Biography

Julie O’Keefe’s niche practice spans both environmental and occupational safety and health, which sets her apart from other lawyers, who typically handle one or the other, but rarely both. Governmental agencies she routinely deals with include, among others, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state counterparts, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state counterparts. She has represented businesses in regulatory matters in virtually every state in the U.S. For non-governmental transactional matters, Julie’s regulatory experience allows her to understand environmental risks and eliminate non-issues.

When dealing with governmental agencies, Julie asserts positions that are effective, yet will not needlessly antagonize the agency. She respects her client’s goals. She usually knows the personality and priorities of the regulator on the other side of the table. Julie knows that governmental officials often do not respond to litigation tactics in the same way as private litigants. Julie has been recognized several times on the list of Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers Top 50 Women, which is based upon peer review.

For businesses, Julie is the face of the company when dealing with the EPA, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois EPA and other state environmental agencies in matters involving laws such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Clean Air Act, FIFRA, California Proposition 65, Clean Water Act and the negotiation and performance of remedial investigation/feasibility studies and engineering evaluation/cost analyses. She advises clients in matters involving site assessments, remediation activities, compliance violations, contracts and due diligence during sale or acquisition of real estate, asset sales and stock sales. She also handles CERCLA cost recovery actions and California Proposition 65 actions.

As an OSHA practitioner, Julie counsels companies in willful, serious and repeat citations and criminal investigations. Julie has tried many OSHA cases at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and state administrative tribunals.

Well-versed in environmental and OSHA issues, Julie frequently presents seminars to clients, trade associations and industry groups.

Education

  • Saint Louis University School of Law  (J.D., 1988)
  • Illinois State University  (B.S., 1985)

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Safety Council of Greater St. Louis (Board of Directors)

Accolades

  • The Best Lawyers in America®; Environmental Law (2010-present)
  • Chambers USAAmerica's Leading Lawyers for Business in Environmental Law (2009-present)
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers® (2009-present); Super Lawyers®, Business Edition (2011-present); Super Lawyers®, Top 50 Women Missouri & Kansas (2011, 2013, 2014)
  • AV® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell