Biography

Paula brings leadership, sound judgment, and strategic thinking to complex environmental litigation.

Paula represents industrial manufacturing and refining companies in toxic torts, product liability suits, and suits brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and other similar statutes. She is sought after for her consensus-building skills in joint defense or other multi-party groups.

Paula specializes in cases concerning groundwater contamination and impacts to drinking water wells. Her significant experience and skill working with experts on issues related to causation, source identification, natural resource damages, remediation and repair, project management, and the fate and transport of contaminants in many types of media are highly valued by clients.

Paula works to understand both her clients’ business needs and litigation goals. She helps her clients manage risks in the manner best suited to their company’s overall strategy. She finds the practice of environmental law empowering, having the tools and credentials that can uncover good solutions for difficult challenges.

As an example of her case work, she:

  • Coordinated expert strategy and numerous expert reports regarding potential impacts to drinking water resources from thousands of sites and across multiple municipal and hydrogeologic boundaries. On the strength of the expert reports and legal arguments supported by them, she helped her client negotiate a very favorable outcome before trial.
  • Created and executed a plan to bring her client into compliance with document preservation and production obligations while it was undergoing significant and stressful change. Her plan for investigation and collection was efficient, targeted, and thorough, paying special attention to the political and business-related tensions at the company. Her strategy succeeded in bringing the client into compliance and put them in a good position for responding to discovery and creating a strong defense going forward.

Professional Background

Paula's research while at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies focused on land use and land use planning, including hydrogeology, wetland analysis, and restoration. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace Law School where she has taught courses in Land Use Law, Environmental Litigation, and Toxic Torts.

Before pursuing her legal career, Paula was a successful singer and songwriter, playing guitar and singing in venues in North Louisiana and Texas. She started and ran a successful corporate gift marketing company in Dallas, TX and was featured in articles in the New York Times and Inc. Magazine. This previous experience, in addition to growing up in a military family that traveled extensively, enhances her ability to approach problems in a creative and interdisciplinary way.

Community Involvement

Paula has served on the firm's Management Committee and as the firm's Diversity & Inclusion principal and Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chair. She is committed to B&D’s ongoing leadership in areas of diversity and inclusion, particularly in the environmental legal profession and serves as the Corporate Secretary for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association

An avid golfer, Paula is a member of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association, a non-profit organization that supports women’s and girls’ leadership development through golf.

Paula is recognized in the 2016 - 2018 editions of Who's Who Legal: Environment and in the 2011-2018 editions of Super Lawyers.

Education

  • State University of New York - Empire State  (B.S.)
    • Business and Environmental Studies
  • Yale University  (M.E.M.)
    • School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • Pace University  (J.D., summa cum laude, 2002)

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Connecticut

Clerkships

  • The Honorable Nina Gershon, United States District Judge in the Eastern District of New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of New York

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Board of Editors for Natural Resources and Environment