Practice/Industry Group Overview
GrayRobinson's Environmental Practice Group handles a broad spectrum of environmental matters, including compliance, litigation and transaction advice. It has a long history of representation in numerous complex environmental matters as well as insurance coverage issues relating to these areas. We count four former chairs of the Florida Bar's Environmental and Land Use Law Section among our shareholders. The former general counsel and permitting division director of the predecessor to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is a shareholder. The former executive director of the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts is of Counsel to GrayRobinson. One of our shareholders served as General Counsel for more than 30 years to the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association.
Development and Environmental Permitting Experience
Our lawyers have practiced before every major federal, state and local permitting authority throughout the state, and many throughout the Southeast and in Washington, D.C. We not only have represented landowners and developers before the agencies, but also acted as counsel to counties, cities and special districts throughout Florida in their permitting processes. We have assisted in the conversion, location, permitting, operations, closure and postclosure of sites for manufacturing plants, utility plants, landfills, mines and other facilities in Florida. We have acted multiple times and continue to act as special counsel to state and regional environmental authorities.
GrayRobinson has been involved in a number of environmental cases, including governmental and private actions under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), indoor air pollution claims and diminution of property value (stigma) claims. The firm has also handled insurance coverage issues involving both mass tort and environmental claims.
Furthermore, being conversant with substantive and procedural issues, the firm's experience in multi-party litigation has enabled us to approach these cases in an extremely cost effective manner. We know how to properly organize and to staff a multi-party case. Also, due to our experience in these practice areas, we have developed a significant group of expert witnesses to address almost any aspect of a toxic tort or environmental law case.
Indoor Air Quality
The firm has considerable experience in such specialized areas of construction law as Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), including cases involving "sick building syndrome" and "building-related illness" issues. The firm counsels clients on IAQ risk management issues relating to new construction as well as the operation and maintenance of, and improvements to, existing facilities. The firm also counsels clients on IAQ issues relating to business transactions, such as real property sales and commercial leasing. We continue to counsel more clients on the ever-increasing amount of IAQ compliance issues, such as the initiatives at both the federal and state levels to promulgate new IAQ regulations. We also work to develop strategies for avoiding IAQ litigation. The firm has considerable experience in IAQ litigation. For example, the firm successfully defended two clients who were sued in the Martin County Courthouse IAQ litigation, which involved claims in excess of $25 million. Of the numerous persons and entities sued, our two clients were the only ones whose defense proved successful. As with our other areas of practice, we have represented a broad spectrum of clients in IAQ matters, including public and private owners and developers, architects and engineers and contractors. Our team stresses client involvement and results-oriented, cost-effective litigation.
Our attorneys have handled all manner of marine pollution incidents, including oil pollution, hazardous materials under CERCLA and a wide variety of claims under the Rivers and Harbors Act. They are also well-versed in all facets of marine natural resources damages and have litigated numerous seagrass and reef damage claims under the Park Systems Resource Protection Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and the Rivers and Harbors Act. Of particular significance is our attorneys' experience in handling environmental claims on behalf of both insurers and their insureds as well as multiple public entities.
Conservation and Submerged Lands
We have many attorneys who worked in and with state, local and federal agencies that handle submerged sovereign lands, mitigation banks, and conservation lands transactions. We assist our other lawyers and clients the sale and creation of all manner of creative conservation preservation deals with federal, state, regional and local governments as well as not-for-profits. We have former counsel and senior management for many of the state's environmental agencies, all of whom can help you determine strategies and tactics for the most complex deals with all of those entities.
Commitment to Quality
GrayRobinson incorporates the latest technological advances to ensure our legal services are delivered in the most cost-effective, timely and convenient manner to the client. We have developed and utilize a computerized document control system to manage complex litigation. This technology enables us to save our clients time and money in research and engage in online document sharing, communication and other information exchange via e-mail.
We are also familiar with and abide by defense counsel guidelines. We employ an automated status report system that ensures the client is advised of the status of a case at least every 30 days or as often as requested.
Our lawyers are admitted to practice at every level of the state and federal court system in Florida. If a case is referred to the appellate level, our attorneys are experienced in representing clients as both appellees and appellants, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.