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Jessica K. Ferrell

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Jessica Ferrell is a litigator with 14 years of courtroom and advisory experience. She has an extensive background in energy and environmental law and policy. Jess has a proven track record of taking on and achieving successful results in a wide array of complex challenges, with emphasis on disputes arising under the Endangered Species Act, NEPA, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and state analogues.

In her environmental and natural resource litigation practice, Ms. Ferrell represents public and private clients under a multitude of federal and state laws. She has successfully argued and tried cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington; superior courts across Washington State; and the Washington State Environmental and Land Use Hearings Boards. In addition to myriad complex federal cost recovery actions, Ms. Ferrell has defended renewable energy project permits, commercial developments, water diversion operations, commercial fishing, and other actions against ESA, MMPA, APA, and NEPA challenges. She has also participated in rulemaking proceedings and pursued regulatory challenges on behalf of commercial fishing operations under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Outside the courtroom, she has negotiated settlements in complex multi-party cases and regularly advises clients on regulatory compliance, environmental liabilities in property transactions, water rights, and a variety of natural resource and wildlife permitting matters.

Representative Experience

  • Represents The Seattle Times in environmental cost recovery litigation in U.S. District Court for the W.D. Washington and the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represents New Mexico local governments in action against the U.S. Department of Defense, EPA, and other PRPs for recovery of costs to remediate municipal water supplies contaminated by Superfund Site.
  • Represents local governments in Washington State in actions against U.S. Department of Defense for contamination of water systems by perfluorinated compounds.
  • Represented irrigation districts in southern Oregon in multi-year ESA Section 7 consultation on large Bureau of Reclamation project, culminating in “no jeopardy” biological opinion.
  • Defended renewable energy project permits in the Southwest against ESA, BGEPA and NEPA lawsuits.
  • Represented fishing and processing companies in challenges to National Marine Fisheries Service allocations, fishery management regulations, and associated ESA and NEPA decisions for Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod and Atka mackerel fisheries, in U.S. District Court for the W.D. Washington and the Ninth Circuit.
  • Represented owner of several ranches in Oregon in contested cases on claims of USBIA and Klamath Tribes for tribal instream water rights in the Klamath Basin Adjudication.
  • Advised developers on Habitat Conservation Plan preparation and additional means for ESA compliance in Washington.
  • Represented Washington municipality in CERCLA and MTCA cost recovery and contribution action to recover remediation costs at a former military base. Prosecuted claims against the military and its defense contractors, obtaining insurance coverage to cover cleanup costs and an order requiring the federal government to allow local governments to help structure remedial action. 416 F.Supp.2d 1015 (E.D. Wash. 2005).
  • Tried environmental insurance claims against twelve insurance companies on behalf of former large-scale gasoline distributor in multi-phase litigation covering over 225 contaminated sites.
  • Represented mining company in estimation hearings in the largest environmental bankruptcy case in the United States.
  • Advised a Washington recycling and composting company on compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws.
  • Appealed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of Alaska marine-front landowners’ Clean Water Act permit applications.
  • Prosecuted and defended claims in multiple matters to recover environmental cleanup costs under CERCLA and MTCA. Representative cases include airports, maintenance yards, landfills, smelters, refineries, gas stations, dry cleaners, and salvage and recycling facilities.


  • Marten Law LLP, Seattle, WA (2005 - present)


  • J.D., Lewis and Clark Law School, with honors (2005)
    • Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate, Law Review Editorial Board
  • B.A., with honors, Cornell University, History (1998)

Admitted to Practice

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington
  • State Bar of Washington

Professional and Civic Activities and Honors

  • Editorial Board, Washington State Bar Association Environmental & Land Use Law Section (2006-present)
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Pro Bono Attorney representing refugees seeking political asylum (2007-present)
  • Washington State Bar Association Pro Bono Service Commendation (2007-2017) 
  • "Rising Star®," Super Lawyers (2010-2015)
  • “Rising Star®,” Washington Law & Politics magazine (2007-2009)

