James W. Walpole

The NOAA General CounselJames W. Walpole

James Walpole was the General Counsel from May 2002 to May 28, 2007

James R. (Jim) Walpole has served as the NOAA General Counsel since his appointment by President Bush in 2002. In this position, he is the chief legal officer for all NOAA activities. He also serves as a policy advisor to the undersecretary.

As General Counsel, Mr. Walpole provides overall management and leadership to more than 90 attorneys. Legal issues addressed include those relating to coastal zone management, operation of weather and environmental satellites, management of commercial fisheries, protection of marine mammals and endangered species, monitoring ocean and atmospheric data, and mapping and charting U.S. waters. These arise in the context of trial and appellate litigation, regulatory procedures, legislative drafting, enforcement actions, etc.

Previously Mr. Walpole was a partner in the international law firm Chadbourne & Parke, and prior to that was a partner in the Holland & Hart law firm. While at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1971 to 1974, he handled numerous environmental cases at the trial and appellate levels on behalf of federal agencies. He taught Environmental Law from 1975-1979 at Catholic University in Washington D.C.

A native of Oswego, N.Y., Mr. Walpole received his B.A. from John Carroll University (1966) and his J.D. from Case-Western Reserve University (1969). He has published many articles and is the author of a chapter in "The American Law of Mining Treatise" (Matthew Bender, 1985). He is a frequent speaker before such organizations as the Environmental Law Institute, American Law Institute, American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Institute, Environmental Auditing Roundtable and others.

Jim—an avid fisherman and Civil War buff—and his wife, Cathleen, live in Alexandria, Virginia.