Patti Goldman

Senior Attorney Northwest Office


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Elizabeth Manning
Public Affairs and Communications Strategist

Bar Admissions


Patti Goldman is a senior attorney in the Northwest regional office in Seattle, WA.

She is a widely respected leader in both Earthjustice and the larger environmental and public interest legal communities. From 2008–June 2014, she served as Earthjustice’s Vice President for Litigation, overseeing all of the organization’s litigation, programs, and regional offices. During her tenure as vice president, the litigation department doubled the number of attorneys, created robust oceans, coal, health, and clean energy programs, expanded its representation of fenceline communities, and opened offices in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. She served as Northwest Managing Attorney for nearly 20 years before and after her tenure as Vice President.

Her litigation experience is vast with notable successes in obtaining phase-outs and limiting exposure to hazardous pesticides, particularly those that harm farmworkers and their families, safeguarding the Pacific Northwest’s old-growth forests, restoring Pacific salmon, protecting the region’s beloved Southern Resident orca whales, and countering threats that international trade institutions pose to environmental and health protections. Since 2016, she has been representing the Yurok Tribe and commercial fishing groups trying to preserve Klamath River flows to sustain imperiled salmon.

In 2000, the Seattle Times identified her as an up-and-coming leader, in 2007, she was given the woman of the year award by the Seattle University Women’s Law Caucus, and Washington Law and Politics named her a SuperLawyer beginning in 2006.

For a decade prior to joining Earthjustice, Patti worked as a staff attorney for Public Citizen Litigation Group, where her practice included pesticide safety, governmental accountability, a wide range of health and constitutional issues, and Supreme Court litigation. 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 Federal District Court Judge Barbara Crabb and worked on women’s civil rights litigation at National Women’s Law Center through a Georgetown University Law School fellowship.

The Latest from Patti Goldman

August 18, 2021

In the News: The New York Times

E.P.A. to Block Pesticide Tied to Neurological Harm in Children

“It took far too long, but children will no longer be eating food tainted with a pesticide that causes intellectual learning disabilities. Chlorpyrifos will finally be out of our fruits and vegetables.”

June 30, 2021

In the News: The Intercept

The Department of Yes: How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America

“If EPA finds risk, it will look at benefits to growers. ... You get to the end, and EPA says the company is willing to use a little less, or use it a little less often, or they’ll put a little bit of a buffer around schools, or require some protective clothing, and then they’ll just say we find the risk is less than the benefits. It’s unprincipled.”
February 1, 2021

In the News: Chemical & Engineering News

Are chlorpyrifos’s days numbered?

"I believe at some point we will start having these chemicals out of our food supply."
FEMA housed Hurricane Katrina victim Martha Hentor, 82, in this trailer in Gulfport, Mississippi. Some of the trailers FEMA provided to hurricane refugees emitted toxic levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
December 12, 2017

Judge to EPA: Stop Stalling on Regulating Chemical That Sickened Katrina Refugees

The EPA keeps delaying enforcement of its formaldehyde rule, so we're taking the agency to court.
It is time for nerve gas pesticides to go, starting with chlorpyrifos.
December 6, 2016

Tell the EPA to Ban a Toxic Pesticide Lurking in our Food

It is time for nerve gas pesticides to go, starting with chlorpyrifos.
Oil trains in a Oakland, CA, railyard.
May 14, 2015

7 Hidden Dangers Buried in the Federal Tank Car Rule

Amidst a spate of fiery accidents involving trains hauling crude oil, the Obama administration has released woefully weak standards that leave dangerous trains on the tracks for far too long.
Farmworker using pesticides
March 30, 2015

EPA Fails Farmworkers, Again

As Farmworker Awareness Week draws to a close, the EPA has once again shuffled its papers and announced that it will do next to nothing to further protect farmworkers and their families from chlorpyrifos, a dangerous neurotoxic pesticide.
Amtrak Autotrain Folkston.
December 8, 2014

Supreme Court Case Concerning Amtrak Contains Hidden Twist

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear a case that may impact Amtrak's on-time performance.
The fireball that followed the derailment and explosion of two trains, one carrying Bakken crude oil, on December 30, 2013, outside Casselton, N.D.
October 10, 2014

A Tombstone Mentality On Exploding Oil Trains

It’s senseless to double the crude-by-rail fleet before replacing faulty oil train cars
Oil train in California
July 25, 2014

Federal Government Would Allow Exploding Rail Cars To Keep Rolling for 3 to 6 Years

The Department of Transportation has proposed long-overdue rules to improve the safety of tank cars used to ship highly volatile Bakken crude oil and other hazardous fuels across America.
July 18, 2014

End of Genitalia-Altering Pesticide

This story is proof that citizen oversight is key to enforcing our environmental laws and protecting people from untenable risks. The chemical companies and grower trade groups had EPA’s ear and it repeatedly bent to their will. But when the agency had to defend its action before judges, it realized it had to obey the law.
December 12, 2013

Keeping Our Promise to Preserve Endangered Wildlife for Future Generations

Earthjustice and our clients have made the law's promise a reality
July 19, 2013

Floating Through Time and Splendor in The Grand Canyon

The vistas are awe-inspiring. Helped by the monsoon rains and Grand Canyon winds, we could see rock layers on the opposite rim. Earthjustice is working to keep it that way.
December 27, 2012

Earthjustice Thankful For EPA Chief Lisa Jackson

Earthjustice is saddened by today’s announcement that Lisa Jackson is stepping down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. America owes Lisa Jackson a debt of gratitude for her work to protect the public’s health from polluters and their allies in Congress. For her efforts to clean up pollution and better protect the environment and…
December 3, 2012

Citizens Clean Water Rights At Risk In Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a pair of cases that could cut back on the ability of citizens to enforce the Clean Water Act. Although different, at their core, both afford the court opportunities either to preserve or weaken the power of citizens to hold polluters accountable for harming our nation’s waters. The Clean…
January 13, 2012

The Florida Everglades–A Jewel Preserved By Litigation

Twenty years after we settled our first lawsuit in Florida, one thing is crystal clear: Without litigation, the Everglades would be left with whatever protection the agencies and the Florida Legislature would be willing to provide under pressure from Big Sugar and other powerful polluters. In other words: not much. Litigation has empowered the community…
February 17, 2011

Nature Is Up For A Vote Today In Congress

Forty years of environmental progress is under attack today by a vote in the House of Representative on a stop-gap funding measure to keep the federal government running. Unfortunately, that measure—called a continuing resolution—is loaded with amendments and provisions that would slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, and seeks to override the rule of law…
August 11, 2010

Act of Congress Didn't Stop Experimental Use of Oil Dispersant

Law basically ignored when Gulf oil started spilling
April 16, 2010

Toxic Reform Looms Closer in U.S. Senate

Attorney—and mom—sees promise in "Safe Chemicals Act"
February 24, 2010

Time to Protect Kids From Toxic Pesticide Drift

Only 8 days remain to contact EPA
January 5, 2010

The Changing Face of Environmentalism

EPA chief's sentiments supported by Earthjustice actions
December 9, 2009

EPA Moves To Protect Farmworkers From Pesticides

New policy aims to correct decades of wrongdoings
December 2, 2008

Remembering Joan Bavaria

Earthjustice Vice President for Litigation Patti Goldman offers these fond memories of Joan Bavaria. A bounty of acclaim has come in the passing of Joan Bavaria, who served eight years as an Earthjustice trustee. Many speak of her as their hero, a visionary, and a pioneer. For me, as for many at Earthjustice, Joan was an…