David F. Michelman

David F. Michelman: Attorney with Michelman & Bricker, P.C. AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


David Michelman has been active in the field of environmental law for more than 35 years. He is recognized for his ability to take a leadership role in litigating or settling Superfund cases involving multimillion dollar cleanups of landfills. He is often asked to serve as Liaison Counsel and/or Common Counsel, to represent the common interests of large groups of parties. In this role, he has successfully steered such cases away from expensive, uncontrolled litigation, toward a managed, cost effective ADR process that is used as a model for other sites. He negotiates de micromis and de minimis settlements designed to get individual parties out of these cases at an early stage. He also participates in global settlement negotiations, on behalf of all of the remaining parties, to settle all of the federal or state governments' claims against them.

His practice also involves counseling clients on environmental compliance issues, permitting and real estate transactions, and representing them in litigation involving landfill cleanups and natural resource damage claims, air quality and asbestos management issues, soil and groundwater discharges from ongoing manufacturing operations, disturbances of wetlands, leaking underground storage tanks, stormwater management problems, violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act and FIFRA, and toxic tort claims for property damage and personal injuries.

He has developed innovative ways of settling litigation (and reducing fines and civil penalties) through funding EPA-approved Supplemental Environmental Projects, including: (1) an EPCRA education and training program which provided compliance seminars to the business community and general public in Puerto Rico, as part of the first multi-party settlement that EPA ever entered into under EPCRA; (2) a pollution reduction plan under which a graphics design company completely changed its operating process to phase out all use of a regulated hazardous substance over a three-year period; and (3) a shellfish restoration and pollution reduction project to re-seed 2.5 million clams to replenish Barnegat Bay, New Jersey's shellfish population and to remove nitrogen and other nutrients from this marine estuary.

In 1974, while he was with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), he participated in focusing nationwide attention on the destruction of the ozone layer of the upper atmosphere, by bringing lawsuits against various federal agencies to seek a ban on aerosol spray products containing chlorofluorocarbons. Thereafter, during more than a decade of public service with the District Attorney of Philadelphia, he helped found the field of environmental criminal law, developing and supervising criminal prosecutions for the illegal storage and disposal of hazardous, industrial, municipal and infectious wastes. David Michelman was responsible for bringing the first criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania under the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, against a hazardous waste transporter who bribed city employees to dump more than 1.5 million gallons of toxic waste at the Enterprise Avenue Landfill. As a result of this investigation and prosecution, the City of Philadelphia successfully cleaned up this site, and was able to persuade the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make this the first Superfund site to be removed from the National Priorities List (NPL).

Areas of Practice (228)

