Start-up experience

Before law school, Pete served on the management team of a fledgling San Francisco company that collected used kitchen oil for biodiesel conversion. He deeply was involved with all aspects of the business, from personally running service routes and repairing equipment, to sales, to managing finances. This greasy experience gave Pete valuable insight into the myriad challenges of running a business, and informs his practical, client-focused approach to practicing law.

Scout's honor

A second-generation Eagle Scout, Pete spent his youth heavily involved with scouting. He remains a strong advocate for the scouting program.

An environmental lawyer at heart

Pete’s interest in environmental law stems from a lifelong love of the outdoors. He has camped, backpacked, fished, and built trails throughout the country, and is generally happiest with a pack on his back, a fly rod in his hand, or a tent over his head.

Read about the practice

Peter Keays represents corporate, municipal, and nonprofit clients in a wide range of regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters arising under federal and state environmental laws. Pete counsels clients on various issues regarding permitting, regulatory compliance, and the environmental aspects of real estate transactions. Although Pete strongly believes in the use of negotiation and collaboration to reach favorable results for his clients, he is also an experienced and effective litigator.

Pete has successfully tried cases before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board and currently represents clients in cases pending in various state and federal courts. He also represents clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including the binding allocation of the remedial design costs for one of the most prominent and contaminated Superfund sites in the country. Well-versed in all aspects of environmental law, Pete maintains a particular focus on the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund), and related state laws.

Prior to joining the firm, Pete served as a law clerk to the Honorable Peter W. Hall of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Montana.

Pete earned his law degree, summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Vermont Law Review, taught a Legal Writing I course, and worked as a teaching assistant for Contracts, Constitutional Law I and II, and Appellate Advocacy. During law school he worked as a judicial intern to the Honorable Marilyn Skoglund of the Vermont Supreme Court and as a summer associate at Beveridge & Diamond, a national environmental law firm based in Washington, DC.

Honors & Awards

Vermont Law Review, Editor-in-Chief

2013 Dean’s Leadership Award, Vermont Law School

ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award

Award Methodologies

Memberships & Community

Delaware Valley Environmental American Inn of Court

ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

Vermont Law School Alumni Association

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