Jimmy Slaughter has a national practice in environmental, toxic tort, and constitutional litigation.
Jimmy’s many courtroom wins led to Law360 naming him an “MVP” for 2020 and American Lawyer selecting him as a Runner-Up for Litigator of the Week five times in 2019, 2020, and 2021. His recent accomplishments include dismissals of two class actions in a precedent-setting opinion in the New York Appellate Division, winning a writ of mandate against Los Angeles County voiding permit terms for a client’s landfill (achieving savings valued at over $200 million), and securing federal preemption of a Baltimore air ordinance. Jimmy also recently scored a rare equitable estoppel ruling against a major local government, allowing his client to challenge numerous provisions of a conditional use permit. Chiquita Canyon LLC v. Los Angeles County, 2019 WL 6122160 (L.A. Co. Super. Ct. 2019).
Other achievements 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. 2017). Jimmy 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. Jimmy 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).
A Chambers-ranked lawyer, Jimmy is recognized as a leader in mass tort, class action and preemption litigation involving solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, and biosolids. His representation of waste and recycling companies, cities, farms, contractors, and trade associations spans toxic tort, enforcement defense, and complex constitutional and administrative law issues regarding competing federal, state, and local authority. Jimmy speaks regularly at meetings of the American Bar Association, the National Waste and Recycling Association, the Water Environment Federation, its state affiliates, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. He works with the country’s top scientists and engineers to defend his clients in the courts and before government agencies.
Toxic tort defense is a major part of Jimmy'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. Jimmy regularly and successfully challenges plaintiffs’ medical and causation experts under Daubert and Frye.
Jimmy is nationally recognized for his success in preemption and commerce clause challenges to discriminatory and burdensome local legislation. He 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 Jimmy 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 has long been a part of Jimmy’s docket and he has defended and prosecuted CERCLA claims around the country. Jimmy 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).
Jimmy 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 B&D 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.
Jimmy joined B&D after three years as an Assistant and Senior Assistant Public Defender in Fairfax County, Virginia. While with the Public Defender's Office, Jimmy successfully defended against a capital murder indictment in Commonwealth v. Reed. Before joining the Public Defender's Office, Jimmy clerked for the Honorable James Sprouse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
He is active in the American Bar Association (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. In 2022, Law360 appointed Jimmy to its editorial advisory board for environmental law coverage.
He currently serves on the program committee for the Defense Research Institute Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Seminar, is a member of the Environmental Litigation Committee of the ABA Litigation Section, and is the past Co-Chair of the Water Subcommittee, RCRA Subcommittee, and Toxic Tort Subcommittee.
Active in the bar, the District of Columbia Bar Board of Governors in 2022 reappointed Jimmy to serve a second two-year term on the Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee.
- Yale University (B.A., 1982)
- Columbia University (J.D., 1987)
- Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Articles Editor
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals - D.C. Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals – Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court – District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court – Western District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Virginia
- American Bar Association
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Environmental Law Institute
- Defense Research Institute
- Member, District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee
- Water Environment Federation
- National Association of Clean Water Agencies
- National Waste & Recycling Association
- Solid Waste Association of North America
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Virginia Bar Association
- Virginia Bar Association Environmental Council (2016-2021)
- Fairfax Bar Association
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Honors & Awards
- Law 360 MVP, 2020
- American Lawyer, Runner-Up Litigator of the Week, March 1 and 22, 2019 and April 3 and July 10, 2020, October 29, 2021
- Chambers and Partners – USA, ranked in Environmental Law
- Who's Who Legal, part of Law Business Research Ltd., recognition in Environmental Law (2016-2020)
- Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC, Super Lawyer (2014-2020, 2022)
- The Legal 500, recognition in Environmental Litigation (2015; 2017-2019. 2022)