John S. Guttmann photo

John S. Guttmann

Principal


1350 I Street, N.W.
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005-3311

Washington
New York

Practices
Practices
Education
Education
  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A., cum laude, 1975)
  • Cornell University (J.D., 1978)
Bar Admissions & Memberships
Bar Admissions & Memberships
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • American Bar Association

Mr. Guttmann represents companies in complex, high-stakes toxic tort, product liability and environmental litigation. He has served in leading roles in litigation matters with potential damages/awards in the billions of dollars, and has secured dismissal or reduction of claims in numerous matters that have saved clients millions of dollars. By blending regulatory, transactional, and litigation expertise (including representation of clients as plaintiffs) into an integrated whole, Mr. Guttmann offers clients the benefit of all three perspectives in charting a course of action that is most advantageous for their businesses.

Mr. Guttmann currently serves as lead national counsel for a petroleum refiner in all MTBE product liability litigation and is a member of the defense steering committee for the refining industry in those cases. He leads a team that is currently defending a public utility in multiple cases claiming health effects due to alleged lead exposure. In one of these cases, he recently successfully argued in opposition to class certification.

Mr. Guttmann devotes a substantial part of his practice to the defense of natural resource damages (NRD) cases brought by trustees. He is currently representing defendants in NRD litigation brought by five different sovereigns.

Other examples of his environmental litigation experience include serving as lead counsel in cases arising under NEPA, RCRA, CERCLA, and the Clean Air Act. These matters have included cases pending in various federal trial and appellate courts, cases before the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals, and administrative enforcement actions at EPA.

Mr. Guttmann’s litigation experience also includes indemnity litigation, securities class actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims, directors and officers liability suits, complex contract cases, unfair competition cases, and health insurance matters. He also has represented several clients in SEC enforcement proceedings.

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Guttmann served as law clerk for Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr. of the United States District of Columbia. He has served in numerous Firm leadership positions, including as Managing Principal of the Firm.

Mr. Guttmann holds leadership positions in a number of organizations.  He is Chair of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee of the Defense Research Institute, General Counsel and member of the Board of Directors of NAEM (formerly the National Association for Environmental Management) and a member of the Board of Directors of the C&O Canal Trust.  

In addition, he has spoken on topics related to environmental litigation at meetings sponsored by the Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association and the Environmental Law Institute as well as at the annual NRD conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

Mr. Guttmann is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  He was selected for inclusion in the 2015-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America , and the 2015-2017 editions of Super Lawyers.

PUBLICATIONS

The Likely Expansion Of Environmental Tort Claims , Environmental Law360 , June 2010

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