Executive Committee

2016-2017

Biographies

Seth DavisChair:
Seth A. Davis
Elias Group LLP
Rye, NY

Seth A. Davis is a partner in Elias Group LLP, in Rye, New York, co-chairing the firm’s environmental and energy practice since 2004. He handles a wide variety of environmental issues arising out of a wide range of corporate and real estate transactions, regularly represents responsible parties in site remediation and cleanup negotiations, and counsels corporate and individual clients on compliance with all the environmental statutes. Previously, Seth was a partner in Huber Lawrence & Abell in New York City for 12 years. Prior to his return to private practice, Seth practiced environmental law in the law departments of Revlon, Inc. and the Celanese Corporation. During the more than 30 years he has specialized in the area, Seth has worked in just about every area of environmental, health and safety law.

Seth is an Adjunct Professor at Pace University Law School, teaching a course in Environmental Law in Commercial Transactions. Within SEER he has chaired the Section’s Committees on Site Remediation, and Environmental Transactions and Brownfields and the Website Task Force, and served a term on Section Council. Seth received his J.D. from Harvard University in 1975, and his B.A., Summa cum laude, in 1972 from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

For ten years Seth directed Destination Imagination, the world’s largest problem-solving competition, in the Eastern region of New York state. He can often be found following his diverse passions at Yankee Stadium, Lincoln Center, and Saratoga Race Course.

Seth is painfully aware that, no matter else he accomplishes, he will be remembered for being a 4-time winner on “Jeopardy!” in 1991.


Chair-Elect:
John E. Milner
Brunini Grantham
Jackson, MS

John Milner concentrates his practice primarily in environmental law. He represents business and industrial clients in environmental litigation in state and federal courts in the southeastern region, as well as environmental permitting and enforcement actions, natural resource damage assessments, and regulation promulgation proceedings before the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and other federal and state agencies. His environmental practice also concerns real estate due diligence and contractual matters in the southeastern region states. John represents clients in lobbying and monitoring activities concerning environmental and other business and industry issues before the Mississippi Legislature.

He is a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He has also been recognized by Woodward/White as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Environmental Law and Litigation- Environmental in Mississippi and is ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers as a Band 1 practitioner of environmental law in Mississippi.

John is the Chair-Elect of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.  In 2013, at the ABA Annual Meeting, John Milner received from the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources the first annual “Chair’s Award for Outstanding Contribution” to the Section for 2012-2013.

John currently serves as Environmental Counsel for the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the primary trade association representing the interests of Mississippi industry, and is General Counsel for the Mississippi Poultry Association and for the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and is a past Chairman of the Board.


Amy EdwardsVice Chair:
Amy L. Edwards
Holland & Knight LLP
Washington, DC

Amy Edwards  is a Partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Washington, DC, where she co-chairs the firm's national Environment Team.   She routinely counsels developers, lenders and corporations about effective strategies for structuring real estate and corporate transactions to minimize environmental and financial risk. She also counsels clients on climate change and sustainability issues, environmental disclosures, and product stewardship issues, and represents companies in enforcement proceedings.  She regularly writes and speaks on these topics. Amy has been practicing environmental and energy law for more than thirty years.

She chaired the ASTM committee that developed E 2091, Standard Guide for Use of Activity and Use Limitation, Including Institutional and Engineering Controls, and is the author/editor of the ABA book, Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites (2nd ed., 2012). She was an observer/advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws during its development of the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA).   

Amy has held several leadership positions in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, including serving on its Executive Committee, as Planning Chair for its 21st Fall Conference in Baltimore, MD, as Chair of the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee (ETAB), and as a Vice Chair of the ETAB Committee.  Amy also actively serves as a member of the Environmental Law Institute's (ELI's) Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board to the Bloomberg BNA Environmental Due Diligence Guide (EDDG).  She has been recognized in Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Environment Law; in the Best Lawyers in America guide, Environmental Law; in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, Environmental Law; and in The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers.

Amy received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, and her A.B. from Smith College. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and American Bar Associations.


Michelle DiffenderferSecretary:
Michelle Diffenderfer
Lewis Longman & Walker PA
West Palm Beach, FL

Mrs. Diffenderfer is a Shareholder and the President of Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. a Florida environmental and land use law firm, where she began practicing law in 1995.  Michelle assists landowners, businesses and governments with the local, state and federal requirements for permitting land development and infrastructure projects.  Michelle has written and presented on a variety of wetland, endangered species, water resource, water quality and NEPA topics, including the Everglades Restoration throughout her career.

