Representative Environmental Clients
Outside General Environmental Counsel
- Served as outside general environmental counsel to one of the nation’s largest diversified wholesale distributors of electrical, plumbing and electric utility equipment, building materials, water and sewer products, air conditioning and heating equipment and supplies, water systems, and industrial pipe, valves and fittings.
- Selected as regional outside environmental counsel on behalf of major oil company overseeing and managing environmental litigation matters throughout the Southeastern United States.
Lead Outside Trial Counsel
- Lead trial counsel defending both federal and state lawsuits concerning the operation of a regional biosolids recycling facility in west, central Florida.
- Lead trial counsel to national media company pursuing a cost-recovery action for environmental cleanup costs from prior owner of facility located in the panhandle of northwest Florida.
- Lead trial counsel to large agricultural landowner along Florida’s east coast concerning flooding issues related to a third party’s actions and omissions.
- Trial counsel to a publicly-traded drinking water and waste water utility serving the needs of 13 million people in 13 states defending an action brought in west Florida involving claims of improper disposal of effluent from a waste water treatment facility resulting in alleged bodily injury and property damages from exposure to mold.
- Trial counsel for major oil company relating to it’s operation of a tank facility in Jacksonville Florida since the 1950s sued by dozens of individual property owners asserting claims of groundwater, soil, and air contamination along with personal injuries. (Interestingly, opposing counsel was the lawyer in the casemade into the movie “A Civil Action” and also counsel in the Karen Silkwood case.)
- Trial counsel for international communications companies and national defense contractor defending alawsuit brought by aggressive and prominent property owner concerning ground water contamination at acentral Florida electronics manufacturing facility.
- Trial counsel defending in federal court an action against an international mining company relating to a disputed easement that impacted millions of dollars of phosphate reserves south of Tampa Florida.
- Common Counsel to a participating defendants group, which clients include a national paper products producer and distributor, a telecommunications company, aeronautical/national defense contractors, and a tool fabricating company, providing group counsel relating to regulatory enforcement and cleanup of ground water and soil at a former solvent recycling business in Orlando.
- Trial Counsel to a Fortune 250 company and leader in dairy-based, consumer, food service and food ingredient products in a lawsuit brought by over one hundred residents of a small community alleging decades of groundwater pollution that has caused both personal injury and property damages in central Florida.
- Trial Counsel to an international news and information company prosecuting a cost recovery action against a national environmental consulting firm due to professional malpractice resulting in an underground storage tank failure in Melbourne Florida.
- Lead Defense Counsel in defending formal administrative challenges spanning over ten years brought by local governmental entities and environmental interest organizations concerning the issuance of Environmental Resource Permits, in combination with other necessary permits, for mining tens of thousands of acres in south central Florida.
- Lead counsel to national supplier of glass bottles and containers concerning the Jacksonville Whitehouse Superfund Site, which representation included negotiation of a consent decree involving innovative cleanup funding, de minimus settlement, and other various issues.
- Trial Counsel to a Texas-based, major oil company defending a state court lawsuit brought by adjacent property owners alleging proerty damages, lost profits, stigma damages, and other damages relating to ground water contamination from a former service station.
- Trial Counsel to an east central Florida manufacturing company prosecuting a cost recovery action after discovery of an underground storage tank.
- Trial Counsel prosecuting a professional malpractice claim on behalf of a county government in west, central Florida concerning an environmental site assessment.
- Trial Counsel to an Orlando electronics manufacturing company pursuing private cost recovery action against former owners of the property.
- Trial Counsel to former owners of a golf course in Naples in defense of an action to recover remediation costs and property damages, including stigma damages, from alleged ground water contamination.
Outside Environmental Counsel
- Counsel to a long-established Orlando flooring, roofing, and material supplier concerning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Toxic Substances Control Act.
- Counsel to a Florida-based crane and rigging company concerning enforcement activities by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection relating to hazardous waste, industrial wastewater, stormwater.
- Counsel to various clients performing due diligence activities in the pursuit of aquiring facilities located throughout Florida.
- Counsel to companies facing enforcement action by regulatory authorities, including evaluation of the merits of the alleged violations, review and challenge to inappropriate penalty computations, and negotiation of administrative consent orders.
- Counsel to various Florida businesses concerning the appropriate and effective use of a self-audit program that incorporates the use of applicable “legal privileges” to protect against the unnecessary disclosure of sensitive information.
- Counsel to an industrial wastewater treatment facility in Orlando concerning working with state regulators on certain compliance matters.
Representative Environmental Practice Areas
Ryan Law attorneys assist clients to plan, implement, and adhere to environmental laws and regulations. Whether at the federal, state, or local level, we partner to achieve required day-to-day compliance, periodic auditing, occassional reporting, and other aspects of conducting business in a regulated community.
Cost Recovery Actions
Ryan Law attorneys have prosecuted and defended cost recovery actions relating to the allocation of environmental cleanup costs among current and former owners of property.
Ryan Law attorneys are veteran litigators. While costly, and uncertain, defending a lawsuit is mostly an unavoidable business activity, and prosecuting an action may be the only method available to get the attention of a bad actor. In either case, our attorneys are ready: ready to go to trial, as necessary, and ready to spot early paths to resolution.
Ryan Law attorneys look to create an atmosphere of cooperation with the regulators as part of the permitting process. Insightful interpretation of permitting rules and “basis of review” adds value to the legal role in the permitting process.
We expressed disagreement over the interpretation of certain permitting requirements that would be enforceable requirements in the issued permit, which prevented disadvantageous permit conditions “hanging over the head” of our client for years.
Regulatory Enforcement Action
Ryan Law attorneys work to protect clients from enforcement actions by participating in ongoing compliance awareness and proactive measures to detect and cure potential non-compliance situations. When agency action occurs, we have developed the working relationships to handle the resolution of the violation. With an eye always toward an “exit strategy” we constantly bear in mind the client’s strategic goals.
We recently assisted a client in resolving an enforcement action and substantially reducing the penalty imposed by creatively employing a “pollution prevention project” and organizing an ongoing self-audit program.
Ryan Law attorneys have defended business against mass tort claims by plaintiffs alleging both personal injury, including medical monitoring claims, and property damages. The plaintiff’s claims have concerned air, soil, and groundwater.
We obtained an early and advantageous resolution to a recent matter, by way of example, by seeking and obtaining a “Lone Pine Order” from the state court judge.
Internal and Regulatory Investigations
Whether developing a corporate environmental compliance program, anticipating or responding to a regulatory enforcement action, a due diligence inquiry, or for other reasons, we can help. We are experienced in defining the scope of an audit and its objectives, assisting in preparing the auditors, in performing internal investigations, and preparing applicable reports. We give important attention to legal privileges and protecting against the creation of “evidence” that could be used against you in future litigation or adversarial proceedings.