Year: 2021

Keith Coyle Receives Shale Gas Advocate Award

The Marcellus Shale Coalition awarded Attorney Keith Coyle with the Shale Gas Advocate Award. This special award honors MSC members for outstanding leadership and exceptional contributions to the development of Pennsylvania’s natural gas resources. Keith is very deserving of this award due to his extensive efforts in advocating for the natural gas industry, which have included testifying before the Pennsylvania legislature as well as active involvement with the MSC’s pipeline safety committee.

Congratulations to Keith for receiving such an honor from Pennsylvania’s premiere natural gas trade association.

Jessica Altobelli Joins Babst Calland

Jessica L. Altobelli recently joined Babst Calland as an associate in the Litigation and Employment and Labor groups. Ms. Altobelli has a broad range of litigation experience in several practice areas including employment, general liability, transportation, and school district defense. As part of her employment practice, she regularly defends employers in state and federal court litigation and administrative proceedings arising out of all aspects of the employment relationship.

Prior to joining Babst Calland, Ms. Altobelli was an associate with Lewis Brisbois. She is a 2016 graduate of Duquesne University School of Law.

Babst Calland Ranked in 2022 “Best Law Firms”

Babst Calland has been ranked in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list nationally in eight practice areas and regionally in 32 practice areas:

  • National Tier 2
    • Environmental Law
    • Land Use & Zoning Law
    • Litigation – Environmental
    • Oil & Gas Law
  • National Tier 3
      • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
      • Litigation – Construction
      • Mining Law
      • Natural Resources Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1
    • Pittsburgh
      • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
      • Bet-the-Company Litigation
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Construction Law
      • Corporate Law
      • Energy Law
      • Environmental Law
      • Information Technology Law
      • Land Use & Zoning Law
      • Litigation – Bankruptcy
      • Litigation – Construction
      • Litigation – Environmental
      • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
      • Municipal Law
      • Natural Resources Law
      • Water Law
    • Charleston-WV
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Energy Law
      • Environmental Law
      • Litigation – Environmental
      • Oil & Gas Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2
    • Pittsburgh, PA
      • Labor Law – Management
    • Charleston-WV
      • Mining Law
      • Natural Resources Law
    • Washington, D.C.
      • Oil & Gas Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 3
    • Pittsburgh, PA
      • Mediation
      • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
    • Charleston-WV
      • Bet-the-Company Litigation
      • Litigation – ERISA
      • Real Estate Law
    • Washington, D.C.
      • Environmental Law
      • Litigation – Environmental

Firms included in the 2022 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

The 2022 Edition of “Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 75 national practice areas and 127 metropolitan-based practice areas. One “Law Firm of the Year” is named in each of the nationally ranked practice areas.

Click here to view the full ranking on U.S. News U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list.

Barnes, Moyer and Puhnaty Join Babst Calland

Jessica M. Barnes, Mackenzie M. Moyer and Christina M. Puhnaty recently joined law firm Babst Calland’s Pittsburgh, Pa. office as associates.

Ms. Barnes, a 2021 graduate of Duquesne University Law School, joins the Litigation Group. She practices in a variety of litigation practice areas, including commercial, employment and labor, land use, and energy and natural resources.

Ms. Moyer, a 2021 graduate of Penn State Law, joins the Environmental Group. She assists clients with matters encompassing a broad range of environmental issues, including those related to state and federal permitting and regulatory compliance.

Ms. Puhnaty, a 2021 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, joins the Environmental Group. She assists clients with matters encompassing a broad range of environmental issues, including those related to state and federal permitting, regulatory compliance, and environmental litigation.

Pittsburgh company dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship receives $250k in federal grant money


JULIA FELTON | Thursday, Sept. 30

A Pittsburgh-based company dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship will receive $250,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant is part of a $36.5 million grant pool that benefited 50 entrepreneurship-focused organizations, nonprofits, institutions of higher learning and state government agencies nationwide. The grants were announced Thursday by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.

The grants are part of the “Build to Scale” program, which aims to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing access to business support and startup capital. The program is administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“The ‘Build to Scale’ program strengthens entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country that are essential in the Biden Administration’s efforts to build back better,” Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said. “This work is critical in developing the innovation and entrepreneurship our country needs to build back better and increase American competitiveness on the global stage.”

Founded in 2002, Idea Foundry is a global investor with over 250 companies and projects in their portfolio.

The company says it has generated more than $1 billion in economic impact and created more than 1,000 jobs in the region.

It works to strengthen entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh through a model that emphasizes hands-on development and a variety of investment vehicles that enable entrepreneurs to develop and scale their ideas into growing enterprises.

It not only helps to match entrepreneurs with capital, but also to help keep them “alive, growing and in Pittsburgh,” said Michael Matesic, Idea Foundry’s president and CEO.

