Law Seminars International Presents:

The 11th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference on Litigating

Natural Resource Damages

Best strategies and tactics to handle large, complex NRD cases today

July 18 & 19, 2017

Santa Fe, NM
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

Download PDF Brochure
Santa Fe - NM


Who Should Order

In-house and private attorneys, consultants, corporate managers, Tribal and governmental representatives, and others who are involved in natural resource damage claims

Why You Should Order

The 2017 Santa Fe Advanced Natural Resource Damages Conference is celebrating more than a decade as one of the leading NRD conferences in the nation. It will again feature an incredible faculty and program.

The conference will focus on the work of the Obama Administration and the transition of federal environmental policy under the Trump Administration including the impact on what to expect from federal trustees in the years ahead. The changes in federal policy are likely to result in adaptive changes by state and tribal trustees. NGOs may step forward to a greater extent.

The conference will also feature the latest on legal issues relating to NRD assessments and litigation, including potential changes in Chevron deference, issues presented by lack of agreement among trustees, special issues for multi-district NRD litigation, lessons from development of new scientific evidence in Deepwater Horizon, and issues relating to the admissibility of scientific evidence in NRD cases.

Today, the stakes presented by NRD assessments and litigation have grown to staggering proportions. As the Chairs of this Conference, we are proud to bring the leaders in natural resources policy, science and litigation together to tackle many of the most pressing and difficult environmental issues of our time in a forum that facilitates interaction among all of the participants and faculty in the extraordinary city of Santa Fe.

Sandra Edwards, Esq., of Farella Braun + Martel LLP and William J. Jackson, Esq., of Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs Program Co-Chairs.

What You Will Learn

  • ~ NRD developments during the Obama Administration
  • ~ Policy changes during the Trump Administration and the impact on what to expect from federal trustees
  • ~ Strategies and adaptive changes of state and Tribal trustees
  • ~ Options for greater participation by NGOs in NRD cases
  • ~ Strategies for dealing with NRD sites where the trustees are not acting in concert
  • ~ Impact of the change in administration for NRD at federal facilities
  • ~ The leaps in science from the Deepwater Horizon case
  • ~ Admissibility issues for technical evidence
  • ~ The role of multi-district litigation and impact on NRD claims

What Attendees Said

  • "Yes, great conference! Thanks to all the organizers."
  • "It was fun and wonderful to keep learning. A great faculty and wonderful hosts!
  • "This seminar is an interesting and provocative forum for divergent views. Excellent Job!"
  • "It was a superb conference from beginning to end. Great speakers all."

Agenda Day 1

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Sandra A. Edwards, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Farella Braun + Martel LLP / San Francisco, CA

William J. Jackson, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs / Houston, TX

8:45 am

Special Opening Address

A litigator's perspective on NRD developments during the Obama administration

John C. Cruden, Esq. , President - Elect
American College of Environmental Lawyers / Washington, DC

9:30 am

Current Developments in Federal Environmental Policy

What we should expect from federal trustees in the coming years

Brian Israel, Esq.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP / Washington, DC

Craig R. O'Connor, Esq. , Special Counsel for Natural Resources
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Seattle, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Adaptive Changes and Strategies of State and Tribal Trustees

To what extent will they be more inclined, and have the resources, to take the lead in pursuing NRD claims and litigation?

Mary Capdeville, Esq. , Assistant Attorney General
Montana Natural Resource Damage Program / Helena, MT

David F. Askman, Esq.
The Askman Law Firm LLC / Denver, CO

11:30 am

Update on Legislative Proposals to Change Deference to Agency Interpretation of Ambiguous Statutes and Regulations

Practical implications for NRD litigation in light of the complex technical issues involved

Ira M. Gottlieb, Esq.
McCarter & English LLP / Newark, NJ

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm


Options for greater participation and where they can make the greatest impact; how changing political dynamics affect selection of the approach for early restoration and eventual settlement

