ENVIRONMENTAL

 

First Brooklyn DA Environmental Prosecution

In a case of first impression, the firm achieved singular success in obtaining a pre-trial dismissal of a politically charged environmental criminal prosecution instituted by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and Robert Kennedy, Jr. as head of the Riverkeeper organization. A construction related company was indicted for polluting the Newtown Creek. In addition to noting certain technical regulatory deficiencies, the firm contended that absent the institution of enforcement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the DA was without authority to enforce the air and water pollution standards of the Environmental Conservation Law. The NYS Supreme Court agreed with this and other arguments. The firm was so successful that the Court initially took the unusual step of dismissing the matter in the interests of justice. The matter was finally settled for 1/25th the cost of the settlement by a large national law firm in a similar case.