Negotiating Consent Decrees for Environmental Violations

Mission-Critical Strategies for Negotiating, Modifying and Managing Compliance

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide lawyers negotiating consent decrees for violations of environmental regulations. Our panel will offer violation-specific best practices, and present fellow practitioners with mission-critical pointers on navigating the long and arduous process of negotiating and entering a consent decree after a notice of violation. The panel will also address how to avoid missteps in negotiating modifications of consent decrees after entry.

Description

Negotiating settlement for violations of environmental regulations is a long and potentially arduous process. Negotiations over the resulting consent decree may have occurred over several years against a constantly shifting landscape. The replacement of key decisionmakers, changes in the law, and differing enforcement priorities from one administration to the next can combine to create significant challenges to crafting a long-range solution.

During the negotiation process, practitioners representing enforcement targets must also consider the potential for litigation in the event settlement is unattainable. This not only requires an ongoing evaluation of potential defenses and readiness to downshift into trial prep but also a deep enough understanding of the issues and stakes to offer strategic advice on ways to potentially maximize the benefits of the process. Consent decree obligations may be more agreeable, for example, if the terms offer the target a strategic advantage over competitors regarding cost or innovation.

Listen as our panel of environmental attorneys shares from their deep experience negotiating consent decrees and provides other practitioners fresh insight on navigating the process, pitfalls to avoid, and how to maximize potential advantages along the way.

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Outline

  1. Overview of consent decrees
    1. Violation-specific considerations
    2. Available defenses
  2. Enforcement actions
  3. Citizen suits
  4. Potential strategic advantages
  5. Modifying consent decrees
    1. Change of circumstances
    2. Change of law
    3. Force majeure

Benefits

The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • How can counsel leverage available defenses to gain better long-range footing when negotiating consent decrees?
  • What adjustments should counsel make to accommodate apparent differences in enforcement priorities under the current administration?
  • What steps can counsel take to manage changes in personnel, law and circumstances during the negotiation process?

Faculty

Chermak, Douglas
Douglas J. Chermak

Partner
Lozeau | Drury

Mr. Chermak practice concentrates on environmental law, with a focus on water quality and the Clean Water Act. Prior to...  |  Read More

Haroff, Kevin
Kevin T. Haroff

Partner
Marten Law

Mr. Haroff is a highly regarded litigator with significant expertise and experience in complex environmental matters....  |  Read More

Nicholson-Choice, Maribel
Maribel N. Nicholson-Choice

Shareholder
Greenberg Traurig

With 20+ years of experience negotiating and resolving complex environmental regulatory, permitting, and litigation...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts. To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

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