Walter Haverfield Attorney

Leslie G. Wolfe

  • Associate
  • Cleveland Direct: 216.928.2927
  • Cleveland Fax: 216.916.2422

Overview

Leslie Wolfe focuses her practice on complex civil litigation involving environmental and business disputes, representing both privately-owned and publicly-held corporations on a range of issues from toxic torts to Superfund contribution actions. Leslie's practice also includes defending individuals and businesses in federal criminal actions involving mail and wire fraud, public corruption, criminal antitrust, and economic espionage.

Prior to joining Walter | Haverfield, Leslie served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Burt W. Griffin of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. She is experienced in all aspects of commercial and environmental litigation, including contract and business litigation, construction law, landfill regulation, nuisance actions, employment actions, discrimination claims, and First Amendment law.

Experience

Environmental Law
  • Defense of federal and state civil and criminal environmental enforcement actions.
  • Counsel for construction and demolition debris disposal facility operators.
  • Litigation counsel in Superfund cost recovery and contribution actions.
  • Defense of enforcement actions under RCRA, TSCA, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
  • Representation of municipalities and public entities in land use disputes involving solid waste transfer and disposal facilities.
  • Counseling regarding the licensing and operation of solid waste and construction and demolition debris facilities.
  • Resolution of zoning and land use controversies.
Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Represented public and private entities in enforcing their contribution rights and defending against contribution claims under federal Superfund law.
  • Represented a major corporation in securing federal government contractual indemnification for Superfund liability arising from environmental contamination caused by the operation of a WWII ordnance facility.
  • Investigated historical operations to identify potentially responsible parties and sources of environmental contamination in matters involving contamination from railroad operations, ship dismantling, and numerous other industries, including working with outside experts.
  • Defended clients in federal and state enforcement actions involving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Ohio wetlands law arising from real estate development and construction projects.
  • Litigated injunction action in federal district court on behalf of hydroelectric power company regarding local objections to proposed new power generation project on public land.
  • Lead counsel for regulated businesses in administrative appeals before the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Board, local licensing authorities, and state courts, including appeals arising from permits to install and operate sources of air pollution, construction and demolition debris disposal facility licenses, and final orders issued by the Director of Ohio EPA.
  • Counsel to the industry association for construction and demolition debris disposal facilities in Ohio.
  • Facilitated and led multi-year settlement negotiation between Ohio EPA and a licensed disposal facility regarding compliance with leachate collection rules and license terms.
  • Advises regulated clients, including disposal facilities and developers, regarding compliance with asbestos regulations.
  • Specific industry experience includes asbestos, chemical manufacturing, construction, solid waste disposal, construction and demolition debris disposal, environmental consultants, metal coatings, pesticide manufacturing and distributing, drinking water and waste water treatment.
  • Represented a municipality in an action before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio regarding objections to increases in sewer and water rates.
  • Defends public and private entities in complex federal environmental enforcement actions.
  • Represented a charter municipality in an action before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio regarding objections to increases in sewer and water rates.
Litigation
  • Defense of federal and state civil and criminal environmental enforcement actions.
  • Litigation counsel in Superfund cost recovery and contribution actions.
  • Defense of enforcement actions under RCRA, TSCA, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
  • Representation of municipalities and public entities in land use disputes involving solid waste transfer and disposal facilities.
  • Representation of businesses in numerous administrative, licensing, adjudicatory and appellate proceedings before state and federal agencies.
  • Resolution of zoning and land use controversies.
Appellate Litigation
  • Drafted complaints and briefs and litigated all aspects of matters pending before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Courts of Appeals of Ohio, and the Ohio Supreme Court, including original actions filed in the Ohio appellate courts.
  • Presented oral argument in cases before the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth District Ohio Courts of Appeals.
  • Represents matters arising under the Ohio Public Records Act, including filing and defending against original actions filed in Ohio trial and appellate courts seeking the disclosure of public records.
Commercial Litigation
  • Represents businesses in local, state and federal court actions to collect amounts due under leases, accounts and other instruments.
  • Defended employers and acted as outside insurance defense counsel in actions involving employment discrimination and non-competition agreements.
  • Defended a government contractor in federal court against a city’s claims for fraud and civil conspiracy arising from a contract to operate the city’s water/wastewater department.
  • Defended chemical manufacturer in national complex toxic tort litigation involving allegations of vinyl chloride exposure against industry-wide group of manufacturers.
  • Regularly drafts and reviews contracts, and counsels clients as to contracting issues.
  • Represents clients in civil actions involving breach of contract, construction disputes, and public corruption and fraud claims.
  • Represented a homeowner’s association in a civil action involving adverse possession of property and zoning issues.
  • Defends businesses against claims of nuisance, trespass and other property-related torts by neighboring residents and local government agents and entities.
  • Defends businesses and individuals in real estate and construction disputes, AAA arbitration matters, contract disputes, and private and court-sponsored mediation.
Corporate Investigations
  • Assists in preparing responses to state and federal grand jury subpoenas for testimony and documents in matters involving allegations of public corruption, bribery, conspiracy, money laundering, and other offenses.
  • Represents individuals and corporations in white-collar criminal investigations by governmental agencies encompassing environmental, health care, securities fraud, antitrust, tax and government procurement matters.
White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Defends individuals and business entities against state and federal prosecutions involving violations of environmental law, fraud, bribery, conspiracy, antitrust, public corruption and other criminal statutes.
Real Estate Development and Finance
  • Counseled public and private clients regarding environmental due diligence in real estate transactions, including evaluation of Phase I and Phase II site investigations, responding to cleanup orders, negotiating settlements with Ohio EPA and local health districts, and conducting remediation of brownfields under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program and federal environmental statutes.
  • Drafted environmental covenants and represented private and public clients in negotiations with Ohio EPA regarding covenants and other land use restrictions.

Recognition

  • 2013-2018 - Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America©. Listed in the current edition for Environmental Law.
Best Lawyers Award Badge

Articles

Presentations

  • "Careers in the Law Profession (Attorneys and Paralegals)," Panelist in program produced by WVIZ/ideastream, a Cleveland non-profit public broadcasting organization; Live video program broadcast to several Ohio high schools, Cleveland, Ohio (February 6, 2014) (View the video of session #2 of this program)

Associations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Vice-Chair, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (2017)
    • Chair, Environmental Law Section (2009 - 2010)

Podcasts

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