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Education

  • JD with honors, The George Washington University Law School
  • BA, magna cum laude, Rutgers University

Memberships and citations

  • Member, District of Columbia and Maryland Bar Associations
  • Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers guide, Environment Law (2008-2014)
  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine (2011-2015)
  • Who’s Who Legal
  • Special Achievement and Special Commendations Awards, Department of Justice
  • Consultant of the Year, Home Builders Association of Maryland
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Planning Co-Chair, American Law Institute Course of Study on “Species Protection and the Law”
  • Chair, Water Quality Committee, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
  • Council of Partners, Environmental Law Institute
  • Maryland State Water Quality Advisory Committee

Contact

  • o: (202) 289-2060
  • f: (202) 289-8683
  • lliebesman@dawsonassociates.com
A nationally recognized environmental lawyer with more than 35 years of experience, including 11 years at the U.S. Justice Department, Larry specializes in federal Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the National Environmental Policy Act  (NEPA).

Larry has extensive experience negotiating federal and state environmental approvals , including Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act permits  for commercial, residential, public works and mining projects.  He has also defended challenges to those permits and approvals in Federal and state courts.

Larry also has a background in storm water policy. He sits on the Maryland State Water Quality Advisory Committee, where he provides advice to state officials on Chesapeake Bay restoration issues.

He has authored multiple amicus briefs for major environmental cases before the United States Supreme Court. These included briefs for:

  • Rapanos and Carabell, which involved Clean Water Act jurisdiction over adjacent wetlands;
  • South Florida Water Management District v. Miccosukee Tribe, which centered on the Clean Water Act’s definition of “discharge”;
  • Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for A Great Oregon, which involved the Endangered Species Act’s “take” definition;
  • Bennett v. Spear covering the rights of property owners to sue under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); and
  • S. Environmental Protection Agency v. Defenders of Wildlife dealing with the EPA’s delegation of clean water permitting authority to states.

Larry has testified before Congress on proposed legislation to reform the ESA and is co-author of the Endangered Species Act Desk Book: A Guide to Endangered Species Law for the Environmental Law Institute (2nd Ed., 2010). He also authored The Water Suppliers Guide To Wetlands Regulation and Management for the American Water Works Association (1996).

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Liebesman spent 11 years as a senior trial attorney at the Department of Justice’s Environment Division (DOJ).  While at Justice, he was lead counsel in NRDC v. EPA, which upheld major portions of the EPA’s NPDES program and Bersani v. EPA, which upheld EPA’s veto authority under Section 404(c) of the CWA.  He also worked at EPA and spent a detail at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality ( CEQ) working on CEQ’s NEPA regulations.

Larry is an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, where he teaches a course on wildlife and ecosystem law.