Michael A. Nesteroff

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.6242 |

Areas of Practice

Mike Nesteroff is a member of the Firm’s Environmental Practice Group. In his 27 years at Lane Powell, Mike has handled numerous environmental litigation claims involving hazardous material investigations, cleanups and cost recovery at sites in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. He has negotiated with agencies and private parties concerning stormwater permit and hazardous material reporting compliance issues and regularly advises clients on property transactions, including leasing, acquisition and redevelopment. He also has represented clients in litigation involving public records and obtained a favorable court of appeals ruling on a previously-untested exemption in the Washington Public Records Act. He has obtained a several million dollar cost recovery judgment on behalf of a firm client and a defense verdict in another cost recovery case. He also has litigated numerous commercial disputes.

Mike is a frequent speaker on environmental due diligence, stormwater and real estate issues, and is an author of three chapters, and supplements, in the Washington Real Property Deskbook (4th ed.) on Energy Development, Waste, and Nuisance and Trespass in Land Use Cases.

He is a member of the Oregon and Washington bars, and is AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has listed Mike as a “Leading Lawyer” on Environment, recommending him for being “very well-tuned in to local opinions” that enables him to provide “strategic advice which is right-on.” He also has been described by clients as explaining “the legal process and possible outcomes in understandable terms,” and as being “very informed and easy to deal with. He put[s] things in layman’s terms. He’s very helpful, competent and knowledgeable. His skills and knowledge have been instrumental in a number of environmentally sensitive transactions.”

Prior to coming to Lane Powell, Mike was an award-winning television reporter at KOMO-TV in Seattle covering, among other things, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon


  • Seattle University School of Law (J.D., 1983)
  • Washington State University (B.A., cum laude, 1975)

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Construction and Environmental
  • Business Crisis Management and Emergency Remedies
  • Canada Practice
  • Cannabis
  • Native American Affairs
  • Real Estate
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainability and Climate Change
  • Electronic Discovery Committee

Representative Matters

  • Representing a North Dakota city in the drafting and negotiation of a development agreement for construction and operation of an oil refinery
  • Defending an environmental consultant in a multi-party lawsuit concerning solvent releases from a manufacturing facility
  • Defending an oil company refinery in an enforcement action concerning a former landfill
  • Defending a former manufacturing facility in actions under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) by the Washington Department of Ecology and the former landlord
  • Defended a manufacturing client in a multi-party lawsuit involving closure and cleanup of a wood waste landfill
  • Representing an energy company in a real estate transaction involving numerous hazardous waste, water, air and tribal issues
  • Defended a retail gasoline marketer in actions involving cleanup of a former gas station property
  • Defended a retail gasoline marketer in an action involving a failed real estate transaction
  • Negotiated with Environmental Protection Agency for resolution of administrative claims against manufacturing client for alleged violations of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and the Toxics Release Inventory
  • Negotiated on behalf of manufacturing clients settlements with citizen environmental groups concerning alleged violations of the Washington Industrial Stormwater General Permit
  • Represented a retail client in responding to an Ecology notice regarding the state Children’s Safe Product Act
  • Obtained summary dismissal of property owner beach erosion claims against an oil company refinery. See, Van Buskirk v. ConocoPhillips, 2009 WL 37884334 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 10, 2009)
  • Lead counsel for natural gas and liquids pipeline clients concerning applicability of the Washington Public Records Act terrorism exemption. See, Northwest Gas Association v. WUTC, 141 Wn.App. 98, 168 P.3d 443 (2007), rev. denied, 163 Wn.2d 1049 (2008)
  • Defended bank trustee in a CERCLA/Oregon hazardous substance act lawsuit, and ODEQ consent order concerning a former leather tannery
  • Conducted review of environmental permits for a lender regarding a large electrical generating facility
  • Represented California operator of co-generation plants in recovery of payments owed by California utilities during the California energy crisis
  • Primary litigation and claims attorney for approximately 75 leaking underground storage tank cases in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Hawaii for major oil companies
  • Recovered $4 million judgment in Alaska environmental cost recover action
  • Obtained a $135,000 defense judgment in Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) cost recovery action
  • Advised Olympic Pipeline Company on environmental issues, including natural resource damages, restoration planning and Endangered Species Act, concerning the Bellingham pipeline explosion


