Jonathan D. Brightbill served as Acting Assistant Attorney General, Environment & Natural Resources Division, at the United States Department of Justice. Professor Brightbill led the division’s 425 lawyers, handling 6,500 active matters, with an annual budget of $150 million. He was the lead environmental litigator and civil and criminal enforcement official for the United States.

Professor Brightbill argued many of division’s most significant appellate and district court matters during his service at the Department. This included the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and Clean Water Rule Repeal (10th Cir., district courts), the Affordable Clean Energy Rule and Clean Power Plan Repeal (D.C. Cir), defense of EPA actions on pesticide tolerances under FIFRA and the FDCA (9th Cir. en banc), and numerous others. He represented the United States in trial courts in enforcement and defensive cases, including an enforcement action against Jeffrey Lowe and the Tiger King Park, of Netflix fame, securing a first-of-its-kind injunction for violations of the Endangered Species Act and Animal Welfare Act. Professor Brightbill further directed the litigation and briefing of scores of additional cases in federal appellate and district courts around the country, covering all of the major environmental and natural resources statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, FIFRA (pesticides), FDCA (food safety), TSCA (toxics), CERCLA (land remediation), RCRA (waste), Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and numerous other land and resource management statutes.

Professor Brightbill previously was a trial lawyer and Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice included complex litigation such as commercial disputes, false advertising, patent, trademark, trade secret, antitrust and unfair competition, and environmental litigation, including extensive class action defense. He also handled bankruptcy, fraudulent conveyance, securities, and administrative law matters. Professor Brightbill served on the American Bar Association’s E-Discovery Working Group for Bankruptcy Practice and was a frequent lecturer for District of Columbia Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Programs.

Professor Brightbill was an appellate clerk for the Honorable D. Brooks Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, after graduating magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. He worked in state government as Executive Policy Specialist for air, waste, land remediation, and radiation matters at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.