Mike Zody is the chair of Parsons Behle & Latimer's Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources practice teams. Mike is a seasoned environmental and compliance litigator who helps mining and industrial clients present their best strategic position in administrative, and state and federal court proceedings. His expertise includes rulemaking challenges, enforcement defense and permit defense cases.
Mike Zody is the chair of Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources practice teams. He is also a member of the Litigation, Trials and Appeals and Employment and Labor practice teams.
With more than 25 years of experience, Mike's environmental practice spans the full range of environmental and natural resources litigation and covers state and local administrative proceedings, federal administrative proceedings, and state and federal court actions. Mike's practice focuses on defending civil and criminal enforcement actions, toxic tort defense, environmental property damage litigation, citizens’ suits, permit defense actions, administrative agency litigation and other aspects of environmental litigation. His recent areas of focus have included complex Clean Air Act litigation and defense of permit appeals, defense of several complex environmental criminal enforcement matters, NEPA cases, multiple rulemaking and permit challenge hearings before administrative agencies and defending IBLA appeals. His practice also encompasses EPA rulemaking challenges in the federal circuit courts of appeal, including the D.C. Circuit where he is admitted and has argued.
Mike's employment practice focuses on litigation and defense of employers in lawsuits before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. His areas of practice include ADA, ADEA, Title VII, OSHA and MSHA. Mike has developed a specialty in whistleblower and retaliation cases. He also handles internal investigations and independent investigations.
Mike has been heavily involved in the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Utah State Bar, serving in every position and ultimately holding the title of chair of the Section for 1999 - 2000.
Obtained First-Ever Variance from a Utah OSHA Standard
Assisted a large manufacturing client in securing the first-ever variance granted by Utah OSHA through an administrative process wherein Parsons convinced Utah OSHA that the client’s alternative safety practices were equally protective as the mandated practice applicable under the regulations.
Successfully Represented Rio Tinto In Clean Air Lawsuit
Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys successfully represented Rio Tinto Kennecott in a significant clean air lawsuit argued before a federal judge of the United States District Court, in Utah. On June 8, 2016, the ruling sided with Parsons’ arguments in support of Kennecott.
A coalition of environmental groups filed a citizen suit against Kennecott under the Clean Air Act seeking to significantly limit mining activity at Utah’s Bingham Canyon Mine.
The team, led by Michael A. Zody, successfully argued the cross motions for summary judgment in court. Senior litigation attorney Michael L. Larsen and environmental attorneys Michael A. Tomko and Jacob A. Santini, laid out key factual and legal arguments before the court. Federal Judge Robert Shelby determined that the State of Utah had granted Kennecott the necessary permits each time it planned to increase mine production and did not violate any laws.
Mining Joint Venture
Litigation counsel in mining joint venture dispute resolved in arbitration.
Indiana University (J.D., cum laude, 1990)
Purdue University, (B.A., 1987)
American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Co-chair Air Litigation Subcommittee, Environment and Energy Litigation Committee
United Way of Salt Lake 2010 Young Leaders Member of the Year
Extensive Pro Bono work, past Salt Lake County Bar
Association Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year
2007 Child Advocate of the Year, awarded by Voices for Utah Children
2008 Outstanding Domestic Violence Service Partner, awarded by Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake
Best Lawyers in America 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" for Labor Law - Management, Salt Lake City
American Bar Association,
Environment, Energy and Resources, and Litigation Sections
Member, Board of Directors, Voices for Utah Children - 2018-present
United Way of Salt Lake
Board of Directors, Past Member
Impact Council, Past Co-Chair
Public Policy Committee, Past Chair
Young Leaders, Past Chair
Parsons Behle & Latimer Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers in America™. Fifty attorneys recognized: nine as “Lawyer of the Year,” five as “Ones to Watch”,
Parsons Behle & Latimer Ranked Among Top Utah Law Firms by Chambers USA 2021,
Prep For Enviro Scrutiny As Trump Policies Are Rolled Back,
Best Lawyers in America™ Recognizes 53 Parsons Behle & Latimer Attorneys for 2021,