Tom Lotterman handles a wide variety of litigation matters, including environmental, toxic tort, and commercial disputes. He counsels clients before federal and state courts from Alaska to Florida. Tom has handled large, multiparty cases in Alabama, Florida, New York, and North Carolina, and has conducted numerous arbitrations before the AAA and other associations. His clients include large oil and natural gas companies, international utilities, national trade associations, and manufacturing companies.
Tom recently defended a client in the lawsuit brought by the federal government concerning the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. The government sought billions of dollars in penalties; the case was resolved for a fraction of that amount.
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 enforcing non-compete agreements. Tom 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 confidential, 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 US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national effluent guidelines for the placer mining industry in a legal challenge before the Ninth Circuit. He also defended federal facilities in environmental cases 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 for more than 20 years, teaching classes in environmental litigation.
Represents a large company nationally against claims brought by third parties against Kerr-McGee Corporation, which the company purchased in 2006. Tom recently obtained a decision from the US District Court in the Southern District of New York ordering more than 4,000 plaintiffs to dismiss their claims against Kerr-McGee. The plaintiffs have appealed the decision to the Second Circuit.
Recently represented a large oil and natural gas company in the CWA penalty case brought by the federal government in New Orleans concerning the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill. Tom served as co-lead trial counsel at trial, which occurred in early 2015.
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.
Represented several large companies 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 US Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, alleged 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.
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.
Represented a national pilots association in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, DC 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.
Represented an international electricity and gas company in a lawsuit involving the cleanup of a Superfund site in Troy, NY. 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.
Representative Reported Cases
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. v. Chevron, 596 F.3d 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)
University of Michigan Law School, 1983, Juris Doctor
Princeton University, 1977, Artis Baccalaureate
District of Columbia
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
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 Court of Federal Claims
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Industry focus: Environment: litigation, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Environmental, Law360 (2017)
Recipient, Client Choice Award (International Law Office/Lexology) (2015)
Ranked, Environment, District of Columbia, Chambers USA (2015–2019)
Listed, Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C. (2013–2014)
Listed, Top Attorneys in Washington, DC, Washington Post (2014–2015)
Recipient, Special achievement award, US Department of Justice (1989)