For more than a decade, I have worked to understand how environmental law impacts my clients. Identifying problems is only a part of what I do; what I most enjoy, and what my clients value, is finding solutions. For me, practicing law is about helping real people and businesses to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
My early career as a lawyer prepared me to provide effective, commonsense guidance. I have closed asset purchases, conducted corporate due diligence, and served as de facto general counsel for a manufacturing company. I have met with company presidents, maintenance supervisors, and CFOs, and learned how they run their businesses. As an environmental lawyer, I spend as much time on plant floors as I do in seminars. I like to say I spent my first years learning how to write and talk like a lawyer, and the time since then learning how not to.
I have handled environmental matters across the country—from California to New Jersey, from Wisconsin to New Mexico. I have advised banks on environmental issues related to foreclosures, drafted waste disposal agreements, reviewed environmental representations and warranties, taken contaminated sites through brownfield programs, negotiated consent decrees with federal and state regulatory agencies, and helped prepare Title V permit applications. In 2010 alone, I was the primary environmental counsel on transactions totaling more than $1 billion.
I also have significant experience representing corporations and individuals in environmental criminal cases. In 2004 through 2006, I was part of a team that defended a company in a six-week trial in connection with alleged criminal Clean Water Act violations. Following a government verdict, the case was appealed to the Eleventh Circuit, which reversed the convictions. Then, in 2007 through 2009, I helped represent an individual defendant in a closely-watched case in federal court in Missoula, Montana. At the time, the government described the case as the largest environmental criminal case in United States history. After more than ten weeks of presenting evidence, the government admitted it could not make a case against my client, and the case against him was dismissed with prejudice.
As for professional recognition and involvement, I am in Best Lawyers in America and Alabama Super Lawyers, served as the Chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, and currently am on the ASTM E1527-05 (Phase I) Task Force. Additionally, I am a member of the American Bar Association, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Environmental Bankers Association. I was recently selected Chair of the Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the ABA, a three-year post I assume in August 2011. I also write and speak frequently (some of my articles are available in another section of my profile).
Personally, I was born in New York City, but have a wife and two children with southern accents, know how to cook grits, and make a conscious effort to honk less when I drive. I am chairman of the board of my local library and served for three years on the board of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.