Photo of John A. Heer

Professional Experience

John is a partner with Walter | Haverfield and a member of the firm's Environmental and Litigation Groups.

John was Assistant General Counsel - Regulatory Affairs at Electrolux North America, Inc. for five years before rejoining Walter | Haverfield in 2012. John's practice emphasizes all aspects of environmental law, including compliance and litigation matters. John also has significant experience counseling in other regulatory matters and managing complex commercial litigation involving environmental and business disputes.

Walter | Haverfield LLP

Lorman Distinguished Faculty Member

John's practice emphasizes all aspects of environmental law, including compliance and litigation matters. John also has significant experience counseling in other regulatory matters and managing complex commercial litigation involving environmental and business disputes.

Areas Of Emphasis

Examples of John's corporate legal experience include:

Regulatory Affairs

  • Managed regulatory compliance of North American operations (~20 facilities) for major global appliance manufacturing company, including environmental, health/safety, customs and immigration.
  • Managed all regulatory projects and communications among company, consultants and government agencies at local, state and federal level in U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Managed small and large environmental remediation projects and litigation involving dozens of sites throughout North America.
  • Managed environmental, health and safety audits and resulting corrective actions at facilities.
  • Managed consultants/outside counsel in advising company on environmental reserves.

Corporate Counsel

  • Managed legal budgets between $4 and $9 million annually.
  • Managed corporate compliance training program and employee hotline functions, including relationships with those service providers.
  • Participated as member of Corporate Compliance Committee, including internal investigations.
  • Liaised with industry trade groups on variety of environmental issues.
  • Participated in due diligence and negotiations of real estate transactions.
  • Reviewed advertising and packaging materials for FTC and FIFRA compliance.
  • Managed restructuring and demolition activities of several facilities.
  • Managed company involvement in anti-dumping proceedings in both U.S. and Canada.
  • Advised company regarding legislative and regulatory activity affecting operations, including climate change, HFC phaseout, GHG emissions reporting, sustainability, REACH, RoHS, WEEE, and electronic recycling measures.

Examples of John's private practice experience include:


  • Summary jury trial, jury trial, bench trial, injunction and appellate experience in state and federal courts.
  • Managed simple and complex litigation matters involving acquisition/merger/asset purchase agreements, business torts, chemical exposure, commercial contracts and warranties, contribution, defamation, defective products, eminent domain, employment agreements, ERISA, evidence, fraud, highway planning and construction, indemnification, international disputes, letters rogatory, municipalities, negligence, nuisance, OSHA, product liability, public contracts, public utilities, racial discrimination, toxic torts, and trespass.
  • Negotiated and prepared agreements, including confidentiality, joint defense, release, tolling and settlement agreements.
  • Member of trial team for City of Cleveland, which successfully defeated City of Brook Park's attempt to take I-X Center by eminent domain and defended Cleveland's purchase of I-X Center for public use by Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Environmental Litigation

  • Defended clients in administrative and civil actions with environmental agencies involving various federal and state environmental laws.
  • Represented clients in federal and state courts in private-party litigation involving a variety of environmental claims under federal and state law, including CERCLA, RCRA, CWA, CAA, NEPA, and common law.
  • Avoided litigation and resolved disputes between property owners regarding alleged environmental contamination.

Client Counseling

  • Counseled clients concerning environmental audits, risk assessments, remedial alternatives, and compliance with all environmental laws.
  • Counseled clients in corporate acquisitions (due diligence), real estate and financial transactions.
  • Developed compliance program and materials for used oil management at multi-plant company.
  • Counseled clients concerning preparation, negotiation, and performance of contracts, leases, and other agreements, including rights/duties under warranty provisions and insurance contracts.


