Joseph J. McGovern
Chair, Environmental Department
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Contact:
Phone: 215-665-3058
joseph.mcgovern@obermayer.com
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Joseph J. McGovern concentrates his practice on environmental law.

Mr. McGovern has represented a diverse client base including multinational corporations, regionally prominent businesses and individuals. He has served as special environmental counsel for clients based in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Michigan.

He has handled matters involving:

  • Claims for insurance coverage for removal of pollutants from commercial real estate;
  • Asbestos abatement;
  • PCB discharges and cleanup in office buildings; and
  • Claims for insurance coverage for damage to commercial buildings from mold, mildew and fungus.

Mr. McGovern has tried numerous cases to verdict. He has litigated environmental claims arising from high-rise office building fires; electrical equipment failures; pipeline accidents; hazardous materials spills; historic waste disposal practices; and alleged non-compliance with federal and state regulations applicable to manufacturers and recyclers.

Mr. McGovern has successfully represented corporate officers alleged to have violated criminal provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act, and has conducted “in house” investigations on behalf of boards of directors, in connection with claims by EPA against corporate officers and managers.

Prior to joining Obermayer in 1990, Mr. McGovern was senior counsel in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., where he served as litigation team leader in high priority enforcement cases brought under Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. While with the Justice Department, Mr. McGovern was one of the government’s principal litigators in numerous cases of national significance.

Before joining the Environmental Enforcement Section, Mr. McGovern served for four years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Selected Federal Cases

