Our environmental litigators practice side by side with attorneys experienced in environmental, land use and natural resources law. This distinct model means clients work with experienced administrative, trial and appellate attorneys who know and understand the complexities of the relevant environmental laws. We’re national leaders in litigation involving the Clean Water Act (CWA); Clean Air Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Endangered Species Act (ESA); National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); and Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Additionally, we have substantial experience with laws governing federal and state contaminated site activities, fishery and marine mammal protection, and avian protection.
- Criminal and civil enforcement defense
- Permitting and project defense against all types of challenges
- Preliminary injunction defense
- Cost recovery claims and natural resource damage actions defense
- Proposition 65 bounty hunter claims and enforcement defense
- Government action and rulemaking challenges
- ESA species listings and critical habitat designation challenges
- ESA Section 7(a)(2) biological opinion challenges and ESA Section 9 take defense
- Claims for injunctive relief against environmental groups and government agencies
- Ground water toxic tort claims
- Insurance recovery environmental claims
Our team is one of the largest and most respected in the U.S. Some of our attorneys have backgrounds in science, engineering, geology, economics and public policy. Many have worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Justice and Offices of the U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our constructive working relationships with government attorneys and staff, tribes, and environmental groups provide value to individual businesses and trade associations negotiating and defending their interests before these regulators and stakeholders.
We act as lead counsel or co-counsel in agency challenges, at times representing coalitions and trade associations of like-minded members of the regulated community to minimize the cost and attention for any one business in these federal, state and local agency challenges.
Our team also successfully defends against agency actions. Public land rights-of-way, air and water quality permits, solid and hazardous waste facility permits, and other environmental, natural resource and land use entitlements are essential authorizations for businesses to obtain in a timely fashion and with practical implementation obligations. Some activities cannot avoid challenge from local or national environmental groups, neighborhood groups, or project competitors. That’s why we strategically and proactively develop an administrative record to withstand challenge and litigation, and if an appeal is initiated, we focus on minimizing delays and ensuring the ultimate obligations are reasonable.
Our enforcement defense team responds when civil cases are threatened or initiated by regulatory agencies or citizens’ groups, or when criminal investigations and charges are threatened or alleged involving spills, hazardous substance releases and reporting, air quality, water quality, waste handling, and compliance with species protection programs. Our success in enforcement defense is rooted in the combination of our substantive knowledge, litigation experience, prior agency enforcement experience, constructive working relationships with government attorneys, and familiarity with the enforcement process.
While our environmental litigators are well known to the courts and prosecutors in the jurisdictions where our team members are based, our litigation capabilities are nationally recognized, and we have resources to litigate effectively in any venue.