Bradley M. Campbell, Esq. , President
Conservation Law Foundation / Boston, MA

1:45 pm

Potentially Responsible Party and Outside Counsel Work through a Case Management Strategy for a NRD Claim

Sandra A. Edwards, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Farella Braun + Martel LLP / San Francisco, CA

Kevin J. Vaughan, Esq. , Counsel, Environmental & Safety
Exxon Mobil Corporation / Spring, TX

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Strategies and Impacts at NRD Sites Where the Trustees are Not Acting in Concert

There are an increasing number of NRD sites where the federal, state, and Tribal trustees are not acting in concert: What is the impact on injury assessment, credit mechanisms, litigation and settlement?

William J. Jackson, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs / Houston, TX

Robert E. Unsworth , Principal and Director
Industrial Economics, Incorporated / Cambridge, MA

Robert C. Bylsma, Esq. , Senior Regional Environmental Counsel
Union Pacific Railroad Company / Roseville, CA

4:15 pm

The Role and Potential Impacts of Multi-District Litigation on Natural Resource Damages Claims

From Deepwather Horizon to MTBE, Multi-District Litigation has impacted the way courts and counsel manage large scale NRD cases: Standards for MDL consolidation cases

John S. Guttmann, Jr., Esq. , Principal
Beveridge & Diamond PC / Washington, DC

Scott E. Kauff, Esq.
Law Offices of John K. Dema PC / Rockville, MD

Christopher Locke, Esq.
Farella Braun + Martel LLP / San Francisco, CA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Farella Braun + Martel LLP and Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs

Agenda Day 2

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

8:30 am

Debating the Leaps in Science from the Deepwater Horizon Case

The state of the science after this groundbreaking NRDA: Was the science conducted by the natural resource trustees novel, innovative, and ground breaking, or was it not adequately subjected to serious scientific scrutiny?

Robert Haddad, Ph.D. , Group Vice President & Principal Scientist - Environmental & Earth Sciences
Exponent / Menlo Park, CA

Lisa M. Dipinto, Ph.D. , Senior Scientist
NOAA Office of Response and Restoration / Silver Spring, MD

William Gala, Ph.D. , Consulting Scientist
Chevron Energy Technology Company / San Ramon, CA

Kevin D. Reynolds, Ph.D. , Department of the Interior Case Manager
Deepwater Horizon NRDAR / Atlanta, GA

Kenneth Jenkins, Ph.D.
Independent Consultant / Occidental, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Admissibility of Technical Evidence: Practitioner Perspectives on Getting New Science into the Record, or Keeping it Out

Ann L. Al-Bahish, Esq.
Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs / Houston, TX

Amanda G. Halter, Esq.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP / Houston, TX

11:30 am

Special Closing Address: Practical Implications of Regulatory Reform in the Trump Era

How deregulatory initiatives by the Trump Administration and Congress will impact environmental protection, governance, and the rule of law; impact of withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on environmental leadership and state opportunities for innovation

Scott Fulton, Esq. , President
Environmental Law Institute / Washington, DC

12:00 pm

Grand Rounds Wrap Up

Insights from members of the faculty

Sandra A. Edwards, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Farella Braun + Martel LLP / San Francisco, CA

William J. Jackson, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs / Houston, TX

12:15 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Sandra A. Edwards, Sandra A. Edwards, Program Co-Chair is a partner at Farella Braun + Martel LLP. She is the Chair of Farella's Environmental Law Department.

William J. Jackson, William J. Jackson, Program Co-Chair is managing partner of Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs' Texas offices and is co-chair of the firm's Environmental Practice Group. He has one of the most sophisticated and successful environmental and natural resource damages litigation practices in the country.

John C. Cruden, John C. Cruden, Special Address, is President - Elect of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Previously, he was an Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, and President of the Environmental Law Institute.

Ann L. Al-Bahish Ann L. Al-Bahish is a partner at Kelley Drye/Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs. She focuses on environmental litigation and has worked on significant water pollution cases in New Jersey and Oregon.

