James P. Ray


  • Overview


    Jim Ray has more than 25 years of experience as an environmental and product liability litigator and counselor, and he has served as court-appointed common counsel or liaison counsel in multiple environmental matters. These experiences, combined with a strong technical and business background, enable him to work effectively with engineers, scientists, other experts, and legal counsel to help clients minimize risk and solve compliance, enforcement, site remediation, and cost allocation challenges.

    Common Counsel

    Jim has been selected as coordinating or liaison counsel for joint defense groups and has been court-appointed common counsel for groups of defendants in a number of environmental disputes. He has represented groups in active environmental litigation and guided other groups through administrative proceedings and cost allocation efforts. At most sites, his efforts resulted in the groups quickly resolving their cost allocation disputes, thereby avoiding litigation and allowing him to lead the groups' efforts to promptly and cost-effectively (in some cases under budget) address the underlying environmental problems. These engagements typically involve sites with complicated scientific issues, a multitude of consultants and experts, numerous parties with different interests and levels of involvement, and document management challenges.

    Environmental Litigation

    Jim represents clients in environmental litigation at sites throughout the United States. These disputes arise under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Clean Water Act, and most other federal and state environmental statutes. His legal experience and technical background enable him to promptly evaluate cases and recommend an appropriate strategy to his clients, whether that involves preparing a case and taking it to trial or positioning the client to pursue a favorable settlement. He has obtained a number of favorable verdicts in cases brought under federal, state and common law causes of action.

    Environmental Counseling and Dispute Resolution

    Jim regularly serves on the Steering Committees at Superfund sites, represents clients in alternative dispute resolution efforts, counsels clients in connection with their compliance efforts under a multitude of environmental programs, and advises clients and insurers on site cleanup efforts and the costs and obligations related to such efforts. He works closely with his clients, experts and other lawyers to creatively solve his clients’ risk management challenges.

    Product Liability 

    Jim defends lead-based paint, mold, asbestos, and product liability cases. He counsels clients involved in product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and has advised those clients on their reporting obligations and voluntary corrective action programs.

    He was listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Litigation - Environmental for 2021 and listed in the area of Environmental Law from 2008 to 2015 and since 2018 as well as Litigation - Environmental for 2011, 2013, 2014 and since 2018.

    Before joining the firm, Jim worked as an engineer for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). His DEEP experience included enforcement and permitting under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and analysis of environmental considerations in litigation, real estate transactions, and bankruptcy.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Liaison Counsel

      • Serving as de facto liaison counsel to a group of third party defendants at a drum recycling site involving projected response costs in excess of $150 million. 

      • Selected (and approved by the court) as common counsel for a group of third-party generator defendants at a waste oil refinery site at which plaintiffs sought injunctive relief through an RCRA citizens suit, response costs under state and federal law, and diminution of property value under common law theories.

      • Counseled a large, privately held manufacturing client, and served as liaison counsel for other liable parties, in a project involving a contaminated municipal water supply well, regional and on-site ground water investigation and remediation efforts, on-site soils investigation and remediation, a mediated allocation process, contribution litigation, a natural resource damages settlement, and defense of toxic tort claims.

      • Served as liaison counsel to a group of 25 responsible parties in connection with a former barrel reclamation site, negotiating an Administrative Order on Consent with EPA for a PCB removal action, working with contractors to implement the removal action, and simultaneously addressing state requirements for site-wide investigation and remediation.

      • Co-common counsel at Midwestern Superfund site responsible for organizing the parties, negotiating cash-out agreements, and ensuring timely and cost-effective performance of a removal action at an abandoned waste oil facility.

      • Environmental Litigation

      • Lead counsel for a drum recycling company in a CERCLA action at a dioxin-contaminated sediment site where past and projected costs exceeded $150 million. After over eight years of litigation with the major liable party, EPA, and several government military defendants involving more than 30 expert witnesses, we secured an ability to pay settlement shortly before trial.

      • Defended a Fortune 500 company in a $250 million, 400-member class action in Colorado state court involving claims of groundwater contamination and vapor intrusion. Matter settled for less than 10 percent of original claim.

      • Representing multiple parties defending contribution claims at the Passaic River Superfund Site. 

      • Assisting in defense of aerospace manufacturer against personal injury and property damage claims associated with groundwater contamination and vapor intrusion. 

      • Defended the purchaser of a nuclear power plant in an action seeking to prevent the transfer of environmental permits. Plaintiff's application for a temporary restraining order was denied shortly before the deal closed, and the suit was ultimately dismissed.

      • Representing environmental contractor in appeal of declaratory ruling involving interpretation of Connecticut's remediation standard regulations. 

      • Recovered response costs and EPA oversights costs on behalf of manufacturing client in trial of CERCLA action against an uncooperative liable party.

