John H. Bernetich

Energy and Natural Resources
Business and Corporate

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(303) 861-2828 ext. 2509

John Bernetich is an environmental, energy and commercial litigation attorney.  He represents clients in a broad range of complex litigation and regulatory matters, with a focus on commercial contract disputes, oil and gas, renewable energy, public lands, air pollution, and environmental assessments.  He has represented public and private clients in all levels of federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as state courts and federal agencies.  John regularly assists and advises ski resorts regarding obtaining and defending Forest Service special use permits and other government authorizations, matters involving federal land use plans, and the National Environmental Policy Act review process.  John has advised clients on matters under federal environmental and natural resources statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, Atomic Energy Act, and others, as well as compliance with complex regulations issued under those statutes.  He has also advised businesses on generation and transfer of tradeable carbon instruments.

Before joining the firm, John was an associate at a boutique environmental law firm in Washington, DC, and a judicial law clerk at federal and state appellate courts and a state trial court. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Constitutional Law Committee of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.


J.D., magna cum laude, Vermont Law School
        Head Notes Editor, Vermont Law Review

Master of Environmental Law and Policy, cum laude, Vermont Law School

B.A., magna cum laude, Virginia Tech

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Other Professional Affiliations

Law clerk to Judge Peter W. Hall, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2012-13

Law clerk to Judge Richard Hoffman, New Jersey Superior Court, Civil Division and Appellate Division, 2011-12

Vice Chair, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Constitutional Law Committee

Listed as recommended attorney in Who's Who Legal 2017, Environment & Climate Change

Environmental Law Institute

Colorado Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

American Bar Association


Why Obama's national monument designations should stand, (Feb. 8, 2017) (co-author)

Setting National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Clean Air Act Handbook (4th ed.), American Bar Association (2016) (co-author)

Sovereignty and Regulation of Environmental Risk Under the Precautionary Principle in WTO Law, 35 Vermont Law Review 717 (2011)