Case Studies

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Current representative cases:

  • Representing the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) in challenge by citizens groups to agency decision regarding fee-to-trust decision.
  • Defending landowner in Section 404 wetlands enforcement action.
  • Defending importer of engines facing customs and EPA Clean Air Act violations.

Abbott v. District of Columbia.

Successfully obtained $6 million consent judgment in suit for inverse condemnation and tortious interference with contract.

Bassett New Mexico v United States.

Successfully represented New Mexico mining company in claim against the United States for the taking of mineral property as a result of Superfund cleanup. Obtained nearly $1 million settlement following judgment for plaintiff.

Coastal Petroleum v. Florida

Successfully defended $8 billion mineral lease inverse condemnation case filed against the State of Florida. Named “Defense Decision of the Month” by National Law Journal.

Recticel Corp. v. Bay Industries

Successfully represented Belgian Multinational Corporation in suit for breach of contract, with ultimate judgment of $8 million.

Recticel Corp. v. FBI.

Successfully represented Belgian Multinational Corporation in reverse FOIA action to prohibit disclosure of sensitive information gathered in the course of EPA environmental crimes investigation.

South Meadows Properties v. United States.

Successfully obtained wetlands permit for completion of $200 million commercial/residential development in Nevada.

Tulare Lake Basin Water District v. United States.

Successfully represented a group of California water districts in taking claim against the federal government involving water rights. Obtained $26.7 million judgment.

Srynsky v. United States

Successfully represented owners of land located within a national forest seeking tort damages with wrongful interference with their land access from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Obtained damages settlement from the United States, and successfully negotiated an easement agreement between the Forest Service and the United States allowing the owners to access their land.

Clark Construction Co. v. District of Columbia

Successfully defended a lawsuit brought by local community group to block development as of right of a permitted apartment building development. The trial court dismissed the citizens’ group lawsuit for lack of standing.

Drainage Ditches and Section 404 Wetland Permit

Sucessfully obtained Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which Corps had originally denied due to an interpretation of the Clean Water Act to apply to manmade agricultural ditches through uplands to be “waters of the United States.”

Successfully Obtained Temporary Takings Damages for Homebuilder

Successfully obtained permit under the Endangered Species Act, allowing homebuilder to construct home as planned, and temporary takings damages for the Fish and Wildlife’s interference with the planned homebuilding activities.

Representative Section 1983 Litigation

     Clark Construction Co. v. District of Columbia

Successfully defended a construction company seeking to build a large, luxury apartment building in the District against an action brought by a citizens’ group, ultimately obtaining relief under Section 1983 to construct the apartment building as planned.
     Eugenia Enterprises v. Loudoun County

Successfully represented a landowner in a Section 1983 suit challenging the County’s downzoning of land so that it could be condemned at a lower price.
     Meadowmont v. City of Raleigh, NC

Successfully defended a landowner in a Section 1983 suit brought by a community group that was challenging the city’s approval of a housing development.
     Piersall v. Town of Wrightsville Beach, NC

Successfully represented a landowner in a Section 1983 suit to reverse the town’s decision to prohibit the rebuilding of his hotel after it was destroyed in a storm.
     Schmidt & Pollard v. City of Oakland, CA

Successfully represented a non-minority building contractor in a Section 1983 suit where the Supreme Court ultimately overturned an unconstitutional minority set-aside contracting provision of the city code.
     Town of Georgetown, SC

Successfully represented a landowner in a threatened suit reversing the city’s disapproval of a housing development.

Other Cases:

  • Successfully formed environmental services subsidiary of Aerospace Corporation to perform cleanup at nuclear weapons facilities.
  • Represented government contractor in contract dispute regarding hazardous waste cleanup cost.
  • Represented fragrance manufacturers in obtaining EPA approval of products under FIFRA.
  • Successfully represented casino owner in wetland enforcement case.
  • Clean Water Act prosecution involving ship.
  • Successfully represented plastics manufacturer in Clean Water Act prosecution in Texas.
  • Successfully represented chemical manufacturer in Clean Air Act prosecution involving hazardous air pollutants at multiple facilities.
  • Represented ethanol industry in Clean Air Act reauthorization
  • Successfully represented landowners in $13 million condemnation for Dulles Airport expansion.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of environmental crimes prosecution involving hazardous waste disposal.
  • Represented Multinational Corporation in superfund natural resources suit involving PCB pollution in Los Angeles harbor.
  • Completed environmental audits and due diligence for large corporate transactions involving asbestos, PCB’s, and many other substances.
  • Successfully represented circus in obtaining authorization for international transportation of endangered animals.
  • Represented circus at negotiation of resolutions under international environmental treaties.
  • Represented gold mining company in prosecutions for violation of endangered species act, RCRA, migratory bird treaty act, and superfund (CERCLA).
  • Successfully represented asbestos removal contractor in $2 million EPA suit for alleged Clean Air Act violations involving asbestos.