A longtime litigator and project team leader, Thomas Sansonetti helps clients permit and develop projects with potential obstacles in mind. Long before a lawsuit can threaten a project, he counsels clients on how to develop effective plans of action that will meet government environmental permitting requirements and stand up to judicial scrutiny when those clients’ projects are challenged in court.
Tom joined Holland & Hart in 1993 and has built a nationally recognized practice in natural resources and environmental law. Considered an expert in natural resources and environmental matters, Tom has served as one of the top leaders in the Department of Justice and also has held the third-ranking position in the Department of the Interior.
He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and in several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, and has served as a federal prosecutor in environmental crimes cases. Tom’s appellate experience highlights his ability to argue cases at all levels of the federal court system.
- American Indian law
- Appeals of adverse federal agency decisions before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and Interior Board of Indian Appeals
- Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act issues
- Development of renewable energy projects, including geothermal, solar, and wind projects
- Permitting of oil and natural gas pipelines and electric transmission, including right-of-ways
- Public lands management
- Surface mining development and reclamation
- Washington & Lee University, J.D., 1976
- University of Virginia, Colgate Darden School, M.B.A., 1973
- University of Virginia, B.A., 1971
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Circuit of Appeals for the D.C., Federal, First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits
Professional and Civic Affiliations:
- Washington & Lee University School of Law, Member, Law Council, 2011-Present
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Natural Resources Law, 2012 Practitioner in Residence
- United States Commission on Civil Rights for the State of Wyoming, Chairman, 2008-2012
- Republican National Committee, General Counsel, 2001
- Wyoming’s Republican National Committeeman, 1996-2001
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