101 Park Ave.//New York, NY 10178-0060//United States
John A. Vassallo III primarily represents companies in the financial services industry in complex civil litigation. This includes commercial transaction disputes, contract and tort law liability, and environmental liability. He also counsels clients on risk mitigation strategies and guides them through sensitive government investigations. John’s background as an analyst for a multibillion-dollar hedge fund gives him an insider’s perspective when representing clients in civil and criminal appellate matters, as well as class action litigation.
John provides clients with regulatory and litigation risk analyses in connection with rulemaking by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, and other US government agencies. He also handles multijurisdictional litigation arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and state statute analogs such as the New Jersey Spill Act.
While in law school, John served as research and writing editor of the Pace Environmental Law Review and was a legal intern for the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic overseen by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He was also a judicial intern for Judge Barbara S. Jones in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
John’s dual background in environmental law and finance extends beyond the legal realm. Before attending law school, he analyzed international commodities markets and fundamental economic indicators for a New York hedge fund. As an environmental compliance and enforcement officer, John handled regulatory permitting and compliance issues in the areas of water quality, solid waste management, and municipal and non-municipal wastewater. He also worked on permitting and compliance regarding public water supply treatment under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and indoor and outdoor air pollution control under the Clean Air Act.
Representation of an international investment firm in connection with a 28 U.S.C. § 1782 petition arising from foreign proceedings to which the firm is a non-party.
Defense of an indenture trustee in connection with False Claims Act allegations arising from Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities transactions.
Representation of a large financial institution in connection with nationwide settlement arising from mortgage servicing activities.
Representation of a global semiconductor manufacturer on contractual indemnification claims against the United States in the Court of Federal Claims and in parallel CERCLA/FUSRAP cost-recovery negotiations.
Trial counsel for plaintiff real estate developer in month-long trial in the District of New Jersey on CERCLA, RCRA, Spill Act, and Landfill Closure Act claims against private and government entities arising from more than a century of site contamination.
Defense of an international bank against tort and fraud claims seeking $2 billion in damages relating to bank’s role as broker in sale of $1.8 billion of foreign sovereign’s bonds sub-custodized in New York.
Representation of major insurer as subrogation counsel during remedy selection negotiations with the EPA concerning an abandoned mining site in Washington state.
Defense of large financial institution in connection with lending practice allegations brought in New York federal court.
Defense of an operator of kidney dialysis centers against class action product liability claims alleging increased cardiopulmonary health risks and numerous deaths nationwide after FDA class 1 recall.
Representation of major quasi-governmental agency in connection with environmental due diligence and risk-limitation strategy development on transaction concerning a 5,000-acre EPA Superfund site.
Representation of major foreign company on internal audit to evaluate international business conduct implicating the FCPA after an unannounced US Department of Justice investigation into the company’s operations in Southeast Asia.
Pro bono appellate counsel for defendant on a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief in which, in a near-unprecedented outcome, the NJ Appellate Division unanimously remanded for an entirely new Post-Conviction Relief proceeding.
Awards and Affiliations
Listed, Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for environmental litigation (2013)
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Boston College, 1999, B.S., Cum Laude
New York Medical College School of Public Health, 2008, M.P.H., With Honors
Pace University School of Law, 2008, J.D., Magna Cum Laude