Title: Vice President for Litigation
Bar Admissions: WA, DC
"I was taught to try to make the world a better place..."
Patti Goldman, Vice President for Litigation, leads the organization’s ten regional offices in developing and implementing effective legal strategies to protect the environment for future generations. Patti works with Earthjustice’s managing attorneys to coordinate the legal program, knit together the work throughout the regions, and ensure that the organization achieves long-range goals.
Early in her legal career, Patti litigated many public interest issues, including civil rights, constitutional law, governmental accountability, pesticides, and trade and the environment. When she decided to move into environmental litigation full-time, she dreamed of working for Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (as Earthjustice was known then). That dream came true in 1994, when she joined the Northwest office as a staff attorney; she became managing attorney in 1998.
As a litigator, she has concentrated on safeguarding ancient forests, salmon, and water quality; preventing risks from pesticides; and the threat international trade institutions pose to environmental protections. Patti's work at Earthjustice was instrumental in preserving and extending protections for Northwest national forests by thwarting Bush administration attempts to roll back federal laws. She's gone up against chemical companies seeking to keep hazardous pesticides on the market and against international trade institutions, like the WTO, that threaten to undermine environmental protection. Some of her sweetest victories have occurred when litigation has remedied injustices to farmworkers poisoned by pesticides and to Indian tribes whose way of life is threatened by poor stewardship of our environment. In 2007, she was given the woman of the year award by the Seattle University Women's Law Caucus. She has been named a Superlawyer by Washington Law and Politics since 2006.
For a decade prior to joining Earthjustice, Patti worked for Public Citizen Litigation Group. In 1983, she graduated from University of Wisconsin Law School magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, where she served as editor in chief of the Wisconsin Law Review. After graduating, she clerked for a federal district judge and worked on women's civil rights litigation through a Georgetown University Law School fellowship. She has a B.A. in economics from the University of Wisconsin.
As Vice President for Litigation, Patti works with Earthjustice regional offices to mount strategic campaigns that produce lasting and often groundbreaking environmental safeguards. Whether addressing global warming, toxic pollution, wildlife protection, or management of lands owned by the American people, Earthjustice chooses cases for maximum, far-reaching impact. Patti ensures that our actions will continue to catalyze broad environmental protection, prevent irretrievable losses, and ensure that the laws already on the books stay there and are put to work to protect a healthy environment for future generations.