Howard M. Shanker, Of Counsel

Howard M. Shanker, Of Counsel

Howard recently joined the consumer practice of Adam G. Singer, PLLC. While new to the Firm, Howard is not new to the practice of law. Howard has represented NGO’s, tribes, and community organizations in state and federal trial courts and courts of appeal for over 30-years. Howard has filed petitions/briefs and/or argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals, the Hopi Court of Appeals, and in U.S. District Courts of Arizona and Nebraska. Howard brings a vast wealth of experience to the Firm. He also brings a passion for justice and a willingness to fight for the underdog.

Background

Howard is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctorate (J.D.) (1989) in Washington, D.C. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) with Distinction (1984) and a B.A. in History magna cum laude (1982), from Pace University in New York. Howard started his legal career at the US. Department of Justice and as an associate attorney at the Washington D.C. office of Dewey Ballantine.

Howard was an Adjunct Professor at the Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law from 2004 through 2016 where he taught upper level courses in Environmental Justice and Environmental Litigation. Howard was appointed by President Clinton to serve a three-year term on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council ("NEJAC"), Enforcement Subcommittee, where he worked to create policy to mitigate disparate negative health and environmental impacts on low income and minority communities. As the Managing Partner of The Shanker Law Firm, PLC, Howard assisted a delegation of the Navajo Nation in testifying at a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the issue of uranium mining and contamination on the Navajo Nation. He also conducted government-to-government negotiations on behalf of the Navajo Nation, with the Obama Administration, on the issue of sacred site protection.

In 2018, Howard briefed and argued two cases regarding the application of a state-based grave site protection law to burial mounds in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court – on behalf of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Howard also recently negotiated a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. Mr. Shanker also recently represented a number of organizations in an attempt to stop a freeway going through South Mountain – a sacred site. Protecting Arizona’s Resources and Children (“PARC”), et al. v. Fed. Hwy Admin. and Ariz. Dep’t of Transp., 718 Fed.Appx. 495 (Dec. 2017) (NEPA/APA). Howard has been the attorney of record in numerous high-profile matters. See, e.g., Navajo Nation et al, v. U.S. Forest Service, 535 F.3d1058 (9th Cir. en banc, 2008), cert. den. 129 S.Ct. 2763 (2009); Elliot v. White Mountain Apache Tribal Court, 566 F.3d 842 (9th Cir. 2009); Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, No. CV 07-0038-PHX-MHM (D. Ariz. 2008); Save Our Sonoran v. Flowers, 408 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2005) (NEPA/CWA); NAACP et al. v. Maricopa County, CV 03-2409-PHX-EHC (D. Ariz. 2004) (EJ); Sierra Club v. Dombeck, 55 Fed. Appx. 411, 2002 WL 31887831 (9th Cir. 2002 – unpublished), 161 F. Supp.2d 1052 (D. Ariz. 2001) (NEPA/FLPMA); Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Forest Service, 349 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2003) (NEPA); Benchmark Resources v. U.S., 64 Fed.Cl. 526 (2005) (mining/reclamation).

Honors/Appointments

* Howard has been a guest lecturer/presenter at Berkley, Boalt Hall; Univ. of Arizona Law School; Vermont Law School; The Sandra Day O’Conner School of Law; Indiana Law School; the Natural Resources Law Teachers Institute; National Lawyers’ Guild; California State Bar; and Arizona State Bar Conventions.

* Howard was appointed by President Clinton to serve a three-year term on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council ("NEJAC"), Enforcement Subcommittee, where he worked to create policy to mitigate disparate negative health and environmental impacts on low income and minority communities;

* In 2014, Howard was presented with a blanket by the Omaha Tribe for his work in negotiating a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice vis-à-vis provision of Tribal utilities (drinking water, treatment of effluent);

* In 2008, The Navajo Nation President and Council presented Mr. Shanker with a blanket and a plaque commemorating his work on behalf of the Tribe to protect sacred sites;

* In October 2013, DNA Legal Services presented Howard with a pro bono award for “Valor” recognizing his legal work on behalf of Native American communities in Arizona;

Admissions

Howard is not currently admitted in New York. He is admitted to practice law in state and federal courts in Arizona, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania (inactive), Hopi Tribal Courts, Fort McDowell and Pascua Yaqui Tribal Courts (inactive), the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.




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