Kathy Rhyne is a partner with King & Spalding’s Tort and Environmental Litigation Practice Group. Her group in the Washington office handles environmental litigation, including mass tort and class action cases, as well as environmental regulatory matters. She co-chairs the Firm’s Mass Tort and Product Liability Initiative, and heads a team working across practice areas on scientific issues. She has repeatedly been ranked as a leading environmental lawyer in Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Legal 500 and multiple other guides.
Ms. Rhyne brings over 30 years of experience in the environmental field, touching on all aspects of environmental law, with particular emphasis on drinking water, groundwater, water quality and wastewater discharge issues; site remediation; and natural resource damages. She also has strong expertise in human health and ecological risk assessment.
Ms. Rhyne has represented industry petitioners seeking judicial review of EPA drinking water standards, water quality standards, consumer product safety standards, and OSHA standards on chemical exposure, Hazard Communication and Process Safety Management. She has defended citizens’ suits under the environmental laws, and has counseled clients on chemical testing, incident investigation, release reporting, and environmental compliance programs, among other issues.
Ms. Rhyne has provided environmental advice to the chemical industry, pulp and paper and other manufacturers, and to the oil and gas industry (including E&P, mid-stream, and downstream operations). She is currently representing a major oil producer in litigation with respect to approvals of exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. She has defended chemical users and manufacturers in both personal injury and property damages cases relating to occupational exposure, general population exposure, or groundwater and drinking water contamination.
Ms. Rhyne has worked with medical experts in both chemical and pharmaceutical product liability litigation. She has also worked with experts in over 30 other disciplines, including toxicology, epidemiology, teratology, exposure and industrial hygiene, radiation and health physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, groundwater hydrology, air modeling, process safety, wastewater treatment, aquatic and ecological effects, and natural resource damages. She excels at presenting technical information in a comprehensible fashion—whether to regulators, judges or juries. The Chambers guide to Leading Lawyers for Business praised her ability “to earn the trust and respect of scientific experts, which can lead to really creative solutions.” Clients quoted in Best Lawyers cited her ability to develop strategies for complex issues and to understand and leverage highly specialized scientific work. She “bridges the technical-legal gap in thinking and communications,” and brings “great interpersonal skills, a wealth of experience and notable strategic thinking abilities.”
- Invited to present before 75 state and federal court judges at the George Mason University Law & Economics Center’s “Symposium on Scientific Evidence in the Courts,” Fairfax, Virginia, April 23, 2012.
- Presentation on “Environmental Challenges to Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico: After the Moratorium,” at the King & Spalding Energy Forum, Houston, Texas, November 15, 2010.
- Invited speaker, Defense Research Institute Product Liability Conference, Chemical and Toxic Torts session, “Litigating Air Exposure Cases,” April 4, 2013.
Memberships and Activities
- Served as member of the Executive Council of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health
- Advisory Board, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, University of Virginia Law School
- Dean’s Council, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Washington Area Women’s Fund, Washington 100
- Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Raleigh Tavern Society