Find Lawyers in Seattle, Washington for Litigation - Environmental
John Bjorkman focuses his practice on civil litigation and arbitration, and has tried a wide range of cases in the environmental, hazardous waste, commercial and business-to-business, technology, and public education fields. His recent cases include the successful resolution of a municipal government’s liability for over $40 million in past and future environmental cleanup claims for PCBs in marine sediments arising out of airport operations and stormwater discharges at two related site...
Jeff maintains an active trial and appellate practice, focusing on complex civil and criminal matters. He has substantial trial experience, before judges and juries, and has appeared as counsel and argued more than 75 appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court, Alaska Court of Appeals, Idaho Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jeff's trial experience encompasses a broad range of matters, including environmental and antitrust cases, oil and gas disputes,...
Karen McGaffey's practice involves the full range of environmental issues. She assists clients with project development, permitting, compliance and regulatory matters under state and federal environmental and land use laws, including the National and State Environmental Policy Acts (NEPA/SEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). She represents clients in environmental litigation, including CERCLA and MTCA cost recovery actions, natural re...
Mark Schneider is a partner in Perkins Coie's Litigation and Environment, Energy & Resources practices and the Chair of the firm's national Energy and Environmental Litigation group. In over 20 years of legal practice, he has focused on environmental, energy, natural resources, and land use counseling and litigation. Mark's practice involves the full range of environmental, energy, and natural resource issues. He assists clients with permitting, compliance, and regulatory matters under fe...
Lori leads the firm’s Environmental practice and for more than 30 years has delivered winning litigation strategies and successful regulatory compliance advice to her clients. She is recognized as one of the nation’s top water quality lawyers and has defended clients against over 75 agency or citizen-suit enforcement actions. Her experience includes representing industrial facilities, manufacturers, agribusiness, retailers, developers, and local governments. She has defended her c...
Ms. Thomas is a Practice Area Leader of K&L Gates' Energy, Infrastructure and Resources practice and serves on the firm's management committee. She has a national practice, concentrating in a range of matters related to energy and water regulation, transactions and project development.
Litigation - Environmental Definition
Environmental litigation and trial work encompass cases in federal court, state court, and before various administrative hearing boards. In federal court, cases frequently involve claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). Claims under those statutes are typically brought by the United States seeking to compel environmental investigation and clean up and/or to recover penalties and actual costs incurred by the government in conducting such investigations and remediation. Additionally, environmental trial lawyers frequently represent parties who have incurred significant costs to address contamination at a particular location and are seeking contribution from other parties (known as potentially responsible parties) who contributed to the contamination and resultant remediation costs. There are a number of other federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act under which environmental advocacy groups can assert citizen suit claims seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged violations of those statutes where the federal or state government has allegedly failed to enforce the statutes.
Most states conduct aggressive enforcement of their own environmental protection statutes, including mini-Superfund statutes, chemical handling and registration laws, and laws designed to regulate oil and gas operations and mining activities. These statutes allow state environmental agencies to assert similar enforcement and cost recovery claims against companies and other parties allegedly responsible for the release of hazardous substances into the soil, water, groundwater, or air. Additionally, most states have adopted statutes regulating the storage of petroleum products in underground storage tanks under which claims can be asserted by the government or affected parties as a result of releases from those tanks.
Another common type of environmental litigation involves claims for injury to natural resources (e.g., wetlands, lakes, rivers, and estuaries), brought by the trustees for the natural resources under CERCLA, other federal statutes or comparable state statutes. Trustees typically seek damages for injury to those natural resources allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances. Those damage claims relate primarily to damages for loss of use of the resource while it is impaired or diminished because of contamination.
At the administrative level, environmental litigators frequently represent companies in enforcement actions relating to alleged violations of operating or discharge permits issued by state environmental agencies (including defense of civil penalty actions), the limits or conditions imposed in such permits, or the disposal, management, and storage of wastes generated through industrial and commercial processes. Those claims are typically heard by Administrative Judges appointed by the state.
Another major area of environmental litigation involves private party and class action toxic tort cases in which plaintiffs seek recovery for personal injury, property damage, and medical monitoring based on alleged exposure to hazardous substances in the air, soil, or groundwater. More recently, we have seen an increase in environmental litigation brought by citizens or environmental advocacy groups seeking to block or challenge the issuance of permits or authorizations to construct new power plants or related industrial facilities.
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.
Enhancing Consumer Safety Through Winning Jury Trials and Substantial Settlements
by Justin Smulison