Daniel M. Darragh

Director
Bar/Court Admissions
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, Federal and D.C. Circuits
  • U.S. District for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Education
  • J.D., Duquesne University School of Law, 1975
  • B.S., Chemistry, College of William and Mary, 1968

Dan has experience in handling a range of complex commercial litigation matters with an emphasis on environmental litigation.

Dan represents clients in numerous industries including industrial, chemical, manufacturing, waste disposal and coal mining.

His practice focuses on CERCLA litigation, RCRA permitting, environmental permitting and enforcement, oil and gas lease and partnership disputes, land development restrictions, commercial contracts and challenges to federal and state regulatory programs.

Dan has represented oil and gas operators in various matters including, natural gas condemnations, encroachment cases, property damage clauses and various contract and lease disputes. He has represented clients in operating agreement disputes with working interest owners, claims involving finders fees and leasing disputes involving prudent operator standard and pooling and unitization issues.

Select Recent Representative Matters

Dan successfully handled a case for an industrial land owner in a proceeding brought by parties who owned the adjoining property seeking to annul a local law that granted a change in the zoning classification of the property.

Dan also has obtained noteworthy determinations – one stating that a gas distribution company was the corporate successor to the former owner and operator of a manufactured gas plant site and liable for 90 percent of the costs to investigate and remediate the site.

He also obtained an administrative determination on a New York sales tax appeal which resulted in a deficiency notice being set aside on Commerce Clause grounds.

He has represented clients at more than 50 Superfund Sites and various parties in more than 50 CERCLA government and private-party cost recovery actions. Dan has also represented a client seeking CERCLA contribution from more than 200 parties involving an allocation of $80 million. In another CERCLA action involving 60 parties, the court found one recalcitrant third-party liable and doubled that party’s share of the liability. The total amount recovered was $24 million.

On the community level, he served Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh as a board member from 1995-2002 and as board president from 1998-2002. He is also a member of the Allegheny Country Club.

Among Dan’s professional activities include being a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the New York Bar Association.

For several consecutive years, Dan has been selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. Other honors include receiving the Catholic Charities Caritas Award in 2003, being conferred as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great in 2003 and being recognized in the William and Mary Sports Hall of Fame and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2005, he wrote an article for the  Cohen & Grigsby Review entitled “U.S. Supreme Court Limits the Right to Seek Contribution under CERCLA.” Prior to the Supreme Court decision in Cooper Industries Inc. v. Aviall Services Inc. in 2004, essentially all of the federal courts broadly interpreted the act so as to conclude that any party conducting or paying for a hazardous waste site cleanup had a right to seek contribution from other potentially responsible parties. The Supreme Court concluded that a party conducting a voluntary site cleanup was not entitled to assert a contribution claim under Section 113(f) of the Act.

Dan was also selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.