Professionals / James B. Slaughter
James B. Slaughter
1350 I Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3311
Bar Admissions & Memberships
Jimmy Slaughter has a national practice in environmental litigation. Mr. Slaughter joined Beveridge & Diamond in 1991 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 (1991). 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 has tried numerous jury and bench trials and argued cases before many federal and state appellate and trial courts across the country. Recent accomplishments include a defense judgment in the District of Columbia Superior Court after a three week trial on tort claims alleging Mr. Slaughter's client supplied corrosive water to apartment buildings. Cormier v. D.C. WASA, 2011 D.C. Super. Lexis 7, and defense summary judgment in a mass tort case alleging injury from land application of biosolids. Gilbert v. Synagro, 2012 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. Lexis 323.
Toxic tort defense is a significant part of Mr. Slaughter's practice, including defense of wrongful death, serious personal injury and nuisance claims. Mr. Slaughter has led defense efforts in nationally prominent toxic tort cases regarding the alleged health impacts of biosolids. Mr. Slaughter has litigated many Daubert challenges and successfully settled many tort cases after securing concessions from opposing experts.
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 generations ago.
Mr. Slaughter is nationally recognized for his experience and innovative approaches to the use of the dormant Commerce Clause to challenge discriminatory and burdensome local legislation. He has mounted some of the few successful efforts to overturn local laws and regulations based on this complex constitutional doctrine. Recently, 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 designed and led the successful efforts of the City of Los Angeles to overturn a local ban on the City’s use of its sewage sludge (biosolids) on California farmland as a fertilizer on Commerce Clause and other grounds.
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 Cheminova 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 is active in the ABA Section of Litigation, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), 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 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.
Recent significant cases tried or argued by Jimmy Slaughter:
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Legal Challenges to Land Application: Local ordinances are defeated, but "toxic tort" lawsuits by site neighbors continue