Jimmy Slaughter has a national practice in environmental, toxic tort and constitutional litigation. Recent accomplishments include securing a unanimous win in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court defeating toxic tort claims, Gilbert v. Synagro Central , 131 A.3d 1 (Pa. 2015) and a plaintiffs judgment after a two week trial on constitutional challenges to a voter initiative banning land application of biosolids, City of Los Angeles v. Kern County , 2017 WL 1292822 (Tulare Co. Cal. Super. Ct.). Mr. Slaughter also scored three wins on preemption claims in 2013 and 2014 before the California Court of Appeal and the Washington Court of Appeals involving solid waste issues. Mr. Slaughter has tried numerous jury and bench trials and argued cases before many federal and state appellate and trial courts across the country, including the California, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia supreme courts. See, e.g., Cormier v. D.C. WASA , 2011 WL 4543680, 84 A.3d 492 (D.C. 2013) (trial win and appellate affirmance, defeating tort claims of corrosive drinking water).
Mr. Slaughter is recognized as a leader in litigation involving drinking water, wastewater and biosolids over the last twenty years. His representation of cities, farms, contractors, and trade associations on waste issues spans toxic tort, enforcement defense, and complex constitutional and administrative law issues regarding competing federal, state and local authority. Mr. Slaughter speaks regularly at meetings of the Water Environment Federation, its state affiliates, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. He works with the country’s top hydrogeologists, microbiologists and fate and transport experts to defend his clients in the courts and before agencies.
Toxic tort defense is a significant part of Mr. Slaughter's practice, including defense of wrongful death, serious personal injury and nuisance claims. He has handled the country’s most significant cases involving alleged public health impacts from land application of biosolids and from allegations of lead in drinking water. Mr. Slaughter regularly and successfully challenges plaintiffs’ medical and causation experts under Daubert and Frye .
Mr. Slaughter is nationally recognized for his success in preemption and commerce clause challenges to discriminatory and burdensome local legislation. Mr. Slaughter led a coalition of electronics trade groups and manufacturers in challenging the constitutionality of New York City's recycling and product-take back mandates. After Mr. Slaughter filed a motion for preliminary injunction, the City agreed to stay implementation of the law. He also led the successful efforts of the City of Los Angeles to overturn a local ban on the City’s use of its biosolids on California farmland as a fertilizer on Commerce Clause and other constitutional grounds.
Superfund litigation is a major part of Mr. Slaughter's docket and he has defended and prosecuted CERCLA claims around the country. Since joining Beveridge & Diamond, Mr. Slaughter has led several PRP Group representations and won a major successor liability ruling in Pfohl Brothers Landfill Site Steering Committee v. Allied Waste, 255 F. Supp. 2d 134 (W.D.N.Y. 2003). Mr. Slaughter's CERCLA practice focuses on complex, expert-driven liability and allocation issues in litigation, arbitration and mediation settings. He has overcome repeatedly the common challenge in CERCLA cases of proving liability for hazardous waste disposal from generations ago.
Mr. Slaughter also litigates and arbitrates cases under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), focusing on the defense of the rights of data owners against follow-on registrants of pesticides. He was co-counsel with other Beveridge & Diamond Principals in the landmark case of C heminova A/S v.Griffin L.L.C., 182 F. Supp. 2d 68 (D.D.C 2002), which underscored that data compensation awards pursuant to FIFRA’s mandatory arbitration scheme are fully enforceable in court.
Mr. Slaughter joined Beveridge & Diamond after three years as an Assistant and Senior Assistant Public Defender in Fairfax County, Virginia. While with the Public Defender's Office, Mr. Slaughter successfully defended against a capital murder indictment in Commonwealth v. Reed . Before joining the Public Defender's Office, Mr. Slaughter clerked for the Honorable James Sprouse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Slaughter is active in the ABA Section of Litigation, the Defense Research Institute, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF). He speaks and writes frequently on litigation and environmental law topics.
He currently serves on the program committee for the Defense Research Institute Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Seminar, is Co-Chair of the Mass Environmental/Toxic Torts Subcommittee of the Environmental Litigation Committee of the ABA Litigation Section, and is the past Co-Chair of the Water Subcommittee and RCRA Subcommittee.
Mr. Slaughter holds an AV rating from Martindale rated by peers and members of the judiciary, is recognized by Law Business Research in Who's Who Legal: Environment 2016, and has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers editions 2014-2017.
Recent significant reported cases tried or argued by Jimmy Slaughter: