J. Michael Showalter is a problem-solver whose practice focuses primarily on resolving high-stakes environmental disputes that are legally novel or technically complex. He is well-versed in decades-old statutes and regulations that govern rapidly-evolving areas issues such as fracking, superfund remediation and carbon capture sequestration. Mike’s mission is to cut through confusion and explain his clients’ needs to decision makers in terms they can easily digest.
While much of his current work involves disputes arising under environmental statutes including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, Mike has represented parties involved in commercial, class action, toxic tort and regulatory litigation in courts throughout the United States.
His past clients span diverse industries including manufacturing, power generation and transmission, and the financial and insurance sectors; and he has worked with hundreds of experts in fields ranging from history and economics to environmental engineering and risk assessment.
Mike’s beginnings in a West Virginia steel town provide him with a unique perspective when litigating headline-grabbing cases involving large industrial sites. Not only does he understand the details of each case, he can distill complicated facts into compelling arguments that carry weight with courts. This measured approach has successfully disentangled dozens of Mike’s clients from costly and time-consuming disputes.
- Mike defends parties against “citizen suits” brought by private parties and non-governmental organizations alleging that their activities have violated federal or state law. Recent successes include securing the dismissal with prejudice – upheld by the Ninth Circuit – of a case alleging that a West Coast utility’s use of hundreds of thousands of telephone poles was illegal, and securing the dismissal of air-related claims at the federal and state level against a Midwestern utility.
- In a high-profile case, Mike secured a summary judgment win for a natural gas company alleged to have contaminated groundwater through “fracking.” After the conclusion of expert discovery, the Court dismissed the claims, finding that Plaintiffs had failed to produce any evidence linking their damages to Mike’s client.
- Mike has extensive experience working on Superfund-related matters throughout the United States through both litigation and negotiation. Mike is part of the team representing National Grid at the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in New York City. National Grid is one of 28 parties that has been directed to investigate, characterize, and address contamination in a complex urban environment. In addition to this Site, Mike has assisted clients in resolving intractable disputes at various other high-profile sites through federal and state litigation and mediation.
- Vanderbilt Law School, J.D., 2004
- Columbia College – New York, A.B. , 2000
- New York
- West Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- American Bar Association
- The Sedona Conference
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