The company was awarded the 2021 Venture Challenge Grant. It’s intended to “increase access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply by providing operational support for early-stage investment funds, angel capital networks or investor training programs that focus on both traditional and hybrid equity-based models,” the Department of Commerce wrote in a press release.

Idea Foundry will provide more than $400,000 in local matching funds. Part of that match is coming from Babst Calland, a Pittsburgh-based law firm that is offering their facilities, time and legal expertise to help investors feel comfortable investing and to help companies show they’re worthy of investment. The law firm has worked with Idea Foundry for about a decade, said Chris Farmakis, a shareholder and chairman of the board at Babst Calland.

“Our law firm has a very growing and robust emerging tech practice, and we’ve had a longstanding relationship with Idea Foundry,” he said, adding that the grant provided an ideal opportunity for a sustainable partnership.

“We feel that this will be a way we can really expand our programs and offer more investment into growing companies,” Farmakis said.

The grant is “significant,” Matesic said, and validates the work the company strives to do in helping entrepreneurs to build and grow their ideas.

“It’s a quilt, and every patch in the quilt makes it a complete blanket,” he said. “This is one more patch to sew into the quilt to give us full coverage for the region so that we not only are noted for the success in starting companies, but we are noted for the ability to grow them locally.”

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, or via Twitter .

Click here for article on TRibLive.

Three Babst Calland Attorneys Named as 2022 Best Lawyers® “Lawyers of the Year”, 31 Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, and 13 Named to Best Lawyers® “Ones to Watch”

Babst Calland is pleased to announce that three lawyers were selected as 2022 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Charleston, W. Va. (by BL Rankings). Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity. Those named to the 2022 Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” include:

Kevin K. Douglass, Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Mark D. Shepard, Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Robert M. Stonestreet, Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Charleston, W. Va.

In addition, 32 Babst Calland lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (by BL Rankings), the most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession:

  • Chester R. Babst – Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Donald C. Bluedorn II – Environmental Law, Water Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Dean A. Calland – Environmental Law
  • Matthew S. Casto – Commercial Litigation
  • Frank J. Clements – Corporate Law
  • Kathy K. Condo – Commercial Litigation
  • James Curry – Oil and Gas Law
  • Julie R. Domike – Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Kevin K. Douglass – Natural Resources Law
  • Christian A. Farmakis – Corporate Law
  • Kevin J. Garber – Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Water Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Norman E. Gilkey – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy, and Mediation
  • Steven M. Green – Energy Law
  • Lindsay P. Howard – Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Blaine A. Lucas – Energy Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Municipal Law, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning
  • John A. McCreary – Labor Law – Management
  • Janet L. McQuaid – Environmental Law
  • James D. Miller – Construction Law and Litigation – Construction
  • Timothy M. Miller – Energy Law, Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Oil and Gas Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Jean M. Mosites – Environmental Law
  • Christopher B. Power – Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Commercial Litigation, Mining Law, Oil and Gas Law, Litigation – Regulatory
    Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning, Litigation – Municipal
  • Joseph K. Reinhart – Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Litigation – Environmental
  • Bruce F. Rudoy – Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Corporate Law
  • Charles F.W. Saffer – Real Estate Law
  • Mychal Sommer Schulz – Litigation – ERISA
  • Mark D. Shepard – Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Litigation – Environmental
  • Steven B. Silverman – Information Technology Law, Commercial Litigation
  • Krista-Ann M. Staley – Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Laura Stone – Corporate Law
  • Robert M. Stonestreet – Environmental Law, Energy Law, Commercial Litigation
  • David E. White – Construction Law, Litigation – Construction
  • Michael H. Winek – Environmental Law

13 Babst Calland lawyers were also named to the 2022 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list which recognizes associates and other lawyers who are earlier in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States:

  • Mary H. Binker – Corporate Law and Real Estate Law
  • Katrina N. Bowers – Energy Law and Environmental Law
  • Carla M. Castello – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Labor and Employment and Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
  • Marissa A. Cocciolone – Energy Law
  • Nicholas M. Faas – Administrative / Regulatory Law and Government Relations Practice
  • Marc J. Felezzola – Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Construction
  • Alyssa Golfieri – Land Use and Zoning Law and Municipal Law
  • Sean R. Keegan – Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Jennifer L. Malik – Land Use and Zoning Law
  • James D. Mazzocco – Litigation – Environmental and Transportation Law
  • Cary M. Snyder – Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, and Communications Law
  • Joshua S. Snyder – Commercial Litigation and Energy Law
  • Benjamin R. Wright – Commercial Litigation and Construction Law

Best Lawyers undergoes an authentication process, and inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America is based solely on peer review and is divided by geographic region and practice areas. The list has published for more than three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

Keith Coyle Gives Testimony on the Environmental and Economic Benefits of Pipelines at the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Hearing

In his testimony on August 17, 2021 at the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee public hearing on the Environmental and Economic Benefit of Pipelines, Babst Calland Attorney Keith Coyle, chairman of the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Pipeline Safety Workgroup, explains, “As long as we are relying on fossil fuels to produce power, we need pipelines to deliver them safely. …It’s pretty clear we are going to be relying on natural gas and petroleum for some time. There is no other way to do this safely and to move product in bulk besides these pipelines.”

