James K. Vines specializes in environmental, health and safety, or EHS, matters and is head of our U.S. OSHA and international health & safety practice. A substantial portion of his practice is advising clients in response to industrial accidents resulting in serious injuries, fatalities and catastrophic damage to facilities.
He has had leadership roles in such matters for over 25 years and has handled major industrial incident and crisis response in the U.S. and overseas with particular experience in the oil and gas, chemical, petro-chemical, automotive, and rubber/synthetic rubber industries.
Jim also represents clients in other corporate crises situations involving high profile government investigation and enforcement actions addressing EHS and other regulatory compliance issues.
A common characteristic of these matters is the need for privileged internal investigations to support response to numerous simultaneous government investigations involving civil and criminal scrutiny. Such matters also typically include challenges to the adequacy of corporate governance processes related to regulatory compliance.
Jim is a former United States Attorney and was a law clerk to the Chief Justice, United States Supreme Court, and to a senior United States District Judge. He served for eight years as head of EHS for a large global manufacturer.
Jim has also advised clients in EHS regulatory and transactional due diligence matters in the U.S. and across a large number of jurisdictions around the world. He frequently provides counsel on compliance with OSHA’s Process Safety Management, or PSM, standard and other process safety issues beyond the reach of the PSM regulations. From his work in the oil and gas industry, Jim has strong familiarity and experience with the industry’s operational integrity/operational excellence management systems applied in upstream, midstream, downstream and marine operations.
Jim has counseled and represented clients in litigation related to most of the major federal environmental laws and many counterpart state laws. Over the course of his career, he has represented clients at over 400 federal CERCLA, RCRA Corrective Action and state law regulated environmental cleanup sites.
As a United States Attorney, Jim prosecuted federal environmental crimes and served as a member of the Attorney General’s Environmental Issues Subcommittee, dealing with national environmental prosecutorial initiatives.
- J.D., Washington and Lee University
- B.S., Washington and Lee University
- District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
- Tennessee, Washington, D.C.
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