Wesley Kelman

Counsel

Wes has been an environmental litigator for more than a decade since leaving EPA. He represented trusts and an Alaskan native village in key global warming claims; citizen groups challenging air pollution permits, including a challenge to a major new power plant; municipalities affected by EPA’s cleanup of the Housatonic River; and the states of New Hampshire and Vermont in groundwater contamination claims against major oil companies.

WESLEY KELMAN


Wes started his career at a New York firm representing the Republic of Argentina in sovereign debt litigation, and then began practicing environmental law at the Environmental Protection Agency. He was employee of the year for the Superfund section of EPA’s Boston office, and won an EPA national award for working on EPA’s clean-up of the Sudbury River in Massachusetts.

Wes has been an environmental litigator for more than a decade since leaving EPA. He represented trusts and an Alaskan native village in key global warming claims; citizen groups challenging air pollution permits, including a challenge to a major new power plant; municipalities affected by EPA’s cleanup of the Housatonic River; and the states of New Hampshire and Vermont in groundwater contamination claims against major oil companies. New Hampshire’s lawsuit resulted in a $236 million jury verdict against Exxon Mobil for the state of New Hampshire—the largest verdict in state history.

While at Yale Law School, Wes was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for the Honorable Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in Hartford, CT (2000-2001) and the Honorable Warren W. Matthews of the Alaska Supreme Court (2004-2005). He was also a volunteer law clerk for Israeli Supreme Court president Aharon Barak (2001).

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court of Massachusetts

SELECTED REPRESENTATION

  • State of New Hampshire v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 26 A.3d 266 (N.H. 2015). Upholding $236 million jury verdict following three-month trial against petroleum company for polluting state’s groundwater with the gasoline additive MTBE.
  • Housatonic River Cleanup. Wes has helped represent five towns affected EPA’s $500M+ cleanup of the Housatonic River. After litigation in the Environmental Appeals Board, the towns recently reached a comprehensive settlement on the terms of the cleanup with (among others) EPA and the party responsible for carrying out the cleanup.
  • State of Vermont v. Atlantic Richfield Co. Wes helped represent Vermont in claims based on MTBE pollution of the state’s groundwater. The case settled in 2019.
  • New Hampshire v. Monsanto Co. Wes has helped represent New Hampshire in its pending lawsuit against Monsanto for causing statewide PCB contamination.

Publications & Presentations


Wes has made several presentations on global warming litigation, including at the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley.

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Since its establishment in 1999, Seeger Weiss has led some of the most complex and high-profile litigations in the U.S.