John H. Bernetich

Energy and Natural Resources
Environmental
Business and Corporate
Litigation

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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 specializes in advising and representing clients that are regulated by federal environmental and land management agencies.

John has represented clients in all levels of federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as state courts and federal agencies. He advises clients on matters under federal environmental and natural resources statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, Mineral Leasing Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, Atomic Energy Act, and others, as well as compliance with complex regulations issued under those statutes. John also regularly advises clients regarding general commercial and employment disputes.

Before joining the firm, John was an associate at a boutique environmental law firm in Washington, DC, and a law clerk to Judge Peter W. Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Constitutional Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

Representative experience

Obtained federal court ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management violated the National Environmental Policy Act by issuing a permit to a third party that created hazards for client’s helicopter skiing operation. Triumvirate, LLC v. Bernhardt, 367 F. Supp. 3d 1011 (D. Alaska 2019).

Regularly advises clients regarding obtaining and defending special use permits and other government authorizations, as well as the related National Environmental Policy Act review process.

Regularly advises and represents clients regarding disputes related to oil and gas leases, royalties, and gas purchase and processing agreements.

Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a river outfitter regarding dispute with state licensing agency.

Represented trade association and national utility before U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit regarding the first-ever carbon emissions standards for new, existing, and modified power plants under the Clean Air Act.

Represented national manufacturer before D.C. Circuit regarding safe disposal regulations for ozone-depleting substances under the Clean Air Act.

Education

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

Colorado
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

Publications

Why Obama's national monument designations should stand, CNN.com (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)