Bar & Court Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Education

New York University School of Law, J.D., 1990

Haverford College, B.A., 1987

London School of Economics and Political Science, general course diploma, 1986

American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources

  • Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee - Chair, 2016-2018; Vice Chair, 2014-2016
  • Section Liaison, Dispute Resolution Section, 2012-2013
  • Dispute Resolution Committee - Chair, 2010-2012; Vice Chair, 2008-2010

Master, Delaware Valley Environmental American Inn of Court

Master, The Justice Stewart G. Pollock Environmental American Inn of Court

Lower Merion Conservancy Board of Directors, 2011 to present

  • Chair, 2012-2014
  • Vice-Chair, 2011-2012, 2015

Lower Merion Township Environmental Advisory Council, 2002-2010

  • Chair, 2005-2008
  • Vice Chair, 2004

Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee

  • Chair, 1999, 2000, and 2002
  • Vice-Chair, 2001

Partners Program

  • Advisory Board, 1999-2004

New Jersey Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Profile
Professional Highlights
Pressroom
Publications

John represents a broad array of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to smaller closely held businesses, facing diverse environmental issues.  John is a partner in the firm’s environmental litigation group but he is also regularly called upon by clients to handle site remediation matters and complex negotiations with government entities and private parties, such as arise in the infrastructure projects in which he has been involved in for many years. John’s work on contaminated sediment sites and related litigation include his election to a small steering committee overseeing litigation for a large group of corporate defendants in a high profile sediment case. John has represented clients in the railroad, telecommunications, chemical, waste, retail, heavy industrial, construction, municipal, financial and other sectors in environmental matters including the defense of natural resource damages claims, contaminated sediment sites, the defense and prosecution of private and government initiated environmental cost recovery claims, citizen suits, the defense of government penalty actions, permit challenges, administrative appeals, site remediation matters, as well as on-scene emergency responses and government inspections. John also received formal mediator and arbitrator training through the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR).

John met his wife of twenty-five years while they were both attending college on Philadelphia’s Main Line, where they now live and are raising their two school-age children. John and his wife are both very active in their community and volunteer their time for various civic and non-profit organizations in their spare time.

John's representations include the following:

  • defense of litigation related to a large contaminated sediment site on behalf of a group of clients, as well as representation of clients in related administrative proceedings with EPA and federal natural resource trustees;
  • representation of property owners facing linear construction projects including pipelines and electrical transmission lines;
  • representation of client property owner in complex negotiations involving environmental and operational issues related to a future bridge construction project;
  • defense of natural resource damages claims brought by the State of New Jersey, one of which involved a demand of more than 800 acres of compensatory land from a client;
  • negotiation of a multi-site settlement agreement involving the resolution of environmental claims at multiple sites throughout the country that were conveyed to the client;
  • defense of private and government initiated environmental cost recovery claims brought in federal court as well as the courts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania;
  • litigation to recover costs incurred by clients conducting environmental cleanups from other responsible parties, as well as negotiations with insurers to recover such costs;
  • representation of multiple clients in a large, complex, multi-year ADR process to resolve a state and federal claim for costs and natural resource damages in excess of $100 million;
  • defense of client in federal and state enforcement proceedings and emergency response actions arising from the storage of radiological material at multiple locations; 
  • defense of claims for clean-up costs associated with historical contamination of sites in various jurisdictions including PA, NJ, MA and CT;
  • defense of nuisance and other common law and statutory claims designed to shut down or impair clients' operations;
  • representation of parties in mediation regarding environmental contractual provisions, as well as complex allocations;
  • defense of government penalty assessments under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act, Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act, Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law, Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, and Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act;
  • administrative appeals of government orders and other final agency actions under various Pennsylvania statutes before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board;
  • permit challenges, both defending permitting decisions and challenging permits;
  • defense of a permit challenge brought by a property owner seeking to block a large wind farm project in northeastern Pennsylvania;
  • defense of citizen suits;
  • defense of a municipality sued in federal and state court by a citizens group trying to shut down the municipal wastewater treatment plant;
  • on-scene emergency response for railroad derailments involving shipments of hazardous materials and evacuation orders, as well as follow-up compliance reporting and representation during government investigations;
  • complex negotiations and litigation with property owners over deed notices and access on private property necessary for implementation of a large Superfund and Spill Act cleanup in New Jersey;
  • amicus curiae briefing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of state-wide and regional trade organizations regarding water withdrawal rights and governmental jurisdiction under the Susquehanna River Basin Compact;
  • administrative appeals before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board on wastewater and sewage facilities planning issues including matters involving the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy and a matter involving the interplay between the jurisdictions of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and
  • regulatory counseling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

