James D. Gette

James D. Gette is the Principal Deputy Chief of the Natural Resources Section (NRS) in the United States Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. He manages an office of lawyers and support professionals, who are responsible for a diverse and extensive docket of primarily defensive litigation involving a broad range of land and resource management statutes, Fifth Amendment takings claims involving real property, and challenges brought by Native American Indians and Indian tribes relating the United States’ Indian trust responsibility. NRS handles cases in virtually every U.S. district court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and in state courts, and represents virtually every Federal executive branch agency. While at ENRD, Mr. Gette has also served as Acting Chief of the Natural Resources Section, Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, and Trial Attorney. Before joining ENRD, he was part of the Civil Division’s tobacco litigation trial team. This historic civil RICO case sought relief from the tobacco industry stemming from a decades-long scheme to deny the adverse health effects of smoking, to design intentionally addictive products, and to attract youth smokers. Mr. Gette is a graduate of the Law School of the University of Chicago. He began his legal career in private practice with the firm that is today DLA Piper. Before joining the Department of Justice, he spent several years as an attorney and federal negotiator at the United States Department of Education, and was also the Director of the Office of the President at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. From 2008-2011 he served on the Board of Governors of the United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association and was Chair of its Law and Practice Education Committee from 2008-2009. In 2007 Mr. Gette was the recipient of the Attorney General’s John Marshal Award for Participation in Litigation, and in 2009 he received a Commander’s Award for Civilian Service from the Department of the Army.

Advisory Council Committee: 
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Takings / Tribal Claims