Mary Samuels | Large Headshot | Balch & Bingham

Mary F. Samuels

  • (205) 226-3459
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  • The University of Alabama School of Law
    J.D., 2007, Alabama Law Review
  • Washington & Lee University
    B.S., 2003, cum laude
Bar Admissions
  • Alabama, 2007
About Mary
  • What type of matters do you work on most often?

    Much of my practice involves assisting clients in complying with complex federal and state environmental regulations, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA), CERCLA, NHPA, NEPA, hydroelectric licensing issues, and indoor air quality issues/OSHA compliance. I also advise clients on environmental aspects of corporate projects and transactions, including counseling on Phase I and II environmental reports.

  • Which courts or agencies do you most often appear before on behalf of your clients?

Select Matters

  • Endangered species civil penalty enforcement: Defended municipality in civil penalty proceeding seeking $2 million penalty under ESA for alleged take of endangered watercress darters, resulting in settlement of $187,500 in the form of donation to local land trust. (2012, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. City of Birmingham, No. INV-2008404913 (D.O.I. O.H.A.))
  • CAA Title V operating permit litigation: Defended company in litigation over renewal of its CAA Title V operating permit (GASP v. Jefferson County Board of Health)
  • State resources penalty enforcement: Successfully obtained summary judgment for municipality in state civil penalty proceeding seeking $1 million penalty for the alleged unlawful taking of state resources. (2013, State of Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, No. 1101100 (Ala. Supreme Court))
  • Indoor air quality: Assist clients in responding to mold infestation and asbestos fiber release episodes.
  • CERCLA potentially responsible party: Advise clients on issues related to Superfund sites in Alabama, including potential impacts from potentially responsible party designations and listing of sites on the National Priorities List.
  • CAA compliance: represent electric generating companies in developing strategies for complying with EPA rulemakings, including withdrawal of the startup, shutdown and malfunction exclusion and implementation of the 2010 1-hour SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
  • EPA information requests: Assist clients in responding to EPA information requests under the CAA (section 114) and CERCLA (section 104(e)), as well as various confidential business information substantiation requests.
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation: represented municipality in FOIA action successfully resulting in release of withheld documents and payment of attorneys’ fees. (2012, City of Birmingham v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2:11-cv-00733 (N.D. Ala.))



      Speaking Engagements


        • The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 2007, Alabama Law Review
        • Washington & Lee University, B.S., 2003, cum laude
        • Supreme Court of Alabama, 2007
        • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 2007
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 2015
        Bar Admissions
        • Alabama, 2007
        Professional Affiliations
        • Alabama State Bar, President, Environmental Law Section
        • Birmingham Bar Association
        Awards & Accolades
        • The Best Lawyers in America®Environmental Law, 2023 & 2024

        • Birmingham Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2019 

        • Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney, 2017

        • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018-present

        Community Involvement
        • Washington and Lee University Alumni Board, active member and former President (2014)
        • Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success, active member and former Chair (2014)
        • McWane Science Center New Element Group, Steering Committee
        • Mountain Brook Library Foundation Board