Environmental Litigation

Legal Team

Environmental Litigation Legal Team

Steve Berman attorney headshotSteve W. Berman, Managing Partner

Steve Berman co-founded Hagens Berman in 1993 and is the firm’s managing partner. He represents consumers, investors and employees in large, complex litigation held in state and federal courts and has made environmental litigation a cornerstone of the firm's mission statement.

Steve represented clients against Exxon Mobil affected by the 10 million gallons of oil spilled off the coast of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez, securing a multimillion-dollar award. Under his leadership, the firm has represented an impoverished Alaskan village against some of the world's largest greenhouse gas offenders, filing suit against nine oil companies and 14 electric power companies. Steve has also prompted the firm to file environmental cases related to grass burning, commercial development at Grand Canyon national park, and has also represented property owners in class-action litigation for property damage and environmental harm to the sensitive Puget Sound region, caused by a high-speed fast ferry operated by Washington State Ferries.

Steve has pioneered pursuing car manufacturers who have been violating emissions standards, including: Mercedes BlueTEC vehicles, GM Chevy Cruze, Dodge Ram 2500, Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Cherokee. Steve and the firm’s work in emissions-cheating investigations is often ahead of the EPA and government regulators.

In 2003, Steve and his wife  established the Kathy and Steve Berman Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Washington, giving law students an opportunity to become hands-on advocates for the region's environment.

Berman’s trial experience has earned him significant recognition and led The National Law Journal to name him one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the nation, and to repeatedly name Hagens Berman one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country. He is considered one of the nation’s most successful class-action attorneys. more »


As partner an co-chair of Hagens Berman's environmental practice group, Matt Pawa, helps lead the firm's innovative efforts against oil companies and others that perpetuate global warming and other instances of environmental degradation. Matt represented the state of New Hampshire for 13 years in a groundwater contamination case against the nation’s largest oil companies, which resulted in more than $100 million in pre-trial settlements and a $236 million verdict against Exxon Mobil Corporation in 2013 – the largest verdict in New Hampshire history.

His novel approach to environmental law formed first-of-their-kind global warming cases. He has handled jury trials, bench trials and argued appeals in state and federal courts in Massachusetts and across the nation, and collaborated with state attorneys general and non-profit clients on a major global warming case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. more »

Emerson Hilton attorney headshotBARBARA MAHONEY, PARTNER

Barbara Mahoney is a partner at Hagens Berman's Seattle office where she litigates complex class-action cases within multiple practice areas, including environmental litigation. Barbara is currently working on the firm's Cane Run Power Plant case, in which the firm represents Kentucky homeowners in a class-action lawsuit against Louisville Gas and Electric Company. The suit alleges that it  illegally dumped waste from a coal-fired power plant onto neighboring property and homes and seeks monetary and statutory damages, as well as injunctive relief that orders Louisville Gas and Electric Company to cease activities that allow coal combustion byproducts to escape from the Cane Run site.

She also has been involved heavily in the firm's governmental representation cases, including several lawsuits against McKesson Corporation relating to allegations that the company engaged in a scheme that raised the prices of more than 400 brand-name prescription drugs. That litigation has resulted in two separate national class-action settlements for $350 million and $82 million. Ms. Mahoney is currently involved in continuing related litigation on behalf of the commonwealth of Virginia and the state of Arizona more »

Benjamin A. Krass attorney headshotBenjamin Krass, OF COUNSEL

Benjamin Krass is an of counsel attorney at Hagens Berman's Newton, Massachusetts office and brings more than a decade of environmental law experience to the firm. He represented the state of New Hampshire from 2003-2016 in litigation against major oil companies for statewide contamination of the state’s waters with the chemical and gasoline additive MTBE. He also helped obtain settlements of $136 million from approximately a dozen defendants prior to or at the commencement of trial and participated in the three-month trial against ExxonMobil which resulted in a $236 million jury verdict against ExxonMobil.  more »

Wesley Kelman attorney headshotWesley Kelman, OF COUNSEL

Wes has worked for many years to protect the environment, beginning at the Environmental Protection Agency and continuing in private practice. He is currently an of counsel attorney at Hagens Berman, where his practice focuses on major environmental cases.

He worked on key early global warming cases, and on New Hampshire's $236 million recovery against ExxonMobil in a groundwater contamination case.

Wes has prevailedon behalf of state attorneys general and has also represented trusts and an Alaskan native village in global warming claims, as well as citizen groups including administrative litigation over air pollution permits, including a challenge to a major new power plant. more »

Ted Wojcik attorney headshotTED WOJCIK, ASSOCIATE

Ted is devoted to working on behalf of those harmed by corporate misconduct, and has experience advocating for individuals in several contexts. He is an associate attorney at Hagens Berman's Seattle office. Prior to joining the firm, Ted served as a clerk to U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen, and prior to that, for Judge Marjorie Allard in the Alaska Court of Appeals. more »