Disputes over environmental issues continue to arise across the nation. These disputes can involve various allegations:
Disputes can also arise in connection with the allocation of costs associated with actions that relate to the recovery of or contribution to environmental cleanup costs and compensation for natural resource damage claims.
The allegations that often underlie such conflicts may relate to the sources, causes, and impacts of contamination of soils, surface and subsurface waters, indoor air, the interior and surrounding external areas of commercial and residential properties, and the violation of environmental legal and regulatory requirements. The allocation of the costs of addressing these issues is often the basis for these disputes.
Parties to such disputes can benefit from the services of experienced environmental attorneys whose practices involve both the defense and prosecution of private party claims in courts, in non-judicial settings, and in EPA- or state agency-mandated intra-party allocations of Superfund liability.
The law firm of Guida, Slavich & Flores, P.C., a leading national environmental law boutique, has established its Environmental Mediation Center that is staffed by attorneys who are adept at understanding the allegations at issue and facilitating settlement of environmental claims and disputes. Our firm’s practice focuses on assisting individuals, businesses, and government agencies in addressing environmental problems, and our attorneys use their experience and in-depth knowledge of environmental law to resolve disputes between parties facing environmental issues.
To discuss how our Environmental Mediation Center may assist in the resolution of your environmental dispute, please contact any of the firm attorneys listed below.
Mr. Payne, a fifth generation Texan, is the firm’s senior trial attorney with over 23 years of experience. He is licensed in the State of Texas, all U.S. District Courts in Texas, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. His practice focuses on environmental litigation in federal and state courts in many areas including: soil, groundwater, and air contamination; the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act; CERCLA, RCRA, and the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act; citizen lawsuits; regulatory enforcement actions; remediation of contaminated properties; valuation of environmentally-impacted properties; environmental insurance; the Endangered Species Act; “black mold”; toxic torts; and grievances and professional malpractice claims against engineers, geologists, and geoscientists. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the Dallas County Bar Association and the former Chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association.
He handles environmental litigation on both sides of the docket and is not just a “plaintiff’s lawyer” or “defense attorney” with one point of view. Mr. Payne has successfully defended clients against environmental claims with an aggregate of liquidated damages exceeding one billion dollars. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum as a result of handling environmental litigation where the actual recovery for his clients has exceeded one million dollars. His experience in both prosecuting and defending environmental claims gives him a unique perspective as a mediator in helping resolve environmental claims.
Mr. Payne has been mediating cases at the request of local courts and attorneys for over 13 years. He has participated in literally hundreds of mediations both as lead counsel for a party and as a mediator. He completed a 40-hour mediation certification course in 2001 in order to accept mediation appointments from local courts. Since beginning his mediation practice, Mr. Payne has an established track record of resolving cases as a neutral.
Learn more about Mr. Payne.
Mr. Brooke-Davidson brings a unique set of experiences and skills to assist in the resolution of environmental disputes. He is a certificated mediator in Texas. He began his environmental career while still an undergraduate in engineering at MIT, working as an intern for the environmental manager for the Massachusetts Port Authority, the entity that oversees the operations of the Port of Boston and Logan Airport.
In graduate school at MIT, he pursued a Masters in Technology and Policy, an interdisciplinary program in the engineering school designed to train individuals in the policy aspects of technology. He focused his work on environmental policy and issues. After graduate school, he worked for a private air pollution environmental consulting firm, assisting private clients in air permitting and compliance issues and gaining insight into implementation issues of a highly technical regulatory program.
He then attended law school, where he continued to focus on environmental issues, and his 28-year legal career has focused on the resolution of environmental disputes. After graduation from law school, he went to work for the United States Department of Justice as an environmental enforcement attorney. In that role he served as an advocate for client agencies, including EPA, and worked on complex litigation involving all the major environmental statutes, with many cases involving multiple parties. The majority of the cases were resolved through negotiation, including some cases that were resolved through alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) mechanisms, including one of the first enforcement cases resolved through mediation.
After leaving government, Mr. Brooke-Davidson entered private practice in Austin, Texas, where he has represented clients in disputes in a variety of settings, including litigation, arbitration, administrative disputes, and permitting. ADR has often been an aspect of the resolution of many of these cases, including a multi-million dollar contamination case involving numerous parties, and a contested-case permit dispute involving several protestants.
Mr. Brooke-Davidson’s experience encompasses both technical and legal expertise, which has been utilized in a variety of settings on behalf of diverse clients to resolve complex environmental issues, and he brings that to bear in his mediation practice.
Learn more about Mr. Brooke-Davidson.
Joe Guida is the founding principal of Guida, Slavich & Flores, P.C. with offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas. He has practiced environmental law since 1979, when he received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He and his firm have a diversified, national environmental law practice covering air and water pollution control, solid and hazardous waste management, state and federal Superfund matters, and toxic substances. Mr. Guida has had extensive experience on both the plaintiff and defendant sides of environmental disputes and litigation, including engaging in mediations on behalf of his clients in both private-party disputes and governmental cleanup actions. This experience affords him an informed and tested perspective on the dynamics of the mediation process, the hurdles parties often face in overcoming differences, and creative ways to overcome those hurdles. Moreover, his multi-media experience with state and federal regulatory programs enables him to assist in fashioning dispute resolutions that are impacted by such programs. He also has previously served as a third-party neutral in a private-party dispute over cleanup liability allocation at a chemical company site.
Learn more about Mr. Guida.