To view the video of the full public hearing of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee on the Environmental and Economic Benefits of Pipelines, click here. 

Joseph Schaeffer Joins Babst Calland

Joseph V. Schaeffer recently joined Babst Calland as a shareholder in the Litigation Group. He focuses his practice on environmental, energy and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Schaeffer has tried various environmental and commercial cases before environmental hearings boards, courts, and juries. He has also had primary responsibility for multiple appeals and argued several cases in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Mr. Schaeffer has significant experience working with clients on overcoming obstacles that can hinder their commercial development projects. He has served as lead trial counsel in several land use disputes involving zoning ordinances and was lead appellate counsel in a precedent-setting West Virginia Supreme Court decision that established the constitutional limits of municipal zoning. He has counseled clients on other land use disputes involving annexation, deannexation, and state and federal preemption issues. He served as co-trial counsel in successfully obtaining an injunction against a government agency’s attempt to use its eminent domain powers to take an industrial client’s facility. And he has litigated multiple property tax valuation and exemption appeals and worked on two precedent-setting West Virginia Supreme Court decisions affirming the legal structure used by state economic development authorities to offer property tax incentives.

Prior to joining Babst Calland, Mr. Schaeffer was an associate with Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC. He is a 2012 graduate, cum laude, of the University of Pittsburgh Law School.

Donald C. Bluedorn II Elected as Active Fellow to The American College of Environmental Lawyers

The American College of Environmental Lawyers

Babst Calland Managing Shareholder Donald C. Bluedorn II was recently elected as an Active Fellow to The American College of Environmental Lawyers for 2021.

The American College of Environmental Lawyers announced that this year it has elected 22 new Active Fellows and two Honorary Fellows to membership in the College. Each individual was selected for his or her distinguished experience, high standards of practice and substantial contributions to the field of environmental law.

ACOEL President, Mary Ellen Ternes, partner with Earth & Water Law, LLC, stated, “The 22 lawyers elected as Fellows to the College represent the best environmental lawyers in government service, public interest, academia, and private practice from across the country. Our new Fellows have earned this recognition based on their career achievements and as leaders in the broad and diverse areas of environmental law and policy. Our Honorary Fellows have distinguished themselves for their substantial contributions as leaders in thought and action regarding Environmental Justice.“

ACOEL Press Release

The 2021 Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Perspectives at a Transformational Time for the U.S. Energy Industry

Babst Calland today published its 11th annual energy industry report: The 2021 Babst Calland Report – Legal & Regulatory Perspectives for the U.S. Energy Industry. Each of our nation’s energy sectors is impacted by local, state and federal policies, many of which are addressed in this inclusive report on legal and regulatory developments for the energy industry in the United States.

The Babst Calland Report represents the timely collective perspectives of more than 45 energy attorneys on the current state of the U.S. natural gas and oil, coal, and renewable energy sectors. For the first time, this Report is presented as an easy-to-navigate digital site featuring 12 sections, addressing the following key topics:

  • Business Outlook for the U.S. Energy Industry
  • Climate Change Initiatives from the Biden Administration
  • Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Priorities
  • Environmental Law Developments
  • Environmental Justice Issues
  • Appalachian Basin Regional Developments
  • Coal Mining Regulatory Changes
  • Expansion of the U.S. Renewable Energy Market
  • Real Estate & Land Use Developments
  • Litigation Trends
  • Changes in Employment & Labor Law
  • Emerging Technologies Affecting the Energy Industry

Joseph K. Reinhart, shareholder and co-chair of Babst Calland’s Energy and Natural Resources Group, said, “The energy industry, once again, is at an inflection point and a moment of resiliency as it experiences a rebound in pricing and recovers from the impact of the global pandemic. Evidenced by the signing of several Executive Orders, President Biden has made climate change a focal point of U.S. energy policy. The full impact of the new administration’s “government-wide” approach to regulatory and social environmental policies will be unclear for months.

“This transformational time promises to bring significant changes for the U.S. energy industry. It is vital for any energy organization to consider the forewarnings, the risks, and the legal and regulatory implications to its business.”

Report Features Video Commentary from  U.S. Senator Joe Manchin

This edition features commentary from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who spoke with Babst Calland energy clients at a special briefing on June 25, 2021. A link to the webinar recording is available in this Report.

To request a copy of The 2021 Babst Calland Report, click here.

Updates on key developments in energy and natural resources law beyond this Report are available directly by the attorneys who represent clients in a wide spectrum of industry sectors and legal practice areas.