Joan Snyder Headshot
Retired Partner

Joan P. Snyder


Joan P. Snyder is a retired partner no longer practicing law. To connect with an environmental, land use, or natural resources lawyer, please click here.

After over twenty-five years as an advocate, Joan now serves as an arbitrator, mediator and facilitator. She brings to those roles her extensive legal experience, where she represented parties in litigation, in enforcement proceedings, in arbitrations and mediations, and in real estate and corporate transactions. In addition to her broad legal skills, Joan has special expertise in environmental, natural resources, occupational safety and insurance law, which were her primary areas of practice. This experience includes all aspects of state and federal cleanups; the defense of natural resource damages claims; litigation of environmental and insurance claims in state and federal courts; all environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions; and representation of clients in OSHA and environmental enforcement proceedings. A former industrial chemist with training in environmental engineering, Joan particularly grasps both the complexities and the practicalities of environmental dispute resolution.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Training

  • Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association (AAA), 2019
  • Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding and Writing Awards, AAA, 2019
  • Master Class on Complex Environmental Liability Resolution, American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, 2019
  • Understanding the Roots of Bias, Stoel Rives, 2019
  • Cybersecurity—a Shared Responsibility, AAA, 2020
  • Best Practices for Arbitrators in Expedited/Fast Track Arbitrations, AAA, 2020
  • Controversial Issues in Mediation, Oregon State Bar ADR Section, 2020
  • Arbitrations in Oregon: The What, Where, Why and How, Multnomah Bar Assn, 2020
  • Comprehensive Training in Advanced Arbitration Skills, 14th Annual Arbitration Training Institute, ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2021
  • Multi-Party, Multi-Faceted Dispute Resolution: the Online Experience, AAA, 2021
  • 40 Hour Basic Mediation Training with Dr. Clare Fowler (University of Oregon), University, 2021.
  • Impartiality: Do You Know Where Your Biases Are?, AAA, 2021
  • Arbitrator Technology & Case Management Practices, AAA, 2021
  • Cybersecurity: Safeguarding Case Data, AAA, 2021
  • Practical Guide to the Consumer Arbitration Process, AAA, 2021


University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1984, cum laude

Drexel University, Graduate study in Environmental Engineering, 1979-80

University of Delaware, B.S., Chemistry, 1978, with high honors


Environmental Cleanup

  • Represented numerous property owners and operators performing remedial investigations, risk assessments and remedial actions at contaminated properties.
  • Represented several clients that performed the remedial investigation and feasibility study for the Portland Harbor sediment Superfund Site.

Natural Resource Damage Claims

  • Represented a client with respect to the natural resource damages assessment for the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

Environmental and OSHA Compliance

  • Counseled numerous clients on environmental regulatory compliance, including on storm water compliance issues, both under NPDES discharge permits and as part of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Portland Harbor storm water screening evaluation protocols.
  • Counseled clients on preparation of Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plans; compliance with Toxic Release Inventory reporting; and state Community-Right-to-Know reporting.
  • Counseled numerous clients on compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Rules.

Environmental and OSHA Enforcement

  • Oregon OSHA enforcement action: Defended $1.4 million “willful” and “egregious” citation; obtained dismissal of $1 million of claims and favorably settled remainder.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a manufacturing company to address potential Clean Water Act violations, succeeding in convincing the U.S. Attorney’s Office that there was no basis for criminal action.
  • Represented clients in resolution of numerous environmental regulatory citations and OSHA citations, including in instances of fatalities and other serious injuries.

Environmental Litigation and Environmental Insurance Litigation

  • Represented many property owners in litigation, arbitration or mediation against former owners or operators and/or insurers to recover the cost of complying with environmental investigation and cleanup demands by government agencies.
  • Represented industrial client in responding to 60-day notice-of-intent-to-sue letter from environmental organization alleging violations of storm water permit. Achieved resolution of matter before suit was filed.


Insights & Presentations

  • “ADR in Environmental and Natural Resource Disputes,” Chapter 31, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Oregon BarBookTM , Oregon State Bar, 2019 ed.
  • “Portland Harbor: Strategic Insights from One of the Nation’s Largest On-Going NRD Assessments,” Seventh Annual Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Washington D.C., March 1, 2018
  • “Portland Harbor in the Post-ROD World: Integrating In-Water & Upland Remedies and Permitted Discharges--Legal Structure and Tools,” Oregon Source Control Conference, May 19, 2017
  • “Oregon Industrial Stormwater Permits” (Stormwater Permitting Fundamentals Session 2S), NWEC Introductory Stormwater Presentation, December 6, 2016
  • “From the Perspective of the Regulated Community: How Well Do DEQ NPDES Permitting, City Permitting and Source Control Work Together? And How Should They?” NEBC Managing Stormwater in Oregon Conference, May 21, 2015
  • “Pre-ROD Cooperative NRD Assessment and Restoration: Update from Portland Harbor,” Fourth Annual Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Washington D.C., March 13, 2015
  • “Focusing the Right Regulatory Approaches on Surface Water Source Control at Sediment Sites - Using Portland Harbor as Case Study,” Eighth International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 14, 2015
  • “Beyond the Headlines: Best Practices to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Long-Term Hazardous Waste Releases, Oil Spills and Transport and Other Accidents” (contributor), Daily Environment Report, August 2014


  • Annual Award, Oregon State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Section, 2018
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2010, 2017 and 2019
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as one of the 39 “most accomplished female attorneys in corporate-facing practice areas” in the nation for its “Women in the Law” Business Edition, 2019
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Environmental Law), 2006–2023
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (Environment), 2006–2023
  • Selected by Lawyers Monthly for global 2014 Women in Law Awards
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Environmental, Insurance Coverage, Environmental Litigation, Energy & Natural Resources), 2008–2020
  • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers



  • AAA Roster of Arbitrators
  • Oregon State Bar: Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Environmental & Natural Resources Section
  • American Bar Association: Dispute Resolution Section, Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Women in CERCLA
  • Women in the Environment—Oregon
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Oregon Business Association Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Former Chair
  • Oregon State Bar, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Former Chair
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