Spotlight on. . . David Rockman

David Rockman joined Eckert Seamans’ Pittsburgh office in 2002. He grew up in Springfield, New Jersey, and now lives in Murrysville, an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh, with his wife and their daughter Ariel, who is a junior at Shady Side Academy. He expects they will be spending much of the next year making college visits together.

David helps clients manage environmental compliance and environmental risks by helping them understand and meet their legal obligations with respect to federal, state, and local environmental laws, regulations, and permits. He also defends clients facing enforcement actions, represents clients involved in environmental litigation, and provides representation with respect to environmental issues in the purchase and sale of businesses and property. David has experience with all of the major environmental programs governing air, water, waste, and land issues, across a broad spectrum of industries and activities.

Q&A

What led you to pursue a career in law?

I went to law school because I hoped that I would find being a lawyer interesting and challenging, as it involves both teamwork with colleagues and clients, and competition with adversaries.

What do you enjoy most about your practice?

My environmental practice is enjoyable because it provides a good mix of different issues and experiences. Environmental law involves a balance between legal rules and public policy, which provides both challenges and opportunities in crafting arguments and providing advice. Environmental law is a relatively young field of the law that is still changing and evolving, which adds an additional element to the practice. It also provides an enjoyable mix of adversarial and cooperative projects in both the litigation and corporate context.

Tell us something that’s on your bucket list.

I would really like to get to Egypt, take a cruise on the Nile and see the Pyramids. My family really enjoys to travel, and we’ve been to wonders of the world like the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, and the Acropolis. In the past year we made it to Stonehenge and Angkor Wat. But, the political situation in Egypt and the Middle East has kept us from attempting the trip there.

What is a movie that you can watch over and over again?

I’m always looking to see something new, and almost never watch a movie or TV show a second time. Even if I’ve totally forgotten it, if somehow I know that I saw it, I can’t sit still to watch it again. There aren’t more than a handful of movies that I’ve watched more than once.

What is a book that everyone should read?

I’m actually going to name three: Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond; Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell; and Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I see parallels in these three books, as each challenge us to move past common assumptions and misunderstandings and take a fresh look at history and events (on both large and small scale issues) by applying a more rigorous, skeptical, and insightful approach to understanding circumstances and causes of societal and individual successes and failures. There are valid criticisms of the sociological and economic lenses used by all of the authors, of course, but overall each books pushes a reader to new understandings and interesting perspectives.

What us an app that you can’t live without?

I would be lost without Google Maps. Actually, I think I have a good sense of direction, but I just find it really useful to figure out where I’m going, especially when I’m travelling. It can give traffic reports, plot the quickest route, and can serve as a yellow pages and phone book at the same.

 

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