Ira Gottlieb practices in the areas of environmental and energy law, natural resource damages ("NRD"), insurance coverage on behalf of policyholders and commercial litigation. He is a member of McCarter’s Executive Committee and the Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Environment & Energy Practice Group. Mr. Gottlieb brings together a wealth of experience from litigating and trying cases, and from his time with the EPA, to assist clients with practical solutions to complex problems. Chambers USA 2014 reports that Mr. Gottlieb "is always very responsive and knowledgeable, and provides great insight into the legal, technical and political nature of environmental issues." In previous Chambers reviews, clients praised Mr. Gottlieb for "efficiently solving problems," that he "flawlessly comes up with brilliant strategy," and for "his skill at assigning the most appropriate resources" to effectively handle matters.
Mr. Gottlieb's environmental and NRD work involves large, multi-party Superfund sites, including urban watershed sites, located around the country. For example, Mr. Gottlieb takes a lead role on behalf of clients on a wide variety of issues involving Superfund and NRD matters concerning the Berry’s Creek Study Area in New Jersey and the Portland Harbor Superfund site in Oregon, as well as at other Superfund sites. Recently, Mr. Gottlieb successfully defended and resolved a cost recovery and environmental indemnity action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Gottlieb’s insurance coverage practice involves an array of litigation and counseling in multi-state environmental and toxic tort cases as well as for claims relating to products liability, business interruption, employers' liability, workers compensation issues, Directors and Officers and Errors and Omissions coverage.
Mr. Gottlieb was part of a litigation team pursuing insurers in New York State Court for recovery of damages to an oil platform in the North Sea. He was lead trial counsel in a D&O coverage action seeking to recover losses arising from wrongful currency trading. Mr. Gottlieb has also litigated and tried commercial property cases concerning disputes over failed real estate transactions. In connection with intellectual property litigation, Mr. Gottlieb is involved in several actions concerning flash memory technology including licensing disputes and recently concluded a lengthy trial in California concerning licensing issues.
Prior to joining McCarter, Mr. Gottlieb served as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III. During his tenure with USEPA, Mr. Gottlieb worked with remedial project managers, on-scene coordinators and other agency staff, as well as the US Department of Justice, US Department of Interior, USACE and various state environmental protection agencies. He acted as lead counsel for USEPA on a number of substantial Superfund Sites, including serving as the lead attorney for USEPA, Region III, in US v. Occidental Chemical, 200 F.3d 143 (3d Cir. 1999), a landmark decision related to the validity of USEPA "Participate and Cooperate" UAOs under CERCLA § 106. While at USEPA, Mr. Gottlieb received the Federal Executive Board gold medal for Excellence in Government and a bronze medal in recognition of his outstanding public service and achievements.
Before joining USEPA, Mr. Gottlieb represented clients in numerous and varied types of litigation, trying several cases to verdict. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on various topics, and publishes articles and book chapters on a range of subjects, including Superfund and Natural Resource Damages, insurance for climate change liabilities and insurance for business interruption. From 2005-07, Mr. Gottlieb was Co-Chair of the Committee on Superfund and NRD Litigation of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. He previously served as the Vice Chair of the Committee and as Editor of the Committee's Newsletter.
He has been recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for 2006, 2008-2014 editions. He has also been recognized as a Chambers USA "Leaders in their Field" lawyer from 2009-2014, and listed in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for both Energy Law and Environmental Law.