People

Nicholas A. DiMascio

Associate

Denver Office
303.825.7000

Education and Clerkships

Law Clerk, Judge Barry G. Silverman, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Law Clerk, Judge Neil V. Wake, United States District Court, District of Arizona
J.D., cum laude, Duke University School of Law, 2007
LL.M. in International Law, Duke University School of Law, 2007
B.A., magna cum laude, Carleton College, 2000

Bar and Court Admissions

Colorado
United States Supreme Court
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits

Nicholas A. DiMascio

Nick DiMascio helps clients navigate regulations, implement or oppose projects, and resolve disputes concerning the environment, natural resources, public lands, land use entitlements, property rights, infrastructure, and transportation.

Before joining the Firm, Nick served for seven years as an appellate attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment & Natural Resources Division. He has briefed and argued dozens of appeals concerning every major federal environmental and natural resources statute.

Nick clerked for federal district and circuit court judges in Phoenix, Arizona, after graduating from Duke University School of Law.

Representative Experience

Environmental Litigation and Impact Reviews

Nick represents clients in litigation regarding permitting decisions and compliance with state and federal environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  He also strategically counsels clients during the project approval process to maximize chances for success during later judicial review.

  • Represented state department of transportation as intervenor-defendant in litigation challenging $1.2 billion highway project under NEPA and the CAA; defeated all claims and requests for injunctive relief, allowing project to move forward on schedule
  • Obtained dismissal of federal petition for review challenging FAA approval of airport sponsor’s runway safety plan under NEPA
  • Representing state in federal petition for review challenging FAA’s failure to conduct environmental and noise analysis before implementing NextGen flight paths
  • Successfully defended numerous federal project approvals against preliminary and permanent injunction requests
  • Advising nonprofit entity regarding federal efforts to roll back regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas operations
  • Prior to joining the Firm, defended BLM’s authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Indian lands

Public Lands

Nick is an expert on the laws governing access to, conservation of, and management of federal public lands.  He helps clients interface with federal agencies and private property owners to resolve conflicts regarding access to and use of public lands.

  • Representing consortium of archaeological organizations opposing reductions to Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments
  • Litigated novel First Amendment issue regarding public access to BLM wildlife management operations
  • Resolved disputes over federal recreational fees for access to Forest Service lands
  • Defended local government entity’s permit to conduct search-and-rescue training operations within designated wilderness area to prepare for recreation-related emergencies
  • Facilitated federal land exchanges to resolve trespass disputes and achieve conservation goals

Appeals

Nick represents clients in important civil appeals that demand a careful analysis of the law, clear and persuasive writing, and exceptional oral advocacy skills.  He has briefed and argued over 40 appeals in federal courts across the country, as well as several state supreme courts and courts of appeals.

  • Received a Special Commendation for Supreme Court advocacy on behalf of the United States in Southern Union v. United States, 567 U.S. 343 (2012).
  • Prevailed on a Fifth Amendment takings issue concerning a novel issue of property law before the Colorado Supreme Court.  Asmussen v. United States, 304 P.3d 552 (Colo. 2013).
  • Obtained numerous favorable published opinions from federal and state courts of appeals

Real Estate, Land Use, and Zoning Litigation

Nick represents clients in state court challenges and hearings on land use entitlements, zoning decisions, and property rights.

  • Defended land use entitlements for transit-oriented development project against claims under Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure 106(a)(4) and 57
  • Assisted private developer in successful effort to lift City’s emergency moratorium on building permits for administratively subdivided lots
  • Defended county against federal administrative action alleging economic discrimination and monopolistic application of land development code

Brownfields, Site Cleanup, and Compliance

Nick counsels public and private entities on environmental and regulatory compliance concerning the cleanup of contaminated sites under CERCLA and state law equivalents.

  • Briefed and argued multiple appeals concerning contribution claims arising from the cleanup of contaminated sites under CERCLA
  • Advising local public entity on CERCLA cleanup and closeout obligations under cooperative agreement with federal agency and private consultant
  • Assisted private redeveloper to amend federal consent decree in connection with acquisition and cleanup of abandoned mine
  • Advised public entity regarding compliance advisory alleging noncompliance with monitoring requirements under state consent order, resulting in full closeout of the advisory

Professional and Civic Activities / Awards

  • Nick’s photography appears on the official seal of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment & Natural Resources Division
  • Advisory Council Member, Colorado Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Recipient, Assistant Attorney General’s Special Commendation for Meritorious Service
  • Recipient, American Society of International Law Francis Deák Prize for meritorious scholarship
  • Member, Environmental Law Institute
  • Duke Law Mordecai Scholar and past member of Duke Law Journal Executive Board
  • Coordinator for International Relations and ESL Teacher, Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (2000–2003)

Education and Clerkships

Law Clerk, Judge Barry G. Silverman, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Law Clerk, Judge Neil V. Wake, United States District Court, District of Arizona
J.D., cum laude, Duke University School of Law, 2007
LL.M. in International Law, Duke University School of Law, 2007
B.A., magna cum laude, Carleton College, 2000

Bar and Court Admissions

Colorado
United States Supreme Court
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits