Photograph of Monty Cooper

Government Experience

  • Maryland—Special Assistant State’s Attorney, Prince George's County (2014)

Education

  • Georgetown University, B.A. American studies (2000)
  • College of William & Mary, M.P.P. public policy (2004)
  • College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, J.D. (2004) notes editor, William and Mary Law Review

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • South Carolina
Monty Cooper, Counsel Washington, D.C.
mcooper@crowell.com
Phone: +1 202.624.2617
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Harmon L. (Monty) Cooper is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he is a member of the Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation and Environment & Natural Resources groups. His practice focuses on environmental, product liability, and complex civil litigation.

He has experience with multidistrict proceedings and has represented clients in a range of industries, including automotive, petroleum, and heavy machinery. He has over a decade’s worth of experience in all phases of litigation, from discovery to motion practice to trial, including first-chair jury and bench trial experience. Monty also provides strategic counseling and legal advice on environmental issues for clients regarding environmental remediation and property-transfer laws.

He is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and South Carolina. For several years, he has been selected as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers "Rising Star."

Environmental Experience

Monty has defended numerous cases involving alleged exposure to contamination in groundwater, soil, and air. He is a member of a national coordinating defense counsel team for an oil company in multidistrict litigation involving the gasoline additive MTBE in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He has had significant experience in these cases, from the preparation of dispositive motions in contamination suits brought by multiple state attorneys general; to the preparation of expert witnesses, including hydrogeologists and engineers; to the preparation and defense of depositions of corporate representatives in actions filed by public-water utilities. He has represented an oil company in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against CERCLA and common-law claims seeking contribution for environmental remediation costs. He has also represented companies in their negotiations with government agencies concerning environmental and property-transfer laws.

Product Liability and Civil Litigation Experience

Monty has significant experience litigating product liability and civil litigation matters in state and federal courts across the country. In Maryland state court, he has successfully helped obtain a defense verdict before a jury on behalf of an automobile manufacturer in a wrongful-death suit involving claims of a defective transmission. In a Florida federal court, he successfully helped defend an oil company against class certification in product liability litigation brought by boat owners against the oil industry for the use of ethanol in fuel. In Maryland state courts, he has represented a heavy-machinery manufacturer as local counsel in suits involving allegedly defective engines. In a D.C. federal court, he has led the representation of a global information-technology company in a suit brought by plaintiffs claiming catastrophic injuries from an allegedly defective electronic device.

In addition to his product liability and civil litigation experience, Monty’s practice has included such diverse matters as a London-based arbitration of a contract dispute between international brokerage firms and the pro bono representation of children as a guardian ad litem in D.C. Superior Court.

He has also published several articles on environmental and civil litigation matters, from an analysis of global-warming litigation via the Supreme Court’s decision in AEP v. Connecticut to an examination of court decisions since Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal regarding federal pleading standards.

Public Sector Experience

Monty has been active in his community, in particular serving as chair of the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County, MD. The RDA is the principal development and redevelopment agency in Maryland’s second largest jurisdiction. Its mission is to develop mixed-income housing and mixed-use development in the county’s urban communities and transit centers.

Since becoming chair in 2012, the RDA has selected more than a half-dozen development partners for projects with a total development cost of over $500 million and has closed on more than 750 loans worth more than $8 million for down-payment and closing-cost assistance to first-time homebuyers. The RDA’s efforts have been highlighted in both print (e.g., The Washington Post) and television media (e.g., WJLA-ABC News 7 – Washington, D.C.). Likewise, Monty’s role here and work in the community have been recognized by both local and national organizations, including the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund, Maryland’s The Daily Record newspaper, and the national urban-affairs nonprofit Next City.

Monty previously worked as a special assistant state's attorney in Prince George's County, Maryland. He also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. He attended the College of William and Mary Law School, where he was a notes editor for the William and Mary Law Review, a member of the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, and a Benjamin Rush Scholar.