John served as a law clerk to the Honorable James L. Latchum of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware before entering private practice in 1991. John joined Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP in 1994. John is an active member of the American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (ABA SEER). From 2012-2013, John served as ABA SEER’s Liaison to the Dispute Resolution Section of the ABA.  From 2010-2012, John was Chair of the ABA SEER ADR Committee. He served as the Committee’s Vice Chair from 2008-2010.

John has written a number of articles and has been a program organizer and speaker on various environmental topics, including environmental litigation, ADR, linear construction projects, and sustainability for such organizations as the American Bar Association, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Montgomery Bar Association, the Dispute Resolution Institute, and RailTec.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business (environmental law), since 2013. The Chambers list is issued by Chambers and Partners. Click here to view the selection methodology.
  • The Best Lawyers® in America listing (environmental litigation), since 2013. The Best Lawyers list is issued by Woodward/White Inc. Click here to view the selection methodology.
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers listing (environmental litigation), since 2012. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters.  Click here to view the selection methodology.
  • Consolidated Rail Corporation, Award of Excellence, 2011 and 2015

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Press Releases

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

“Update on Prospective Purchaser Inquiry Calls and Status Letters: View from the EPA,” program moderator, American Bar Association SEER Committee Teleconference program, presented by the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee and the Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee, July 27, 2016

"Allocating CERCLA Liability: Divisibility or Section 113 Equitable Contribution," panelist for a Strafford webinar, August 5, 2015 

“Managing Environmental Risks When Third-Parties Seek Access to Your Site,” RailTec, 2014 Railroad Environmental Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, October 28-29, 2014

"Allocating CERCLA Liability: Divisibility or Section 113 Equitable Contribution," panelist for a Strafford webinar, March 5, 2014 

“Natural Gas Pipeline Projects and How They Are Affecting the Railroads,” RailTec, 2012 Railroad Environmental Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, October 16-17, 2012

“So You Want to be a Mediator:  Pathways to Becoming an Alternative Dispute Resolution Professional,” panelist for ABA SEER program in Indianapolis, IN, October 13, 2011

“Sustainability: How Values-Driven Law Firms are Surviving Tough Times and Prospering Over the Long Term,” panelist for the ABA SEER program in Chicago, IL, November 3, 2010

“Practicing Law in a Fishbowl—The New Reality of Engaging the Public in Environmental Decision-Making,” program organizer and presenter, American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 6, 2010

“Understanding BNSF and Santa FeRailway v. U.S., 129 S.Ct. 1870 (2009),” presenter for ABA SEER Quick Teleconference program Top 10 Environmental Developments of 2009, Part I, January 22, 2010

“Settlement and Alternative Dispute Resolution,” presenter and program organizer for ABA SEER Basic Practice Series Program: Environmental Litigation from Case Intake Through Trial or Settlement, ABA SEER Fall meeting, Baltimore, MD, September 25, 2009

“Futuristica’s Growing Pains, Mock Public Hearing,” presenter and program organizer for ABA SEER annual fall meeting, Baltimore, MD, September 24, 2009

“Understanding BNSF andSanta FeRailway v. U.S., 129 S.Ct. 1870 (2009),” presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program, Norristown, PA, August 12, 2009

