Vanessa’s practice focuses on environmental and toxic tort litigation. She joined Shook after completing a dual degree program in law and environmental studies at the University of Colorado.

Vanessa has represented clients before state and federal environmental agencies. She has experience in hazardous waste laws, including Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) enforcement actions, RCRA 2020 corrective action plans, RCRA site management representation litigation related to imminent endangerment actions in federal court and representation of joint defense groups in RCRA enforcement actions. She has also represented clients in CERCLA litigation, including cost recovery and contribution actions. Vanessa has counseled clients on Clean Water Act laws and regulations, including assisting various industrial clients with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and storm water permits; represented clients with evolving Clean Air Act regulations and related litigation; intervened in the D.C. Circuit on a challenge to greenhouse gas regulations (related to Cross-State Air Pollution Rule) and assisted clients with planning for new MACT regulations; assisted clients in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act enforcement actions; and represented clients in toxic tort litigation. She has also recently assisted a client with the registration of its chemicals under the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (or REACH) program. Vanessa has also assisted clients with environmental, safety and health audits of their facilities.

The clients Vanessa has represented include agricultural companies; cement companies; chemical companies, including laboratories and manufacturing facilities; public utilities and sewer districts; development companies; processing facilities; and manufacturing companies nationally. Vanessa also completed a secondment in-house with a large pharmaceutical client.

During law school, Vanessa served as notes editor for the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy, participated in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and was a full merit scholarship recipient. With a concentration in energy studies, she wrote her master’s thesis on “Emission Leakage Issues in the Electricity Sector Under Regional Carbon Markets: Case Studies of the Western Climate Initiative and the Regional Greenhouse Initiative.” She also published an overview of the smart energy-grid pilot program in Boulder, Colorado, for the law school’s Center for Energy and Environmental Security newsletter.

As a graduate student, Vanessa assisted the Colorado Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel with analyzing the legality and policy aspects of legislative bills. She also worked with several non-profit organizations and law firms specializing in renewable energy incentives and other aspects of environmental law.

Publications

Mitchell F. Engel, Vanessa Dittman, Justin Smith, & Alan D. Mathis, Kansas, chapter of ABA 50-State Survey on Toxic Exposure Claims (2016).

David R. Erickson & Vanessa D. Dittman, CERCLA Allocation and Apportionment, 8:2 Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee Newsletter (American Bar Association), June 2013, at 3. 

Terry J. Satterlee, Justin D. Smith & Vanessa D. Dittman, Nutrients in the Heartland: Regulatory and Legal Issues Surrounding the Mighty Mississippi, Natural Resources & Environment (American Bar Association), Spring 2013, at 12. 

Gabriella Stockmayer, Vanessa Finch, Paul Komor & Rich Mignogna, Limiting the costs of renewable portfolio standards: A review and critique of current methods, 42 Energy Pol. 155 (2012).

Vanessa Finch, A Study of Issues Surrounding Emission Leakage Policies in the Electricity Sector Within Sub-National Cap and Trade Systems in the United States (Apr. 19, 2011) (unpublished M.S. thesis, University of Colorado). 

Vanessa Finch, Boulder Gets Smarter: America’s First Fully Integrated Smart Grid City, 7 Center for Energy and Environmental Security Newsletter, July 2008, at 4.

Presentations

Vanessa Dittman, Legal Update: Anticipating the Challenges Ahead - FDA Policy/Regulatory Update, 2014 Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture (Kansas City, Mo.), Jan. 17, 2014.