News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 239-9722


Dave Scriven-Young is a Chicago environmental attorney in the law firm of Peckar & Abramson, P.C.  His mission is to work hard on behalf of his corporate and individual clients to obtain the best possible result in the most cost-effective manner.  He will be there to protect your interests.

Mr. Scriven-Young’s environmental expertise includes handling Superfund cases and wrongful death, personal injury, and property damage claims arising out of underground storage tank leaks, spills of chlorinated solvents, and other chemical releases.  He has represented clients before the U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies in enforcement matters.  He has counseled clients on compliance and/or permitting issues under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act.  He has also helped clients take advantage of state and federal audit policies.  In addition, he has advised clients on mergers and acquisitions concerning environmental liability and permitting issues, and conducted due diligence and prepared representations and warranties for corporate transactions.

Before joining Peckar & Abramson, Mr. Scriven-Young was an attorney at Jenner & Block LLP and McDermott Will & Emery LLP.  He is now able to provide the same excellent service and charge a much lower rate.

Mr. Scriven-Young regularly speaks and publishes on environmental legal issues.  He also holds several leadership positions in bar associations and the community, including being Liaison to the prestigious ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law and Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s YLS Environmental Law Committee.

For his efforts, Mr. Scriven-Young has been given several awards, including being named a “Rising Star” by Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine.  No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the State of Illinois are named to the list.  He was also selected by DePaul University to a list of 14 successful alumni under 40 years old and profiled in DePaul Magazine.

Mr. Scriven-Young received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Marquette University, and a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from DePaul University College of Law. While at DePaul, He was on law review and an extern for The Honorable Blanche M. Manning, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Scriven-Young is accepting new clients and would appreciate any referrals.  You are welcome to meet with him for free, without cost or obligation of any kind.  To set up a free initial consultation, please contact him directly by phone at (312) 239-9722 or e-mail at


Selected as “Rising Star” in Illinois Super Lawyers Magazine

Selected to “14 Under 40” Alumni List in DePaul Magazine

Awarded “David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service” from the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

Awarded “Star of the Quarter” from the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division

Awarded “Great Lakes Stewardship Award for Advocate of the Year” from the Alliance for the Great Lakes

Awarded Public Interest Law Initiative Fellowship

Selected to Who’s Who in America

Selected to Who’s Who in American Law

Quoted in Numerous Publications, including BNA’s Daily Environment Report, ABA Journal, and American Bar Association’s Student Lawyer Magazine


American Bar Association

–Committee and Liaison Director for Public and Special Interest Entities, Young Lawyers Division (YLD)

–Vice Chair, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)

–Member, TIPS Public Relations Committee

–Social Media Vice Chair, Environmental Litigation and Toxic Tort Committee, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER)

–Co-Chair, Networking & Rainmaking Subcommittee, Section of Litigation Young Advocate Committee

–Past YLD Committee and Liaison Director for Membership Entities

–Past Liaison to Task Force on Policy and Coordination, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (formerly known as the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law)

–Past Chair, YLD Environmental Law Committee

–Past Chair, YLD Law Practice Management Committee

The Chicago Bar Association

–Director, Young Lawyers Section

–Legislative Liaison, CBA Environmental Law Committee

Past Co-Chair, YLS Environmental Law Committee

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DePaul University

Alumni Advisor, Environmental Law Society

Co-Chair, President’s Club Recent Graduate Committee

Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)

–Progam Planning Team Leader, PILI Alumni Network Leadership Council

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association



–Past Baseball Coach, Wheatland Athletic Association

Religious Education Teacher, Holy Spirit Catholic Community


Author, Illinois Environmental Law Blog, providing Illinois environmental news and updates on cases, laws, and regulations.

Panel Moderator, Best (and Worst) Practices During Discovery, Settlement, and Pre-Trial, part of “A New Lawyer’s Guide on How to Practice in Federal Court, sponsored by the ABA Young Lawyers Division and the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago

Panel Moderator, Energy Efficiency – the “Low Hanging Fruit” in the Carbon Reduction Debate, part of the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law’s International Conference in London, UK, “Navigating the New Green Economy: The Challenge of Climate Change and The Opportunities for Clean Energy”

Presenter, Environmental Law Update, presented to Public Interest Law Initiative as part of Summer Educational Program for PILI Interns and Fellows

Presenter, How Businesses Can Take Advantage of U.S. EPA’s Audit Policy, presented to Environmental Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

Presenter, Environmental Issues in Land Development, presented to Environmental Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

Presenter, What Should Manufacturers Do When Receiving a Notice of Violation from EPA?, presented to Linked Local Network’s Manufacturing Tools Group

Presenter, Greenhouse Gas Regulations: Advising Clients in an Uncertain Legal Environment, part of Chicago Bar Association’s “Hot Topics in Environmental Law” Program

