Paul W. Smail, Vice President for Litigation and General Counsel, Richard T. Pelham Chair
Paul's responsibilities include developing and prosecuting cases and appeals pertaining to land use, wetlands, and discharge permits. He has nearly two decades of experience working on a variety of Maryland environmental law and land use matters, both with CBF and in private practice. Before joining CBF, Paul represented clients in regulatory compliance and business litigation, transactions involving land and asset purchases, and resolving environmental enforcement actions. 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, Sr. Paralegal and Litigation Operations Manager
Amanda provides paralegal support, manages all financial and budgeting functions, and oversees the daily operation of the Litigation Department. She works closely with all Litigation staff attorneys and serves as a liaison with other CBF departments. 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 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, Director of Litigation
As Director, Ariel is responsible for managing our active cases and departmental resources, continuing our collaborative work with CBF's partners and litigation clients, and otherwise ensuring that Litigation advances our mission to save the Bay. Ariel works to reduce the air and water pollution that harms environmental and human health throughout the Bay watershed. Ariel has represented CBF in federal and state rulemakings and litigation on issues including nitrogen oxide and ozone pollution, tailpipe emission standards for cars and trucks, mercury and air toxics from power plants, water quality certification for hydropower dams and natural gas pipelines, and water pollution permitting. She holds an undergraduate degree in Culture & Communication Studies from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School (VLS). Ariel is licensed in New York, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Sheronda works to develop litigation focused on administrative and judicial cases and appeals related to discharge permits, environmental justice, and land use. Prior to practicing law, she worked for multiple government agencies on legal, legislative and conservation policy issues. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a B.A. in Political Science and received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law with a concentration in Environmental Law. Sheronda is licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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.