Alongside the replica London taxicab and a jar of candy on attorney Damien Schiff’s desk, a blue trucker cap has a place of honor.
The cap — advertising “Sackett Contracting & Excavating” — was a gift from clients Mike and Chantell Sackett after Schiff successfully argued on their behalf in a recent Supreme Court case. The resulting decision, Sackett v. EPA, was a crushing loss for U.S. EPA in the 32-year-old lawyer’s first appearance before the high court (Greenwire, March 31).
Since the March ruling, Schiff’s star has risen. He’s become a sought-after speaker at legal events. Potential clients are calling with their own tales of EPA-generated angst.
The unanimous Supreme Court ruling also served to burnish the reputation of Schiff’s employer, the Pacific Legal Foundation, which is based here in a modest two-story office building just a few blocks from the state Capitol.
The conservative nonprofit legal group has been a thorn in EPA’s side for almost the entire life of the agency.
In fact, PLF, as it’s known, celebrates its 40th birthday next year, just three years after EPA reached the same landmark.
The Supreme Court win — not the group’s first — has served to keep it in the public eye at a time when Republicans in Congress have been lambasting EPA for what they perceive as its overreach when it comes to regulation.