Select Publications and Speeches

  • Speaker, Law Seminars International, Litigating Environmental Class Actions: Emerging Persistent Contaminants (May 10, 2019)
  • Author, “NEPA Overhaul Proposed by Trump Administration Depends on Second Term,” Pratt’s Energy Law Report, Vol 19, No. 4 (April 2019)
  • Editor and Author, WSBA 2018 Real Property Deskbook Series Volume 7: Environmental Regulation (CWA, EPA, and ESA chapters (December 2018)
  • Regular author, WSBA Environmental & Land Use Law Newsletter (2005-2019); Marten Law News (environmental and energy law newsletter circulated regularly to over 75,000 subscribers) (2006-2019)
  • LexisNexis Expert Forum, Environmental Law & Climate Change (2007-2017)
  • “The Cost of Species Protection,” Environmental Law360 publications (September 10, 2013)
  • “Sage Grouse – The Rancher’s Spotted Owl?” - Society for Range Management 65th Annual Meeting, Spokane, Washington, January 2012, and associated publication in Rangelands: “Sage Grouse Not Protected by ESA, Still Plays Major Role in Grazing, Agriculture, and Energy Development in the West,” (February 2012)
  • Chair, Washington State Bar Association Environmental and Land Use Law Annual Midyear Meeting and Seminar, Union, WA, (April 28-30, 2011)
  • Speaker and Author, “When Regulators Don't Enforce: Ethical Challenges Facing Attorneys Representing Competing Regulated Entities,” 28th Annual ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Water Law Conference, San Diego, California (February 2010)
  • Co-author, “Despite Apparent Recovery, Climate Change Keeps Grizzly Bears on ESA List,” LexisNexis Environmental Law & Climate Change Center (December 15, 2009)
  • Author, “Almost Infamous-- Another Circuit Tries to Determine Scope of Clean Water Jurisdiction After Rapanos,” The Environmental Counselor, Issue 255 (November 2009)
  • Co-author, “Bounty for Land and Sea: Congress Passes Omnibus Public Land Act,” The Environmental Counselor, Issue 251 (July 2009)
  • Co-author, “Precautionary Resource Management and Climate Change,” American Bar Association Natural Resources & Environment Magazine, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Summer 2009)
  • Speaker, “Flood Insurance and Endangered Species: A New Era in Floodplain Development,” American Planning Association Planning Law Conference, Climate Change/Sustainability Track, Bellevue, Washington (April 2009)
  • Speaker and Author,Project Development in the Shadow of Climate Change,” Proceedings of the 54th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Snowmass/Aspen, Colorado (July and December 2008)
  • Speaker and Author, Fish, Goods, and International Law,” American Association of Law Schools, Section on Admiralty and Maritime Law, New York, New York (January 2008) (presentation of: “Controlling Flags of Convenience: One Measure to Stop Overfishing of Collapsing Fish Stocks,” 35 Envtl. L. 323 (Spring 2005))
  • Co-author, “Orcinus and Oncorhynchus: Will Saving Puget Sound Orcas and Salmon Save an Ecosystem?,” American Bar Association Natural Resources & Environment Magazine, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Fall 2007)
  • Speaker, “Endangered Species and Watershed Planning Issues in Shoreline Development,” Law Seminars International, Marine Shoreline Development CLE, Seattle, Washington (February 2007)

Alaska Seafood Cooperative: Endangered Species Act Fishing Regulations Related to Steller Sea Lions

Marten Law represents Seattle-based fishing companies, Adak Community Development Association and Aleut Corporation in litigation defending the re-opening of the Aleutian Islands to cod and mackerel fishing. More

ASARCO LLC: Largest Environmental Bankruptcy in U.S. History

We defended this former mining and smelting company in the first evidentiary estimation hearing in connection with the largest environmental bankruptcy case in United States history. The hearing, at the U.S. More

Cedar Grove Composting: Permitting and Regulatory Compliance

We have represented Cedar Grove Composting for decades and have helped it grow into one of the largest composters in the United States. We have assisted in the expansion of Cedar Grove’s facilities, handling its regulatory work before State and regional air agencies, and permitting work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology. More

City of Moses Lake: CERCLA and MTCA Cost Recovery

We represented the City in a CERCLA and MTCA cost recovery and contribution action to recover millions of dollars in remediation costs for a drinking water well field that was contaminated by an adjacent former military base, now a federal Superfund site, and successfully prosecuted claims against the military. More

Fishermen’s Finest, Inc.: Challenge to Fisheries Allocations

We represented a major fishing and processing company in a challenge to National Marine Fisheries Service allocations for the multi-million dollar Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod fishery under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fishermen’s Finest, Inc. v. Locke, 593 F.3d 886 (9th Cir. 2010).

Las Cruces, New Mexico: Groundwater Contamination Cleanup

We represented one of the largest cities in New Mexico in a $30 million groundwater contamination cleanup at a Superfund Site on the National Priorities List, including regulatory negotiations, investigation of potentially responsible parties, and negotiation of allocation issues. More

Pattern Energy: First Utility-Scale Wind Project in Nevada

Marten Law has successfully represented Pattern Energy, the developer of the first utility-scale wind project in Nevada – the 150 MW Spring Valley Wind Project – in the Interior Board of Land Appeals, the U.S. District Court for Nevada, and the Ninth Circuit. More

Rogue Basin Water User’s Council: Bureau of Reclamation Section 7 ESA Consultation

Douglas McDougall and Jessica Ferrell represented the Rogue Basin Water User’s Council (RBWUC) in an ongoing Section 7 Consultation under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The matter involves the Bureau of Reclamation’s Rogue River Basin Project. More

State of Louisiana (Gulf Oil Spill)

The firm acted as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the State of Louisiana in the Gulf Oil spill litigation. Marten Law was the only out-of-state firm selected to assist the Attorney General. Louisiana was a principal complainant (along with the United States and four other Gulf states) in the largest environmental lawsuit ever brought in the United States. More