Hood Canal Coalition v. Fred Hill Materials. Current representation of community group opposing mine expansion and siting of conveyor and pier on Hood Canal.

Mickey Gendler of Gendler & Mann has more than 20 years experience successfully representing clients throughout Washington and Oregon. His practice emphasizes environmental, real property, water resources, commercial and civil rights litigation and mediation. He is a member of the Washington State Bar, Oregon State Bar, and all Washington federal bars, Ninth Circuit, United States Supreme Court. Mickey maintains a second office in Bend, Oregon. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He has been a member of the Washington State American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Legal Committee for 23 years, and formerly served as chair. Mickey has been listed in "Best Lawyers in America," under Environmental Law. Contact:  gendler@gendlermann.com

  Center for

  Environmental Law & Policy

Mikey Gendler and Nan Johnson

Nomination of Michael W. Gendler


for the


2008 Ralph W. Johnson

Water Hero Award


by Kathy George



Before I met Mickey, his law partner told me what to expect: he’s tall, and he speaks with a New York accent.  Sure enough, 30 years of practicing law in the Northwest have not rubbed that northeastern edge off of Mickey.  It’s a good thing.  A brash New Yorker is exactly who we needed to fight for our water, trees, mountains, air, and, most of all, our integrity.


There’s a rule that all lawyers must be loyal to their clients.  That doesn’t mean a lawyer has to like the people he represents, or truly care about them.  Mickey Gendler’s loyalty is sincere.  It shows in the passion and force of his arguments.  It shows in the way that past and present clients filled Mickey’s hospital room, night after night, after his spinal cord injury in late October.


What makes Mickey Gendler a “water hero”?  He is an environmental lawyer in the true sense, not the kind who advises polluters how to pollute legally.  He has helped to protect Puget Sound and streams throughout Washington by fighting gravel mines, coal plants, sewage plants, landfills, highways, logging and chemical spraying, to name a few examples. We can thank Mickey for stopping a highway proposed along the Columbia River, for helping to keep a nuclear plant out of Skagit County, and for helping to defeat a plan to build a petroleum pipeline across the Cascade Mountains.  He protected Lake Whatcom from a sewer line expansion and Port Ludlow from a marina expansion. He helped save Ebey’s Prairie on Whidbey Island. At Hood Canal, Mickey has worked to protect pristine shoreline designated as a Conservancy environment threatened by mine operations. He has dedicated his career to representing citizen groups who care about the environment and about justice. 


Some people may not know that Mickey is a civil rights lawyer too.  He has been a member of the ACLU legal committee since 1980, chairing the committee for four years, and volunteering his time litigating as an ACLU “cooperating attorney.”  He represented Rainier Valley residents in a civil rights challenge to Sound Transit’s above-ground light-rail plan.  He successfully challenged a prison ban on families giving books to inmates.  A lot of Mickey’s work has been for clients “paying pennies on the dollar,” as his former partner Dave Bricklin put it.


For 30 years, Mickey Gendler has brought integrity, and unmatched intensity, to environmental protection in Washington.  It is time we recognize this brash New Yorker as our dear friend and hero.   



REPRESENTATIVE CASES


Hood Canal Coalition v. Fred Hill Materials. Current representation of community group opposing mine expansion and siting of conveyor and pier on Hood Canal.


Save Our Valley v. Sound Transit, 335 F.3d 932 (9th Cir. 2003). Representation of community group challenging at-grade alignment of light rail project under NEPA and environmental justice laws.


State ex rel. Peninsula Neighborhood Ass'n v. DOT, 142 Wn.2d 328, 12 P.3d 134 (2000). Representation of citizens group in successful challenge to spending and toll scheme for proposed new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.


Bowers v. Pollution Control Hearings Bd., 103 Wn. App. 587, 13 P.3d 1076 (2000) and Bowers v. SWAPCA et al., PCHB No. 95?106 (1996). Partly successful representation of citizen challenging emission limits for state's largest coal power plant.


Crofton v. Roe, 170 F.3d 957 (9th Cir. 1999). Successful challenge to prison policy banning gift books purchased by inmate's family for inmate.


Suquamish Tribe v. Kitsap County, 92 Wn. App. 816, 965 P.2d 636 (1998). Representation of citizens group to establish standing to challenge proposed residential and golf course development.


Miniken v.Walter, 978 F. Supp. 1376 (E.D. Wa. 1997). Successful challenge to prison policy banning subscription mail sent at "bulk mail" postal rates (ACLU case).


West Hills Association and Charleston Beach Association v. City of Bremerton (1996). Representation of more than 300 residents and property owners in two Superior Court actions for damages and injunctive relief resulting from sewage treatment plant odors. Case settlements included agreement for treatment plant upgrade and monetary payments.