      • Represented owner of commercial property in successfully obtaining an injunction and damages resulting from soil and groundwater contamination coming from company on neighboring property.

      • Defended scrap metal recycler against conversion claim and settled for nuisance value following bench trial. 

      • Defended lessee of bulk fuel oil terminal in dispute over the condition of the tanks and ancillary equipment following termination of the lease.

      • Defended gasoline distributor in defense of wrongful death claims arising from building explosion allegedly caused by free-phase gasoline on groundwater table.

      • Defended insurance carrier in coverage dispute for denial of landfill operating permits.

      • Counseled former owner of midwestern manufacturing facility in defense of state enforcement actions for site investigation and remediation and in negotiations with current facility owner.

      • Defended manufacturing clients in multiparty disputes involving defense of RCRA citizen's suit and allocation of costs for multimillion-dollar cleanup at waste oil refinery.

      • Defended law firm in malpractice action alleging failure to advise client about environmental disclosure requirements of the property transfer law.

      • Secured favorable jury verdict in nuisance case against confined animal feeding operation.

      • Environmental Counseling and Dispute Resolution

      • Represented client in multiparty allocation of landfill cleanup costs, successfully advocating for use of contribution proceeds to serve as means to correct interim allocation inequities.

      • Represented client in landfill allocation and EPA consent decree negotiations, including negotiation of carve-out of activities to be performed by uncooperative liable parties.

      • Counseled a large, privately held manufacturing client in a project involving a contaminated municipal water supply well, and regional and onsite groundwater investigation and remediation, and on-site RCRA Corrective Action.

      • Assisted insurance carrier in damages evaluation for a catastrophic fire loss at a regional composting facility, working with composting, waste management, and engineering experts to determine operational value and replacement cost.

      • Served as environmental counsel to insurance carrier in a multimillion-dollar property insurance claim for anthrax contamination at a tabloid newspaper publisher's headquarters.

      • Representation of a company where a failure of compressed gas tank at its Connecticut facility resulted in significant injuries to several employees, Robinson+Cole was on site within hours and dealt with local OSHA personnel; state police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI. No citation was issued.

      • Assisted client in development of company-wide protocols to address potential for vapor intrusion at manufacturing sites. 

      • Advising university regarding cost recovery options for PCB removal costs. 

      • Conducted internal investigation of pharmaceutical client's compliance with the Clean Air Act's leak detection and repair requirements. 

      • Products Liability

      • Represented manufacturer of horizontal gas-fired furnaces in connection with CPSC reporting and implementation of a corrective action program to address an allegedly defective vent collar.

      • Counseled battery manufacturer on reporting obligations and implementation of a voluntary corrective action plan associated with allegedly defective battery charger.

      • Counseled distributor of toaster ovens with an allegedly defective power cord on reporting obligations and implementation of a voluntary corrective action program.

      • Advised foreign publicly traded company as to whether an issue with a product was a defect that created substantial risk of personal injury to the public requiring a recall under the Federal Boat Safety Act.

      • Assisted distributor of juice extractors in evaluating reporting and recall obligations in connection with reports of alleged product malfunctions.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Foundation
      Fellow (2013)

      American Bar Association
      Environmental Litigation Committee, Co-chair (2011 - 2014)
      Environmental Litigation, Products Liability and Mass Tort Committees' CLE Summit Co-chair, 1/2011 and 1/2005

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Environmental Law Section (1992 - present)

      Connecticut Bar Foundation
      James W. Cooper Fellow

      Connecticut Business & Industry Association
      Environmental Policies Council (1992 - present)

      Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity
      Executive Board Member (2002 - 2017)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Environment from 2011 to 2014 and since 2020.

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Litigation - Environmental for 2021

      Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Environmental Law from 2008 to 2015 and since 2018 as well as Litigation-Environmental for 2011, 2013, 2014, and since 2018.

      Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list from 2012 to 2014 and from 2017 to 2021.

      Listed in Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers 2011, 2013, 2014 (Copyright by Law Business Research Ltd)

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      National Conference for Community and Justice, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts
      Board Member
      Chair, Governance Committee

      Connecticut Science Center
      Programming Committee (2017)
    • Publications


      "Centredale Manor (Again): First Circuit Affirms Approval of Consent Decree," published in Litigation News, a monthly newsletter from the ABA Litigation Section (6/23/2021)

      "Medical Monitoring?: Depends on Where You Live," published in the Spring 2021 edition of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee newsletter. (3/5/2021)
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      "Passaic River Litigation Spawns Decision in CERCLA 107/113 Debate," published in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation's Environmental and Energy Litigation Committee newsletter (Summer 2020)
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      "Court Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of Two CERCLA Contribution Defendants," published as an ABA Section of Litigation, Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee “Practice Point” (3/30/2020)
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      "PFAS Litigation: Just Getting Started?" published in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation's Environmental and Energy Litigation Committee newsletter (Winter 2019)
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      "Now What? Key Assumptions Underlying Centredale Manor Remedy Found Arbitrary and Capricious," published in ABA Environmental Litigation Section Newsletter (11/17/2017)

