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Environmental, Natural Resources & Related Insurance Coverage Dispute Resolution

Joan P. Snyder

Mediator and Arbitrator of Environmental & Natural Resources Disputes

After more than twenty-five years as an attorney, I now serve as a mediator and arbitrator. I bring to those roles the skills and knowledge I learned as a lawyer, as well as what I unlearned when training to become an arbitrator and mediator. As a lawyer, my primary areas of practice were environmental, natural resources, occupational safety and insurance law. I represented parties in litigation, in enforcement proceedings, in arbitrations and mediations, in environmental compliance work, and in real estate and corporate transactions. I previously studied biology, chemistry and environmental engineering and worked as an industrial chemist, which helps me grasp both the complexities and the practicalities of environmental and natural resources dispute resolution. In training to become an arbitrator and mediator, I have taken off my advocate hat and learned tools to help drive toward the process goals—efficiency and fairness in arbitration, and neutral, facilitated resolution in mediation.

Joan P. Snyder
Joan P. Snyder


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1984, cum laude
  • Drexel University, Graduate study in Environmental Engineering, 1979-80
  • University of Delaware, B.S., Chemistry, 1978, with high honors

Prior Work Experience

  • Attorney, Stoel Rives LLP, 1986-2022 (partner 1992-2020).  Environmental, Natural Resources and Land Use Practice Group.  
  • Law clerk to Honorable Benjamin F. Gibson, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan (1984-85); 
  • Chemist, Betz Laboratories, Inc., Trevose, Pennsylvania (1978-81).

Professional Honors

  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2010, 2017 and 2019
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as one of the 39 “most accomplished female attorneys in corporate-facing practice areas” in the nation for its “Women in the Law” Business Edition, 2019
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Environmental Law), 2006–2022
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (Environment), 2006–2022
  • Selected by Lawyers Monthly for Global 2014 Women in Law Awards
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Environmental, Insurance Coverage, Environmental Litigation, Energy & Natural Resources), 2008–2020
  • Annual Award, Oregon State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Section, 2018
  • Past Chair, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Oregon State Bar

Publications (selected)

  • ADR in Environmental and Natural Resource Disputes,” Chapter 31, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Oregon BarBookTM , Oregon State Bar, 2019 ed.
  • Portland Harbor: Strategic Insights from One of the Nation’s Largest On-Going Natural Resource Damage Assessments,” Seventh Annual Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Washington D.C., March 1, 2018
  • Portland Harbor in the Post-ROD World: Integrating In-Water & Upland Remedies and Permitted Discharges–Legal Structure and Tools,” Oregon Source Control Conference, May 19, 2017
  • Habitat and Resource Equivalency Analysis in Resource Compensation and Restoration Decision Making” (co-author), American Bar Association, Natural Resources & Environment Volume 28, Number 1, Summer 2013

Professional Memberships

  • American Bar Association:  Dispute Resolution Section, Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section
  • Oregon State Bar:  Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Environmental & Natural Resources Section
  • Oregon Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Women in CERCLA
  • Women in the Environment—Oregon
  • Women in Insurance and Financial Services


  • American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators
  • Oregon Mediation Association

Alternative Dispute Resolution Training (selected)

  • Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association (AAA), 2019
  • Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding and Writing Awards, AAA, 2019
  • Master Class on Complex Environmental Liability Resolution, American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, 2019
  • Understanding the Roots of Bias, 2019
  • Comprehensive Training in Advanced Arbitration Skills, 14th Annual Arbitration Training Institute, ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2021
  • Multi-Party, Multi-Faceted Dispute Resolution: the Online Experience, AAA, 2021
  • 40 Hour Basic Mediation Training with Dr. Clare Fowler (University of Oregon), University, 2021.
  • Impartiality: Do You Know Where Your Biases Are?, AAA, 2021
  • Arbitration and Mediation Issues in Disputes over Real Estate Sales Agreements, Oregon State Bar, 2022
  • Depolarization Workshop, Ryan Nakade, 2022
  • Equity Conflicts, Tsipora Dimant and Ryan Nakade, 2022
  • Multnomah County, Oregon, Circuit Court Small Claims Mediation Program Training, 2022
  • Awarding Attorney’s Fees, Costs and Interest in Arbitrations, AAA, 2022


Joan and her husband enjoy the outdoors.  She volunteers frequently, including as a mediator with Multnomah County, Oregon, Small Claims Court and as a volunteer with Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s Refugee and Immigrant Services Program.



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