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Natural Resource Damages Litigation

Natural Resource Damages (NRD) actions focus on the injury to the environment and the natural resources that belong to the public and are managed and protected in trust by certain federal, state and tribal governmental entities. Building on the public trust doctrine and common law rights traditionally vested in the sovereign, NRD statutes vest certain enumerated trustees with the ability to seek recovery for the public's loss of natural resources occasioned by a spill or discharge.

By law, the types of natural resources covered and for which trustees are authorized to seek recovery include land, fish, wildlife, biota, air, water, ground water, drinking water supplies, and other such sources belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or otherwise controlled by state and federal governments.

Natural Resource Damages statutes and the public trust doctrine vest federal, state and tribal trustees with the ability to recover for the past and future loss of the human uses of such contaminated or impacted resources. For example, an oil spill in a river, bay or gulf can cause substantial impacts upon the uses of such waterways, including: navigation and commerce, industry and jobs, commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, regional development and redevelopment, and even long-term regional growth, taxes, revenues and governmental services. Similarly, contamination of a groundwater aquifer that is serving as a regional water supply can impact the public's use of such a resource. NRD claims deal with this very difficult and expert witness-intensive analysis and quantification, which stand at the intersection of the environment and the economy.

Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs, PC has uncommon experience in litigating Natural Resource Damages matters. We have been retained by both trustee agencies and corporate clients to litigate, or resolve through ADR or mediation proceedings, these most complex environmental matters.

Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs, PC is currently representing natural resource trustees like the State of New Jersey and the State of Louisiana on nationally significant NRD matters such as the Passaic River and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Likewise, the firm is representing transportation sector clients in significant NRD matters like the Portland Harbor Superfund Site and the Clark Fork River Basin Superfund Site. Similarly, the firm is representing a client in connection with the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in Galveston Bay, Texas.

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  • Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs, PC shareholder John Hagan was awarded the 2015 Excellence in Public Interest Award for pro bono service in the field of public interest law.
  • Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs, PC was again named a "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in 2015.
  • Bill Jackson has again been honored as a leading Environmental Litigator by Chambers and Partners' 2015 Chambers USA Guide.
  • Lori Warner was again named to "The Best Lawyers in America" in the Environmental practice area for 2015.
  • Bill Jackson will present to the American Association of Port Authorities at the April 7, 2015 conference in New Orleans on innovative approaches to moving from environmental contamination and natural resource injury directly to restoration and economic redevelopment.
  • As part of a pro bono team, Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs partner John Hagan obtained a landmark decision from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that fundamentally changes the process for certifying juveniles to stand trial as adults in the State of Texas.
  • Bill Jackson was named to "Texas Super Lawyers" for Environmental Litigation again for 2014.
  • Will Petit and Kenny Corley were again named "Texas Rising Stars" by Super Lawyers in 2015.
  • Lori Warner and Bill Jackson were named "Top Rated Lawyers in Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources" in the American Lawyer and The National Law Journal.
  • Bill Jackson and Lori Warner were honored in the Texas Lawyer as "Top Rated Lawyers in Texas" and A/V preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.