Our Lawyers

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D. David Altman

Dave Altman is president of D. David Altman Co. LPA. The firm’s practice is primarily devoted to complex environmental litigation. He was the lead counsel in the following selected, ground-breaking citizen suit cases:

  • Jones v. Inmont, (S.D. Ohio 1984) – secured a first-time ruling that private citizens adversely affected by pollution could obtain relief under CERCLA and under the Imminent Hazard provision of RCRA. The court’s decision led to the U.S. Congress legislatively adopting the imminent hazard provision as a direct part of the RCRA citizen suit provision and opened the field of private cost recovery;
  • Neighbors Opposing Pit Expansion (N.O.P.E. 1986) – negotiated a community-wide settlement of a fly ash disposal dispute in Pierce Township, Ohio;
  • CCHD v. Sterling Drug, (1986) – joined OAG in negotiating consent decree under state citizen suit law to require cleanup of old Hilton Davis property in Hamilton County, Ohio;
  • Hopkins v. Elano Corporation, et al. (S.D. Ohio 1988) – obtained relief for area residents with contaminated drinking water wells and obtained citizen oversight under a federal consent decree;
  • St. Bernard v. Phthalchem, Inc. (S.D. Ohio 1989) and State of Ohio and St. Bernard v. Phthalchem, Inc. - enforced the Clean Air Act and RCRA to end air violations and clean up groundwater contamination - also obtained direct oversight rights for the City of St. Bernard;
  • Buchholz v. Dayton International Airport (S.D. Ohio 1994) – enforced the Clean Water Act on behalf of area residents by obtaining an injunction;
  • CF/Water v. Schregardus, et al. (ERAC 1996) – litigated the overturning of Ohio EPA’s permit decision for Danis’ Clarkco Landfill on behalf of community-based environmental organization;
  • Hertzler v. Vernay Laboratories, (S.D. Ohio 1999) – obtained federal consent decree relief for widespread groundwater contamination as well as water and air pollution violations on behalf of neighboring residents;
  • United States of America, et al. v. Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Ohio, et al. (S.D. Ohio 2002) – obtained relief for citizen plaintiffs resulting in improvements to consent decrees, including a first of its kind Water-in-Basement Program;
  • Barbara Fisher v. Perma-Fix of Dayton, Inc. (S.D. Ohio 2004) – obtained federal Consent Decree under the Clean Air Act in joint enforcement action with United States Department of Justice and obtained supplemental agreement providing for citizen oversight of implementation of that Consent Decree;
  • Sierra Club v. Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Ohio (6th Cir. 2005) – litigated to obtain a ruling that found that citizen plaintiffs who secure substantial benefits to the public are prevailing or substantially prevailing parties even though they were not parties to the consent decree that settled the case.

Mr. Altman served as lead counsel in the class action Booth vs. Georgia Pacific (Franklin County Court of Common Pleas) and as co-lead counsel in the class action of Nelson vs. BASF (Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas). Each case involved an explosion of a manufacturing facility.

He and his firm currently represent and have represented individual and corporate property owners and numerous regional and national environmental organizations, including: The Sierra Club; Citizen Action of Ohio; Rivers Unlimited; Ohio Public Interest Research Group; the City of Toledo, Ohio; the City of St. Bernard, Ohio; Portage County, Ohio Solid Waste District; Neighbors Opposed to Pit Expansion (N.O.P.E. – a 300 member community organization in Pierce Township, Ohio); and C/F. Water (Citizens for Water – a community organization in Springfield, Ohio).

Selected appointments and writings: Chairman, 2005-2009, Environmental Justice Working Group, City of Cincinnati; Member, 2006, working group on proposed Office of Environmental Quality, City of Cincinnati; numerous local and state environmental advisory committees and environmental law seminars, 1970-present; Testimony, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight, 1998. Publications: Local Health Agencies: The Silent Partners in the Environmental Enforcement Network, 18 Northern Kentucky Law Review 213 (Ohio Trial Magazine, Spring 1992).

Selected Memberships: Cincinnati, Ohio State and American (Member, Litigation Section) Bar Associations; Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers (Chairman, Environmental Law Section, 1989-1995); The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Hamilton County Trial Lawyers Association; four terms as Chairman of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers Environmental Section; member of the first Governor’s Environmental Task Force overseeing the then-new Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (1970-1972); and four-time chairman of the City of Cincinnati’s Environmental Advisory Council.

He is “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory and he graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1974.

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Amy J. Leonard

Senior Associate

Practice Areas: Environmental Law; Complex Litigation; Toxic Torts; Local Government.

Admitted: 1988, Ohio; U.S. District Court, Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio; U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

Law School: Tulane University, J.D., cum laude, 1988

College: University of Tennessee, B.A., with highest honors, 1985; Phi Beta Kappa.

Biography: Editor-in-Chief, Tulane Environmental Law Journal, 1987-1988. Member, Moot Court Honor Board. Environmental Advisory Committee, City of Cincinnati, 1993-1997. Chair, Environmental Law Committee, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998-2000. Author, “The Rise of Neo-Scientists Advocating for Polluters and the Laws That Deter Them,” Tulane Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 20, Issue 2, Summer 2007.

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Justin D. Newman

Associate

Practice Areas: Environmental Law; Complex Litigation; Toxic Torts.

Admitted: 2006, Ohio; U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Law School: University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2006).

College: Wilmington College, B.A., summa cum laude, 2003.

Member: American Bar Association; Ohio State Bar Association (Environmental Law Committee); Ohio Association for Justice.

Biography: Order of the Coif. Recipient, Ernest Karam Academic Prize; Henry A. Morrill Constitutional Law Prize.

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Robin A. Burgess

Associate

Practice Areas: Environmental Law; Complex Litigation; Toxic Torts.

Admitted: 2012, Florida(inactive) and 2013, Kentucky.

Law School: University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2012).

College: University of Florida (B.A., Environmental Science and Policy, with honors, 2001).

Biography: Senior Environmental Specialist for Florida Power & Light Company, 2007-2009; Environmental Scientist for EW Consultants, 2005-2008; Environmental Analyst for South Florida Water Management District, 2003-2005; and Environmental Specialist for Missouri Department of Natural Resources, 2002-2003.

Our Senior Staff

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Joyce Currin
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Anne Altman
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Jennifer O'Donnell