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Zia C. Oatley

Phone: 504.620.3346
Fax: 504.585.3051

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Zia Oatley is an associate in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller. She joined the firm in 2017 and practices in the environmental litigation group. Before joining Kean Miller, Zia practiced law at a large, international law firm in Washington, D.C., and at a boutique firm in North Carolina. Zia has represented many of the country’s best-known companies in environmental matters before administrative tribunals and state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. She has also represented companies in complex litigation and class actions.

She is listed in Washington DC Super Lawyers as a Rising Star (2014-2016).

Representative Experience
  • Represented an industrial manufacturing client in environmental civil penalty litigation seeking over $1 billion in combined penalties from several defendants; after success in excluding multiple opinions from plaintiff's experts, client obtained a defense verdict
  • Represented an energy company in criminal, civil, and administrative actions arising out of an industrial accident
  • Represented a government contractor in RCRA civil enforcement action arising out of operations at a Department of Energy facility
  • Represented a paper manufacturer in toxic tort mass action concerning air emissions from mill
  • Represented a mineral refining company in CERCLA cost recovery and natural resource damages (NRD) actions
  • Represented a global retailer in providing prospective compliance advice and defending against civil and criminal enforcement action involving alleged violations of RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and FIFRA

Zia earned her B.A., with distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002. She earned her Masters in Public Policy from Duke University, Sanford Institute of Public Policy and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law in 2006. While at Duke, Zia was executive editor of the Duke Law and Technology Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

After law school, Zia served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gregory W. Carman with the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York, NY from 2006-2008.

  • Admitted, Maryland, 2007; District of Columbia, 2009 (inactive); North Carolina, 2012; Louisiana, 2018; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Federal, and Fourth Circuits; U. S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the Districts of Colorado, District of Columbia and Maryland