- Energy & Natural Resources
- Mining & Minerals
- Environmental & Natural Resources
- Climate Change & Sustainability
- Environmental & Chemical Regulation
- Environmental Remediation & Superfund
|Contact Info||Telephone: 816.983.8151|
|University ||Michigan State University, B.S. & B.A., Social Sciences, with honors, 1968; The University of Vermont, M.Ed., 1970|
|Law School||University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1975|
|Admitted||2006, Kansas; 2001, U.S. Supreme Court; 1996, Minnesota; 2010, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; 2001, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana; 1975, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana; 2008, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas; 1996, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota,; 2002, Missouri; 2002, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri; 2002, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri; 1997, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin; 1998, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit; 1977, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; 1998, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit; 2005, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; 1975, Indiana|
Professional Associations and Memberships
•Energy and Mineral Law Foundation
•Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
With a deep and lengthy connection to environmental law, W.C. is a seasoned litigator within the firm's Energy & Natural Resources team. His more than 35 years of experience covers a broad spectrum of issues and industries in litigation under the Superfund statute, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the common law of environmental injury claims. He is a source of valuable counsel in environmental law permitting, compliance and transaction matters.
W.C. has defended dozens of enforcement actions initiated by federal and state environmental agencies against manufacturing, mining and other industrial facilities under the air, water, solid and hazardous waste, toxic substances and other environmental laws. In addition, he has represented clients in approximately 60 Superfund cases.
Among W.C.'s noteworthy industry accomplishments are:
•Prosecuting a federal civil rights lawsuit against a governor, lieutenant governor and head of the state environmental agency based on a theory of violations of constitutional equal protection and commerce clause rights in the denial of a rural-electric generating cooperative's application to construct a new coal-fired power plant. This resulted in a favorable outcome.
•Obtaining favorable results defending national coal company in lawsuit brought by public water supply organization alleging ground water contamination from closed mine.
•Representing and obtaining favorable settlements for one of the largest U.S. landfill gas-to-energy project developers in three significant contract cases.
For more than three decades, W.C. also has defended personal injury claims arising out of alleged exposures to toxic substances. He was national coordinating counsel for the then-largest U.S. mobile home/travel trailer manufacturer for many years in connection with formaldehyde claims. He handled all federal black lung cases for two national coal companies in two Midwestern states, with an outstanding trial won-loss record and precedent-setting results in U.S. Circuit Courts for the Seventh and Tenth Circuits and has substantial experience in other particulate inhalation cases.
In addition to W.C.'s environmental and mining practice, he has represented national companies in significant commercial litigation; defended national companies in age, race, and sex discrimination cases and other labor and employment litigation; defended engineering, surveying, and legal malpractice cases; and managed all consumer economic litigation for two U.S. automobile manufacturers in a populous Midwestern state for nearly 20 years.
Awards and Recognitions
•The Best Lawyers in America
•Chambers USA, Environmental Law, 2011-2014
•International Corporate Law Handbook of Environmental Lawyers
•Who's Who in American Law: USA - Environmental
•Prosecuted federal civil rights lawsuit against governor, lieutenant governor, and the head of the state's environmental agency based on a theory of violations of constitutional equal protection and commerce clause rights in the denial of a rural electric generating cooperative's application to construct a new coal-fired power plant, resulting in favorable settlement.
•Defended national coal company in lawsuit brought by public water supply organization alleging ground water contamination from closed mine, resulting in favorable settlement.
•Obtained favorable results as lead counsel in defense of three lawsuits against national coal company involving claims by approximately 75 neighbors (including two churches) of blasting damage due to low amplitude but low frequency vibrations at distances of up to five miles from the mines, under common law theories of trespass, nuisance, negligence and ultra-hazardous activities, plus Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) claims.
•Defended national coal company against challenge by neighbor to SMCRA permit extension, involving water rights and possible subsidence issues arising out of planned de-watering of old underground works underlying both areas to be mined and neighbor's property and novel issues of alleged effects of low magnitude but extremely low frequency vibrations having nationwide implications for SMCRA program. A favorable outcome resulted.
•Defended national coal company in two major breaches of contract cases in federal court. Obtained dismissal and summary judgment on most valuable claims.
•Handled all strict liability blasting litigation with neighbors of surface mines in two Midwestern states for major national coal company. Defended nine cases (mostly jury trials) to judgment with positive outcomes and secured dismissals in nine others.
•Defended three national defense contractors in lawsuit brought by neighbors of rocket fuel manufacturing facility alleging personal injuries and property damage due to perchlorate contamination of surface water, resulting in favorable settlement.
•Defended national coal company against several dozen alleged violations of state fugitive dust rules by which state environmental agency sought the imposition of penalties far in excess of any ever imposed up to that time, resulting in finding of no liability.
•Defended SMCRA and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits against environmental group challenges in cases involving a new underground coal mine, a new coal-fired power plant, and coal combustion waste disposal facilities, resulting in denials of challenges.
•Represented one of the largest U.S. landfill gas-to-energy project developers in three significant contract cases involving: a federal court lawsuit by a gas customer alleging failure to capture and deliver all available gas; an arbitration case involving a landfill owner's claims based on an alleged failure to make payments required by gas rights agreement; and a federal court lawsuit alleging the wrongful termination of a gas rights agreement by a landfill owner.
•Favorable settlements for all three cases resulted.
6.04.09 Preparing for Change: Regulation of Greenhouse Gases
10.30.08 Navigating a Changing World
Seminar St. Louis, MO
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