  • Environmental Law
  • Superfund
  • Air Pollution
  • Air Quality
  • Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Chemical Regulation
  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Climate Change
  • Coastal Environmental Law
  • Endangered Species
  • Environmental Administrative Law
  • Environmental Arbitration
  • Environmental Auditing
  • Environmental Cleanup
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Environmental Contamination
  • Environmental Bankruptcy
  • Environmental Business Law
  • Environmental Class Actions
  • Environmental Corporate Law
  • Environmental Criminal Defense
  • Environmental Cost Recovery
  • Environmental Criminal Law
  • Environmental Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental Due Diligence
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Environmental Insurance
  • Environmental Insurance Claims
  • Environmental Insurance Coverage
  • Environmental Insurance Defense
  • Environmental Legislative Practice
  • Environmental Lender Liability
  • Environmental Liability
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Environmental Mediation
  • Environmental Penalties
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Environmental Real Estate
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Environmental Risk Management
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Gas Pollution
  • Groundwater Contamination
  • Habitat Conservation
  • Hazardous Materials and Substances
  • Hazardous Materials Management
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation
  • Hazardous Waste Permits
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous Waste Liability
  • Hazardous Waste Regulation
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • International Environmental Law
  • Medical Waste
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Oil Pollution
  • Oil Spills
  • Pesticide Regulation
  • Pollution
  • Property Remediation
  • Protected Species
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Solid Waste
  • Solid Waste Disposal
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Solid Waste Regulation
  • Toxic Chemicals
  • Toxic Substance Liability
  • Toxic Substance Regulation
  • Toxic Substances
  • Underground Storage Tanks
  • Water Pollution
  • Water Quality
  • Wetlands Protection
  • Wetlands Regulation
  • Wildlife Law
  • Health Care
  • Government Health Care Contracts
  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Care Compliance
  • Health Care Contracts
  • Health Care Corporate Law
  • Health Care Facility Licensing
  • Health Care Facility Regulation
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Health Care Liability
  • Health Care Licensing
  • Health Care Litigation
  • Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Health Care Privacy
  • Health Care Regulation
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Health Law
  • Home Health Care
  • Integrated Health Care Delivery Systems
  • Managed Care Contracts
  • Managed Care Liability
  • Medical Antitrust
  • Medical Collections
  • Medical Ethics
  • Medical Law
  • Mental Health Law
  • Nurses Licensing
  • Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
  • Nursing Home Liability
  • Nursing Home Litigation
  • Nursing Home Negligence
  • Nursing Home Regulation
  • Nursing Law
  • Pharmacy Law
  • Physician Practices
  • Physicians Contracts
  • Physicians Licensing
  • Construction Law
  • Construction and Design Law
  • Construction and Surety Law
  • Construction Claims
  • Construction Contracts
  • Construction Defects
  • Construction Insurance Defense
  • Construction Liability
  • Construction Litigation
  • Construction Safety
  • Contractor Performance Bonds
  • Contractors Liability
  • Environmental Construction Law
  • Public Construction Law
  • Public Works
  • Stucco Litigation
  • Roof Industry Liability
  • Family Law
  • Alimony
  • Collaborative Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Divorce Arbitration
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Domestic Violence
  • Domestic Relations
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Family Arbitration
  • Family Mediation
  • Gay and Lesbian Family Law
  • Legal Separation Agreements
  • Marital Agreements
  • Marital Property Distribution
  • Marital Property Law
  • Marital Property Settlements
  • Matrimonial Law
  • No Fault Divorce
  • Non-Traditional Family Law
  • Paternity
  • Post Divorce Modification
  • Postnuptial Agreements
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
  • Restraining Orders
  • Spousal Support
  • Uncontested Divorce
  • Business Law
  • Business Crimes
  • Business Dissolutions
  • Business Enterprises
  • Business Estate Planning
  • Business Formation
  • Business Arbitration
  • Business Fraud
  • Business Litigation
  • Business Mediation
  • Business Organization
  • Business Planning
  • Business Regulation
  • Business Start-Ups
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Business Successions
  • Business Transactions
  • Business Transfers
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Buying and Selling of Businesses
  • Family Business Law
  • Family Business Mediation
  • Limited Liability Company Law
  • Minority Business Law
  • Professional Practices
  • Small Business Law
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Embezzlement
  • White Collar Fraud
  • Management Employment Law
  • Affirmative Action
  • Age Discrimination in Employment
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Covenants Not To Compete
  • Employee Discipline
  • Employer Liability
  • Employer Rights
  • Employment Arbitration
  • Employment Breach of Contract
  • Employment Civil Rights
  • Employment Claims
  • Employment Defense
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Litigation
  • Employment Mediation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Law
  • Executive Employment Law
  • Executive Severance Contracts
  • Fair Employment Practices
  • Fair Labor Standards
  • Human Resources Law
  • Labor Law
  • Labor Relations
  • Management Labor Law
  • National Origin Discrimination
  • Noncompete Litigation
  • Noncompetition and Non-Solicitation
  • Agreements
  • Personnel Policies
  • Personnel Training
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Title VII Discrimination
  • Union Contract Negotiations
  • WARN Act
  • Wrongful Termination Defense

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
215-914-5881  Phone
215.557.9440  Phone
215.557.9450  Fax
University Attended:
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1971
Law School Attended:
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1974
Year of First Admission:
1987 - U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania; 1991 - U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; 1989 - Massachusetts; 2010 - U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts; 1975 - Pennsylvania; 1990 - New Jersey and U.S. District Court of New Jersey
Honorably Discharged
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover

Peer Reviews

4.6/5.0 (15 reviews)
High ethical standing icon
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Partner on 10/02/14 in Environmental Litigation

    I have had cases both with and against David Michelman. He is an excellent lawyer with the highest ethics.

    I have had cases both with and against David Michelman. He is an excellent lawyer with the highest ethics. Read less

    Read less
  • 5.0/5.0 Rated by a Government Counsel on 09/27/14 in Environmental Contamination

    I have known David Michelman for nearly 30 years, and worked with him professionally for approximately 3 years, at different times. He is an excellent lawyer, in terms both of his substantive knowledge of environemntal and construction law, and his... Read more

    Read more

    I have known David Michelman for nearly 30 years, and worked with him professionally for approximately 3 years, at different times. He is an excellent lawyer, in terms both of his substantive knowledge of environemntal and construction law, and his affect working with clinets, colleages and adversaries. Read less

    Read less

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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