Alternative Environmental Dispute (ADR) Resolution

ADR that Creates Better Outcomes

KMCL is an ADR practice with a focus on environmental dispute resolution.

We have acted as counsel and neutrals in ADR proceedings in dozens of environmental matters. Organizations across the country rely on KMCL to successfully resolve complex environmental and energy challenges. This extensive and specialized experience in environmental matters produces a smoother process and better outcomes.


For more information on this area of KMCL’s practice, please contact Attorney Rick Horder.

Focus Areas


KMCL has acted as mediators, evaluators, arbitrators, members of arbitration panels, and other neutrals for organizations and individuals across the country.


  • “I recently utilized Rick as a mediator in a long-running and hotly contested environmental litigation. Rick’s in-depth knowledge of CERCLA, over forty years of environmental law experience, and common sense were invaluable in assisting the parties in reaching a resolution of the case.  Rick was very effective in identifying the key legal and factual issues in the case, was creative in offering options for working through impasses in the settlement negotiations, and was determined in encouraging the parties to fully evaluate the strengths and risks of their respective positions.  I definitely would use Rick again as a mediator in a wide variety of environmental cases.” Andrew Thompson, Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
  • "I have used Rick on several of the most complicated environmental cases that I have ever handled.  In each case, I was skeptical of whether the case could be settled because the parties' positions were so far apart and the cases were so challenging factually and legally. Rick was able to settle the cases because he has a unique ability to comprehend the legal and technical issues and also, importantly, because his long experience practicing environmental law gives both sides confidence in his ability to remain fair and impartial. I highly recommend him." Hutton Brown, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
  • “Over the years I have used Rick Horder as mediator in a number of mediations involving environmental matters.  He has done an outstanding job in each instance.  He immediately establishes a credible and qualified presence to the participants.  I have also been impressed by his ability to quickly determine and dissect the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and communicate those in a succinct and understandable fashion.  I have also seen him propose novel resolutions which further each of the party’s interests. These traits allow him, as a third party, to communicate candidly to the parties in a manner such that the parties are receptive to these communications, resulting in a resolution that more reasonably reflects the relative merits of the case.  We have ultimately resolved each of the matters in which he served as a mediator.  I cannot recommend him more highly.” Gerald Pouncey, Chairman, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
  • “Rick Horder is a first-rate mediator for complex environmental disputes.  Especially for highly technical environmental disputes which involve multiple regulatory requirements, Rick is terrific at identifying linchpin issues, encouraging parties to develop technical solutions for technical issues, and then taking the technical issues off the table.  Because Rick has spent his career trying cases and settling disputes, he knows first-hand the uncertainty and costs associated with protracted litigation, and he understands that dispute resolution is often about more than money or the law.  Rick’s frank evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s position as mediator can assist the parties to resolve their dispute, and that’s the number one skill that effective mediators should have.”Douglas A. Henderson, Partner, King & Spalding
  • “Rick uses his great legal mind and deep experience in environmental law to quickly and concisely get to the heart of any issue. More than that, I know Rick is bringing integrity and honesty any time I work with him, whether he is opposing counsel in litigation or guiding us through negotiations as a mediator. Bringing Rick in for mediation on complex environmental cases is a no brainer.” Kevin Jeselnik, General Counsel, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
  • “Rick is an outstanding mediator. He brings extensive environmental law experience to the table, which allows him to understand the issues quickly and to ask thoughtful questions. He has a keen ability to think creatively about settlement options, and his methodology is skillful and persistent. In my opinion, Rick's guidance gives the parties their best chance at a successful settlement." April Lipscomb, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
  • “Mediation for a client can present many difficult scenarios, especially with environmental litigation which, can have legal, engineering, health, science, and property dimensions. Having a mediator who understands these dimensions, and who can articulate the strengths and weaknesses within them, is key to a successful mediation result.  Rick Horder does understand them, and his mastery of the mediation process made him a key part of our successful resolution of a very complicated case.” William M. Droze, Partner, Troutman Pepper
  • “I cannot recommend Rick’s mediation services strongly enough, especially for complex environmental matters. I recently engaged Rick for a seemingly intractable matter. While we were not able to resolve it, we got closer than anybody expected due in large measure to Rick's creativity, persuasiveness, and guidance. Rick is extremely efficient because he is a quick study, and he is able to identify and help the parties focus on the key points immediately. Also, because his knowledge and judgment are universally respected, his blunt assessments have an impact. He is also persistent in exploring new and different options to structure a potential deal. As a testament to his effectiveness, he was the only mediator proposed by any of the three parties in our case, despite their widely divergent interests and backgrounds. I will not hesitate to engage Rick again and encourage others to do so as well.” Lewis B. Jones, Partner, King & Spalding
  • “Stack & Associates, P.C., has utilized Rick Horder as the Mediator in numerous highly-complex and nuanced mutli-party mediations and is consistently impressed by his ready comprehension of the issues and ability to ultimately bridge wide gulfs to reach satisfactory outcomes for all parties. His high level of technical and practical knowledge of both complex environmental issues and litigation in general makes him particularly suited to facilitating resolutions in these arenas.  Rick Horder's list of accomplishments during his decades of practice speaks for itself, and, importantly, carries seamlessly over into his skill as a mediator.“ Donald D. J Stack, Partner, Stack & Associates  P.C.
  • “I heartily endorse Rick Horder as a mediator for complex environmental disputes. The wealth of experience and subject matter knowledge that Rick acquired as an advocate is invaluable to his service as a mediator.  In addition, Rick is sensitive to the dynamics of the resolution process, including when to share candid assessments with mediating parties.  It is essential for a mediator to be committed, and Rick brings that trait to the mediation process.  Rick’s knowledge, experience and guidance were vital to resolution of a challenging lawsuit involving multiple federal and state-law claims and defenses among multiple parties and insurers in a recent two-day mediation.” Henry Parkman, Of Counsel, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

