Charlie Denton represents an array of clients in environmental and toxic tort litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance solutions and pollution insurance coverage disputes. He also serves as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) neutral mediator and arbitrator. Persistent and highly collaborative, Charlie can take complicated issues and challenges and then identify a strategic path to achieve the client’s objectives.
Charlie’s representation of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients includes judicial and administrative environmental proceedings at the federal, state and local levels. He also represents policyholders involved in environmental coverage claim disputes and litigation with millions of dollars in the balance.
In addition, Charlie assists clients with managing environmental risks in commercial transactions, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as ISO 14000 environmental management systems. He advises on lender liability issues and environmental audits to assess potential facility contamination and regulatory compliance for the acquisition and financing of real estate, as well as waste management and remedial actions, environmental permits enforcement, and defense of citizens’ suits.
Charlie serves as a zealous advocate for his clients, focusing on their specific strategic goals and finding solutions that solve their immediate and long-term challenges. Charlie makes a point of understanding his clients’ core objectives from the onset of representation to keep their environmental matter in perspective.
Charlie serves as a federal court arbitrator/mediator/neutral evaluator, a state court facilitative mediator, and an arbitrator and mediator for private ADR proceedings. When serving as a neutral, Charlie remains personally dedicated to finding a balanced approach to dispute resolution that meets the needs and interests of the parties involved. Charlie is valued for his thoughtful understanding of the underlying business and legal issues that permeate every dispute, as well as for his calming approach to resolving the people challenges and emotional aspects that underlie most acrimony. An active listener, Charlie serves as a catalyst to working constructively with even the most disparate parties to achieve a reasonable outcome.
Charlie is actively involved with key industry, legal and environmental associations, often in leadership roles. He is the author and co-author of several publications highlighting environmental law topics, and gives frequent presentations for the American Bar Association, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and State Bar Associations for Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin
Professional and Community Involvement
Vice chair, Georgia Bar Association Environmental Law Section
Co-Chair, American Bar Association, Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee
Board member, Michigan Chemistry Council (MCC)
Board member, State Bar of Wisconsin Environmental Law Section
Board Chair, Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), Georgia Chapter
Board member, Broadway Grand Rapids
Vice-chair, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Environmental & Energy Law Committee
Member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Professional Development Committee
Secretary, State Bar of Georgia Environmental Law Section
Member, Georgia Brownfield Association
Member, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Energy & Natural Resources Committee
Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta
Member, NSF-International Strategic Registrations Advisory Council
Member, Michigan Pulp & Paper Environmental Council
Former governing council member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
Former co-chair, American Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
Former chair, State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section
Former chair, Air & Waste Management Association national Legal/Liability Committee
A&WMA Annual Conference & Exhibition, Chicago (2013) and Detroit (2009) planning committees
Former president, East Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education
Past Vice-Chair, Arrington Place Townhome Association
Grand Rapids Magazine Top Lawyers, 2023
The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2024; Lawyer of the Year 2013, 2014 and 2018
Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2018
Who’s Who in American Law, 1992-2016
Detroit Bar Association “Chairperson of the Year” (1995-1996)