- Emory University (B.A., History, Political Science, and Human and Natural Ecology, magna cum laude, 1998)
- University of Virginia (J.D., 2003)
Bar Admissions & Memberships
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Virginia
- U.S. District Court, Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- American Bar Association
- Women's Bar Association of Washington, DC
Nessa Horewitch Coppinger focuses her practice on complex environmental litigation, including multi-district litigation and multi-party product liability. She has led significant trial court and appellate matters, including federal appeals, to successful conclusion. She has experience with a range of high-stakes litigation, including mass environmental claims, coordinated litigation with Federal government entities, class action, and single-party litigation. Nessa also counsels on and litigates matters involving the National Environmental Policy Act. She has achieved favorable results for FORTUNE® 100 companies, states, and counties in federal and state courts throughout the country. She litigates federal and state statutory claims, as well as common law tort claims, with particular experience in product liability and nuisance claims. Nessa has played a leading role in large joint defense groups and in coordinated litigation with federal and state governments, as well as in smaller single-party litigation matters.
Examples of Nessa's experience include:
- Oral argument and unanimous decision from the D.C. Circuit in a precedent-setting case regarding modification of an injunction under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
- Securing summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia defending the Bureau of Reclamation’s NEPA review of a $250 million water infrastructure project on behalf of the State of North Dakota.
- Serving as one of the lead lawyers on a team defending numerous products liability and toxic tort cases related to alleged groundwater contamination involving a gasoline additive in both federal and state courts. In the course of one of these cases, Ms. Coppinger briefed novel issues regarding the scope of a state’s authority to bring claims on behalf of its citizens for the New Hampshire State Supreme Court.
- Successfully defeating class certification on behalf of an oil refiner client in a proposed statewide class action in federal court against numerous refiners involving alleged damage to boats from certain fuels.
- Representing a coke plant in a lawsuit alleging Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit claims as well as state common law tort claims.
- Advising developers of water infrastructure on the NEPA process and issues arising under NEPA (including invasive species), including the preparation of a full Environmental Impact Statement.
Nessa co-chairs the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, as well as the Firm’s Associates Committee. She serves as the Book Editor for the American Bar Association’s Environmental Litigation Committee, and she also served several terms as the co-chair of the Environmental Law Forum of the Women’s Bar Association of Washington, DC. Ms. Coppinger has been selected for inclusion in the 2015-2018 editions of The
Best Lawyers in America.