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Stephen J. Odell



A top-tier litigator who has served in all three branches of the U.S. government, Steve has played a pivotal role in resolving some of the most complex and contentious issues in environmental, natural resources, and energy law in both the public and private sectors for more than 25 years.

Steve represents clients in federal environmental and natural resources litigation and matters involving uses of public lands and resources, federal environmental compliance, and energy development.  He joined Marten following a distinguished career as a litigator for the U.S. Justice Department, where he successfully handled many of the most consequential and controversial environmental disputes in the West over the past several decades.  These cases involve resources and issues ranging from timber, mining, water quality and use, developed recreation, transportation, grazing, listed species, wetlands, and energy (encompassing production, transmission, and rate-setting) matters.  Steve has served as lead litigation counsel in literally hundreds of federal cases at both the appellate and district court levels, and has been at the forefront of multiple key initiatives involving extremely sensitive environmental issues.

  • Represent major agribusiness in federal district court litigation challenging public land exchange with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to allow for expansion of fertilizer plant that involves claims under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), and Tribal Trust duties.
  • Represent owner/operator of ski area on National Forest in federal district court litigation challenging federal land exchange with the Forest Service that involves claims under National Forest Management Act (NFMA), NEPA, and FLPMA.
  • Represent large consortium of Pacific Northwest public power utilities in longest-running Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation in the country that challenges operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System based on claims under the ESA and NEPA.
  • Advise irrigation district on proposal to rehabilitate dam on National Forest and to coordinate its efforts as project sponsor to ensure permitting agencies comply with NEPA, NFMA, Clean Water Act, and Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act.
  • Represented home builders in challenge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s approval of the San Diego Multi-Species Conservation Program Habitat Conservation Plan under the ESA, authorizing incidental take of listed species within 900-square-mile area in San Diego County.
  • Successfully defended Forest Service and BLM in numerous cases involving challenges to broad array of multiple-use projects on federal lands, including timber harvest, mining, developed recreation, grazing, and fish and wildlife habitat management.
  • Successfully defended Bonneville Power Administration in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against scores of Petitions for Review raising claims under the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act (Northwest Power Act).
  • Successfully defended myriad other agencies, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Department of Transportation, in federal litigation involving broad array of claims under NEPA, NFMA, FLPMA, ESA, CWA, and many other federal statutes.

  • Recipient of multiple awards for distinguished government service, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Member, Senior Executive Service, 2000-03
  • Board Member, U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, 2018-present
  • Regular Presenter at environmental and natural resources conferences, including U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, on various topics, including Endangered Species Act, Water Law, Forestry Law, NEPA, Administrative Law, Developed Recreation, Public Lands, and natural resource issues in the West
  • Adjunct Professor, Willamette University College of Law, Northwestern School of Law (of Lewis & Clark College), Stanford-in-Washington, University of Arkansas Law School
  • Senior Notes Editor, Stanford Law Review, Vol. 40 (1987-88)


Renewable Energy

Mining & Metals

  • J.D., Stanford Law School
  • A.B., Stanford University
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Owen M. Panner, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Dave Frohnmayer, Oregon Attorney General

  • Oregon State Bar

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