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Neal McAliley

Neal McAliley

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Overview

Neal McAliley has practiced environmental law and litigation for more than 25 years. He focuses primarily on federal matters, and advises clients on environmental issues related to energy production, permitting, real estate transactions, wetland jurisdiction, environmental issues associated with public infrastructure projects, and administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement. He has significant experience in litigation involving federal agencies under NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Lacey Act, and related federal environmental statutes.

Neal has handled regulatory and litigation matters for clients in multiple industries. Over his career, Neal has represented businesses in the energy industry (including electric utilities, renewable energy, and oil and gas companies), mining industry, aviation industry (including airlines and airports), seafood industry, agriculture industry, and clean tech businesses. Neal has extensive experience in environmental regulation and litigation related to public infrastructure projects of all types, including regional water projects, power facilities, airports, seaports, and rail systems. He also has represented companies in enforcement matters under multiple environmental and non-environmental statutes, including administrative, civil, criminal, forfeiture, and contract debarment proceedings.

Neal began his career as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, prosecuting environmental crimes and representing federal agencies in civil environmental litigation. His cases included litigation related to restoration of the Florida Everglades; endangered species conflicts related to water management; realignment of an Air Force base; and prosecutions of companies for ocean dumping, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, and illegal importation of threatened and endangered species.

In the business realm, Neal counsels clients on a range of general civil and criminal litigation, general commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense matters, from conducting internal investigations for multinational companies to commercial litigation and class action defense.

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Experience

  • Represented Burnett Oil Co., Inc. against a lawsuit challenging federal agency approvals for a seismic survey in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ environmental claims, clearing the way for the survey to proceed.
  • Represented the City of Dania Beach, a Florida municipality concerned with the effect of the major expansion of the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on city residents. Through engagement in the administrative process and several legal proceedings over the course of a decade, the city succeeded in delaying the project, and obtained a mitigation package worth tens of millions of dollars for city residents. In addition to his work for Dania Beach, Neal has represented parties in environmental disputes related to three other airports.
  • Represented New Hope Power Company, a Florida renewable energy company, in a challenge to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' assertion of regulatory jurisdiction over farmland under the Clean Water Act. The court ruled that the agency had improperly expanded the scope of its regulatory jurisdiction without undergoing normal rulemaking procedures, which resulted in New Hope avoiding the need for a federal permit to construct a renewable energy facility.
  • Represented multiple seafood companies since 2004 in administrative, civil and criminal enforcement proceedings related to the importation of seafood into the United States. In these matters, he defended clients against criminal indictment for alleged violations of environmental laws, achieved civil resolutions of other matters where criminal charges were threatened, and persuaded government agencies not to pursue licensing proceedings or debar companies from government contracts.
  • Represented government agencies and companies in multiple matters related to solar energy and energy-efficient home renovations, including three matters in the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Represented companies operating in the limestone and hardrock mining sectors in Florida and elsewhere in the United States, regarding the environmental permitting of new mine facilities. He has advised the companies on obtaining required government approvals, defended against third-party permit challenges, and represented the companies in government permit enforcement proceedings.
  • Represented companies in environmental disputes related to real estate transactions in Florida and elsewhere in the United States.
  • Represented companies in the aviation, banking and commodities sectors regarding government investigations of cross-border activities. These investigations have related to environmental, financial and antitrust matters in multiple countries in Latin America and Europe. He has investigated allegations of misconduct both to defend against governmental proceedings and to facilitate corporate oversight of company activities.

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Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers (2018)
  • Environmental Leaders Band 1, Chambers USA (2009-2015)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources, The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel
  • Listed in Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers (2009-2018)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America  in Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law,  and Litigation and Environmental (2008-2019)
  • "Lawyer of" the Year" for Litigation - Environmental, The Best Lawyers in America, Miami (2017, 2019)
  • Finalist, "Most Effective Lawyer" Daily Business Review (2014)
  • "Highly Commended" in FT Innovative Lawyer North America Report (2014)
  • Who's Who Legal Award (2015)

Speaking Engagements

  • "The Clean Water Act: Latest Developments Regarding Water Quality, Water Resources, and Wetlands," ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference (February 2018)
  • “Federal Wetland Regulation in the New Administration,” ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference (February 2017)
  • "U.S. Rules for Naming Seafood Products," North American Seafood Expo, Boston (2014)
  • "Development in Environmentally Sensitive Areas" and "Wetland Regulatory Jurisdiction over Farmlands," 27th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Marco Island, FL (2013-2014)
  • "New Guidance on the Regulation of Wetlands," ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference, Washington (2013)
  • "Local Land Use: Recent Developments in Federal Laws, Regulations and Programs," Webinar (2012)
  • "New Guidance on the Regulation of Wetlands," ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference, Washington (2012)
  • "Greenhouse Gas Regulation and Litigation—Impact on Business in Florida," and "Carbon and Renewable Markets: Opportunities to Challenges," 25th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Marco Island, FL (2011)
  • "Greenhouse Gas Regulation: The Big Picture," 27th Annual Growth Management Conference, Orlando, FL (2011)
  • "Regulation of Former Wetlands Under the Clean Water Act," ALI-ABA Environmental Law Conference, Washington (2011)
  • "Defending Environmental Investigations and Litigation: Nuts and Bolts for Clients, Consultants and Lawyers," and "Carbon and Renewable Markets: Opportunities to Challenges," 24th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Marco Island, FL (2010)

Credentials

Education
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law (J.D., 1991)
  • Harvard College (A.B., 1987)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

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