OPAL v. Adams County, 128 Wn.2d 869, 913 P.2d 793 (1996). Representation of farmers challenging siting of regional landfill (lost battle, won war).


Jefferson County v. Seattle Yacht Club, 73 Wn. App. 576, 870 P.2d 987, rev. denied, 124 Wn.2d 1029 (1994). Represented neighborhood group in successful appeal of Shorelines Hearings Board decision, stopping development of yacht club facility on a rural shoreline in Jefferson County.


Bellevue Plaza v. Bellevue, 121 Wn.2d 397, 851 P.2d 662 (1993). Representation of commercial property owner in successful challenge to Local Improvement District assessment.


Snohomish County v. State, 69 Wn. App. 655, 850 P.2d 546 (1993). Representation of environmental group challenging DNR's exemption of logging on private lands from requirements of State Environmental Policy Act.


Boise Cascade v. Toxics Coalition, 68 Wn. App. 447, 843 P.2d 1092 (1993). Representation of environmental group challenging aerial spraying of chemicals; appellate issue involved Board's authority to stay approval pending hearing.


Whatcom Falls Neighborhood Association v. Whatcom County, Shorelines Hearings Board No. 92-41 (1993). Successful representation of citizens group challenging sewer line expansion along Lake Whatcom before Shorelines Hearings Board and Washington Court of Appeals.


Puget Sound Water Quality Defense Fund v. METRO, 59 Wn. App. 613, 800 P.2d 387 (1990). Representation of citizens and environmental groups challenging expansion of West Point sewage treatment plant on Seattle shoreline.


Washington Environmental Council v. Douglas County and Washington State Department of Transportation, Shorelines Hearings Board No. 86-34 (1988). Representation of citizens groups in successful opposition to proposed state highway on new alignment from East Wenatchee to Rocky Reach Dam.


Methow Valley Citizens Council v. Regional Forester, 833 F. 2d (9th Cir. 1987), rev'd in part 490 U.S. 332 (1989). Representation of citizens groups throughout seven years of administrative and judicial appeals involving proposed new ski area. Issues involved National Environmental Policy Act (EIS adequacy), Clean Air Act (PSD program), National Forest Management Act (forest planning process), and numerous administrative law questions.


Kuehn v. Renton School Dist., 103 Wn.2d 594, 694 P.2d 1078 (1985). Representation of high school student in successful challenge to constitutionality of school search policy (ACLU case).


Jacobsen v. Seattle, 98 Wn.2d 668, 658 P.2d 653 (1983). Successful challenge to Seattle's rock concert search policy (ACLU case).


Adler v. Lewis, 675 F.2d 1085 (9th Cir. 1982). Representation of citizens groups in unsuccessful NEPA challenge to the expansion of Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue (associate at Law offices of Roger M. Leed).


Alderwood Assocs. v. Envtl. Council, 96 Wn.2d 230, 635 P.2d 108 (1981). Representation of citizens group to establish right of petition at mall under Washington Constitution.


National Wildlife Federation v. Adams, 629 F.2d 587 (9th Cir. 1980). Unsuccessful NEPA challenge to construction of SR 3 in Kitsap County (associate at Law Offices of Roger M. Leed).

Whatcom Falls Neighborhood Association v. Whatcom County, Shorelines Hearings Board No. 92-41 (1993). Successful representation of citizens group challenging sewer line expansion along Lake Whatcom before Shorelines Hearings Board and Washington Court of Appeals.

Coyote Leading Salmon sculpture on the Apple Capital Recreation Trail in Wenatchee. (from:  Terry Richard OregonLive.com)


Washington Environmental Council v. Douglas County and Washington State Department of Transportation, Shorelines Hearings Board No. 86-34 (1988). Representation of citizens groups in successful opposition to proposed state highway on new alignment from East Wenatchee to Rocky Reach Dam.

Point Wilson Lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park, Seattle PI.


Jefferson County v. Seattle Yacht Club, 73 Wn. App. 576, 870 P.2d 987, rev. denied, 124 Wn.2d 1029 (1994). Represented neighborhood group in successful appeal of Shorelines Hearings Board decision, stopping development of yacht club facility on a rural shoreline in Jefferson County.

Bremerton's sewage treatment plant


West Hills Association and Charleston Beach Association v. City of Bremerton (1996). Representation of more than 300 residents and property owners in two Superior Court actions for damages and injunctive relief resulting from sewage treatment plant odors. Case settlements included agreement for treatment plant upgrade and monetary payments.

Three great public-interest environmental lawyers:  Dave Bricklin, Dave Mann, and Mickey Gendler.

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