  • “Ninth Circuit Rules Settling a Non-CERCLA Environmental Claim Can Trigger the Time-Period to Bring a CERCLA Contribution Claim,” Lane Powell Legal Update (September 14, 2017)
  • “Environmental Law and Practice – 2016 Pocket Part,”  Washington Practice, Second Edition, Volumes 23 and 24, Author (September 2016)
  • “Deciphering Smoke Signals — FDA’s New Tobacco Product Rules and Their Impact on the Cannabis Industry,” Cannabis Law Journal, Second Edition, Co-author (September 2016)
  • “Navigating Environmental Regulations: Tips for Staying in Compliance,” Seattle Business magazine, Co-author (May 2016)
  • “Washington State Department of Ecology Starts Rulemaking Process for Regulating Carbon Emissions,” Lane Powell Legal Update (September 22, 2015)
  • “Your Contract May Not Be as Confidential as You Think: Another Lesson in Safeguarding Trade Secrets in Government Procurement,” Lane Powell Legal Update, Co-author (November 26, 2014)
  • “Oregon’s Statute of Repose May Block Common Law Environmental Claims,” Lane Powell White Paper (July 15, 2014)
  • “New Rules Provide More Detail in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments,” Community Banker magazine (Spring 2014)
  • “Measuring Energy Use — The New Era of Building Benchmarking is Here. Are You Ready?” Seattle Business magazine (November 2013)
  • “Minimizing Commercial Lease Risks Through Proper Environmental Due Diligence,” King County Bar Association Bar Bulletin (November 2012)
  • “Opportunities and Risks in Green Buildings — Be Careful Not to Overstate Certifications and Other Environmental Achievements,” Seattle Business magazine (November 2012)
  • “Distressed Properties and Environmental Liability: To Foreclose or Not to Foreclose, That is the Question,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (May/June 2012)
  • “Nuisance and Trespass in Land Use Cases,” Washington Real Property Deskbook, Volume 6, Chapter 19, Washington State Bar Association (2012)
  • “Legal Ramifications of Green Marketing — Marketing Your Green Construction Practices in an Uncertain World,” BUILDERnews magazine (November 2011)
  • “Adopting and Complying With Green Practices — It’s More Than Just a Marketing Concept,” Seattle Business magazine (October 2011)
  • “Washington Adverse Possession Law Changed to Provide for Attorneys’ Fees and Payment of Taxes,” John L. Scott Real Estate Newsletter (August 2011)
  • “Fast-Tracking Nevada Wind Farm Construction,” Law360 (July 28, 2011)
  • “High Court: WDOT Must Pay for Foss Cleanup,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (July 27, 2011)
  • “To Green or Not to Green? Market-Driven Approaches Cut Through Regulatory Uncertainty,” Seattle Business magazine (October 2010)
  • “Here Comes a Flood of Stricter Stormwater Rules,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (September 2, 2010)
  • “Are You Covered? Comprehensive Green Building Liability Insurance Not Quite Ready For Prime Time,” BUILDERnews magazine (April 2010)
  • “Multifaceted Incentive Programs Move Oregon to Front of Pack,” Daily Journal of Commerce, Oregon, Co-author (January 22, 2010)
  • “Waste,” Washington Real Property Deskbook, Volume 4, Chapter 5, Washington State Bar Association, Co-author (2010)
  • “Transportation and Climate Change Regulation,” Sustainability Law, Lane Powell (December 2009)
  • “Energy Development,” Chapter 7, Washington Real Property Deskbook, Volume 4, 4th Edition, Co-author (2009)
  • “Stimulus For Smart Grids is Welcome, But Faces Challenges,” Puget Sound Business Journal (May 1, 2009)
  • “No Easy Path For Renewable Energy,” Law360, Portfolio Media (April 3, 2009)
  • “Federal Stimulus Provides Major Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation,” Energy Priorities (February 19, 2009)
  • “States Step Up to Address Global Warming and Climate Change,” The Real Estate Finance Journal, ThomsonReuters/West (Summer 2008)
  • “Climate Change: A Rising Tide in Real Estate and Environmental Litigation,” Business Litigation Committee News, American Bar Association (Summer 2008)
  • “Species Listing is a Bigger Boon For Lawyers Than Polar Bears,” Puget Sound Business Journal (May 23, 2008)
  • “Lawyerpalooza Marks Six Years Rocking for Schools,” Bar Bulletin, King County Bar Association (April 2008)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Legal Update,” Northwest Environmental Business Council Olympic Chapter Luncheon, Co-presenter (November 2, 2016)
  • Co-chair of The Seminar Group’s 5th Annual Easements and CCRs in Washington Conference; Presenter on “Historic Easements” (November 2016)
  • “Real Estate Core Curriculum: Current Issues in Washington Commercial Real Estate,” Building Owners and Managers Associations of Seattle King County, Co-presenter (May 26, 2016)
  • “To Operate or Liquidate: That Is the Question,” Lane Powell’s Northwest Receivership and Insolvency Professionals Forum, Panelist (May 11, 2016)
  • “Environmental Due Diligence,” Law Seminars International’s Real Estate Purchases and Sales Conference, Panelist (March 22, 2016)
  • “The Impact of Third-Party Lawsuits,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s “Managing Stormwater in Washington” Conference, Panelist (March 9, 2016)
  • “Historic Easements,” The Seminar Group’s 4th Annual Easements and CCRs Seminar (November 20, 2015)
  • “Spills and Emergency Response Preparedness,” 26th Annual Northwest Environmental Conference and Tradeshow, Moderator (December 10, 2014)
  • “Real Estate Core Curriculum: Current Issues in Washington Commercial Real Estate,” Building Owners and Managers Associations of Seattle King County (November 13, 2014)
