James J. Dragna

James Dragna represents energy, aerospace and manufacturing clients in a wide range of environmental matters nationwide, including air, water and wastewater enforcement and litigation. He is a member of Bingham’s Executive Board and former co-chair of the firm’s Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resources Group. Jim is recognized by Chambers USA and sources “have great respect” for him. He is also recognized by Best Lawyers, Legal 500, among others. Jim’s practice includes the representation of water purveyors in water rights cases, including litigation involving Native American water rights, and the resolution of environmental claims in bankruptcy proceedings. Jim also serves as group or common counsel to several multiparty Superfund groups, in addition to representing a host of individual clients and potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in more than 50 federal or state Superfund matters nationwide. This work has included the negotiation of complex settlement agreements, contribution litigation, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the creation of insurance and long-term financial management products to fund long-term remedies. In addition, Jim has been selected by several major municipalities to serve as special counsel in wastewater litigation and permitting issues. He is an experienced trial lawyer who can and has pursued these matters through trial, as necessary.

Jim currently serves as national coordinating counsel in two major environmental proceedings. The first proceeding involves the legacy environmental liabilities of the former Kerr McGee Corporation, which are being addressed in a bankruptcy proceeding in Federal Court in New York. The second involves the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, where Jim represents the minority non-operating investors in the Macondo well in the multidistrict litigation and in admiralty law proceedings in Federal Court in New Orleans.

Prior to entering private practice, he served as senior trial counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section in Washington, D.C., where he managed the EPA’s environmental enforcement litigation in Regions IX and X. Before that, he was a founding member of the EPA’s Hazardous Waste Enforcement Task Force, the entity responsible for the development of the EPA’s Superfund Program. While at the Department and the EPA, he represented the EPA in a wide range of environmental enforcement actions across the nation.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Environmental, 2) Land Use and Natural Resources, 3) Commercial Litigation, 4) Military Base Reuse, 5) Environmental Litigation, 6) Distressed Real Estate, 7) Crisis Management and Communications, 8) Environmental Liabilities in Bankruptcy, 9) Energy and 10) Compliance
Law School Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D., 1979
Education University of California, Irvine, B.A., 1976
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association
Most recent firm Bingham McCutchen LLP
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