Mrs. Diffenderfer received her BA, with honors, from Brown University in 1990 and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Miami, School of Law in 1994.  Michelle has served the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy & Resources in various roles since she first became active in the Section in 2002, including, Education Officer, Executive Council Member, Chair of the Public Service Task Force, Chair of the State and Regional Environmental Cooperation Committee, Chair of Communications and Marketing, Chair of Outreach, and as Liaison to the Florida Bar’s Environmental and Land Use Law Section.  Michelle also has worked on, sometimes as Chair, the planning committees for various Section Conferences including, Region IV, Eastern Water Law, Water Law, Fall and Spring.  Michelle is a Past Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar and is a proud supporter and Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches recognized Mrs. Diffenderfer with the ATHENA® Award in 2008 which honors individuals that have achieved professional excellence, actively served the community, and helped women to reach their leadership potential.  Mrs. Diffenderfer has also been recognized in her field by several publications including Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite, and The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers. Mrs. Diffenderfer is actively involved in the community in a number or organizations dear to her including Girls II Women, the Caribbean Bar Association, Rosarian Academy, the Episcopal Church of Bethesda by the Sea, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Leadership Florida and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

Michelle and her family enjoy traveling especially when in the company of their beloved ABA friends.


Michael PearceBudget Officer:
Michael J. Pearce
Maguire, Pearce & Storey, PLLC
Phoenix, AZ

Michael J. (Mike) Pearce was a founding member of Maguire & Pearce, PLLC, now Maguire, Pearce & Storey, PLLC. Before forming Maguire & Pearce, PLLC, Mr. Pearce was a Director in the Phoenix law firm of Fennemore Craig, P.C. where he practiced exclusively in the water and natural resources fields. From 1995 through 2002, he was Chief Counsel of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, where he represented the State of Arizona in interstate and international water issues and managed the Department’s nine member legal division, overseeing all negotiations, including those of the seven basin states in the Colorado River Basin. Mr. Pearce also has experiences in the eight basin states in the Missouri River Basin and the three basin states in the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint River Basin. He has been involved in interstate litigation concerning the Colorado River Basin, the Missouri River Basin and the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint River Basin. He has represented several interests in the Arizona General Stream Adjudications, and has assisted cities, towns, private water companies and developers, mining companies and individuals in working through difficult water development transfer and allocation issues.

Mr. Pearce received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1981, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1978, both with distinction. Before joining the Arizona Department of Water Resources in 1989, he was in private practice in Phoenix, focusing primarily on banking and commercial transactions. He is admitted to practice in Arizona and California, and in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Pearce has written and spoken widely on matters of water management and policy. He is the former Chair of the Arizona State Bar Environment and Natural Resources Law Section, the former Chair of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce Water and Natural Resources Policy Committee, and is currently the Budget Officer of the Executive Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.


Wendy CrowtherEducation Officer:
Wendy Bowden Crowther
Parsons Behle & Latimer
Salt Lake City, UT

Wendy Bowden Crowther is a shareholder and member of Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group. Her practice focuses on natural resources and environmental law with an emphasis on water law and related litigation.

Ms. Crowther represents municipalities, water conservancy districts, special service districts, irrigation companies, and private water right holders. Ms. Crowther regularly appears before the Utah State Engineer, the District Court, and the Federal Court. She has completed numerous water right and property transfers and is experienced in in both reclamation law and condemnation litigation. Ms. Crowther has also represented clients in matters dealing with the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.


Karen MignoneMembership and Diversity Officer:
Karen A. Mignone
Verrill Dana LLP
Westport, CT

Karen loves getting her hands dirty and digging in with clients to find the most innovative and practical solutions to complex environmental, health and safety problems. She represents manufacturers, contractors and municipalities in matters involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and equivalent state agencies addressing matters of compliance and enforcement. Karen believes it is important to understand client operations, concerns and challenges, and carefully consider these issues when developing strategies for compliance. She has more than 25 years of experience in CERCLA matters, including negotiating consent decrees and administrative orders with federal and state agencies for site cleanup, pursuing and defending cost recovery actions, and performing allocations for multiparty Superfund sites. Karen has defended clients facing criminal charges under the strict liability provisions of environmental statutes including addressing relief from mandatory debarment provisions.

As a member of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Water & Wastewater Utilities practice groups, she works with other attorneys throughout the firm in assisting clients to develop proactive solutions to environmental, health and safety challenges. She assists in transactional matters by performing environmental due diligence and evaluating environmental risks relating to transactions.

Prior to attending law school, Karen was appointed and served as a fulltime municipal firefighter and medic, and was recognized by the State of Rhode Island as one of its "First Ten Women" honoring women for achievement in non-traditional jobs. She and her husband enjoy spending time outdoors, sailing, hiking and bird watching, and love to travel as long as it does not involve camping.