  • “Peculiarities of Unique Easements,” The Seminar Group’s Third Annual “Easements in Washington” Seminar (October 30, 2014)
  • “Parting the (Storm) Waters — Construction and Industrial Stormwater Permits in Washington,” Lane Powell Construction Seminar (October 1, 2014)
  • “Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions,” National Business Institute’s “Real Estate Law: Advanced Legal Issues and Answers” Seminar (August 25 & 28, 2014)
  • “Environmental Liabilities in Commercial Leases,” National Business Institute’s “Commercial Leases: Negotiating Key Provisions” Seminar (June 2, 2014)
  • “Legal and Risk Issues for Stormwater Permittees,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s “Managing Stormwater in the Northwest” Conference, Panelist (March 5, 2014)
  • “Electric Vehicles — Market Adoption Progress and Pathway,” Future Energy Conference, Moderator (November 14, 2012)
  • “Top 10 Commercial Lease Provisions,” National Business Institute (October 24, 2012)
  • “Real Estate Core Curriculum: Current Issues in Washington Commercial Real Estate,” Building Owners and Managers Associations of Seattle King County (October 17, 2012)
  • “Risk Management & Stormwater,” Northwest Environmental Business Council’s “Managing Stormwater in the Northwest” Conference (March 8, 2012)
  • “Recent Changes to Construction and Environmental Law That Will Affect Your Business,” Lane Powell Seminar (February 9, 2012)
  • “Recent Changes to Construction and Environmental Law That Will Affect Your Business,” American Institute of Architects Seattle (November 16, 2011)
  • “New Changes to Construction and Environmental Law that Will Affect Your Business,” Lane Powell Seminar (January 20, 2011)
  • “Renewables and the Environment — Seeking an Equitable Balance,” Future Energy Conference, Moderator (November 10, 2010)
  • “Federal and International Issues,” Carbon Credits Seminar (November 5, 2010)
  • “Real Estate Core Curriculum: Current Issues in Washington Commercial Real Estate,” Building Owners and Managers Associations of Seattle King County (October 26, 2010)
  • “Land Abandonment and Vacation Fundamentals,” Lorman Education’s Real Estate Training Center Audio Conference (August 11, 2010)
  • “Business Law from A to Z: Hot Topics in Business Law,” National Business Institute (November 17, 2009)
  • “Carbon Credits: Mandatory v. Voluntary Markets — What’s the Difference?,” The Seminar Group (November 12, 2009)
  • “Litigating Disputes over Easements & Restrictive Covenants: Investigation & Drafting Descriptions and Agreements to Avoid Disputes,” National Business Institute (November 3 & 4, 2009)
  • “Environmental Initiatives for 2009 & Beyond,” The Seminar Group (September 11, 2009)
  • “Social Media: Expect the Unexpected — Issues of Public Companies and First Amendment Rights,” Lane Powell (July 7 & 8, 2009)
  • “Current Issues in Washington Commercial Real Estate: Seller Disclosures, Form 17/17C and Commercial Property,” Building Owners and Managers (March 26, 2009)
  • “Carbon Credits: Federal Issues,” The Seminar Group (March 12, 2009)
  • “Climate Change Regulation,” Associated General Contractors, General Convention, San Diego (March 6, 2009)
  • “Road and Access Law: Abandonment and Vacation,” National Business Institute (December 12, 2008)
  • “Road and Access Law: Abandonment and Vacation Considerations,” National Business Institute (August 5, 2008)
  • “Commercial Ground Lease Fundamentals: Critical Components of the Lease; Special Lease Considerations,” National Business Institute (July 15, 2008)
  • “Climate Change Update: State Regulatory Action to Address Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Business Institute (June 9, 2008)
  • “The Changing Climate For Climate Change — What’s Ahead for Businesses in the Northwest,” Lane Powell Seminar (February 7, 2008)
  • “Drafting Commercial Real Estate Issues: The Ins and Outs of Protecting Your Interest,” National Business Institute (December 19, 2007)

Awards and Honors

  • Recommended by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Environment (2008-2017)
  • Named as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers® magazine, Environmental (2012-2017)
  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, Washington State Bar Association, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • Member, King County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Member, U.S. Law Firm Group, Environmental Committee
  • Northwest Environmental Business Council Board of Directors
    • President (2014-Present)
    • Board Member (2009-Present)
  • Board Member, Eastside Heritage Center (2015-Present)
  • Co-chair, The Seminar Group’s 4th Annual Easements and CCRs Seminar (2015)
  • Board Member, Hopelink (2007-2014)
  • Board Member, Leadership Eastside (2008-2014)
  • Trustee, Seattle Country Day School (2007-2013)
  • Chair, Lawyerpalooza Organizing Committee (2003-2009)
  • Leadership Eastside Training Program, Class of 2009
  • President, Seattle Country Day School Parent Council (2006-2007)
  • Seattle University Law School Alumni Board of Governors (2002-2006)
  • Trustee, Children’s Institute for Learning Differences (1998-2004)
  • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (1980-1988)
  • National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, regional EMMY Recipient (1981-1982)

Michael A. Nesteroff

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.6242 |


Michael A. Nesteroff

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.6242 |


Michael A. Nesteroff

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.6242 |