Panelist, Careers in Environmental Law: Finding Your Path in a Dynamic Field, presented to DePaul University College of Law

Panel Moderator, Careers in Environmental Law, for Environmental Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

Panel Moderator, Marketing in the First Five Years of Your Practice, ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference

Contributor, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: 2009 The Year in Review, published by the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Contributor, State Warnings Liability Survey, published by ABA Section of Litigation’s Products Liability Committee

Co-Author, United States v. Apex Oil Co., Inc.: State of the Law Regarding Discharge of Environmental Injunctions, published by the ABA Business Law Section, Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law Committee

Author, Electronics Manufacturers: Are You Ready for New Recycling and Reuse Requirements, published by Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s Sustainable Memo Newsletter

Author, What Is the EPA and How Does it Function?, published by ABA Young Lawyers Division for Environment, Energy & Resources Law 101 Program

Author, Seventh Circuit Allows CERCLA § 107(a) Claim for Contribution by Potentially Responsible Party, published in ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Environment, Energy & Resources Law Committee Newsletter

Author, Illinois Insurance Coverage Case Law Update, published in ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resource’s Environmental Litigation and Toxic Tort Committee Newsletter

Author, What to Do When You Make a Mistake, published in The Young Lawyer

Author, New Illinois Law Affirms Ability of State’s Attorneys to File Actions Compelling Clean Up, Jenner & Block Client Alert

Co-Author, Court Rules That Administrative Orders Are Insufficient Bases For CERCLA Contribution Claims, Jenner & Block Client Alert

Co-Author, Managing Environmental Claims in Bankruptcy, published in Environmental Law In Illinois by Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (Supplement)

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    The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the federal government’s ability to criminally prosecute environmental activists who destroy property under the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (“AETA”).

    In United States v. Johnson, the defendants travelled from Los Angeles, California to a mink farm in Morris, Illinois. The mink farm was in the business of breeding, raising, and selling minks to fur manufacturers. At the mink farm, the defendants released approximately 2000 minks from their cages. They also removed portions of the fence surrounding the mink farm to help the minks escape, and they destroyed the minks’ breeding cards, which were needed to sell the minks to a furrier. In addition, they poured caustic substances on two farm vehicles and spray-painted the words “Liberation is Love” on a barn. The vandalism caused between $120,000 and $200,000 worth of damage. The defendants then began traveling to a fox farm in Roanoke, Illinois, which bred foxes to sell to fur manufacturers. They planned to damage the fox farm as well, but they were arrested by local law enforcement before they arrived at the fox farm. The defendants were charged in state court with possession of burglary tools and were convicted. They were sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.

    Then, the defendants were charged with violating the AETA by the federal government. Count I of the indictment alleged that they conspired to travel in interstate commerce for the purpose of damaging and interfering with the operation of an animal enterprise, and in connection with that purpose, damaged the property of an animal enterprise. Count II alleged that the defendants damaged real and personal property used by an animal enterprise. The defendants moved to dismiss the indictment against them, asserting that the AETA was facially overbroad, was unconstitutionally vague, and violated substantive due process because it labeled persons who committed the act as “terrorists”. The District Court denied the motion to dismiss.

    The Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling that rejected all of the defendants’ arguments. In particular, the defendants suggested that the AETA prohibited advocacy that caused damage to only intangible property such as profits or goodwill. The court rejected that argument and held that the AETA prohibited destruction of or damage to tangible items and property owned by the animal enterprise. In fact, the court looked at the legislative history of the AETA, which reinforced the conclusion that it was not intended to criminalize speech or expressive conduct that caused damage only to the animal enterprise’s profits or goodwill. Several legislators made statements indicating that, while the statute was being passed to combat the violence being perpetrated against animal enterprises as well as people and entities connected to animal enterprises, Congress was aware of the importance of protecting the First Amendment right to engage in lawful protest against animal enterprises. In particular, the court looked at a speech by Senator Feinstein stating: “I fully recognize that peaceful picketing and public demonstrations against animal testing should be recognized as part of our valuable and sacred right to free expression. For this reason, all conduct protected by the First Amendment is expressly excluded from the scope of this legislation. This law effectively protects the actions of the law-abiding protester while carefully distinguishing the criminal activity of extremists.” In summary, the court found that the text of the statute as well as the legislative history made clear that the statute does not criminalize speech or expressive conduct that causes damage only to intangible profits or goodwill of an animal enterprise.

    The Seventh Circuit had an easy task in this case, deciding to interpret the statute to criminalize destructive conduct but keeping the door open to reasonable protests that do not harm private property. Environmental activists need to be aware of this line in the sand that has been drawn by Congress and the courts.
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    1 week ago  ·