Jeffery S. DennisPublications Officer:
Jeffery S. Dennis
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Washington, DC

Jeff Dennis is Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the Washington, DC office. Prior to that he was Director, Division of Policy Development, in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C.  In that role, he leads efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of existing Commission policies and to identify new and emerging policy issues impacting the Commission’s statutory responsibilities. 

Previously, Jeff served as a Legal Advisor to Commissioner John R. Norris at FERC, where he provided legal and policy advice to the Commissioner on all aspects of FERC’s regulation of the electricity and natural gas industries.  Before joining Commissioner Norris’ staff, Jeff was Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, at Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade association representing investor-owned electric utilities.  Earlier in his career, Jeff was an Attorney-Advisor and Appellate Attorney at FERC, where he advised the Commissioners on electricity regulatory matters, and defended the Commission on appeal before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals.  Jeff has also been an attorney in private practice, representing electricity generators and large power users in federal and state regulatory proceedings. 

Jeff has held several leadership positions in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, including Young Lawyers Division liaison, committee chair, and member of Council.  He is also an active leader in the Energy Bar Association.  In addition, he has published several articles in trade and scholarly publications, and is a frequent speaker on topics in energy and environmental law and policy.  Jeff has a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Order of the Coif, where he earned a certificate in natural resources and environmental law, and a B.A. from Marymount University (Arlington, VA), summa cum laude.


Lee A. DeHihns IIISection Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Lee A. DeHihns III
Alston & Bird LLP
Atlanta, GA

Lee DeHihns is a member of Alston & Bird's Environmental and Land Use Group. He concentrates on regulatory matters and defensive litigation matters for industrial and municipal clients. His areas of concentration include air quality, hazardous waste, water quality and wetlands matters, corporate audits, compliance program development, debarment, and white-collar criminal defense. Lee joined Alston & Bird in 1990 after serving four years as Deputy Regional Administrator of USEPA Region 4. Lee received a Senior Executive Service Meritorious Rank Award from President Bush in 1989. His career began with USEPA in 1974 in Washington, D.C. where he rose to the position of Associate General Counsel. He was the Section Chair (2007-2008) and a member of the Council (2001-2004). He is the Chair of the ABA Task Force on Sustainable Development (2013-2015). He was the Chair of the ABA Delegation to the UN’s Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. He served on two House of Delegates committees - Drafting Committee (2010-2012) and the Resolution and Impact Committee (2012-2014). He was a Class Representative in the SOC (2005-2008) and also served on the SOC Executive Committee (2005-2011). Lee received his B.S. from the University of Scranton in 1967 and his J.D. from Catholic University of America in 1974. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business under environmental law.


Sheila S. HollisSection Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Sheila S. Hollis
Duane Morris LLP
Washington, DC

Sheila Slocum Hollis is chair of the Washington, D.C. office and serves on the firm's Executive Committee and Partners' Board. Ms. Hollis practices in the areas of energy transactional and regulatory law, and international and administrative law before government agencies, Congress and other entities. She specializes in domestic and international energy, water and environmental matters, representing governmental bodies and the power and natural gas industries. She was recently named one of the 50 Key Women in Energy worldwide and was a finalist for Lifetime Achievement in Energy in Platt's Global Energy Awards. Ms. Hollis is the first attorney in private practice to be nominated for the award. With a long career in issues relating to infrastructure, energy reliability, enforcement and compliance, and international energy policy, Ms. Hollis recently successfully represented the District of Columbia in a key electric reliability case.


Immediate Past Chair:
Pamela E. Barker
Lewis Rice LLC
St. Louis, MO

Before joining Lewis Rice, Pam was outside counsel for Appvion, Inc. Prior to that she was the Chief Regulatory and Environmental Cousel and and Assistant General Counsel at Appvion Inc., joining the company in February of 2007. Prior to that, she was a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn S.C., a Milwaukee law firm where she practiced for 27 years. At Godfrey & Kahn she was the co-chair of the Environmental Energy Practice Group. Her primary area of practice was in federal and state environmental law focusing primarily on complex issues arising out of real estate transactions, corporate mergers and acquisitions and lender liability.

Pam has long held leadership positions with the State Bar of Wisconsin and the American Bar Association. In 1993 she was the first woman and youngest President of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Prior to that she served as the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin and was the President of the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association. Pam served eight years in the House of Delegates of the ABA and served on the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA. Within the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Pam has served on the Council, as Chair of the Governance Committee, and as Chair of the Environmental Transaction and Brownfields committee. She has also served on many committees within the American Bar Association including the Commission on Women in the Profession.

In 1979 Pam received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, magna cum laude, and received a B.A., cum laude from Beloit College.


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