Jay C. Johnson

Counsel
Johnson Jay
Jay Johnson serves clients in a variety of infrastructure and natural resource contexts, navigating regulatory and environmental review obstacles to win agency approvals, then defending those approvals in court. Jay focuses on projects that raise complex issues, attracting scrutiny from both regulators and third-party groups. His recent representations include mining, rail and surface transportation, and port projects.

Jay's experience runs the gamut of environmental review laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. He has also helped his clients win approvals under the numerous substantive federal statutes employed by federal agencies like the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

To defend his clients' permits and approvals, Jay has briefed and argued numerous cases in federal trial and appellate courts around the country. He frequently coordinates with counsel for the agencies that issue his clients' permits and approvals, to ensure the most effective defense of their decisions. At the same time, he advocates for his clients' interests in court, making arguments that government attorneys may be unable or unwilling to make.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Represented a client in obtaining federal and state permits for a copper-nickel mine and in defending those permits in federal and state court
  • Represented a client in federal constitutional litigation related to construction of a new marine export terminal
  • Represented a client before the Surface Transportation Board in seeking approval of a new high-speed passenger rail line
  • Represented a client in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, defending against NEPA and CWA challenges to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for an intermodal rail facility
  • Represented a client in a U.S. Court of Appeals petition for review of the Surface Transportation Board's decision approving construction of a rail line extension
  • Represented a client before the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in a dispute over interpretation of the Programmatic Agreement entered into under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act
  • Represented a coalition of amici in U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals in litigation over the EPA's interpretation of Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act
  • Represented a client in obtaining permits for a new rail line from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Land Management
  • Filed amicus briefs on behalf of clients, in U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court, regarding a NEPA challenge to deregulation of genetically modified crops

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. University of Virginia School of Law 2001
    • Member, Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.A. summa cum laude Vanderbilt University 1998

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable David A. Nelson U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Transportation Law Professionals

Recognition
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  • Included in Washington DC Super Lawyers, 2014 - 2016