Specialized Fields

  • Environmental remediation,
    cost recovery and litigation
  • Property redevelopment and Brownfields
  • Managing environmental liabilities in transactions
  • Permitting and Enforcement
  • Water Quality
    • Natural Resources



Special Counsel

Senior Counsel

Joseph Middleton

Email - Joseph Middleton
Phone - 303-382-2906

Joseph Middleton is a partner at Temkin & Hardt LLP.  His practice focuses on environmental issues arising under state and federal environmental laws, including matters related to development, permitting, compliance and litigation.  Joe has a particularly strong focus on matters involving complex environmental issues associated with contaminated property and its cleanup.  Joe routinely assists clients with the environmental aspects of development projects, mergers, acquisitions and the transfer of impaired assets.  Joe also has extensive experience with litigation and enforcement matters arising under the federal Superfund law (“CERCLA”), including contribution and cost recovery actions.  In addition to Superfund matters, Joe is experienced with the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Air Act and similar state environmental laws.

Joe received his undergraduate education from Tulane University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He earned his J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 2004, where he received the Florence Scrivner Memorial Scholarship and the Scholastic Excellence Award in Natural Resource Law.  While at DU he served as a technical editor for the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy.

Joe regularly speaks on issues of environmental law, and has presented at events hosted by the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association and the Colorado Hazardous Waste Management Society.

Joe was named a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Representative Matters

  • Advises a U.S. mining company on the resolution of federal and state CERCLA claims related to a historic mine site in South Dakota.

  • Advises several national U.S. retail chains on environmental due diligence requirements arising from new property acquisitions, leasing and development.

  • Advised a national development company on potential environmental liabilities associated with the acquisition and redevelopment of historic industrial property in Denver, Colorado.
  • Counseled the purchaser of a former National Priorities List Mining Site regarding the liabilities and risks associated with the property's acquisition and redevelopment.

  • Defended a major U.S. mining company in a CERCLA case arising out of historic uranium mining operations on Native American lands in Washington State, and obtained a judgment of liability against the United States based on its own status as an owner of the site.

  • Routinely advises clients in pursing and defending against contribution and cost recovery actions under CERCLA and related state laws.

  • Advises multiple clients on the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties pursuant to state and federal cleanup laws.

  • Advised a banking client regarding environmental risks related to foreclosure on a commercial property contaminated by an adjacent Superfund site.

  • Advised a private equity company on environmental concerns associated with the acquisition and cleanup of contaminated real property transferred in the $70 million purchase of a major U.S. drilling company.

  • Advised a PRP group in ongoing negotiations with federal and state authorities implementing a $23 million CERCLA cleanup at a former mining site in Nevda.

  • Advised a foreign private equity company on the potential acquisition of rights to develop a wind energy project on Native American lands in South Dakota.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Recent Environmental Preemption Case Law, Colorado Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, April, 2014.

CERCLA Related Issues at Mining Sites: Developments in Apportionment and Arranger Liability Under CERCLA, Colorado hazardous Waste Management Society, October, 2012.

New Draft Clean Water Act Guidance, Colorado Hazardous Waste Management Society, July, 2011.

Protecting your Clients from Environmental Liabilities, Colorado Women’s Bar Association 34th Annual Convention, June, 2011. 


        • Bull Mountain Pipeline Decision Provides Test Case for Roadless Rule Interpretation, 21 Rocky Mtn. Landman 3 (2008).