      "Paxil Case: Daubert Analysis Excludes Medical Causation Expert," published in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Expert Witnesses. (Summer 2017)

      "Emhart v. United States: Another Failed Attempt to Prove Divisibility under CERCLA," published in Environmental Litigation, co-authored with Megan E. Baroni (Fall 2015)
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      "U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Arranger Liability and Apportionment under CERCLA," published in Connecticut Law Tribune (2009)

      "Property Damage Claims for Environmental Contamination: The Problems Inherent in Attempting to Bring Them as Class Actions," published in The Urban Lawyer, co-authored with Deborah A. Vennos, Vol. 38, Number 1 (Winter 2006)

    • Presentations


      "ESG in 2022: Challenges & Opportunities for Public and Private Corporations," co-presented with Megan E. Baroni, a virtual CLE program hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (3/15/2022)
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      "Industry Under Attack: Panel Discussion – Case Studies, Best Practices, and Strategies from the Trenches," co-presented with Megan E. Baroni (10/21/2021)

      "Industry Under Attack: The Rise of Citizen Suits, Class Actions, and Other Tactics to Fight Manufacturers and Unpopular Facilities," co-presented with Megan E. Baroni (10/21/2021)
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      "Environmental, Social + Governance (ESG) and Beyond: Reaching for Excellence in Corporate Responsibility," co-presented with Sedgwick M. Jeanite, Phyllis A. Ingram, Abby M. Warren and Virginia E. McGarrity (6/17/2021)
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      "Virtual Depositions, Hearings, and Trials: Tips for the New Normal," as moderator of the breakout session during the American Bar Association's Litigation Section 2021 Virtual Annual Conference (5/6/2021)
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      "Hot Topics and Future Trends in Environmental Litigation and Related Proceedings," as moderator of an interactive panel discussion featuring litigation and consulting professionals. (11/19/2020)
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      "Lessons Learned From COVID-19," as moderator of an interactive discussion featuring EH&S professionals. (9/24/2020)
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      "Virtual Depositions, Hearings and Trial: Practical Realities and Lessons Learned," a Roundtable discussion presented by the ABA’s Litigation Section focused on the increase and implications of remote judicial and administrative proceedings. (7/28/2020)
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      "PFAS Liabilities for Water Suppliers and Municipalities," co-presented with Emilee Mooney Scott, which showcased three presentations on legal implications and risk management perspectives surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). (6/18/2020)
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      "Litigation and Municipality Response to PFAS," co-presented with Robert S. Melvin, the final session of a three-part webinar series on PFAS hosted by the CT Conference of Municipalities and GZA GeoEnvironmental. (5/7/2020)
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      "How does PFAS get into the Environment and how is it Regulated and Treated," co-presented with Emilee Mooney Scott, the second program in a three-part webinar series on PFAS hosted by the CT Conference of Municipalities and GZA GeoEnvironmental (4/30/2020)
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      "What Are the Health, Environmental, and Litigation Challenges of PFAS?" presented at a Connecticut Business & Industry Association conference on PFAS. (6/13/2019)
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      "Updates on Persistent Chemicals: PCBs, Perchlorate, and PFAS," at the DRI seminar Toxic Torts and Environmental Law 2020 - The Future Is Now (2/21/2020)
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      "PFAS: It’s Not Just a Groundwater Issue," a webinar for public- and private-sector environmental professionals on litigation (5/22/2019)

      "The Antea Appeal and What it Means for You," co-presented with Richard M. Fil, as part of the Southern New England Energy Conference in Newport, Rhode Island (9/24/2018)
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      "Latest Perspectives on Vapor Intrusion Litigation," presented by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation Environmental and Energy Litigation Committee (6/28/2018)
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      "Vapor Intrusion: The View from the Courtroom—and the Trenches," co-presented with Megan E. Baroni, and Kristen Sherman, Assistant General Counsel, UTC Aerospace Systems, as part of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s (CBIA) 2018 Energy and Environment Conference (5/18/2018)

      "Polyfluoralkyl Substances (PFAS) – Regulation, Research, Risk, Mitigation & Alternatives," co-presented with Emilee Mooney Scott, presented by the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance at Dow Chemical in Marlboro, Massachusetts (5/10/2018)
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      "Use of Court Appointed Experts and Technical Advisors in Complex Litigation," moderator, at the 2018 Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar in Whistler, British Columbia (1/26/2018)
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      "Take the Leap to an Alternate Legal Career," moderator, at an American Bar Association CLE seminar, co-sponsored by the Litigation Section's Environmental, Mass Torts, and Products Liability Committees in Park City, Utah (1/2016)

