The Section is currently comprised of approximately 155 attorneys, with complementary support staff, making it one of the largest litigation offices in the Department of Justice. EES is headed by a Section Chief, three Deputy Section Chiefs, an Assistant Chief for Management, an Assistant Chief for Special Litigation, and six Assistant Chiefs for Litigation.
Litigation. Each of the six Assistant Chiefs for Litigation supervises a litigation group of from 18 to 23 trial lawyers. Each group has responsibility for either 1 or 2 of the 10 federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions and is generally responsible for handling all litigation within those regional boundaries.
Senior Lawyers. Assigned to each of the six litigation groups are designated “Senior Lawyers” who generally provide the first line of review for staff attorney work. Senior Lawyers are experienced and accomplished environmental litigators who spend approximately 50 percent of their time on their own cases and 50 percent on supervisory responsibilities. The Senior Lawyer position was created in 1985 to assist the Assistant Chiefs in the management of the litigation groups. Staff attorneys, particularly new attorneys, work closely with the Senior Lawyers on a day-to-day basis.
Senior Counsel. In addition, the Section has designated thirteen experienced litigators as “Senior Counsel” most of whom report directly to the Section Chief, or a Deputy Chief, and are responsible for the prosecution of some of the Section’s most important and complex cases. Unlike Senior Lawyers, most Senior Counsel are not assigned to a litigation group and do not supervise staff attorneys other than those assigned to their own cases.
Assistant Chief for Management. Support for the Section’s attorneys is provided by the Assistant Chief for Management who has overall responsibility for the Section’s Administrative Unit, Paralegal Unit, Case Management Unit, and Litigation Support Unit. In addition, the Assistant Chief for Management is responsible for, among other things, budgetary and personnel matters, training and attorney hiring, and the recruitment of volunteer law clerks. Unit. In addition, the Assistant Chief for Management is responsible for, among other things, budgetary and personnel matters, training and attorney hiring, and the recruitment of volunteer law clerks.
Assistant Chief for Special Litigation manages:
- a small group of attorneys who (among other responsibilities) develop model documents and other guidance documents for Section attorneys and work on other litigation related issues, such as ethics issues; and
- certain national multi-regional cases, such as those involving violations of the Clean Air Act’s mobile source requirements and lead paint cases.
Location of Staff
While most of the Section’s employees are located in Washington DC, in response to litigation staffing requirements and increased travel demands, the Section established four small field locations in San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, and Boston and, until 2009, had one attorney assigned to the Division’s Anchorage field office.
EES attorneys were located in these cities to allow for more efficient and cost-effective Section participation in the routinely complex and prolonged litigation originating in these EPA Regional Offices. Each of the field offices reports to the Washington-based Assistant Chief responsible for litigation in their region. All case assignments to the field attorneys are made by the Assistant Chief.