As experienced attorneys, we provide our clients with a complete spectrum of environmental services, from representing clients in civil and criminal environmental matters in state, federal, and administrative litigation, to reviewing environmental assessments related to the sale or acquisition of interests in property. Our experience allows us to work effectively and efficiently to develop innovative ways to protect our clients from a broad range of environmental risks and liabilities.
To meet our clients’ needs, our attorneys and paralegals offer pre-litigation expertise in electronic records management, document retention policies, and implementation of litigation hold policies that allow us to proactively advise our clients on current best practices in the maintenance, archiving and preservation of electronically stored information. We also utilize state-of-the-art litigation support and trial presentation technologies to efficiently manage electronic discovery, organization and trial of highly complex cases.
Whether litigation, negotiation, or another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the best approach for resolving a particular environmental matter, we have the experience and the resources to guide our clients through the process. We have extensive experience in federal, state and administrative proceedings, including both civil and criminal environmental matters.
In particular, we have provided clients with services in the following areas:
State and Federal Regulations
- Representation of potentially responsible parties (PRP) in obtaining federal court order to perpetuate testimony of witnesses prior to litigation as to Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA) site
- Defense of CERCLA cost recovery and contribution action
- Representation of PRP owners-operators of Superfund sites in actions brought by United States to remediate sites
- Defense of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) actions for Private individuals
- Representation of manufacturer in administrative penalties proceeding under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
State and Federal Environmental Agencies
- Representation of generator in negotiations with U.S. EPA, Wisconsin DNR and other owners, operators and generators of allegedly hazardous waste (also known as PRPs) concerning alleged liability for clean up of contamination, including allocation of costs
- Representation of PRP generator in negotiations with Federal Trustees (NOAA, USFWS) and State trustees concerning claim for alleged natural resource damages
- Representation of PRP generator in negotiation of agreement with Wisconsin DNR to perform remedial investigation, focused feasibility study, feasibility study and operable unit as alternative to listing of site on National Priorities List (NPL)
- Representation of PRP generator in negotiation of agreement with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to perform remedial investigation, focused feasibility study, feasibility study and operable unit as alternative to listing of site on National Priorities List (NPL)
- Defense of toxic tort litigation brought by more than 200 plaintiffs alleging personal injury and property damages resulting from alleged TCE contamination of private wells
- Defense of toxic tort action brought by 93 plaintiffs alleging damages for medical monitoring as a result of alleged exposure to carcinogens and diminution of real property values
- Asbestos litigation on behalf of schools and other clients seeking property damage cost recovery
- Defense of toxic tort cases over a span of approximately thirty years, alleging bodily injury and wrongful death caused by inhalation of asbestos products, inhalation of silica sand in foundries
- Defense of toxic tort action brought by a person who developed asthma after applying client's industrial floor covering products
- Prosecution of property damage and toxic tort case on behalf of homeowners alleging the need to remediate as the result of construction deficiencies, namely inadequate ventilation, which caused the growth of mold
- Representation of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District in lawsuit concerning operation and maintenance of Milwaukee’s deep tunnel sewerage system
- Representation of corporate client in cryptosporidium suit
- Representation of town in surface water run-off issues concerning development by “big box” retailer
- Representation of corporate client in groundwater pollution suit in federal court in Connecticut
- Representation of citizen group in groundwater pollution matter; negotiated mutually satisfactory resolution using ADR panel and joint citizen-town-industry panel
- Vapor emissions compliance for a private individual
- RACT (Reasonably Available Control Technique) compliance for large wood manufacturer
Shaping Environmental Laws
- Drafted comprehensive zoning ordinances, including provisions concerning environmental impacts of development, for towns and counties
- Helped draft State statutes dealing with metallic mining
- Representation of potentially responsible parties in declaratory judgment proceedings against insurance carriers to establish the insurer’s duty to defend and duty to indemnify
- Prosecution of insurance coverage disputes on behalf of insureds against their insurers for mold-related property damage
- Defense of corporations and corporate officers in criminal actions brought by State of Wisconsin alleging criminal violations of environmental laws
- Gave expert testimony on behalf of property owners on legal-environmental matters whose properties have been contaminated as a result of hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvents plume in groundwater
- Gave expert testimony and consulted on appropriateness and reasonableness of legal costs of defense of environmental testing laboratory against agency threat to disapprove its testing
- Development and teaching of curriculum at annual week-long national environmental conference
Real Estate and Corporate Transactions
- Sale and purchase of real property, mergers and acquisitions, and related business transactions can give rise to significant environmental concerns. Effectively serving our clients entails that we advise them about these often overlooked and often complicated dangers.
- Through the negotiation process, we can assist in the assessment and evaluation of any environmental risks and liabilities and provide counsel on properly allocating the risk of those risks and liabilities between the parties to the transaction. We also have experience in closing the transactional liability gap by the use of pollution/environmental liability insurance and working with insurance brokers of such insurance products.
Additional areas of assistance
- Counsel on environmental issues related to real estate and lending transactions, including review of compliance with All Appropriate Inquiry for Phase I and Phase II studies, and brownfield/greenfield issues
- Preparation of 104(e) responses
- Review of environmental assessments related to the sale or acquisition of interests in property and remediation alternatives, including pollution/environmental contamination insurance
- Assist in the establishment of conservation easements to conserve property in its natural state and to join tax advantages for placing property into such conservation properties administered by various recognized conservation trusts.
Environmental Law Team
Dillon J. Ambrose, Christopher J. Jaekels, Kevin J. Lyons, Matthew R. McClean, Elizabeth K. Miles, William J. Mulligan, Crystal D. Pogorzelski