On Dec. 3, 2022, a light went out at Parsons Behle & Latimer, and we said goodbye to our colleague, partner, leader and friend Hal J. Pos. Recognized by local, national and international legal communities at the highest level, Hal served the firm as shareholder and as a Board member for 25 years, including, until shortly before his passing, as president and CEO. His dedication to the firm was extraordinary and nonstop. An exemplary attorney, Hal will always be remembered as one who embodied the very best of Parsons Behle & Latimer.
Hal J. Pos was a senior member of Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group with more than 36 years of experience focused on the representation of U.S. and global corporations in the natural resources industry, facing complicated legal issues concerning cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, CERCLA liability and property acquisition transactions. Mr. Pos's practice experience included conducting environmental due diligence in connection with mineral and real estate acquisitions and financings; environmental liability reviews and audits; legacy site cleanups and redevelopment; mine and landfill closures with a particular goal of minimizing potential CERCLA liability; negotiating and drafting environmental indemnity agreements; representing potentially responsible parties under CERCLA in negotiations and litigation with other potentially responsible parties, state and federal agencies and insurance companies concerning site cleanups; defending environmental toxic tort claims; and representing parties in environmental civil and criminal enforcement matters.
Mr. Pos published and presented numerous papers before state Bars and professional organizations on CERCLA, Brownfields and environmental litigation and insurance topics.
Mr. Pos served Parsons Behle & Latimer’s board of directors from 1996 to 2021, most recently as president and CEO of the firm.
Interim removal action on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico
Represented a mining client in a CERCLA interim removal action concerning the former Black Jack and Mac uranium mines on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico. Representation included negotiations of an administrative order on consent and interim removal action scope of work with the United States to investigate the nature and extent of actual or threatened releases of mine-related material at these sites. The initial work has culminated in the preparation of a Removal Site Evaluation and draft Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis that identifies possible remedial action alternatives at the four mine sites.
Negotiations of CERCLA bona fide prospective purchaser agreement at Gilt Edge superfund site in South Dakota
Represented a Canadian mining client ("the client") in successful negotiations of a CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) administrative settlement agreement and order on consent (AOC) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of South Dakota at the former Gilt Edge gold mine operation in South Dakota, which is currently listed as a Superfund site on the National Priorities List. The AOC requires the client to investigate and characterize the subsurface site geology, mineralization, geochemistry and hydrological characteristics beneath existing pits to help understand the location, specific subsurface rock type sources, and pathways of migration of acid rock drainage (ARD) derived metals that may be migrating along underground structural corridors into the Strawberry Creek drainage. As part of the investigation, the client will perform confirmation and exploration drilling to determine the quality and quantity of the gold reserve, conduct mining feasibility studies, and metallurgical, engineering and preliminary permitting activities to evaluate the economic feasibility of mine development. The AOC protects the client from CERCLA liability for existing historical site contamination, estimated by EPA at $280 million, through covenants not to sue and contribution protection provisions in the AOC.
Cleanup of former uranium mine in New Mexico
Represented a mining client in a CERCLA removal action concerning the former San Mateo uranium mine in San Mateo, New Mexico. Representation included negotiations of an administrative order on consent and removal action scope of work with the United States and a cost sharing agreement with other potentially responsible parties; managing and overseeing the removal action work performed by environmental consultants retained on the project; and overseeing post closure activities. The PRPs filed a cost recovery claim against the United States to recover a portion of its U.S. $7.5 million costs. Following the filing of the complaint, the client entered into separate settlement negotiations with the United States, which resulted in a cost recovery for the client and final settlement with the United States, United States Department of Justice and United States Environmental Protection Agency, memorialized in a final approved consent decree.
Washington University (J.D. 1984)
Washington University Journal of Contemporary Law, Recent Developments Editor
Carleton College, magna cum laude (B.A., 1981)
Attended University of Copenhagen School of International Business (Copenhagen, Denmark 1980)
Attended Warsaw School of Economic Planning (Warsaw, Poland 1980)
Honored with a Lifetime Service Award from TerraLex in 2022
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rating for multiple years
Chambers USA Eminent Practitioner in Utah for Energy & Natural Resources Law, 2010-2022
Mountain States Super Lawyers (2007- 2019)
Environmental Law Section of Best Lawyers in America 2005 - 2022
Best Lawyers' Salt Lake City Environmental Lawyer of the Year (2011, 2018); Salt Lake City Litigation - Environmental Lawyer of the Year (2014, 2020)
Utah State Bar Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section, Lawyer of the Year (1996-1997)
Utah Legal Elite, Environmental Law
Board of Trustees
(2011 - 2019)
Co-Vice Chairperson North America
(2015 - 2019)
Mountain States Legal Foundation
Board of Litigation
(1996 - 2014)
Utah State Bar
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Section
Utah State Bar Association
Environmental Law Committee
Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
Board of Governors
Utah Jewish Family Services
Board of Directors and Officer
The McGillis School
Chairman, Board of Trustees
(2011 - 2013)
Board of Trustees
(2008 - 2022)
Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee
"Best Lawyers" Ranks 56 Parsons Attorneys as Top in Intermountain West
Parsons Behle & Latimer Ranked Among Top Law Firms by Chambers USA - 30 Shareholders Ranked Among Nation’s Leading Attorneys
Utah Business Magazine Names 20 Parsons Behle & Latimer Attorneys as Utah’s Legal Elite
Parsons Behle & Latimer Attorney Hal J. Pos Granted the Edward W. Clyde Distinguished Service Award by the Utah State Bar