"You've got miles of healthy river, you've got the discharge pipe and then literally 50 yards downstream of the discharge pipe, you start seeing dead fish. You don't need to have a bachelor's degree in biology or a law degree to connect those dots."
That's Donald D.J. Stack, of Stack & Associates in Atlanta, on the Ogeechee river kill of May 2011 and May 2012. The latter left thousands of fingerlings dead. The former was the largest fish kill in Georgia's history: an estimated 38,000 fish.
Stack represents Ogeechee Riverkeeper, an environmental nonprofit he helped form a dozen years ago , which alleges that pollutants discharged into the river from a King America Finishing Inc. textile plant played a large role in these fish kills.
Although a life scientist of the United States Environmental Protection Agency wrote in a memo, "It may be impossible to ever know for certain exactly what happened," the Georgia Environmental Protection Division ordered King America Finishing to pay a minimum of $1 million in environmentally beneficial projects for the Ogeechee River watershed.
Photo: Dustin Snipes
In this year's Super Lawyers Business Edition (available now as a digital edition, via app and in print), we put a spotlight the GC of the Nevada-based Zappos.com-Millie Chou. She first helped run the investment fund for Zappos during its inception, returning to the company in 2006 and getting the top legal job in the company in 2008.
Zappos is well-known for its distinctive culture, and the company placed sixth on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list in 2011. Its Family Core Values feature items like "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness" and "Deliver WOW Through Service," and the company offers every trainee $2,000 to simply quit and walk away-more than 97 percent will stay. The company has grown quickly, reaching a goal of $1 billion in sales by 2010 (set by CEO Tony Hsieh more than 10 years ago) two years early, and morphing from a seven employees to more than 3,000. In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon.
In the latest issue of Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising Stars -- available in digital edition, mobile app and print -- cover subject Nancy Sheehan, an employment litigator at Porter Scott, talks about the need for civility in the legal world.