Judith M. Praitis

Partner

Overview

Judith Praitis counsels clients on environmental transactional issues and on air, water and waste management permitting, compliance, release reporting and enforcement issues under California and federal law. With decades of experience in environmental law, Judith is a trusted source of legal and business guidance for clients working to develop and implement environmental management systems, audit compliance protocols, and anticipate and adapt to emerging regulatory environments. Judith has particular experience managing complex environmental matters for distressed entities, or those with material legacy environmental liabilities, to orchestrate a controlled resolution of such obligations. She is particularly adept at crafting novel settlements with governmental regulators and prosecutors.

Hazardous Waste Management and Site Remediation

Judith has established herself as an authority in hazardous waste management and site remediation, including the redevelopment of oil field properties and military bases. This experience has also given Judith the knowledge and perspective to confidently assist clients in the legal aspects of brownfields redevelopment. In these matters, she has represented clients in various industries, including chemical producers, hotel companies, food products manufacturers, real estate developers, solar energy companies and health care facilities.

In California, Judith has appeared before the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and has dealt with various regional water quality control boards, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). She has worked with all of California’s major regulatory authorities, including the Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Board of Equalization. Over the years, Judith has also resolved California Air Resources Board (CARB) enforcement matters, particularly those concerning volatile organic compound (VOC) consumer product content regulations.

Transactions and Environmental Due Diligence

Through environmental due diligence, insurance and risk mitigation counseling, Judith delivers peace of mind to clients pursuing and finalizing major transactions. She prepares and submits filings for the Securities and Exchange Commission and reviews environmental provisions in leases, loan documents, sale contracts and other contracts on behalf of lenders, borrowers, issuers, buyers, sellers and investors. Some of these transactional matters have involved valuing, banking and trading emissions credits. Judith has managed several large, multi-state, multinational environmental diligence reviews involving hundreds of properties throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has worked on complicated bankruptcy filings and transactions requiring management of environmental matters in jurisdictions throughout the country.

Federal Environmental Law

Judith counsels clients on Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) compliance, Superfund case management, stormwater compliance, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) matters and release reporting. In addition, she has participated in the federal rule-making process, including formal administrative and legal challenges to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules, and has helped to negotiate consent decrees and resolve federal enforcement matters.

California Proposition 65

Judith advises clients on compliance with and, if necessary, litigation of, Proposition 65 matters, particularly those involving the food and supplement industries and other consumer products. She assists clients with compliance under many of California’s product- and chemical-specific regulatory regimes, including the Green Chemistry Initiative.

Judith’s Proposition 65 representations include some of the most significant and complex matters involving the legislation, including several prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California. Her Proposition 65 work includes cases involving:

  • Bottled water
  • Chocolate
  • Ginseng
  • Progesterone creams
  • Brass fixtures
  • Children’s vitamins
  • Dietary supplements
  • Supplements containing alcohol
  • Meal replacement bars
  • Textiles
  • Glassware
  • Electrical cords
  • Plastic and vinyl products
  • Alleged exposures at hotels

Credentials

Bar Admissions

California

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Languages

Spanish
Lithuanian

Education

Harvard Law School
J.D. cum laude (1988)

The University of Chicago
A.B. in Political Science, with honors, Phi Beta Kappa (1985)

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Environmental Law Institute — Leadership Council Member
  • American Bar Foundation — Fellow
  • Proposition 65 Advisory Board
  • Annual California Clift Conference — Co-chair
  • 2016 Proposition 65 Clearinghouse Annual Conference — Chair

Civic Activities

  • Library Governing Board, Huntington Library & Gardens — San Marino, CA

Honors

  • Best Lawyers® — Environmental Law; 2012, 2014-21
  • The Legal 500 — Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law; 2012-17
  • Chambers USA — Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law; 2012-19

Awards Methodology


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