      "Valuing Contaminated Properties for Litigation," presented at the International Right of Way Association's 60th Annual International Education Conference in Hartford, Connecticut (6/23/2014)

      "The New Normal – Litigation Management and Budgeting," Moderator of panel for the American Bar Association's CLE seminar cosponsored by the Litigation Section's Environmental, Mass Torts, and Products Liability Committees, Snowmass, Colorado; event Cochair (1/2011)

      "Breakout Session 4: Ethics," American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Key Environment Issues in U.S. EPA Region 1, Moderator (5/2007)

      "Working with Environmental Experts: Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Protections," at Environmental, Products Liability, and Mass Tort Litigation Committees Joint CLE Seminar, ABA Section of Litigation, co-presented with Kirstin M. Etela (January 2005)

      "Defending a Toxic Mold Claim," at Water Intrusion and Mold Claims in Connecticut Seminar (6/18/2003)

      "Toxic Mold: A Legal Perspective," at Connecticut Society of Women Environmental Professionals Mold Seminar (10/3/2002)

      "Toxic Mold: A Legal Perspective," at Stamford/Norwalk Regional Bar Association Breakfast Seminar (10/2/2002)

      "Connecting the Dots to a Successful Brownfields Project: A Case Study," at International Economic Development Council Brownfields Workshop (8/7/02)
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      "Environmental Risk Management in a Post 9/11 World," at Connecticut Business and Industry Association Environmental Health and Safety Expo (5/01/02)

      "Class Actions and CAFOs: A Match Made in (Hog) Heaven," at American Bar Association Environmental Litigation Committee Mid-Year Meeting (2/2002)
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      "Recent Developments in CERCLA Litigation," at American Bar Association's (ABA) Environmental Litigation Committee Mid-Year Meeting (2/1999)
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      "Lead-Based Paint Litigation," at Fourth Gallivan Conference on Real Property Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law (4/1995)

      "Solid and Hazardous Waste Developments in Connecticut," at Connecticut Business & Industry Association's (CBIA) Environmental Summer School (6/1993)

      "Negotiating Workable Settlement Agreements," at CBIA's Environmental Summer School (6/1992)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • July 6, 2021

        Jim Ray Authors Article on “New Chapter” of Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site

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      • March 8, 2021

        James Ray Authors “Medical Monitoring?: Depends on Where You Live" for ABA Publication

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      • October 3, 2019

        Jim Ray Quoted in Bloomberg Environment on PFAS Case

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      • June 13, 2019

        Jim Ray and Emilee Mooney Scott Address CBIA on Technical and Legal Challenges of PFAS

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      • June 6, 2019

        Members of the Hartford Office's EE+T Group Take Part in Keney Park Sustainability Project

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      • May 24, 2019

        Jim Ray Presents Webinar on PFAS-Related Litigation

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      • March 15, 2019

        Jim Ray Authors Article on PFAS Litigation

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      • November 9, 2018

        Jim Ray Quoted in ABA Journal Article on Toxic Torts

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      • October 18, 2018

        51 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 4, 2018

        Jim Ray Participates in Panel Discussion During Southern New England Energy Conference

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      • August 20, 2018

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

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      • July 5, 2018

        Jim Ray Offers Insights on Vapor Intrusion Litigation During ABA Roundtable Discussion

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      • May 31, 2018

        Megan Baroni and Jim Ray Present at 2018 Energy & Environment Conference

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      • May 18, 2018

        Jim Ray and Emilee Mooney Scott Offer Insights on PFAS

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      • May 15, 2018

        Five Robinson+Cole Lawyers Selected as James W. Cooper Fellows of the Connecticut Bar Foundation

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      • February 7, 2018

        Jim Ray Moderates Panel on the Use of Court Appointed Experts and Technical Advisors

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      • November 9, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Hosts Program on Law Firm Diversity Efforts

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      • September 6, 2017

        James Ray Writes Article on Exclusion of Expert Testimony in Drug Case for Expert Witnesses

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      • June 22, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Participate in THE RIDE For Our Vets

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      • June 2, 2017

        Environmental + Utilities Group Members Volunteer to Keep Bushnell Park Beautiful

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      • November 23, 2015

        Jim Ray and Megan Baroni Co-author Article for Environmental Litigation

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 14, 2021

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 19, 2021

        65 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022

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      • May 24, 2021

        Chambers USA Recognizes 19 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 10 Practice Areas

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      • October 15, 2020

        47 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized in Super Lawyers®

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      • August 20, 2020

        61 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

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      • April 23, 2020

        Chambers USA Recognizes 20 Robinson+Cole Lawyers in 11 Practice Areas in CT, PA, and RI and Nationwide

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      • October 19, 2019

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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        • View article
      • August 15, 2019

        57 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

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      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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