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American Bar Association


Environmental Litigation Committee


Welcome to the Environmental Litigation Committee website. Our Committee is dedicated to helping its members become better environmental litigators. We believe that we are one of the most collegial and friendly committees in the ABA, and that our members truly benefit from the relationships they develop with other lawyers whose practices are focused on environmental matters.

We are large enough to put on excellent and informative education programs, while being small enough that no one feels left out or lost in the crowd. Year after year the Committee identifies the legal issues and topics that are at the forefront of the practice and brings together lawyers, judges, consultants and in-house counsel to teach and inform our members.

If you are not a member of the Environmental Litigation Committee, we invite you to join us.


Join this Committee


February 17: Free Roundtable

Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 2:00–3:00 p.m. Eastern

In late January the parties resolved a dispute that produced high-profile Ninth Circuit ruling addressing the deference owed to judicial consent decrees proposed by states rather than the United States under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). In State of Arizona v. City of Tucson, 761 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2014), the panel vacated approval of 22 CERCLA decrees by the District of Arizona, ruling that the lower court had deferred unduly to the settling government, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Many commentators, including other states, contended that the ruling was a departure from the traditional, forgiving test for review of proposed Superfund consent decrees, originally established by the First Circuit in United States v. Cannons Engineering. Was that necessarily the case? Or was the ruling simply the reflection of a flawed record?

Fresh off a resolution of their dispute that has cleared the way for consent decree approval—and again on speaking terms—the lawyers for the settling defendants, intervenors, and State of Arizona will share their perspectives in a lively panel presentation.


Jeffrey A. Cantrell, Assistant Attorney General, State of Arizona, Phoenix James F. Murphy, Adler Murphy & McQuillen LLP, Chicago (attorney for intervenors) Christopher D. Thomas, Squire Patton Boggs, Phoenix (attorney for settling defendants)


Megan E. Baroni, Robinson & Cole, Stamford, CT

Register now!

Join a Subcommittee!

Our committee has numerous subcommittees on specific areas of interest—and now they are easier than ever to join. Simply click the "Join" link to the right above and you will be directed to a list of all available subcommittees. We have groups focused on water, air, bankruptcy, toxic torts, CERCLA, eminent domain and much more.

Ask a Mentor

The latest installment of Ask a Mentor is now available on our Young Lawyers page.

Calling all Women Environmental Attorneys!

Consider joining the Subcommittee of Women Environmental Lawyers (SWEL) during our next bimonthly conference call. The calls discuss committee activities and publication opportunities, allowing members to share successes or questions, and feature a new speaker discussing an ongoing matter or "hot topic" in environmental law during every call. The next call is November 19, 2012, at 4 p.m. Eastern. Contact Maggie Witherup or Gail Wurtzler to be added to the email reminders and to get the call-in number.

Environmental Litigation Fall 2015 Newsletter

The latest edition of the Environmental Litigation newsletter is now available.

Get Involved

Involvement in our committee is a great way to keep your practice up-to-date and get more involved in the Section of Litigation. In addition to seeking contributions to our newsletter and website, we are looking for help with our subcommittees. If you think you might be interested in contributing an article, news & development, or case note; joining a subcommittee; or getting involved in leadership, please let us know.

Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the Environmental Litigation Committee’s website. We hope you find our notes and content to be worth the visit! In that regard, please check out our links to the ELC’s newsletters, as well as the content from our Regional CLE events. Our thanks, as always, go out to our Web Editors – Shawn LaTourette and Ted Warpinski. If you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve our website, please let Shawn and Ted know; they’d love to hear from you

Plans have now been set, and registration is open, for our Joint CLE Seminar of the ABA Section of Litigation's Mass Torts, Products Liability, and Environmental Litigation Committees, which will be held on Thursday, January 21 to Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Grand Summit at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. Our program cochairs, Matt Coglianese—who is also cochair of the entire conference—and Jon Schuyler Brooks, have been working hard to put together a great event. Thank you, Matt and Jon! Among the plenary programming will be a panel discussing the environmental, mass tort, and related litigation implications of our aging infrastructure, a panel that addresses how to handle Daubert-related rulings when your expert’s testimony has been excluded or limited, and a panel exploring emerging issues relating to the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles. We look forward to seeing you in Park City!

We are always in need of informative, topical material for both our newsletter and our committee website. This is a great way for you to get involved with our committee, and provides folks with a tremendous opportunity to get their name and expertise out there. Please contact our newsletter and web editors. For the Newsletter, contact Matt Coglianese, Karen Crawford, and Andy Sawula. For the website, please contact Shawn LaTourette and Ted Warpinski).

New members welcome! If you have friends or colleagues who might be interested in our Environmental Litigation Committee, please encourage them to join and get involved. It’s easy to join!

Kevin Bruno
Rudy Perrino

Cochairs, Environmental Litigation Committee



Our active subcommittees include:

  • Air
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Bankruptcy Environmental Claims
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Criminal Litigation & Enforcement
  • Damages
  • Eminent Domain
  • Insurance


  • Mass Environmental & Toxic Torts
  • RCRA
  • Trial Practice
  • Water
  • Young Lawyers
  • Newsletter
  • Programming
  • Website
  • Joint CLE Summit Meeting

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:

Navigant Partners

Patrick McGrath

Chicago, IL

Debra Aron

Chicago, IL



Environmental Litigation Leadership

Cochairs Web Editors Newsletter Editors
Kevin Bruno

Princeton, NJ

Rudy Perrino

Los Angeles, CA

Ted A. Warpinski

Milwaukee, WI

Shawn LaTourette

Newark, NJ

Andrew N. Sawula

Chicago, IL

Karen Aldridge Crawford

Columbia, SC

Matthew P. Coglianese

Coral Gables, FL