James Ray has more than 20 years of experience as an environmental and product liability litigator and counselor, and he has served as court-appointed common counsel or liaison counsel in multiple environmental matters. These experiences, combined with a strong technical and business background, enable him to work effectively with engineers, scientists, other experts, and legal counsel to help clients minimize risk and solve compliance, enforcement, site remediation, and cost allocation challenges.
Jim has been selected as coordinating or liaison counsel for joint defense groups and has been court-appointed common counsel for groups of defendants in a number of environmental disputes. He has represented groups in active environmental litigation and guided other groups through administrative proceedings and cost allocation efforts. At most sites, his efforts resulted in the groups quickly resolving their cost allocation disputes, thereby avoiding litigation and allowing him to lead the groups' efforts to promptly and cost-effectively (in some cases under budget) address the underlying environmental problems. These engagements typically involve sites with complicated scientific issues, a multitude of consultants and experts, numerous parties with different interests and levels of involvement, and document management challenges.
Jim represents clients in environmental litigation at sites throughout the United States. These disputes arise under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Clean Water Act, and most other federal and state environmental statutes. His legal experience and technical background enable him to promptly evaluate cases and recommend an appropriate strategy to his clients, whether that involves preparing a case and taking it to trial or positioning the client to pursue a favorable settlement. He has obtained a number of favorable verdicts in cases brought under federal, state and common law causes of action.
Environmental Counseling and Dispute Resolution
Jim regularly serves on the Steering Committees at Superfund sites, represents clients in alternative dispute resolution efforts, counsels clients in connection with their compliance efforts under a multitude of environmental programs, and advises clients and insurers on site cleanup efforts and the costs and obligations related to such efforts. He works closely with his clients, experts and other lawyers to creatively solve his clients’ risk management challenges.
Jim defends lead-based paint, mold, and product liability cases. He counsels clients involved in product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and has advised those clients on their reporting obligations and voluntary corrective action programs.
He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Environmental Law from 2008 to 2015 and for 2018 and 2019 as well as Litigation - Environmental for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018, and 2019.
Before joining the firm, Jim worked as an engineer for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). His DEEP experience included enforcement and permitting under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and analysis of environmental considerations in litigation, real estate transactions, and bankruptcy.