David F. Askman David F. Askman is the founder of The Askman Law Firm LLC. He specializes in environmental and indigenous peoples representation. Previously, he was Senior Counsel for the Environmental Enforcement Section at the United States Department of Justice.

Robert C. Bylsma, Robert C. Bylsma, Senior Regional Environmental Counsel, Union Pacific Railroad Company, is responsible for handling environmental matters including compliance, site remediation, permitting, and defense of regulatory actions and litigation.

Bradley M. Campbell Bradley M. Campbell is President of the Conservation Law Foundation. He formerly served as Regional Administrator at the U.S. EPA Mid-Atlantic Region and as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Mary Capdeville Mary Capdeville serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program. She focuses on CERCLA, OPA, and Montana's state Natural Resource Damages law.

Lisa M. Dipinto, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist for NOAA Office of Response and Restoration. She was the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Case Coordinator for NOAA.

Scott Fulton is President, Environmental Law Institute. Previously, he served as General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

William Gala Ph.D., is a Consulting Scientist with Chevron Energy Technology Company. He has over twenty years experience in ecotoxicological issues such as ecological risk assessments (ERAs), water, sediment and effluent monitoring programs, and other site investigation efforts.

Ira M. Gottlieb Ira M. Gottlieb is a partner at McCarter & English LLP. He leads the Environment & Energy Practice Group. Previously, he was Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. EPA Region III.

John S. Guttmann, Jr. John S. Guttmann, Jr. is a principal at Beveridge & Diamond PC. He represents companies in complex, high-stakes toxic tort, product liability and environmental litigation.

Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Robert Haddad, Ph.D., is the Group Vice President & Principal Scientist - Environmental & Earth Sciences for Exponent. He served for 8 years, as head of NOAA's Assessment & Restoration Division (ARD) and as one of three leads for NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation, Restoration Program (DARRP).

Amanda G. Halter Amanda G. Halter is counsel in Pillsbury's Environmental & Natural Resources practice. Her practice includes contamination investigations and remedial actions, natural resource damages, and mass toxic tort actions.

Brian Israel Brian Israel chairs the Environmental Practice Group at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. He is one of the nation's leading lawyers for NRD claims and served as lead counsel to BP in relation to the Deepwater Horizon NRD claim. He also was one of the attorneys representing BP at the Deepwater Horizon Clean Water Act (CWA) penalty trial.

Kenneth Jenkins Ph.D. Kenneth Jenkins Ph.D. has more than 35 years of experience in environmental consulting and expert services. He has given testimony before Congress, and briefed congressional staff on environmental issues relating to damages to natural resources. He has also served as a member of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB).

Scott E. Kauff is Of Counsel at the Law Offices of John K. Dema PC, where he concentrates on environmental and toxic torts litigation and represents several trustees and governmental entities with respect to numerous NRD, remediation and product liability claims.

Christopher Locke Christopher Locke is a senior partner at Farella Braun + Martel LLP. His practice includes counseling and representation of clients in environmental litigation, including matters involving natural resource damages, air quality, water quality, hazardous waste, NEPA/CEQA, cost recovery, and defense of civil and criminal enforcement actions and citizen suits.

Craig R. O'Connor is Special Counsel for the Natural Resources Section of Office of General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He provides legal advice to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service. As the former section chief, he provided legal and management oversight to NOAA's NRDA program and directed the preparation and implementation of the OPA NRDA regulations.

Kevin D. Reynolds Ph.D., is the Department of the Interior Case Manager for Deepwater Horizon NRDAR.

Robert E. Unsworth is a Principal and Director at Industrial Economics, Incorporated. He focuses his consulting practice on applied natural resource and environmental economics, has served as an expert witness in the context of environmental damage claims and has assisted various public commissions on topics in environmental valuation.

Kevin J. Vaughan is Counsel, Environmental & Safety, at Exxon Mobil Corporation. He focuses on Superfund and natural resource damage issues.


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 10 New Mexico CLE Credits and 10 Washington CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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