Debra concentrates her practice in the area of complex environmental and toxic tort litigation and environmental due diligence and compliance with an emphasis upon the defense of groundwater contamination cases involving claims under the Spill Act and CERCLA for cost recovery as well as private party litigation seeking recovery for both property damage and serious personal injury. Debra’s work has been in both state and federal courts and she has handled matters in jurisdictions throughout the United States, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Michigan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Debra also has significant experience in other litigation matters including products liability and chemical workplace exposure cases. She also advises clients on transactions involving purchase and redevelopment of brownfields . Debra also frequently counsels clients on environmental compliance issues with a focus on Underground Storage Tank regulations and Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) requirements and is well-versed in the new Site Remediation Reform Act and the Licensed Site Remediation Professional program. She frequently represents clients in compliance and enforcement matters with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in the Office of Administrative Law.
Debra is Co-Chairperson of Archer & Greiner’s Personnel Committee and is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is also a founding member and Co-Chairperson for the Archer & Greiner Women Lawyer’s Network.
- Served as lead trial counsel in the defense of underground storage tank environmental contamination cases in various matters throughout the Middle Atlantic states which typically involve claims for personal injury and property damage related to groundwater contamination with amounts in controversy frequently exceeding $1,000,000
- Served as lead counsel for alleged generator in CERCLA action seeking recovery of costs for landfill remediation involving over 300 potentially responsible parties
- Served as lead trial counsel in defense of third-party claims under CERCLA against landfill owner/operator
- Served as lead counsel with respect to environmental claims against a petrochemical company at over 150 sites in ten states which involved complex hydrogeologic issues, including hydrocarbon fingerprinting and aging analysis, as well as multiple legal issues under the applicable cost recovery statues and common law
- Advised major petrochemical company on due diligence and environmental issues related to purchase of brownfields petroleum terminal property in New Jersey
- Served as lead trial counsel in the defense of benzene exposure case in claimed workplace exposure to petroleum products
Professional And Community Involvement
Current Board Service
- New Jersey Society of Women Environmental Professionals – Steering Committee
- Burlington County Council, Boy Scouts of America – Vice President, Legal
Current Professional Organization Membership
- Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey – Environment Committee
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Camden County (N.J.) Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
Prior Professional and Community Leadership Positions
- New Jersey Society of Women Environmental Professionals – Co-Chairperson
- YMCA School’s Out – Parent Representative
Awards And Recognition
- Named a New Jersey “Super Lawyer” in Environmental Law for 2008 – 2010
- Recognized by SJ Magazine in its “Top Attorneys” edition for Brownfields (2009-2011)
- New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act Makes Major Changes to Clean-Up Process, Client Advisory, 2009.
- Old Dog, New Trick: Cost-Benefit Analysis in DEP Decision-Making, New Jersey Law Journal, December 13, 2010, Vol. 202 No. 11.
- Speaker, Environmental Law and Regulation Short Course, “Underground Storage Tank Act and Regulations”, sponsored by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (2009-2011)
- Speaker,” Brownfield Redevelopment in Pennsylvania”, NJ Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2009)
- Speaker, Brownfields Course, New Jersey Institute of Technology (2008)
- Speaker, Environmental Law and Regulation Short Course, “Spill Act and CERCLA Liability, Enforcement and Cost Recovery”, sponsored by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education (2008)
- Speaker, “Litigation Issues Relating to MTBE Drinking Water Contamination, A Defense Perspective”, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (2002 – 2004)