JUDITH PRAITIS, a partner in Sidley’s Los Angeles office, is head of the West Coast Environmental practice group and a global co-leader of the firm’s Environmental practice. Ms. Praitis has broad experience counseling clients on environmental transactional issues and on air, water and waste management permitting, compliance, release reporting and enforcement issues under California and federal law. She has helped clients develop and implement environmental management systems, audit protocols and product regulatory compliance schemes, including under Proposition 65 and many California product-specific or chemical-specific regulatory regimes, including California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. Ms. Praitis also routinely advises clients on compliance with and, if necessary, litigation of, Proposition 65 matters, particularly those involving the food and supplement industries and other consumer products. Her Proposition 65 representations have included some of the most significant and complex matters, including several where the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California was the prosecutor.
A particular area of focus is hazardous waste management and site remediation, including the redevelopment of oil field properties and military bases undergoing conversion to civilian uses, and can assist in the legal aspects of brownfields redevelopment. Her client list spans a variety of industries including aerospace, petroleum, shipping, chemicals, hotels, food products, real estate development, electronics, solar energy, cement, metal finishing, furniture and healthcare.
Ms. Praitis has appeared before SCAQMD and BAAQMD and has dealt with various Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the State Water Resources Control Board and CalEPA DTSC. She has worked with all of the major California regulatory authorities, from the Coastal Commission to Fish and Game with the Board of Equalization on environmental taxation. Ms. Praitis has resolved CARB enforcement matters over the years, particularly concerning CARB’s VOC consumer product content regulations.
At the federal level, she provides RCRA compliance counseling, Superfund case management, stormwater compliance, EPCRA matters and release reporting. Ms. Praitis has participated in the federal rule-making process, including formal administrative and legal challenges to EPA rules and has helped negotiate consent decrees and resolve federal enforcement matters.
The recipient of numerous accolades, Ms. Praitis was included in the 2012–2020 editions of Chambers USA, the 2012 and 2014–2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in Environmental Law and the 2013–2020 editions of Who’s Who Legal: Environment. She was also listed as a leading lawyer in Environmental Law in the 2012–2017 editions of The Legal 500. Ms. Praitis earned her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and received an A.B. in political science, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from The University of Chicago.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of California
- U.S. District Court, C.D. of California
- Harvard Law School, J.D., 1988 (cum laude)
- The University of Chicago, A.B., 1985 (with honors, Phi Beta Kappa)