Tom Lotterman handles a wide variety of litigation matters, including environmental, toxic tort, commercial, and trade secret. He counsels clients before federal courts, state courts, and agencies from Alaska to Florida. Tom has handled large, multiparty cases in Alabama, Florida, New York, and North Carolina, and he conducts numerous arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and other associations. His clients include large oil and natural gas companies, international utilities, national trade associations, and manufacturing companies. He currently is defending a client in the federal enforcement case brought in New Orleans concerning the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill.
Tom handled the first trial under the Superfund Recycling Equity Act amendments to Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and one of the first arbitrations under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He has obtained injunctions halting implementation of state regulations, banning the sale of products containing misappropriated trade secrets, and stopping construction of a major highway project. Tom also has defended clients in high-profile enforcement actions brought by the federal government and the New York Attorney General’s Office involving the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and RCRA.Additionally, he has conducted internal whistleblower investigations for several large Fortune 50 corporations.
In the 1980’s, Tom was a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice, where he successfully defended the Environmental Protection Agency’s national effluent guidelines for the placer mining industry in a legal challenge before the Ninth Circuit. He also defended federal facilities in environmental cases, prosecuted violations of the Clean Water Act, and spearheaded a federal task force that challenged the constitutionality of state regulatory fees.
Tom contributes a significant portion of his time to pro bono matters. He served as general counsel to the Project on National Security Reform, a nonpartisan initiative funded by Congress to recommend improvements to the US national security system. The Project issued its final report called “Forging a New Shield,” which represented the efforts of more than 300 national security experts from think tanks, universities, federal agencies, law firms, and corporations, including several former National Security Advisors.
Tom was an adjunct professor of law at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, DC, for more than 20 years, teaching classes in environmental litigation.
Note: This list includes engagements completed prior to joining Morgan Lewis.
Represents a large oil and natural gas exploration and production company in defending claims by the federal government and others arising from spin-off of Tronox from Kerr-McGee in 2006. The claims, which were brought in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, allege actual fraud, constructive fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. Tom served as lead counsel at trial, which lasted four months and concluded in September 2012.
Represents a coke manufacturer in a lawsuit by neighbors of plant alleging violations of the Clean Air Act and RCRA, and common law tort claims. The case is pending before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Represents a national pilots association in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The lawsuit challenges the PBGC’s failure to perform its statutory and fiduciary duties as trustee of the pilots’ retirement plan. The case goes to trial in early 2013.
Represented a national trade association challenging the constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard. Obtained summary judgment and preliminary injunction on the grounds that the regulation discriminates against interstate commerce and improperly regulates Midwest corn ethanol producers. The rulings by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California are on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Represented an international electricity and gas company in a lawsuit involving the cleanup of a Superfund site in Troy, N.Y. In 2010, the Second Circuit ruled in Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. Chevron that client was entitled to bring a contribution claim under CERCLA §113(f)(3)(B) based on a settlement with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
Represented one of the largest companies in the United States in an internal whistleblower investigation.
Represented a large pulp and paper company against a lawsuit by the State of Vermont seeking to halt the test burn of used tires as fuel for a manufacturing plant. The challenge was dismissed by the state court and, after Vermont sought a writ in federal court, dismissed by the Second Circuit.
Representative Reported Cases
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. Chevron, 596 F3d 112 (2d Cir. 2010) (reinstating contribution claims against defendants under CERCLA §113(f)(3)(B))
Rybachek v. USEPA, 904 F.2d 1276 (9th Cir. 1990) (upholding national regulations on placer mining promulgated by the EPA under Clean Water Act)
Interim HealthCare of Northern Illinois, Inc. v. Interim Health Care, Inc., 225 F.3d 876 (7th Cir. 2000) (upholding summary judgment by district court on behalf of franchisor following termination of franchise agreement)
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene, 843 F.Supp.2d 1071 (E.D. Cal.) (enjoining implementation of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards on grounds that regulations violated commerce clause)
State of Vermont v. New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, 841 N.Y.S.2d 823 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2006) (rejecting attempt by Vermont to halt test burn of used tires as fuel at paper mill owned by client)
City of Alexandria, Va. v. Slater, 46 F.Supp.2d 35 (D.D.C. 1999) (enjoining construction on new bridge until FHWA fulfilled its responsibilities under environmental statutes)
Hauck Mfg. Co. v. Astec Industries, Inc., 2004 WL 3396122 (E.D. Tenn. 2005) (finding other party in contempt for violating injunction)
Wolfgramm v. Mukasey, 277 Fed. Appx. 676 (9th Cir. 2008) (overturning decision by BIA that client was ineligible for withholding of removal under federal immigration law)
Princeton University, 1977, Artis Baccalaureate
University of Michigan Law School, 1983, Juris Doctor
District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Federal Claims
US District Court for the District of Columbia
US District Court for the District of Maryland
US District Court for the Western District of Michigan
US Supreme Court
Awards and Affiliations
Recipient, Client Choice Award (2015)
American Bar Association
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2015)
Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C. (2013–2014)
Special achievement award, U.S. Department of Justice (1989)