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OVERVIEW

Charles M. Denton
Partner

Grand Rapids, Atlanta

171 Monroe Avenue N.W.
Suite 1000
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2694
3475 Piedmont Road N.E.
Suite 1700
Atlanta, GA 30305-3327

P 616-742-3974

F 616-742-3999

OVERVIEW

Charles M. Denton
Partner

Grand Rapids, Atlanta

171 Monroe Avenue N.W.
Suite 1000
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2694
3475 Piedmont Road N.E.
Suite 1700
Atlanta, GA 30305-3327

P 616-742-3974

F 616-742-3999

Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.

OVERVIEW

Charles M. Denton Partner

Grand Rapids

Atlanta

171 Monroe Avenue N.W.
Suite 1000
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2694
3475 Piedmont Road N.E.
Suite 1700
Atlanta, GA 30305-3327

P : 616-742-3974

Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.

Charlie’s representation of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients includes judicial and administrative environmental proceedings at the federal, state and local levels. He also represents policyholders involved in environmental coverage claim disputes and litigation with millions of dollars in the balance.

In addition, Charlie assists clients with managing environmental risks in commercial transactions, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as ISO 14000 environmental management systems. He advises on lender liability issues and environmental audits to assess potential facility contamination and regulatory compliance for the acquisition and financing of real estate, as well as waste management and remedial actions, environmental permits enforcement, and defense of citizens’ suits.

Charlie serves as a zealous advocate for his clients, focusing on their specific strategic goals and finding solutions that solve their immediate and long-term challenges. Charlie makes a point of understanding his clients’ core objectives from the onset of representation to keep their environmental matter in perspective.

Charlie serves as a federal court arbitrator/mediator/neutral evaluator, a state court facilitative mediator, and an arbitrator and mediator for private ADR proceedings. When serving as a neutral, Charlie remains personally dedicated to finding a balanced approach to dispute resolution that meets the needs and interests of the parties involved. Charlie is valued for his thoughtful understanding of the underlying business and legal issues that permeate every dispute, as well as for his calming approach to resolving the people challenges and emotional aspects that underlie most acrimony. An active listener, Charlie serves as a catalyst to working constructively with even the most disparate parties to achieve a reasonable outcome.

Charlie is actively involved with key industry, legal and environmental associations, often in leadership roles. He is the author and co-author of several publications highlighting environmental law topics, and gives frequent presentations for the American Bar Association, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and State Bar Associations for Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin

Professional and Community Involvement

Member, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), and vice-chair of the Environmental & Energy Law Committee

Member, State Bar of Georgia Environmental Law Section

Member, Georgia Brownfield Association

Board member, State Bar of Wisconsin Environmental Law Section

Former governing council member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation

Former co-chair, American Bar Association Environmental Litigation Committee

Former co-chair, American Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

Former chair, State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section

Board secretary, Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), Georgia Chapter

Former chair, Air & Waste Management Association national Legal/Liability Committee

Former chair, A&WMA Annual Conference & Exhibition, Chicago (2013) and Detroit (2009)

Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta

Board member, Michigan Chemistry Council

Member, NSF-International Strategic Registrations Advisory Council

Member, Michigan Pulp & Paper Environmental Council

Board member, Broadway Grand Rapids

Former president, East Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education

Honors

The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2019; Lawyer of the Year 2013, 2014 and 2018

Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2018

Who’s Who in American Law, 1992-2016

Detroit Bar Association “Chairperson of the Year” (1995-1996)

EXPERIENCE
  • Administrative Law Judge trial defense of road commission for soil erosion and sedimentation claims, including water resources protection; favorable settlement after 2 days of trial.
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented a Japanese cathode material manufacturer for ion lithium batteries for automotive in acquiring a $35 million federal grant from the Department of Energy to establish a new manufacturing plant in Battle Creek Michigan.
  • Defense of Allied Paper for Kalamazoo River PCB contribution claims.
  • Defense of City of Bay City for natural resources damages (NRD) claims arising from Saginaw River & Bay; settlement with Federal, State and Tribal Trustees.
  • Defense of Marley-Wylain Company in proposed class action on behalf of school children in nuisance air emissions lawsuit; dismissal of Complaint against client.
  • Defense of RCRA hazardous waste management penalty and closure claims; related F006 waste delisting appeal (United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit).
  • Defense of soil nutrient land application private nuisance case for property damage and personal injury in jury trial with "no cause" verdict in favor of defendants.
  • Defense of stormwater criminal prosecution, with dismissal of corporate officer.
  • Defense of third-party defendants in Waukegan Harbor sediments contamination litigation, resulting in de minimis contributor settlement.
  • Representation of municipal utility in defense of Sierra Club administrative contested case challenge of NPDES Permit (including ash pond groundwater monitoring); Mandamus litigation in Circuit Court to compel MDEQ issuance of air permit, and successfully opposed Sierra Club intervention, affirmed on appeal; intervened and successfully defended Sierra Club/Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) challenges in Circuit Court to air permit to install for coal-fired power plant, affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented bank in construction financing for new clubhouse and related course improvements at Harbor Shores Golf Course in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Issues included support from local non profit community development foundation as well as significant environmental issues.
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