Overview

Beth Rothenberg is a real estate attorney in Holland & Knight's Jacksonville office, where she focuses on environmental, safety and health law. Her broad, national experience includes compliance and regulatory counseling as well as litigation and enforcement defense for many Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 clients. She has deep knowledge in the following areas:

Environmental Compliance and Permitting

Ms. Rothenberg advises clients on regulatory compliance under numerous federal and state environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Water Act; Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA); and the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA). She provides counsel on the implications of environmental regulations on business and real estate transactions, and she has overseen the environmental due diligence of multimillion-dollar deals across numerous states. Ms. Rothenberg also has advised clients on the permitting requirements of federal and state agencies, ensuring that projects and operations move forward and continue uninterrupted.

Regarding enforcement actions, Ms. Rothenberg defends clients in investigations by federal and state regulators. She negotiates with these agencies to resolve clients' environmental enforcement matters under the Clean Water Act, RCRA and state-law equivalents, as well as Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations.

Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation

Ms. Rothenberg is well-versed in representing clients on both sides of environmental and toxic tort litigation. She has defended corporations against citizen suits brought under federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Water Act, RCRA and corresponding state laws. She also has defended clients in high-stakes mass toxic tort cases involving claims of property damage and personal injury caused by environmental contamination.

On the plaintiff's side, Ms. Rothenberg has brought cost recovery actions under CERCLA, also known as Superfund, and state laws against parties that have failed to reimburse clients for environmental cleanup costs. She handles matters related to all aspects of Superfund law, including coordinating with agencies, leading cleanups under CERCLA, participating in Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP) groups as both small parties and major contributors, negotiating the allocation of liability among PRPs, and pursuing cost recovery claims against PRPs.

Safety and Health

Ms. Rothenberg regularly represents clients in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement actions across the country, both against federal OSHA and state agencies that administer their own OSHA programs, such as Cal/OSHA in California and MIOSHA in Michigan. In these cases, Ms. Rothenberg has defended against citations of all kinds – ranging from those that allege repeat violations or involve fatal accidents, to those that allege less serious violations but could fundamentally impact the client's business operations.

Ms. Rothenberg also counsels clients and their environmental health and safety (EHS) managers or other subject matter experts on safety and health compliance and best practices under federal OSHA, Cal/OSHA and other state agencies. She advises on topics ranging from hazard communication to injury and illness recordkeeping.  

In the community, Ms. Rothenberg represents low-income individuals in Social Security disability appeals and has worked with the Sulzbacher Center, which provides services to the homeless.

Experience

  • Managed legal and consultant teams to develop client's national environmental compliance plan mandated by government settlement
  • Represented a major railroad in negotiations with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) regarding alleged notice of violation for noncompliance with waste oil regulations; resolved without any citation or enforcement action
  • Advised the buyer of multimillion-dollar procurement contracts

  • Defended a major railroad in a citizen suit under Clean Water Act and common law tort claims, with the court granting summary judgment in favor of the client
  • Successfully argued to exclude opinions and testimony of opposing parties' environmental and damages experts under the Daubert Standard in a citizen suit
  • Defended a client against a citizen suit brought by environmental groups under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Pennsylvania's environmental state laws
  • Pursued Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP) in litigation and mediation to recover clients' cleanup costs under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Florida environmental statutes
  • Defended a mass environmental tort action arising from alleged groundwater contamination in Polk County, Fla.

  • Successfully represented a global staffing company against federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), negotiating at the informal conference for three repeat citations to be dismissed or reduced to lesser classifications
  • Prepared and defended a client during federal OSHA inspection of a construction accident that resulted in employee amputation at a nuclear energy site, with no citation issued
  • Successfully defended a client in a case brought by the Cal/OSHA Legal Unit, reaching a favorable settlement that dismissed 10 of 12 citation items and reduced the penalty to $370

Credentials

Education
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with high honors
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., summa cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
Memberships
  • George Washington Law Review, Notes Editor
  • First Coast Manufacturers Association, Professional Progress Class of 2011
  • American Bar Association
  • Jacksonville Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section
Honors & Awards
  • Rising Star, Environmental, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2017
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News