Harry M. Johnson, III combines his courtroom experience from trying dozens of complex cases, lasting weeks or months, with the substantive knowledge specific to environmental disputes. His precise experience is valued by clients to offer proactive counseling and an enhanced focus on resolution.
Pete began his career as a trial lawyer and he developed a significant broad-based trial practice. Since turning his focus to environmental litigation in the 1990s, he has been lead counsel in numerous trials, administrative evidentiary proceedings, and appeals covering a wide range of important environmental issues around the country.
As part of his environmental trial practice, Pete regularly advises clients on risk management to assist with compliance and to avoid private or governmental enforcement. In controversial permitting matters, he also advises clients early in the process in preparation for expected appeals.
Pete is a leader in the bar, and he is a past president of the Virginia Bar Association and past co-chair of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents. In addition to his other official duties, he has worked closely with the courts, as well as the legislative and executive branches, on matters involving the administration of justice.
Pete is deeply committed to public service and pro bono. He has devoted thousands of hours to pro bono clients, such as immigrant children, domestic violence victims, inmates, and charitable institutions, among many others. Pete has also served on many boards and committees dedicated to advancing the cause of pro bono.
- Tried seven-month case brought by environmental groups challenging new facility on numerous PSD and Title V grounds such as BACT, MACT and CAM, and argued all appeals. Judgment for client.
- Successfully defended appeal of PSD permit for client’s multibillion natural gas-fired power plant.
- Tried high-profile case seeking Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and Clean Air Act permits for proposed LNG export facility. Judgment for client.
- Represented client in defending challenges to transmission project under NEPA, CWA and NHPA. Judgment for client.
- Tried three-week Clean Air Act case in South Dakota brought by environmental organizations against proposed new facility. Judgment for client.
- Tried multiweek PSD and Title V case in Kentucky brought by environmental group against proposed new plant, and argued appeal. Judgment for client.
- Tried multiweek PSD and Title V case brought by environmental groups against proposed new gasification plant. Judgment for client.
- Represented utility in Environmental Appeals Board appeal challenging client’s permit for new natural gas-fired power plant. Judgment for client.
- Serves as national air permit defense counsel for large energy client.
- Advises clients on Natural Gas Act issues, including preemption.
- Advises multiple clients on New Source Review enforcement issues.
- Argued successful 8th Circuit appeal in citizens suit alleging NSPS and NSR violations (Sierra Club v. Otter Tail Power, et al.), which was named by a national publication as one of the most significant environmental decisions of 2010.
- Argued successful appeals in US Courts of Appeals from EPA decisions, effectively allowing clients’ multibillion dollar power plant projects to proceed.
- Defended multiple cases alleging violations of opacity and monitoring requirements under Clean Air Act permits and SIPs.
- Participated in various successful EPA and Environmental Appeals Board proceedings challenging air permits issued to clients.
- Represented companies in RCRA Citizens Suits, including successful opposition to petition for TRO alleging “imminent and substantial endangerment” after full evidentiary hearing.
- Represented companies in CERCLA cases, including allocation proceedings.
- Participated in litigation throughout the country as part of national litigation counsel team for Fortune 500 company, focusing on environmental litigation.
- Tried jury trial in federal court in Illinois involving dispute over allocation of environmental liabilities under Asset Purchase Agreement. Case settled on favorable terms before verdict.
- Handled numerous toxic tort cases around the country involving alleged exposures to solvents, lead, heavy metals, PAHs, coal tar pitch, asbestos, fluoride and other substances.
- Tried month-long jury trial in Arkansas in toxic tort case with 5 bellwether plaintiffs among group of 150 plaintiffs. Plaintiffs nonsuited all claims before jury returned verdict.
- Handled numerous Daubert hearings challenging experts engaged in “junk science,” including six-day evidentiary hearing in Louisiana in toxic tort case with more than 8,000 plaintiffs, and three-day evidentiary hearing in Arkansas in toxic tort case with 150 plaintiffs.
- First-chaired significant toxic tort case brought by plaintiff, who was dying of cancer. Case settled favorably three days into jury trial that was expected to last three weeks in state circuit court.
- Served as Regional Litigation Counsel for national residential mortgage lender; responsible for over 400 individual cases.
- Defended more than 50 serious products liability cases, including prevailing in one case that Fortune 100 client considered its “most dangerous ever.”
- Obtained $22 million cash settlement for client in suit for breach of Stock Purchase Agreement.
- Tried six-week jury trial in complex international commercial case involving manufacture of specialty industrial parts.
- Obtained preliminary injunction ordering technology company to close down after two-day evidentiary hearing as a result of its misappropriation of client’s software, databases and trade secrets; case settled on very favorable terms.
- Tried case in Virginia state court between real estate developer and mortgage lender over development of subdivision. Verdict and judgment for client.
- Tried case and obtained permanent injunction against District of Columbia on behalf of lessees whose leasehold rights were threatened with expropriation.
- Tried jury trial for two days before very favorable settlement on behalf of major bank suing another bank to recover multimillion dollar losses from mortgage broker’s fraudulent scheme.
- Handled hundreds of hearings and trials as pro bono counsel on behalf of Virginia state agency.
- JD, University of Virginia School of Law, Order of the Coif; Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review; Editorial Board, Virginia Journal of Law and Politics, 1988
- AB, Politics, Program in Political Economics, Princeton University, magna cum laude, 1985
- Past President, Virginia Bar Association
- Past Co-Chair, Southern Conference of Bar Presidents
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Past President, Virginia Bar Association Foundation
- Past President, Virginia Barristers Alliance, Inc.
- Vice-Chair, ABA – TIPS Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee
- Member, Board of Directors, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society
- Member, Board of Directors, Legal Aid Justice Center
Rate : $$$