Overview

An environmental or workplace accident can be a harrowing event for any company — a moment when safety issues are thrust to center stage, when all policies and procedures come under the direct scrutiny of enforcement and regulatory agencies, and when civil and even criminal liability become real possibilities. Our Environmental and Workplace Safety attorneys are well acquainted with such crises. We are known for rapid response and effective management in some of the most high-profile environmental accidents of our time. When the stakes — financial, legal and reputational — are at their highest, we help our clients respond on every front.

Crisis-related counsel

Most of what we do stems either from our response to a crisis or from the learning we take away from one. Some of our clients know us for the compliance counseling and proactive risk management we provide on an ongoing basis. Others know us as the firm to call when an incident occurs or a subpoena arrives. They all know us for our effectiveness in dealing with any type of investigation or litigation, whether federal, state, local or private.

Powerful civil and white collar defense strategies

Many of our attorneys are former government investigators and litigators, so if civil actions are brought — by EPA, OSHA or any other regulatory body — we have strong track records on both sides of the table. If criminal action is forthcoming, against either the company or its employees, our robust white collar practice gets involved at the earliest stages of any investigation and sees it through to its final outcome.

Recognized for comprehensive excellence

In recognition of our reputation for excellence in enforcement, compliance and criminal matters, our attorneys were recently appointed court monitors overseeing the post-indictment compliance of Carnival Cruise Lines.

Our practice combines the full spectrum of capabilities relevant to environmental and workplace safety, including:

  • Incident response and strategic advice for company executives and attorneys
  • Deep knowledge of federal, state and local enforcement agencies
  • Broad investigatory and enforcement experience, with former federal environmental prosecutors on both civil enforcement matters and environmental crimes
  • In-depth counseling on workplace safety issues arising from incidents or inspections

Experience

  • Major accident and incident response
  • Represent Fortune 50 chemical manufacturer in investigations by the CSB, OSHA, the EPA and other agencies into a four-fatality accident resulting from the release of toxic chemicals, including subsequent enforcement.
  • Represent offshore production company after rig explosion and fire in response to BSEE civil and criminal investigation. Defend in related civil litigation.
  • Represent multiple facilities after major accident and fatality. Respond to OSHA inspection. Assist in simultaneous response to CSB and EPA inspections. Defend in personal injury and property damage lawsuits.
  • Represent supermajor in multi-agency investigation following refinery fire, including the CSB, the EPA, OSHA, and state and local agencies.
  • Workplace safety
  • Represent chemical manufacturer in fire that seriously injured two employees and resulted in investigations by OSHA and the EPA.
  • Represent vehicle manufacturer in an OSHA inspection into machine guarding and other workplace safety standards, including subsequent enforcement.
  • Advise major electric utility on the development and implementation of process safety management systems related to a multibillion-dollar capital project.
  • Represent Fortune 50 integrated energy company with respect to a loss of well control resulting in a contractor fatality and investigations by OSHA and other enforcement agencies.
  • Environmental civil and criminal enforcement
  • Represent Fortune 50 energy company in a federal criminal Clean Air Act/Risk Management Plan investigation focused on whether American Petroleum Institute Standards and Recommended Practices can be the basis for a criminal prosecution.
  • Represented an offshore labor services company in the Black Elk case, a federal criminal investigation of a multi-fatality explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that followed Deepwater Horizon. Successfully obtained dismissal of all felony counts in the indictment on a motion to dismiss.
  • Represent leading lawn and garden manufacturer in one of the largest FIFRA civil and criminal enforcement matters.
  • Defended one of the world's largest providers of wastewater management solutions in a federal criminal prosecution. Secured an acquittal of a 26-count criminal indictment.