Joe Lovett, a founder of Appalachian Mountain Advocates, has been a catalyst for focusing local and national attention on the devastation caused by mountaintop removal coal mining. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1995 and served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. He is admitted to practice law in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. He has litigated many precedent-setting cases against polluters and the agencies that purport to regulate them. Joe is a native West Virginian.
Derek Teaney is a ninth generation West Virginian. Derek graduated at the head of his class from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2004, where he was Editor in Chief of Environmental Law. After law school, Derek clerked for the Honorable Rex E. Armstrong of the Oregon Court of Appeals. He then joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2006, becoming a permanent staff member at the end of his fellowship. Derek is a member of the West Virginia State Bar. When not litigating complex environmental cases, Derek enjoys skiing, running, acting and home brewing.
Kate Asquith joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates as the Director of Programs and Strategic Outreach in August 2015. Kate graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2011, where she was a managing editor of the Washington Law Review and a member of the National Environmental Law Moot Court team. Following law school, Kate clerked for Justice Daniel Winfree on the Alaska Supreme Court. Before joining Appalmad, Kate spent three years as an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, advocating for smart transportation solutions in the Southeast. Kate is a member of the bar in both Tennessee and North Carolina (inactive).
Mike Becher joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates in August of 2010 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by the Philip M. Stern Family Foundation. Prior to law school, Mike worked for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection as the Stream Partners Program Coordinator for two years, serving as both a community organizer and grant administrator. He then attended law school at the University of Cincinnati where he was an editor for both the U.C. Law Review and the Human Rights Quarterly. Mike spent three years as law clerk to the Honorable Robert C. Chambers of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia before joining Appalmad. He is a member of the West Virginia State Bar.
Isak Howell joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates in August of 2010. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2007 and clerked for one year for the Honorable Samuel G. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. He then worked at a private law practice in Virginia for two years. Isak worked as a reporter for The Roanoke Times for five years prior to attending law school. Isak is a member of both the Virginia and West Virginia State Bars.
Ben Luckett joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates in September of 2010. Ben graduated in 2010 from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he served as a student director of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, on the executive board of the Public Interest Law Project, and as an associate editor of the journal Environmental Law. After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky, Ben pursued a number of opportunities including working for the National Park Service in northern California, skiing in Big Sky, Montana, and community organizing in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Ben is a member of the West Virginia State Bar.
Evan Johns, a native West Virginian, joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates as a staff attorney in August of 2015. Evan graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 2014 with distinctions as both Order of the Coif and Order of Barristers. While in law school, Evan interned with Appalmad for a summer as a Bill Worthington Fellow for Law and the Public Interest. He also worked as a student attorney in West Virginia University’s Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic as well as its Supreme Court Clinic. After law school, Evan clerked for the Honorable Michael John Aloi of West Virginia’s Sixteenth Judicial Circuit. Evan is admitted to both the West Virginia and Virginia State Bars.
Ryan Talbott is a native Pennsylvanian and has worked on conservation issues in his home state for over fifteen years. Prior to joining Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Ryan served as the Executive Director of the Allegheny Defense Project in Pennsylvania, specifically focusing on the proliferation of natural gas pipelines fragmenting Pennsylvania’s forests. He graduated in 2012 from Lewis and Clark Law School, where he volunteered and worked for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and Earthrise Law Center. Ryan is a member of the Oregon State Bar and has applied for admission to practice in Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth Sutton began working with Appalachian Mountain Advocates in January 2011. She earned Bachelors degrees in Secondary English Education and Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She lives on a small farm in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
Susan Waldie joined Appalachian Mountain Advocates in 2016. She graduated from Marshall University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in economics in 2011. In 2016, she graduated from West Virginia University College of Law. There she worked in the Land Use and Sustainable Development Clinic, helping clients with land conservation and local government issues. Waldie clerked for the Honorable Judge Irene Keeley. She is a member of the West Virginia State Bar.