Representative Matters as Neutral

  • Mediated a contentious and complex dispute among numerous parties alleging both property damage and personal injury arising from a land application system.
  • Mediated contract disputes pertaining to wastewater treatment facilities and performance (or lack thereof) of plant operators.
  • Mediated a four-party mediation over allocation of liability for a dry-cleaning operation at a shopping center.
  • Mediated a three-party dispute about contamination resulting from a fire in a warehouse storing numerous hazardous materials.
  • Mediated disputes between the current and former owners of a dry cleaning operation to allocate the responsibility of cleanup costs.
  • Served as a member of a multi-person arbitration panel in a dispute to allocate liability regarding releases from a gas pipeline among pipeline operators.
  • Served as sole arbitrator in a dispute between Riverkeeper environmental organization and large mining company over numerous issues regarding alleged violations of law, non-compliance with an NPDES permit, and violation of a Consent Order.
  • Served as the sole arbitrator or as a member of an arbitration panel in numerous CERCLA and State Superfund allocation disputes over the allocation of clean up liability among PRPs.
  • Served as a Mediator in a contentious dispute among five parties and their respective insurance carriers relating to alleged flooding, property contamination, and trespass and nuisance claims arising from construction of several large-scale commercial warehousing complexes.
  • Served as a Mediator in a contentious case involving Clean Water Act, RCRA, and trespass and nuisance claims relating to an industrial scale dairy operation involving personal injury and private property claims by numerous and disparate plaintiffs, as well as claims by a Riverkeeper organization. This matter required mediation among numerous private parties, the Riverkeeper organization, the dairy farm operator, and its insurance company.
  • Served as a Mediator in a dispute among the Georgia EPD, a Riverkeeper organization, and a large Georgia municipality over the terms of an NPDES Permit issued by the Georgia EPD.
  • Served as a Mediator in a fugitive emissions dispute at a Southern port involving a cement company's land side operations and associated ship docking, loading, and unloading activities, and the fugitive cement dust's alleged adverse effect on an adjacent multi-million-dollar ship maintenance and repair facility.
  • Served as a Mediator in a dispute between a large national railroad company and a large national oil and gasoline producer regarding allocation of remediation costs at an oil terminal. This matter involved interpretation of a complex PRP Agreement among three separate entities, allocation of the cost among the parties, and allocating responsibility for an orphan share.

Advocating in Mediation or Arbitration

KMCL has acted as counsel in ADR proceedings in dozens of environmental matters.

Representative Matters as Party Representative

  • Represented numerous clients in “Early Neutral Evaluation” (evaluative mediation) proceedings, all of which resolved CERCLA cost allocation issues.
  • Represented a large retail home improvement company in an arbitration between a client, a developer of retail space, a general construction company, and a homeowners’ association over alleged contamination from stores to a nearby residential water body.
  • Represented a multi-location gasoline retailer in numerous mediations with various insurance carriers over coverage regarding releases from USTs and gas station operations.
  • Represented a large pulp, paper, and wood products company in numerous mediations over coverage issues involving toxic tort (asbestos, formaldehyde, treated wood, fire retardant wood, dioxins, etc.) disputes with insurance companies over defense and indemnity obligations.

Rick Horder has been praised for his “thorough knowledge of environmental law and practical approach to resolving issues, as well as his prompt response times.”


1200 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: 404-812-0839

1914 4th Avenue North, Suite 400
Birmingham, AL 35203

Phone: 205-917-9637

1001 Liberty Avenue, 5th Fl

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 404-333-0752