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Environmental Citizens' Suit Defense: Preparing for "Private Attorneys General" in the Trump Administration

As the Trump Administration advances its agenda, several environmental NGOs will look to make good on their pledge to rely on citizen suit statutes to accomplish their public policy priorities. These groups hope to achieve judicial rulings on environmental theories that may not be endorsed by either the legislative or executive branches, while also being reimbursed for their efforts. Risk factors include community relations challenges, publicized environmental incidents, and the misfortune of operating facilities in judicial districts with courts deemed likely to more favorably consider their claims.

It is important for a company to be prepared and react strategically if it becomes the target of such a suit. The initial actions taken by a recipient of a notice of intent to sue under the citizen suit provision of an environmental statute are critical to the company’s ability to dictate the direction of the dispute.

In this presentation, we provided a brief overview of the citizen suit provisions in various environmental statutes, described the range of usual outcomes for cases brought under them, and described strategies for responding to citizen suit risk, from prevention of their filing in the first instance, to their disposition by motion, and all the way to trial, if necessary.

This presentation was recorded and current as of February 7, 2017. Content viewed after this date may no longer be current.

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Length (01:00:08)