“Issues Associated with Municipal Green Building Initiatives,” presented at the Montgomery County  Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education  program, Environmental Initiatives in Alternative Energy and Sewage Planning, Norristown, PA, October 30, 2008

"Legal Aspects of Green Zoning/Building in Pennsylvaniaand New Jersey," presented at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and American Planning Association (Pennsylvania  Chapter, Southeast Section) program Planning for Sustainability: Green Codes and Planning, Philadelphia, PA, October 6, 2008

"Local Environmental  Initiatives" and "Environmental Roundtable," presented at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry 2008 Annual Environmental Laws and Regulations Conference and Trade Show, Lancaster, PA, April 1, 2008

"Environmental Advisory Councils and Local Environmental Initiatives," presented at Focus the Nation, Global Warming Solutions for America, Environmental Teach In, Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA, January 31, 2008

"Environmental  Litigation Issues in Real Estate Development," presented at the Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP continuing legal education program Real Estate Development and Environmental Permitting in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton, PA, November 14, 2007

"Environmental Advisory Councils and Local Environmental Initiatives," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program Local Environmental Regulation, Norristown, PA, August 8, 2007

"The Transformation of Private Cost Recovery Actions Under CERCLA Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services, Inc., 125 S. Ct. 577 (2004)," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program New and Timely Environmental Law Topics, Norristown, PA, August 2, 2005

"Pennsylvania's New Clean Fill Policy," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program Timely Environmental Law Topics, Norristown, PA, August 19, 2004

"Managing Environmental Risk Through Environmental Insurance," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program Environmental Practice Update 2003, Norristown, PA, August 21, 2003

"A Comparison of the Federal and Pennsylvania Judicial Systems," presented as guest lecturer for Federal Courts course, Villanova Law School, Villanova, PA, February 14, 2003 and November 21, 2001

"Objectives of Buyer and Seller in a Commercial Transaction," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions, August 15, 2001

"Environmental Litigation: An Overview of Various Private Party Claims," presented at the Dispute Resolution Institute, Philadelphia, PA, April 3, 2001

"Environmental Litigation: An Overview of Various Private Party Claims," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing  legal education program Environmental Law for the General Practitioner, Norristown, PA, August 17, 2000

"Environmental Mediation Role Play," presented at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Environmental Law Forum, Harrisburg, PA, April 15, 1999

"Legal Aspects of Radon and Real Estate Transactions," presented at the Mid Atlantic Environmental Hygiene Resource Center program Radon and Real Estate Transactions, State College, PA, October 28, 1998

"Common Law Claims Frequently Raised in Storage Tank Litigation," presented at the Montgomery Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee continuing legal education program Private Causes of Action in Storage Tank Litigation, Norristown, PA, August 20, 1998

"Liability for Environmental Issues in Real Estate Sales," presented at the Environmental Law Institute program Radon Awareness for Real Estate Professionals, West Conshohocken, PA, October 9, 1997

Special Alerts

Articles

ABA SEER Year in Review 2010, co-author of Alternative Dispute Resolution chapter

"Conflicting Opinions Add to Haze in Environmental Claims: Supreme Court Decision Impacts Camden Case," The Legal Intelligencer, May 17, 2001

"EPA’s Foray Into Alternative Dispute Resolution," The Legal Intelligencer, January 18, 2001

"Alternatives to Environmental Litigation: Until We Change the Way We Pay for Environmental Cleanups, ADR Is Corporate America's Best Bet," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, August 1999 (co-authored)

"Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action: As Only a Lawyer Could Read It," Philadelphia Lawyer, Winter 1998 (co-authored)

"Negligence Exceptions to Superfund's Strict Liability Scheme," Environmental Compliance Litigation, February 1997

"Recent Court Interpretations Muddy Insurance Pollution Exclusions Landscape," The Legal Intelligencer, August 8, 1996 (co-authored)