1500

soil contamination Louisiana damages

Pennsylvania Judge Throws Out $4 Million Jury Verdict Over Water Contamination

Jury Awarded $4 Million: Judge Says ‘No.’

Its not over ’til its over.  Even when a jury verdict is rendered, the case might not be closed.  There was a bomb-shell decision today by a federal judge involving a water contamination trial from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

In a 58-page ruling, Judge Martin Carlson threw out the jury verdict, and a $4 million dollar award for two families from the Dimock Township area.  Last year, a federal jury found Cabot Oil and Gas was a nuisance — after the families said the company contaminated their groundwater.  Cabot has denied any wrong-doing. Contaminated drinking water is becoming more and more of an issue.  We have written about it before, here.

The judge said he did not make this decision lightly — and says a new trial is needed.  Read the decision Here.

Soil contamination from underground gas storage tanks, old oilfield ‘legacy’ sites, leaking pipes of all sorts is real.  Often it will damage no only drinking water, but require expensive cleanup on the part of the landowner.  But, if you can tract the source of the pollution and contamination, there may be a claim.

In Louisiana, ‘orphan’ wells, old dump sites, and other sources of pollution are common.

Call Ed Kramer at (225) 933-1500 or visit and we are happy to discuss, for free, any potential claim that you may have.

contaminated drinking water

Flint’s Contaminated Drinking Water.

According to Fortune Magazine, Flint residents who are victims of contaminated drinking water, could still be a few years away from drinking unfiltered tap water because the city makes incremental progress on an ambitious — if not overly optimistic — timeframe to replace old water service lines that leached lead into homes and businesses.

The article states that Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel, who coordinates the FAST Start initiative, said he has a goal of finishing the pipe replacements for residents in 2019 by fixing service lines to 6,000 homes a year. The city has estimated that lines to 20,000 homes need to be replaced.  “So far, I’d say it’s been going slow,” McDaniel said. “We wanted to replace 1,000 service lines in the city of Flint in 2016.”  But this has not happened. “We are still working on that contract even today because we’ve had a fairly warm winter.”

Progress to Fix Contaminated Drinking Water is Slow

As of last week, lines to fewer than 800 homes had been replaced with new copper pipe. The effort is plagued by problems that include inaccurate records on the location of pipes and the type of material used in them. Funding for the project beyond this year is also uncertain.

The effort comes as some residents in the impoverished city. Flint is where 57% of the roughly 100,000 residents are black still do not trust the government because of failures that led to the contaminated drinking water crisis. To save money while under state control, the city began using water from the Flint River. This occurred in April 2014 without treating it to prevent corrosion in steel pipes. Residents’ complaints about color, odor and taste were downplayed by the government until elevated levels of lead, a neurotoxin, were detected in children. Twelve people died in a Legionnaires’ outbreak that has been linked to the improperly treated water.

In the future, things may get worse.

The budget proposal President Donald Trump’s administration announced this week will slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding. This cut will be by nearly a third, crippling an agency that has played a key role in American life for nearly a half-century.

The main target of the president’s ire seems to be the agency’s programs that address climate change. “We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said at a press conference. But cuts so large won’t just affect climate change-related programs. These cuts will affect all of the agency’s work and the state environmental protection offices it supports. law firm will be there to fight for your rights, no matter what the future holds.  Call us at (225) 933-1500 or contact us online.