Mark Stermitz is a partner in Crowley Fleck’s Missoula, Montana office. He is co-chair of the firm’s Natural Resource and Environmental Litigation Practice Group. Mark represents clients in litigation and energy or natural resource development projects covered by federal or state environmental laws governing endangered species and migratory birds (ESA and MBTA), site contamination (CERCLA and RCRA), air and water quality permits, water law, NEPA and climate change. Over decades of experience Mark has litigated complex cases and participated in large projects in many states.

Before joining Crowley Fleck, Mr. Stermitz was with the prominent Los Angeles entertainment and litigation firm Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro, handling energy, environmental and commercial litigation. Earlier, he was Assistant General Counsel for the Port of Portland, Oregon, with responsibility for environmental and land use matters for the Port’s marine, aviation and real estate operations, including Brownfields redevelopment. Mark was also employed by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. as a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resource Division.

Mark is a Montana native and obtained his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Montana. Mark has tried many cases to juries and maintains an active commercial litigation practice. He is actively licensed and represents clients in other states as well.

Practice Areas

    • Commercial Litigation
    • Mining – Hard Rock, Coal and Other Minerals
    • Oil and Gas
    • Pipelines, Transmission Lines and Other Linear Facilities
    • Power Plants, Hydro Facilities, Refineries and Other Industrial Facilities
    • Renewable Energy
    • Permitting and Environmental
    • Associated Transmission Lines
    • Natural Resources and Environmental Law
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act (Federal and State)
    • Climate Change
    • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Solid or Hazardous Waste
    • Constitutional Environmental Claims (Montana)
    • Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)
    • Environmental Due Diligence
    • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Equivalents
    • Mining – Hard Rock, Coal and Industrial Minerals
    • Land and Mineral Acquisition
    • Litigation and Administrative Proceedings
    • Mine Development and Operation
    • Oil and Gas
    • Environmental
    • Litigation
    • Real Estate
    • Access, Title and Property Disputes
    • Water Rights
    • Water Law
    • Comprehensive Water Law Practice
    • Other Water-Related Matters

Bar Admission

Federal and state courts:
Montana, California, Oregon, North Dakota
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Pro Hac Vice – multiple states

Education

J.D., University of Montana School of Law
B.A., University of Montana

Prior Experience (Employment)

Mark Stermitz has more than 35 years of litigation and project development experience ranging from rural Montana to Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. He has tried a wide variety of civil and criminal cases to juries, cases of judicial review, and administrative proceedings. Mark has for many years been a valuable asset for risk assessment and permitting on project teams for industrial sites, redevelopment, transmission lines, pipelines, mines, and mixed use real estate development.

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law (2013- Present)
AV Preeminent Peer Rating
AV Preeminent Judicial Edition Rating
U.S. Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award
Montana Justice Foundation – Champion of Justice (2014)

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Montana
Oregon State Bar Association
California State Bar Association
North Dakota State Bar Association
American Bar Association

Presentations & Publications

November 2018 – Program Chair, “Land Use Law In Montana” (Missoula, MT)
March 2017 – Presentation, “Permitting Strategies for Large, Controversial Projects” (Seattle, WA)
March 2016 – Panel, “Legal Obstacles to Energy Development” (Billings, MT)
January 2013 – Presentation, “Eminent Domain Compensation in Western States” (Western Governors Assoc., Scottsdale, AZ)

Author, Paris Climate Accord, Best Lawyers, September 1, 2017

Reported Decisions / Cases

Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 730 Fed.Appx. 413, 2018 WL 1615962 (9th Cir. 2018)
Montanore Minerals Corp. v. Bakie, 867 F.3d 1160 (9th Cir. 2017)
Western Montana Community Partners, Inc. v. Austin, 696 Fed.Appx. 789, 2017 WL 2616951 (9th Cir. 2017)
National Wildlife Federation v. National Marine Fisheries Service, (D. Ore.), 2017 WL 1829588
Indigenous Environmental Network V. U.S. Dept. of State, 317 F.Supp.3d 1118 (D. Mont. 2018)
Masters Group Intn’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank, 380 Mont. 1, 352 P.3d 1101 (2015)
Mines Management Inc. v. Fus, 376 Mont. 375. 334 P.3d 929 (2014)
Northern Plains Resource Council v. Mont. Bd. Land Commn’rs, 366 Mont. 399, 288 P.3d 169 (2012)
United States v. ConocoPhillips Company, 2011 WL 4709887 (D. N.D. 2011)
Dembrowski v. City of West Hollywood, 2010 WL 1212411 (Cal. Court of Appeals, 2nd Dist.)
Grant School Dist. No. 3 v. Dombeck, 126 Fed.Appx. 823, 2005 WL 660677 (9th Cir. 2005)
Center for Biological Diversity v. Pirie, 191 F.Supp.2d 161 (D.D.C. 2002)
Carlton v. Babbitt, 147 F.Supp.2d 4 (D.D.C. 2001)