  • BRO-TECH Corporation t/a the Purolite Company. v. THERMAX, INC., 2010 WL 147921 (E.D.Pa. 2010)
  • BRO-TECH Corporation t/a the Purolite Company. v. THERMAX, INC., 651 F. Supp.2d 378 (E.D.Pa. 2009)
  • BRO-TECH Corporation t/a the Purolite Company. v. THERMAX, INC., 2009 WL 737349 (E.D.Pa. 2009)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 384 B.R. 80 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., March 20, 2008)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 384 B.R. 66 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., March 20, 2008)
  • Miller v. Santilli, 2008 WL 355516 (E.D.Pa., February 07, 2008)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 375 B.R. 112 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., September 07, 2007)
  • Miller v. Santilli, 2007 WL 839981 (E.D.Pa., March 15, 2007)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 362 B.R. 135 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., February 13, 2007)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 361 B.R. 747 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., February 13, 2007)
  • In re American Business Financial Services, Inc., 360 B.R. 74 (Bkrtcy.D.Del., February 13, 2007)
  • Portnoy v. Omnicare Pharm., Inc., No. 02-2905, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12235 (E.D. Pa. June 25, 2004)
  • Allianz Ins. Co. v. SSR Realty Advisors, Inc., No. 02-7253, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9585 (E.D. Pa. June 5, 2003)
  • Thompson Precision Ball Co. v. PSB Assocs. Liquidating Trust, No. 99 C 6943, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 340 (D.Conn. Jan. 11, 2001)
  • Cigna Ins. Co. v. Didimoi Prop. Holdings, 110 F.Supp.2d 259 (D.Del. 2000)
  • Keystone Coke Co. v. Pasquale, No. 97-6074, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2591 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 9, 1999)
  • Keystone Coke Co. v. Pasquale, No. 97-6074, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2589 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 9, 1999)
  • Keystone Coke Co. v. Pasquale, No. 97-6074, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 7, 1999)
  • Hyde Athletic Indus., Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co., 969 F.Supp. 289 (E.D. Pa. 1997)
  • United States v. Keystone Sanitation Co, No. 1:CV-93-1482, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13651 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 22, 1996)
  • United States v. Atlas Minerals and Chemicals, Inc., No. 91-5118, 1995 WL 510304 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 22, 1995)
  • United States v. Atlas Minerals and Chemicals, Inc., 851 F.Supp. 639 (E.D. Pa. 1994)
  • United States v. Keystone Sanitation Co., 885 F.Supp. 672 (E.D. Pa. 1994)
  • United States v. Atlas Minerals and Chemicals, Inc., No. 91-5118, 1993 WL 485561 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 15, 1993)
  • United States v. Atlas Minerals and Chemicals, Inc., No. 91-5118, 1993 WL 406727 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 4, 1993)
  • Blount Int’l, Ltd. v. Schuylkill Energy Res. Inc., No. 88-3886, 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17366 (E.D. Pa. Dec.17, 1990), aff'd 16 F.3d 402 (3d Cir. 1993)
  • Macht v. Skinner, 916 F.2d 13 (D.C. Cir. 1990)
  • Macht v. Skinner, 715 F.Supp. 1131 (D.D.C. 1989)
  • United States v. Charles George Trucking Co., 823 F.2d 685 (1st Cir.1987)
  • United States v. Mattiace Indus. Inc., 73 B.R. 816 (E.D.N.Y. 1987)
  • United States v. Charles George Trucking Co., 624 F.Supp.1185 (D.Mass. 1986)
  • United States v. Metropolitan Dist. Comm’n, No. 85-0489-MA, 83-1614-MA, 1985 WL 9071 (D.Mass. Sept. 5, 1985)
  • Conservation Law Found. of New England, Inc. v. Clark, 590 F.Supp.1467 (D.Mass. 1984)
  • Greenwald v. Olsen, 583 F.Supp. 1002 (D.Mass. 1984)
  • Bouchard v. Sec’y of Health and Human Serv., 583 F.Supp. 944 (D.Mass. 1984)
  • Maslauskas v. United States, 583 F.Supp. 349 (D.Mass. 1984)
  • Ahern v. U.S. Army Materials and Mechanics Research Ctr., 580 F.Supp. 1405 (D.Mass. 1984)
  • United States v. 125.2 Acres of Land, 732 F.2d 239 (1st Cir. 1984)
  • United States v. 0.37of an Acre of Land, 577 F.Supp. 236 (D.Mass. 1983)
  • 9 to 5 Org. for Women Office Workers v. Bd. of Governors of the Fed. Res. System, 721 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1983)
  • United States v. 177.5 Acres of Land, 716 F.2d 78 (1st Cir. 1983)
  • United States v. 125.02 Acres of Land, 707 F.2d 11 (1st Cir. 1983)
  • United States v. 176.10 Acres of Land, 558 F.Supp. 1379 (D.Mass. 1983)
  • Fitzpatrick v. Pierce, 553 F.Supp. 167 (D.Mass. 1982)
  • 9 to 5 Org. of Women Office Workers v. Bd. of Governors of the Fed. Res. System, 551 F.Supp. 1006 (D.Mass. 1982)
  • United States v. 125.07 Acres of Land, 667 F.2d 243 (1st Cir.1981)
  • Branning v. United States, 654 F.2d 88 (Cl. Ct. 1981)
  • Appeal of Goodrich Engineering Inc., 80-2 BCA P 14780, 1980 WL 2737 (A.S.B.C.A. Oct. 10, 1980)
  • Appeal of Brinegar & Fuller Inc., 80-1 BCA P 14334, 1980 WL 2964 (A.S.B.C.A. Feb. 28, 1980)
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Professional & Civic Activities

  • Programs Vice Chair: American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee (2012-2013)
  • Lecturer:  EPA Region II, Environmental Regulation Conference
  • Lecturer:  U.S. Dept. of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section Lecture Series
  • Lecturer:  U.S. Dept. of Justice, Attorney General's Advocacy Institute
  • Student Advisor: Trial Advocacy Workshop, Harvard Law School
  • Leader of Explorer Post 912: (Careers in the law), Exploring Division of Philadelphia Council of Boy Scouts of America
  • Board Member: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Bethesda, MD
  • Patient Liaison: Family Support Services, St. Christopher’s Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Member: Cystic Fibrosis Patient and Family Advisory Board, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA
  • Cabinet Member: World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

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