Biography

Practicing environmental and OSHA law exclusively, Shell J. Bleiweiss represents clients in all aspects of federal, state and local environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance, due diligence and litigation. He also advises industry, developers, fiduciaries and lenders concerning potential environmental liability arising from the ownership, operation and acquisition of industrial facilities and real estate.

Much of Mr. Bleiweiss’ practice is focused on government and private Superfund matters and other hazardous waste and material handling issues. He has participated in several alternative dispute resolution (ADR – arbitration – mediation – facilitation) proceedings at Superfund Sites and in other environmental matters.

Mr. Bleiweiss also represents clients in OSHA inspections, defends clients in OSHA proceedings and counsels clients in the chemical “right-to-know” area. He has assisted numerous companies, including Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, with the development and implementation of federal, state and local right-to-know programs. Mr. Bleiweiss oversaw a national survey of state right-to-know laws.

With his technical background in wildlife ecology, Mr. Bleiweiss also handles natural resource issues arising for clients under federal and state laws including the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. He also advises clients, has spoken at seminars and published articles in the area of medical waste handling and disposal.

Mr. Bleiweiss previously was a senior partner at McDermott, Will & Emery, and also practiced at Sidley & Austin and Coffield Ungaretti Harris & Slavin. From 1973 until 1979, he was an environmental consultant to government and industry. Mr. Bleiweiss has written articles for several publications, including the Harvard Environmental Law Review, The Environmental Forum, and Chemical Engineering Progress.

Professional Honors:

Mr. Bleiweiss is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating possible from the nation’s largest legal services directory. He also has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer, a Leading Lawyer, and has been awarded a superb (10 out of 10) rating by Avvo.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • American Bar Association – Member of the Section of Litigation; Member of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; and former Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
  • Chicago Bar Association – Member of the Environmental Law Committee
  • Illinois Bar – Member

Education:

  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D.) 1982 – Mr. Bleiweiss served on the editorial board of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
  • Southern Illinois University (M.A. in Wildlife Ecology) 1974
  • Southern Illinois University (B.S. in Zoology) 1971

Articles & Presentations:

Shell J. Bleiweiss and Jamie Davidson, “Guns At Work: A Question Of State Law More Than OSHA Law For Most Industries,” In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter Vol. 13, No. 1 – May 2012, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, May 2012

Shell J. Bleiweiss and Jamie P. Davidson, “Water, Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to Permit?” In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter Vol. 12, No. 1, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, October 2010

Why Contest OSHA Citations? Avoiding Later ‘Repeat’ Citations Is One Good Reason,” In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter Vol. 11, No. 1, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, June 2009

Dealing with OSHA, The Most Common Mistake Companies Make,” Published in Various Trade Publications, 2000-2003

Shell J. Bleiweiss, et al., “Liability & Litigation, World Trade Center ‘Cough,’ No Clear Guidance to Clearing the Indoor Air After 9/11,” Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, March 2002

Liability & Litigation, Ammonia-Based Refrigeration Systems, Regulations You Should Know,” Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, July 2000

“Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues and Consensus-Based Communication: Skills, Tips, and Tactics,” Presented at the ABA SONREEL Fall Meeting, October 1999

“Illinois and Federal Contaminated Site Liability/CERCLA,” Presented at the Illinois Environmental Law Compliance Seminar, June 1999

“Practical Dispute Resolution: Skills, Tips, and Tactics Relating to the Use of Third Party Neutrals in Resolving Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resource Disputes,” Presented at the ABA SONREEL Conference on Environmental Law, March 1999

“Practical Dispute Resolution-Negotiation Skills, Tips, and Tactics,” Presented at the ABA SONREEL Fall Meeting, October 1998

“Cost Recovery Under Superfund: Multiple Party Site Litigation,” Presented to the Chicago Bar Association, March 1997

“Use of the False Claims Act to Enforce Environmental Statutes — A Problem Reaching Well Beyond Government Contractors,” Presented to the ABA SONREEL Fall Meeting, October 1996

“CONEG: Trends in State Environmental Packaging and Labeling Legislation,” Presented to the Business Forum on the Environment, Safety, and Health, February 1993

A Cure for What Ails Us? Environmental Regulation in the Medical Industry,” The Environmental Forum, March/April 1989

Legal Considerations in Environmental Audit Decisions,” Chemical Engineering Progress, January 1987

“Environmental Regulation and the Federal Common Law of Nuisance: A Proposed Standard of Preemption,” Harvard Environmental Law Review, 1983

Contact Shell J. Bleiweiss