  • "Minimizing Environmental Exposure in Transactions," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's 2014 Environmental Law Symposium, Cleveland, Ohio, December 10, 2014
  • "Reviewing Federal and Ohio Environmental Remediation Laws," HalfMoon Education Seminar ("Ohio Environmental Remediation Seminar"), Middleburg Heights, Ohio, October 30, 2014
  • "Environmental Liabilities in Commercial Leases," NBI Seminar ("Commercial Leases: Negotiating Key Provisions"), Independence, Ohio, August 4, 2014

  • "Federal Laws and Regulations," "Your Client Owns Contaminated Property - Now What?," and "Environmental Provisions in Real Estate Transactions," NBI Seminar ("Environmental Liabilities in Real Estate Transactions"), video webcast from Cleveland, Ohio, November 21, 2013
  • "Federal Laws and Regulations" and "Your Client Owns Contaminated Property - What Now?," NBI Seminar ("Environmental Liabilities in Real Estate Transactions"), webcast from Cleveland, Ohio, November 12, 2012
  • "Ohio Stormwater Inspections and Enforcement," NBI seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, September 2011
  • "Wetland Delineation, Permitting and Mitigation - Don't Get Stuck In The Mud," Cleveland Bar Association Environmental Section seminar - Environmental Law Developments Affecting Business Transactions, March 2006
  • "Discovery in Environmental Cases: Securing Documents By Public Record Act and Electronic Discovery," Ohio State Bar Association's Environmental Law Seminar, April 2005
  • "Electronic Evidence and Discovery Issues," Florida Bar Association's 2005 Health Law Institute, Orlando, Florida, February 2005
  • "Advanced Expert Witness Deposition Tactics in Ohio," NBI seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, December 2004
  • "Litigating in Cyberspace," American Health Lawyers Association teleconference seminar, September 2003
  • "Electronic Discovery Issues," Cleveland Bar Association seminar, June 2003
  • "Capturing Key Evidence Through Electronic Discovery in Ohio," NBI seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, March 2003
  • "Environmental Issues in Property Development," NBI seminar, Fairlawn, Ohio, October 2001

Professional & Community Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association


Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 1991
(Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Excellence in Advocacy Award, National Mock Trial Team)
Indiana University, B.A., 1987

Licensed to Practice

  • United States Court of Appeals (Sixth and Seventh Circuits)

  • United States District Court (Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, Western District of Michigan)

  • All Ohio Courts

Articles by John A. Heer

July 2014 - "If You Own Commercial Property, the Proposed Rule Clarifying Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Could Hamper Your Future Plans: What You Need To Know"

June 2014 - "EPA's Controversial Rule Clarifying CWA Jurisdiction Could Negatively Impact Most Commercial Property Owners," Properties (co-authored with Leslie G. Wolfe)

May 17, 2014 - "Proposed rule clarifying Clean Water Act could broaden EPA jurisdiction," Crain's Cleveland Business (Legal Guest Blog)

August 29, 2013 - "EPA relaxes requirements for contaminated rags," Crain's Cleveland Business (Small Business Guest Blog)

June 2013 - "EPA Takes Stronger Stand on Vapor Intrusion," Properties

May 30, 2013 - "Regulations covering used oil can be slippery," Crain's Cleveland Business (Legal Guest Blog)

April 25, 2013 - "EPA's latest guidance on vapor intrusion adds new considerations to old risks," Crain's Cleveland Business (Legal Guest Blog)

March 7, 2013 - "New EPA guidelines clarify that tenants have protection," Crain's Cleveland Business (Legal Guest Blog)

December 6, 2012 - "You've discovered that you own contaminated property. Now what?," Crain's Cleveland Business (Legal Guest Blog)

October 2012 - "Certain USTs Now Eligible for Cleanup Under Ohio VAP"

June 2012 - "TRI Reporting Deadline Is Soon"

July 1997 - "EPA's Release Prevention Mandate," Chemical Processing News

December 1994 - "Environmental Problems in Corporate Transactions"

April 1994 - "Dealing with the ASTM Standards in Transactions," Corporate Counsel's Guide to Environmental Law

Areas of Practice

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