Michael S. Giannotto - Goodwin

Michael S. Giannotto

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2007

Michael Giannotto is a senior partner in Goodwin Procter's Business Litigation and Environmental Groups and head of litigation for the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Giannotto is a nationally recognized expert in environmental issues impacting domestic and international hardrock mining companies and in bankruptcy and bad faith litigation for major insurance companies. He specializes in counseling and complex litigation in several areas, including environmental law, toxic torts and insurance disputes. Mr. Giannotto has tried many cases to judgment, and has briefed and argued numerous cases before federal and state appellate courts.

Mr. Giannotto is annually recognized for his mining and environmental work by U.S. News-Best Lawyers and Chambers USA, where one client noted he “is the most knowledgeable individual anywhere when it comes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and its application to mining.”



University of PennsylvaniaBA 1975Harvard UniversityJ.D. 1978

Case History

Harmon Industries, Inc v. Browner, 191 F.3d 894 (8th Cir 2000) — I submitted an amicus brief in this case on behalf of 12 national trade organizations (including the National Mining Association) arguing that the federal EPA does not have the authority under RCRA to "overfile" notices of violation against a RCRA permittee if an authorized RCRA State has already filed and resolved an NOV for the same matter.  The Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of our clients that such overfiling is not allowed under RCRA.  This was a case of first uimpression on this issue.  While subsequent cases in othe circuits have reached mixed resultsdue to the Harmon decision, the issue is alive and may ultimately need to be resolved by the Supreme Court
Pardee Homes of Nevada v. Nevada Ready Mix Corporation, No. CV-S-04-0266-RCJ-RJJ (D. Nev. 2004 through 2007) — I represented Nevada Ready Mix Corporation, a sand and grvel miner and concrete manufacturer, against claims by a subsequent owner of a former NRM property seeking recompense for clean up costs under CERCLA and various State common law theories.  The District Court made numerous important legal rulings in favor of our client NRM regarding preemption by CERCLA of State law theories, inability of Pardee to obtain CERCLA 107 relief, and the petroleum exclusion under CERCLA.  This allowed us to settle the case for our client for a pittance.
State of Colorado v. Idarado Mining Company, 916 F.2d 1486 (10th Cir. 1990) — I represented Idarado Mining Company and Newmont Mining Corporation in this case. The case established that States (as opposed to the U.S.) have no authority under CERCLA to issue orders or seek injunctive relief to compel PRPs (including our mining company clients) to undertake response actions at either NPL or non-NPL sites.  Idarado''s andNewmont''s victory allowed them to negotiate a very favorable settlement with the State relating to cleanup of long-inactive mining site in Colorado.

Client Comments

"Michael Giannotto is an excellent attorney!"

Office Location

901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Mining Law of the Washington DC Metro Area
Michael S. Giannotto has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!

Practice Areas

Mining Law

Other Information

Race: Caucasian
Gender: Male