Jon A. Mueller, Vice President for Litigation
and Richard T. Pelham Chair for Litigation
Jon served as the first director when the department originated in 2004 and has served as vice president since 2007. Jon handles both administrative and judicial matters, manages the department's five attorneys, and assists in the management of the organization. He also has written environmental articles for legal publications and speaks at environmental conferences. He teaches a seminar on the Clean Water Act as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland King Carey School of Law.
Jon obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond and a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary. He is licensed in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Before joining CBF, Jon was a senior attorney at the Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Section for 17 years and in private practice for five years.
Paul W. Smail, Director of Litigation
Paul's responsibilities include developing and prosecuting cases and appeals pertaining to land use, wetlands, and discharge permits. He has more than a decade of experience working on a variety of Maryland environmental law and land use matters, both with CBF and in private practice. Prior to earning his law degree, Paul worked for state and federal environmental agencies and was a faculty research assistant for Dr. Walter Boynton at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, Maryland, in the study of estuarine ecosystem ecology. Paul is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.
Amanda Van Houten, Executive Assistant/Paralegal
Amanda also serves as paralegal for the Litigation Department. She works closely with all Litigation staff attorneys and serves as a liaison with other CBF departments. Amanda provides paralegal support, serves as financial manager, and oversees the daily operations of the department. Amanda has both a bachelor’s degree in Jurisprudence and a master’s degree in Legal and Ethical Studies from the University of Baltimore. In addition, she obtained her paralegal certificate from Anne Arundel Community College in 2012 with a concentration in Litigation. Prior to joining the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in 2013, Amanda worked as a senior paralegal in private practice for law firms in Ellicott City and Baltimore City, Maryland.
Ariel Solaski, Litigation Staff Attorney
Ariel works to reduce the air pollution that harms environmental and human health throughout the Bay watershed. Ariel represents CBF in federal rulemaking and litigation, with a focus on Clean Air Act issues. She holds an undergraduate degree in Culture & Communication Studies from New York University, and graduated summa cum laude from Vermont Law School (VLS) in 2014. During law school, Ariel worked at the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Integrity Project, the VLS Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic, the VLS Water & Justice Program, and as a judicial extern at the Vermont Superior Court.
Brittany Wright, Staff Litigation Attorney
Brittany Wright is a licensed Maryland attorney, specializing in environmental law. She earned her Juris Doctor with a certificate in Water Resource Law and Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in 2016. She received a B.A. in Urban Ecology from Hofstra University. Brittany started at CBF as the litigation fellow in 2017, before transitioning to her current role. At CBF, Brittany has worked on a variety of cases and projects across state and federal issues, including climate change, federal rollbacks of greenhouse gas emission regulations, offshore drilling, and hydropower dam water quality certifications. Brittany’s recent cases include challenging the repeal of the Clean Power Plan and litigating the regulatory changes to the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
Taylor Lilley, Environmental Justice Staff Attorney
Taylor works to develop litigation to address disproportionate environmental impacts on vulnerable and marginalized communities. As part of this work, Taylor works with departments across CBF to develop relationships with community leaders and grassroots organizers throughout the watershed. Taylor graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Forest Resources and Conservation. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 2018 where she received a certificate of concentration in environmental law. While in law school, she worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Maryland Environmental Law Clinic, participated in joint partnership between the University of Maryland and the Arava Institute, and worked with the University of Malawi Chancellor College of Law Environmental Justice and Sustainability clinic. Taylor is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Miranda Jensen, Litigation Fellow
As a one-year litigation fellow, Miranda assists the Litigation Department with projects across all subject matters. Her primary project has involved working with local property owners on the appeal of a forest conservation plan for a proposed business park in Abingdon, Maryland. Miranda is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar.