Robert M. Howard

Robert Howard chairs the San Diego office’s Environment, Land and Resources Department, comprised of 23 lawyers who work on litigation, environmental and energy projects throughout the United States. He represents clients in the energy-oil and gas industry, energy-power industry, aerospace, defense and cleantech industries.

Mr. Howard has tried high-profile criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts. He handles governmental civil and criminal enforcement actions, clean water matters, toxic tort and product liability cases, asbestos matters, ocean sediment contamination, natural resources damages, federal facility divestitures, brownfield redevelopment, renewable energy projects, government contractor disputes, environmental litigation and permitting cases.

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San Diego office's Environment, Land & Resources Department

Mr. Howard has published articles on criminal environmental enforcement, evidentiary issues, CERCLA cost recovery, and military base and federal war plant closures. His articles have been cited by the Supreme Courts of Michigan, Florida, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Mr. Howard has been nationally recognized in The Legal 500 US (2007-2012) and Chambers USA (2006-2015) and described as "extremely hard-working and a first-class strategist" and as "an excellent trial lawyer who gets fantastic results." He has been recognized in the areas of environmental law and litigation in the 2007-2015 Super Lawyers San Diego guides. Mr. Howard speaks regularly on environmental and litigation topics at law schools and industry groups.

Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Howard served as a judicial clerk for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He graduated from Duke Law School with honors and served as a Notes Editor on the Duke Law Journal. Mr. Howard is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.

Selected Articles
  • “Goodbye Fourth of July: Are Fireworks Displays Now Subject to CWA Regulation?,” 43 Environmental Law Reporter 10537 (July 2013)
  • "Test Methods Matter: Representative Sampling and Clean Air Act Test Methods Can Survive EPA’s Credible Evidence Rule,” 25 (University of Oregon’s) Journal of Environmental Law and Litigation 37 (2010)
  • “Two Different Methods, Three Different Variations, Four Different Sources: What Bulk Asbestos PLM Method Is Your Laboratory Using?” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 7:D53-D56, D65-D68 (2010)
  • “The EPA’s Prosecution of Clean Air Act Asbestos NESHAP Cases Based Upon Nonbinding Bulk Material Test Methods,” 44 San Diego Law Review 173 (2007)
  • “Applicable Polarized Light Microscopy Method for Asbestos NESHAP Compliance Testing,” 55 Microscope 75 (2007)
  • “Redeveloping the Department of Defense’s Inventory of Contaminated ‘Government-Owned Contractor-Operated’ Facilities,” 12 Fordham Environmental Law Journal 1 (2000)
  • “Demilitarized Zones,” Real Estate Law (1997)
  • “Government Cost Recovery after the Cleanup: Do the Superfund Amendments Give the EPA a License to Squander?” 42 Baylor Law Review 53 (1990)
  • “The Negligent Commercial Transaction Tort: Imposing Common Law Liability on Merchants for Sales and Leases to ‘Defective Customers,” 1988 Duke Law Journal 755