Harvard Law School, J.D., 1980, cum laude

London School of Economics, Master's Degree, 1977, with distinction

Harvard College, B .A., 1976

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
Photo of James B. "Jim" Witkin

James B. "Jim" Witkin

ph: 301.961.5189
Washington, D.C.
1717 K Street, N.W.
Suite 900
Washington, D.C. 20006
News & Publications

James B. (“Jim”)  Witkin chairs the Environmental Practice at the firm. His practice lies at the intersection of real estate and environmental law, and is marked by an impressive record of achievements, as well as a staunch dedication to client service. He knows the real-world implications of how environmental laws affect his clients’ businesses, and develops creative, efficient, and enduring solutions to difficult issues.

Jim has been a leader in environmental law for decades, with broad experience on the cutting edge of issues such as brownfields, underground storage tanks, mold, asbestos, radon, lead-based paint, vapor intrusion, and green buildings. He also has extensive experience in counseling clients on voluntary cleanup programs, environmental remediation, and environmental insurance. Jim’s services include assisting clients with all aspects of environmental due diligence, drafting and negotiating complex transactional documents, and securing economic incentives for environmental cleanup activities.

Jim’s unique blend of transactional and environmental experience gives him invaluable insight on how to pull the pieces together in complex real estate deals with an eye toward the redevelopment potential of both clean and environmentally impacted properties. In addition to serving all aspects of the real estate industry, Jim also works with manufacturing industries and the petroleum industry. His practice covers Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. representing clients before federal, state, and local environmental regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Maryland Department of the Environment, D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Jim is also an experienced real estate transactional attorney, and is experienced in drafting construction contracts for clients. He prepares contracts between owners, contractors and architects, and the related agreements required for construction projects. He works with the AIA family of documents, and with other types of construction documents.

Jim’s peers have recognized him as a respected leader in his field with membership both in the prestigious American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and the American College of Environmental Lawyers, providing him access to a large network of experienced real estate and environmental law thought leaders. He is the editor and contributing author of the book Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions, published by the American Bar Association (ABA)—the first book of its kind and an essential resource in a growing area of law.

In addition to his prolific body of published work, Jim has also served on the editorial boards of the Practical Real Estate Lawyer, published by the American Law Institute; Real Estate/Environmental Liability News, published by LRP Publications; and The Underground Storage Tank Guide, published by Thompson Publishing Group. For several years, he wrote and edited the “Environmental Law Update” column in Probate & Property magazine, published by the ABA.

Jim speaks regularly on environmental law, and has chaired and participated in national and local bar seminars on underground storage tanks, mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, and voluntary cleanup programs. He is the former co-chair of the Environmental Committee of the ABA’s Section of Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law, and has served as vice chair of that section’s Indoor Air Committee. He also served as policy chair of the Executive Committee of the Maryland Chapter of the National Brownfields Association. Jim has also been recognized within the firm with leadership positions on the Management Committee.

Significant Projects

  • Represented purchaser of former 150-acre automotive manufacturing facility that was developed into an office/industrial site (Chesapeake Commerce Center, Baltimore, Maryland); the site was remediated under both state and federal laws
  • Represented owners of numerous properties that were successfully remediated under the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia voluntary cleanup programs
  • Negotiated agreements with many oil companies on behalf of properties affected by releases from gas stations and other petroleum facilities
  • Represented owners of multi-family properties in settlements with federal and state regulators over alleged lead paint violations
  • Provided environmental due diligence counsel to owners and lenders on numerous properties (of all asset classes)
  • Worked with clients to obtain brownfields (and other environmental) tax credits

Honors & Distinctions

  • Selected annually by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©  2013-2019
  • Selected as a Fellow by The American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Selected as a Fellow by The American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Listed in "Greater Washington Legal Elite," Washington SmartCEO, August 2005

Professional Background

  • Linowes and Blocher LLP, Partner, 1993-Present
  • Content, Tatusko & Patterson, Partner and Associate, 1987-1993
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Associate, 1981-1987


Affiliations & Community Involvement

American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Fellow

American College of Environmental Lawyers, Fellow

U.S. Supreme Court Bar

Maryland State Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar

American Bar Association

National Brownfields Association, Maryland Chapter, former Executive Committee Member

ALI-ABA Environmental Law Advisory Panel, past Member

ABA Section of Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law, Environmental Committee, former Co-Chair