James (Jamie) Auslander’s legal practice focuses on environmental, natural resources, and administrative law and litigation. Mr. Auslander represents numerous major and small businesses, trade associations, and state agencies in a wide range of regulatory and litigation matters, both national and local in scope. He serves clients in all phases of a case, including internal compliance, administrative proceedings and negotiations, and litigation when necessary.
Mr. Auslander devotes a significant part of his practice to counseling and litigation under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and similar state laws. He has represented public and private clients in building strong administrative records and robust NEPA analyses to support complex projects and proposals. For example, Mr. Auslander was integral in crafting and implementing a successful strategy to construct a major new highway in the Washington, D.C. area that presented NEPA and other environmental issues that many felt were impossible to resolve. He also advises a biotechnology company regarding the NEPA sufficiency of petitions to commercialize genetically modified crop seeds. Further, Mr. Auslander represents an industry association in a NEPA matter involving modes of recreation in national parks.
Another cornerstone of Mr. Auslander’s practice addresses complex legal issues surrounding development of oil and gas, hardrock minerals, other natural resources, and renewable energy on public lands onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). Mr. Auslander assists multinational corporations, domestic companies, and leading industry trade associations in protecting valuable lease rights and navigating the ever-changing environmental requirements to develop those leases. He frequently works with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (the former Minerals Management Service) and prosecutes appeals before the Interior Board of Land Appeals regarding royalty, suspension, decommissioning, regulatory departures, and other issues. Mr. Auslander has also drafted proposed mineral leasing reform legislation, analyzed the constitutionality of proposed new royalty obligations, submitted comments on proposed wind leasing regulations, and updated clients’ corporate reporting policies.
Biosolids and solid waste issues also comprise a significant part of Mr. Auslander’s practice. Mr. Auslander represents municipalities and local businesses in challenging parochial bans on biosolids and solid waste. In one case, representing a coalition of biosolids generators, haulers, and farmers, he helped successfully preliminary enjoin enforcement of a local ban on recycling of biosolids as fertilizer to farmland. Mr. Auslander serves as Common Counsel to a large group of Potentially Responsible Parties (“PRPs”) at one of the biggest Superfund sites in the United States. He has also provided advice on the proper handling and disposal of products and waste containing PCBs and other contaminants. Mr. Auslander also assists with the maintenance of the firm’s AgTech Resource Center .
In his environmental litigation practice, Mr. Auslander has brought and defended cases in federal and state courts across the country, including authoring multiple briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has fashioned and pursued claims based on the U.S. and State Constitutions to challenge discriminatory and burdensome measures, including on federal and state preemption, Commerce Clause, Equal Protection, Due Process, takings, police power, and other theories. He has also extensively briefed important and recurring threshold matters of jurisdiction and standing. In a toxic tort case, Mr. Auslander secured a favorable court ruling excluding proffered expert testimony under the Daubert doctrine. Mr. Auslander also has considerable Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) experience, including a successful “reverse-FOIA” lawsuit in federal court to prevent an agency from disclosing a client’s confidential proprietary information.
Mr. Auslander is well-versed in various issues arising under the Administrative Procedure Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Plant Protection Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, as well as a range of international laws and treaties. Finally, he maintains a steady pro bono practice involving immigration, estate planning, and teaching environmental law to elementary schoolchildren.
Mr. Auslander received his legal degree from Harvard Law School (J.D., 2005) and his undergraduate degrees in Public Policy Studies and Economics, as well as a Certificate in Health Policy, from Duke University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2002). While attending Harvard, Mr. Auslander served as President of the Harvard Environmental Law Society (2003-04) and Line Editor on the Harvard Environmental Law Review. Mr. Auslander previously worked as a law clerk in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Law and Policy Section, of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as policy intern in the Director's office of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, focusing on international environmental policy.
Mr. Auslander has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers Editions 2014 -2017 as a "Rising Star."