John Eldridge


Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 1980, Senior Articles Editor, Texas International Law Journal

B.A., Rice University, 1975

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas


John Eldridge has 30 years of experience in environmental litigation and regulatory practice, with an emphasis on Superfund, property contamination and toxic tort litigation. He has argued several CERCLA appeals before the Fifth Circuit and tried cases in various courts.

John frequently represents buyers and sellers of contaminated properties and assists clients in assessing and addressing environmental risks associated with various business transactions. Internal investigations, environmental crimes, enforcement defense, Clean Water Act permitting and risk based "closure" certifications of contaminated real estate are also significant aspects of his practice. He advises clients on the property and liability issues associated with oil and gas drilling. Many of John’s clients are in the energy sector and John previously worked as in house counsel for a major oil company. 

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • "Navigating Uncharted Waters? Indemnities and Releases in Offshore Drilling Contracts Post-Macondo Litigation," Co-author with Jessica Rivera, Bloomberg Law Daily Environment Report, August 29, 2012. 
  • "Sackett: Implications For Pre-Enforcement Review," Co-author with Megan Bibb, Law360, May 14, 2012. 
  • "Limitations Considerations," with Jason Huebinger, Texas Lawyer, Jan. 25, 2012. 
  • "Sufficient Cause to Just Say 'No'? CERCLA 106 Orders," Natural Resources & Environment, Volume 25, Number 3, Winter 2011.

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America in Environmental Law, 2010-2015 and Litigation - Environmental, 2012-2015
  • Named a Texas "Super Lawyer" by Texas Monthly, 2004-2006, 2011-2014
  • Selected as a Leading Environmental Lawyer in Texas by Chambers USA, 2004-2014
  • Martindale Hubbell® Law Directory with a Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™ 

Professional and Community Activities

  • State Bar of Texas
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Greater Houston Partnership Environmental Advisory Committee
  • Awty International School (Former Board Member)
  • French-American Chamber of Commerce (Board Member)
  • Palmer Memorial Church
  • United Way (Alexis de Tocqueville Society)
  • DaCamera Music Society (Board Member)
  • Rice University School of Humanities (Advisory Board Member)
  • Old Braeswood Property Owners Association (President, 2010-2013)
  • UT Law Alumni Keeton Fellow
  • Alumni of St. Paul's School, Concord, N.H.

Selected Client Representations

  • Won a five-week trial in a multiparty contamination case. 
  • Won summary judgment and appeal in a multiple-party nuisance/trespass action in Atlanta, Georgia involving wood treating chemicals. 
  • Advised a major drilling company on offshore liability and contract issues. 
  • Represent the metals recycling industry on air emissions issues. 
  • Advised an energy service company in acquisition involving contaminated properties in several states. 
  • Successfully argued several Fifth Circuit appeals of CERCLA liability issues, including statute of limitations. 
  • Advised a European client regarding major steel manufacturing acquisition. 
  • Resolved a toxic tort claim in Tennessee involving exposure to creosote. 
  • Represented an Asian buyer of a U.S. chemical company. 
  • Won a jury trial involving a shopping center in Houston contaminated with dry cleaning solvents. 
  • Resolved felony indictment of company for alleged Texas Water Code violations. 
  • Negotiated complex indemnity and cleanup agreement with the City of Houston involving a contaminated maintenance facility, allowing a multi-million dollar real estate acquisition to proceed. 
  • Defended and resolved toxic tort suit involving 1,300 plaintiffs. 
  • Assisted several companies by performing internal investigations of alleged criminal violations. 
  • Obtained risk based closure certificate for large contaminated Houston industrial plant, allowing multi-million dollar asset sale by bankruptcy trustee. 
  • Renegotiated the environmental responsibilities stemming from a major refinery and chemical plant transaction.  
  • Represented a major herbicide manufacturer in a West Coast arbitration. 

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