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Overview

Calfee’s Environmental litigators aim to achieve our clients’ objectives in litigation and administrative proceedings. Our experience covers the full spectrum of federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations and contract, insurance, and indemnity disputes. As with any dispute, litigation can be burdensome to the daily operations and bottom line of any organization and can affect all stakeholders. Calfee’s litigators have helped clients manage the burden and obtain successful outcomes.

Our Environmental litigators have extensive experience with complex litigation and dispute resolution proceedings under Superfund and in private cost recovery, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

We also are well-versed in all related state and common law claims such as nuisance and trespass, citizen suits, and toxic torts. Our clients are engaged in a variety of businesses including metals manufacturing and finishing, waste disposal and wastewater treatment, real estate lending and development, chemical and plastics manufacturing, industrial gases, paints and coatings, and minerals and mining.

Noteworthy

Chambers USA Band 3 Ranking in Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio)

For well over a decade, our Litigation group and individual litigation attorneys have been ranked and recognized by Chambers USA. In 2021, Chambers USA researchers noted that the team "Frequently advises on plaintiff and defense-side commercial litigation matters, offering considerable strengths in securities, product liability, antitrust and construction disputes. Also offers experience in criminal litigation, defending a range of individuals and businesses facing regulatory enforcement actions. Acts for clients in sectors including healthcare, financial services and manufacturing." 

A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers commented, "The entire team provides outstanding legal services." Another adds, "The team as a whole is fantastic."

Litigation Partner and leader of the Insurance Coverage and Insurance Recovery practices, K. James Sullivan, has been ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 1 for Insurance in Ohio. Chambers USA researchers noted, "James Sullivan is held in high esteem as 'one of the best policyholder lawyers' in Ohio. He is also praised for his 'sophisticated and diplomatic' approach to complex recovery claims, which sees him handle a wide range of coverage disputes." A source reported to Chambers USA researchers, "He does an excellent job in analyzing situations and getting a good result. He is smart, well respected and capable in the courtroom."

Chambers USA Band 3 Ranking in Natural Resources & Environment (Ohio)

Calfee's Environmental Law practice was ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 3 for Natural Resources & Environment in Ohio. Chambers USA researchers noted that the team is known as an "experienced practice with a wealth of expertise in environmental litigation, compliance and permitting. Noteworthy experience representing clients in matters involving hazardous waste, site remediation and cleanup. Also assists clients with the environmental aspects of transactions." A source interviewed by Chambers USA researchers stated, "The team is competent, personable and work well together, complementing each other's strengths." Another source highlighted the firm's "strong environmental practice.”

Environmental Law practice leader, Christopher Jones, was ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 2 for Natural Resources & Environment in Ohio. Chambers USA researchers mentioned, "[Chris] benefits from prior experience serving as the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. He provides market-leading expertise in various permitting, compliance and remediation matters." A client interviewed by Chambers USA researchers said, “Chris has extensive knowledge of environmental law, is very pragmatic and has deep connections within the regulatory environment in Ohio.” Another client stated, “He is great, very smart and knows the laws.”

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2021 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Environmental Law (Metropolitan Tier 2 Columbus, Metropolitan Tier 3 Cleveland) and several Litigation practice areas.

Benchmark Litigation Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion by Benchmark Litigation as a "Highly Recommended" litigation firm in Ohio in the area of Dispute Resolution. Additionally, several of Calfee's Litigation attorneys have been ranked by Benchmark Litigation as "Local Litigation Stars – Ohio" and as “40 & Under Hot List Honorees – Midwest.”

Professionals

Experience

Experience

  • Represented a publicly traded metals manufacturer on contractual recovery of $20 million from its seller to pay for plant site remediation of TCE contamination.
  • Represented a closely held coatings company and its principal in a state-led felony prosecution relating to alleged hazardous waste disposal.
  • Represented a publicly traded industrial gases manufacturer in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to a multi-party Superfund site where on-site incineration was a component of the remedy.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 chemical and plastics manufacturer in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to a multi-party Superfund site involving claims of surface water, stream sediment and wetlands contamination.
  • Represented a subsidiary of a Fortune 200 chemical manufacturer in administrative and contempt proceedings brought by the State of Ohio relating to a RCRA closure and groundwater remediation.
  • Represent a wholly-owned subsidiary of a global chemical company in its participation in the precedent-setting Great Lakes Legacy Act $82 million cleanup (alternative to Superfund) of the Ashtabula River.
  • Represent a publicly traded ferrous metals foundry in defense of claims brought by two paper companies relating contribution for the $1.5 billion cleanup of PCB contamination in the Lower Fox River System in Wisconsin.
  • Represented a State of Ohio department in its claims against a fuel tank farm owner and operator relating to one of the largest gasoline spills in Ohio history and its contamination of the neighboring Maumee River Crossing (interstate highway) construction project.
  • Represented a former paper manufacturer in defense of a CERCLA private cost recovery, RCRA citizen suit and state statutory contract common law claims relating to the alleged multi-million-dollar PCB cleanup of former paper mill facilities.
  • Represent a Fortune 1000 paint, coatings and related products holding company with respect to the nationwide management of its operating subsidiaries’ off-site and legacy environmental liabilities.
  • Represented a large Ohio municipality in defense of Clean Water Act SSO/CSO claims brought by Ohio and the United States resulting in a Consent Decree resolving thousands of days of violations with a $60,000 civil penalty and an extended construction schedule patterned after the city’s long-term control plan.

Representative Clients

Representative Clients

We are proud to have represented public and private companies such as the following:

  • Buckingham Coal Company
  • Chase Brass & Copper Company
  • Neenah Foundry Company
  • Praxair, Inc.
  • RPM International Inc.
  • Union Carbide Corporation

We also serve the State of Ohio, Ohio municipalities, and other government entities.

Client Feedback

Client Feedback

"I work as national counsel for a large firm. Calfee assisted us as local counsel. The lawyer we worked with, Christopher Jones, had prior experience as a high-level agency employee and had great insights into the views of the agency, the state government, the attorney general and other significant parties and stakeholders in a variety of areas. He was able to assist us in meeting with the right individuals and negotiating an end to a consent decree, general advice on air permitting and compliance, and guidance on local law issues. Everything one would want in local counsel."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"Calfee navigates complex governmental and regulatory issues by developing a strategic, issue-focused approach through an increasingly difficult environment."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings report


"The attorneys at Calfee, Halter & Griswold have performed very diligent research into the history of our matter and have provided a strong defense in the case."

– Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings report

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"The entire team provides outstanding legal services."

"The team as a whole is fantastic."

Client comments from the Chambers USA 2021 Guide

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