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Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice (5 positions)

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Washington, DC, USA

Job Type


About the Role

Routine and ad hoc telework options are available in accordance with agency policy. However, the duty location is Washington, D.C. This is not a remote position.

The Environmental Defense Section ("EDS" or "Section") represents the United States in complex and diverse civil litigation arising under a broad range of environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Toxic Substances Control Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

ENRD is the nation's largest and most experienced environmental law firm and is often ranked among the federal government's best places to work. EDS offers one of ENRD's and the Department's most diverse dockets. It is one of the only DOJ components whose attorneys routinely handle cases in the federal courts of appeals and district courts, as well as both affirmative and defensive litigation. EDS defends petitions for review brought in the courts of appeals pursuant to special statutory judicial review provisions of the environmental statutes, as well as claims for judicial review brought in district courts pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act. The substance of these cases ranges, for example, from high-profile, multi-party challenges to major national EPA rules (such as Clean Air Act rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions and rules defining the scope of "waters of the United States" subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act) to more site-specific wetlands permit decisions made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EDS also handles complex claims of liability against federal agencies under the pollution control laws, such as for costs of response actions at Superfund sites, federally-owned facilities, and private sites. The Section also brings affirmative civil enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act, obtaining penalties and injunctive relief from parties that illegally fill wetlands and other regulated waters. In addition to EPA and the Army Corps of Engineer, EDS routinely represents the Department of Defense and its component military branches, the Department of Energy, the Department of Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Section attorneys are responsible for all aspects of complex litigation. This includes pre-trial tasks up to and through trial, such as preparation and filing of dispositive motions, drafting merits briefs, written and document discovery, selecting and working with experts, taking and defending expert and fact witness depositions, presenting oral argument in court, handling witnesses at trial and other evidentiary hearings, and negotiating settlements. Cases range from simpler matters typically handled by a single attorney, to more complicated matters typically handled by a small litigation team. EDS cases present attorneys with the opportunity to regularly appear and argue cases in the district courts and courts of appeals, and to periodically try cases or handle other evidentiary proceedings. EDS attorneys also frequently provide counsel to our client agencies and other DOJ components on litigation, draft regulations, and other environmental and administrative law issues related to our work. In addition, Section attorneys routinely coordinate with their colleagues in the United States Attorneys Offices, the Office of the Solicitor General, and State Attorney Generals Offices.

For more information about the Environmental Defense Section, visit:


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