Pam Hanebutt joined Eimer Stahl as a partner at its formation in 2000, and is the co-chair of the firm’s Environmental, Products Liability and Toxic Torts practice group.  Pam has more than three decades of litigation experience.  She represents domestic and international corporate clients in complex litigation across the country, including products liability, toxic tort, consumer class actions, and environmental litigation.  She has been named a litigation - environmental Best Lawyer by U.S. News and selected by her peers as a Leading Lawyer for environmental law.

Pam also has an active pro bono practice.  Prior to joining the firm, Pam was a partner at Sidley & Austin.


Case Experience

  • Representing an oil refiner in multidistrict litigation pending in federal court in the Southern District of New York (which at one time was comprised of more than 100 cases) concerning alleged contamination of groundwater by a gasoline blending agent known as MTBE;
  • Defending a major oil refiner at trial in a state court action alleging groundwater contamination (ultimately settling following opening statements);
  • Defending a major home appliance company against three nationwide consumer class actions alleging violation of consumer protection statutes and breach of warranty;
  • Defeating an attempted class action brought by a statewide class of boat owners claiming damage to their engines due to the use of ethanol-blended fuel;
  • Coordinating the defense of dozens of product liability suits filed in federal and state courts against a medical device company;
  • Defending class action litigation against a tool and die manufacturer alleging property damage as a result of TCE contamination in groundwater; and
  • Defending multi-plaintiff actions filed by homeowners in California alleging that mid-century oil exploration had resulted in the diminution of property values.
  • Defending a chemical company against toxic tort ("greenbelt") litigation filed by neighboring residents.
  • Representing a paper company in connection with a possible enforcement action arising out of contaminated river sediments.
  • Defending a utility in a federal bench trial arising out of the cleanup of a former manufactured gas plant site.
  • Defending a telecommunications firm in a nationwide class action by landowners alleging improper use of railroad rights of way to install fiber optic cables.
  • Representing an engineering firm in an action alleging negligent clean-up of property contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls.
  • Representing a major manufacturer in environmental insurance coverage litigation involving twenty-two contaminated sites.


Speaking Engagements

  • Product Liability, Consumer Fraud, and Product Labeling
    Illinois, 09.2017
  • EU Data Privacy: Impact on eDiscovery in U.S. Litigation
    Seoul, South Korea, 04.24.2017
  • Ethics and Experts,¬†ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources 24th Fall Conference
    Denver, Colorado, 10.07.2016
  • Navigating Intra-Class Conflicts: Basis for Certification of Sub-Classes or Denial of Class Certification Entirely?
    Strafford Publications, webinar, 09.22.2016
  • Structuring Joint Defense Agreements in Environmental Litigation
    Strafford Publications, webinar, 11.04.2015
  • Joint Defense Privilege and Joint Defense Group Agreements
    ABA, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, webinar, 06.17.2015
  • Class Action Litigation: Current Topics in Class Action Certification, Management, and Settlement
    Seoul, South Korea, 01.06.2015
  • Class Action Settlements:¬†Recent Trends and Key Considerations for Obtaining Approval and Avoiding Objections
    Seoul, South Korea, 07.10.2014


  • Ethical Constraints on the Use of Private Investigators, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' 24th Fall Conference, Pamela R. Hanebutt
    October 2016

J.D., Tulane Law School, 1984

  • magna cum laude
  • Order of the Coif
  • Honors: Tulane Law Review; Merit Scholar

B.A., University of Illinois, 1981

  • magna cum laude
  • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
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