Representative Matters

  • Representing a government-sponsored enterprise in negotiations with government agencies concerning environmental and property-transfer laws.
  • Representing a major oil company as national litigation counsel in numerous MTBE cases in which private water companies, public water utilities, and state agencies allege that MTBE is a defective and unreasonably dangerous product that has contaminated public drinking water supplies in New York, New Hampshire, and several other states.
  • Successfully defended a major oil company against class certification in product liability litigation brought by boat owners against oil companies for their use of ethanol in fuel.
  • Successfully defended a major U.S. automobile manufacturer at trial in a wrongful death suit involving claims of alleged defective brakes. After a week-long jury trial in a Maryland circuit court, the company obtained a defense verdict.
  • Successfully defended an international brokerage firm in a breach of contract dispute before the London Court of International Arbitration. The matter settled on favorable terms.
  • As special assistant state’s attorney in Prince George’s County, Maryland (January – May 2014), tried several cases involving second degree assault, traffic violations and driving under the influence (DUI) charges before judges. Tried multiple DUI cases before juries, including the successful conviction of a defendant.


Affiliations

Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland, South Carolina, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Professional and Community Activities

Honors

  • Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" (2013-2015)
  • Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 Award — National Bar Association
  • Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural "Hot List" — Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Forty Under 40 Award — Prince George’s County (MD) Social Innovation Fund
  • Vanguard Award —Next City (National Urban-Affairs Magazine)
  • Leadership Maryland — Class of 2015
  • Maryland’s The Daily Record 2015 VIP List


Speeches & Presentations

  • "Solar Power and Resilient Design for Schools and Shelters: How Sustainable Public Buildings Can Enhance Their Communities," Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2016). Panelist: Monty Cooper.
  • "Cities and Water: A Conversation With the General Counsel of D.C. Water and WSSC," D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section Panel, Washington, D.C. (October 28, 2015). Moderator: Monty Cooper.
  • "Meet the Leaders — A Conversation With Lawyers Who Manage Legal Departments About Their Practice and The Law," J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, Lanham, MD (May 21, 2015). Moderator: Monty Cooper.
  • "Legends of Environmental Law: A Conversation with Steven P. Quarles of Sedgwick LLP," D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section Panel, Washington, D.C. (October 16, 2014). Moderator: Monty Cooper.
  • "The Power of a Network: Developing and Capitalizing on Business Relationships," National Bar Association – Corporate Leadership Forum Academy, Miami, FL (July 30, 2013). Panelist: Monty Cooper.
  • "Litigation Basics: The Most Common Pitfalls Young Lawyers Make in Litigation ... and How to Avoid Them," Continuing Legal Education, National Bar Association Annual Convention, Miami, FL (July 29, 2013). Panelist: Monty Cooper.
  • "Hydraulic Fracking Regulation and Issues," D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section Panel, Washington, D.C. Moderator: Monty Cooper.


Publications

  • "Rosebrock v. Eastern Shore Emergency Physicians LLC: Maryland Court of Special Appeals Analyzes Habit Evidence — MD Rule 5-406," The Maryland Litigator, Maryland State Bar Association, Litigation Section (June 2015). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Glenn v. GSX Trans., Inc. and the Licensee/Invitee/Trespasser Distinction in Maryland Tort Law," The Maryland Litigator, Maryland State Bar Association, Litigation Section (February 2015). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Hasley v. Ward Mfg. and Maryland’s Economic-Loss Rule’s Public-Safety Exception," The Maryland Litigator, Maryland State Bar Association, Litigation Section (October 2014). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Passing the Smell Test: Twombly, Iqbal, and a California Federal Court’s Requirement of More Specificity in Complaint Against Defendants," Australian Product Liability Reporter (August/September 2012). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "AEP v. Connecticut — Global Warming Litigation and Beyond: The Court’s Affirmation of the Clean Air Act and Impact on the Public Nuisance Debates of the Future," 41 ELR 10973, 10996 ELR News and Analysis (November 2011). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Diversity and Thoughts on Building Diversity in the Corporate Legal Team," The Commercial Law Connection (NBA CLS), Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 2011). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Legal Developments Related to Greenhouse Gas Emissions," BNA Environment Reporter, Vol. 39, No. 26, 1309-132 (June 27, 2008). Contributor: Monty Cooper.
  • "Will an Endangerment Finding Lead to Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standards for Stationary Sources?" The Environmental Litigator, American Bar Association (Summer 2008). Author: Monty Cooper.
  • "Searching for Certainty in Uncertain Air: NSR and the RMRR Exclusion," Trends, American Bar Association, Vol. 38, No. 2 (November/December 2006). Author: Monty Cooper.