Hicks Thomas LLP is strengthening its veteran team of environmental litigators with the addition of seasoned appellate specialist and trial lawyer Eric Grant, who rejoins the Houston-based firm after serving as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Mr. Grant’s return comes nearly four years after he joined DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and it reflects Hicks Thomas’ decision to further fortify its defense of corporate clients facing an anticipated increase in new environmental regulation and litigation.
“Eric already brings to the firm a wealth of trial and appellate experience,” said Hicks Thomas Partner John Thomas. “Now, with all of the new energy and environmental developments expected as a result of a new presidential administration, Eric’s experience at the Department of Justice will be an incredible asset to our clients.”
In his role at DOJ, Mr. Grant supervised the Environment Division’s Appellate Section, which prosecutes and defends direct appeals and requests for extraordinary relief in the federal courts of appeals and in state appellate courts, as well as assisting the Solicitor General in litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also supervised the Indian Resources Section, which litigates water rights, reservation boundaries, land-into-trust decisions, and other matters in federal and state courts. Most recently, he supervised the Environmental Defense Section, which defends rules issued by the EPA and other federal agencies under the pollution control statutes; defends those agencies against claims for contribution, response costs, and natural resource damages; and brings enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act.
During his previous tenure at Hicks Thomas, Mr. Grant successfully defended clients in litigation involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and other environmental contamination claims. He also won a unanimous decision in the California Supreme Court that established the right of ratepayers to lower utility rates charged by public agencies, and he filed a successful petition for certiorari and argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I am very happy to be joining the outstanding team of litigators at Hicks Thomas,” said Mr. Grant. “It was an incredible opportunity to see firsthand the inner workings of DOJ’s environmental enforcement and defense activities, and I am looking forward to using what I learned to advocate on behalf of our clients.”
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