Practice Experience

Professional Profile



Harvey M. Sheldon, P.C. is an Illinois professional legal services corporation.  Its President, Harvey M. Sheldon, has extensive experience in the field of Environmental Law. His law firm is based in Chicago, Illinois.


Biographical Information:


                    Mr. Sheldon was the Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s Environmental Enforcement Division in the 1970’s.  He supervised twenty lawyers and a staff of investigators in the representation of the State and the Illinois EPA.  His work in environmental enforcement began in January 1972, before several of the major federal laws governing the subject were even enacted.  He supervised a docket of hundreds of proceedings, in which air, water, and land pollution cases were involved.  His Division was responsible for the establishment of precedent on the federal common law of water pollution in interstate waters, in cases such as Illinois v. Milwaukee.  He filed the amicus curiae brief of the State that urged the Supreme Court to require rules on prevention of significant deterioration as part of the Clean Air Act regulatory scheme (Sierra Club et al v. Ruckelshaus). In addition to his supervising and directing the attorneys of the Division, he tried environmental enforcement matters in court and in administrative proceedings; he also argued a number of cases on appeal in both State and Federal court.


                    In the mid-1970’s, Mr. Sheldon was named the Regional Counsel of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 (Midwest Region) office in Chicago.  He was the principal EPA attorney regarding Agency business in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.  He worked with state legislatures on the adoption of state water laws and helped the EPA establish state programs under the Clean Water Act. He assisted enforcement attorneys  and United States' attorneys in important enforcement actions. He recommended improvements in the legislative criteria for federal grants to upgrade public water treatment plants, and otherwise advised the Regional Administrator on numerous issues.

            Mr. Sheldon has taught the subject of Environmental Law in two law schools: John Marshall Law School and Loyola University School of Law.  While in private practice, Mr. Sheldon served for a period of time as Special Counsel to the Illinois Department of Mines & Minerals.  He assisted that Department in the development of the State’s surface coal mining regulation program.  He has been engaged in the private practice of law, concentrating in environmental law, for more than twenty years, primarily on behalf of business clients.  He is the past Chairman of the Environmental Regulation Committee of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and an associate member of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. He was selected in a poll conducted by American Research Corporation as a “Leading Attorney” in the field of Land Use and Environmental Law.

            Mr. Sheldon's public service experience also includes service as an Assistant Attorney General in the Special Prosecutions Unit of the Illinois Attorney General's office.  He participated in investigations and sought civil remedies against official corruption and organized crime.  

            His private practice experience includes two years as an associate with Schiff Hardin & Waite, and partnerships in three firms in Chicago.  Immediately prior to establishing his own firm, he was a capital partner at the international law firm McDermott, Will & Emery, where he worked for ten years as one of the senior members of the Environmental Law Group.  In addition to his environmental law concentration, Mr. Sheldon has experience that includes energy reform, OSHA,  land use, constitutional, municipal law, injunctive relief, and appeals.

Mr. Sheldon is a graduate of the Harvard Law School (1968) and Amherst College (1965).

            Court Admissions:

        Mr. Sheldon is a member of the Bar of the State of Illinois and he is admitted to          practice in the United States District Court for Northern Illinois (Trial Bar).  He is also admitted to practice in the Fifth,Seventh and District of Columbia Circuits of the United States Courts of Appeal and before the United States Supreme Court.

            Detailed Environmental Law Practice Experience:

            An extended description of Mr. Sheldon's practice experience in the field of               environmental law can be found HERE.