Phone: (612) 746-5754
Cell: (612) 719-1221
Fax: (612) 746-5777

Joseph G. Maternowski chairs the Environmental Law Practice Group at Hessian & McKasy, P.A., advising clients on environmental matters that arise in business and real estate transactions, litigation related to contaminated property and the defense of enforcement actions brought by state and federal environmental agencies.

Mr. Maternowski is highly respected by his clients and peers for delivering successful results and for his unique experience and zealous client advocacy. For example, in 2004 he successfully represented a small business owner in a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement proceeding. A state district court judge awarded a precedent-setting attorney's fee award of $112,000 to Mr. Maternowski's client under the Minnesota Equal Access to Justice Act. Minnesota Law & Politics named that case as "Lawsuit of the Year."

Demonstrating his knowledge of environmental and business law, Mr. Maternowski recently assisted a Fortune 500 company in conducting site investigations and cleanups at manufacturing sites and in evaluating ongoing environmental compliance at operations across the country.

While Mr. Maternowski and his team have broad knowledge in environmental law, he uses the many resources of Hessian & McKasy's attorneys by appropriately involving business lawyers, real estate lawyers and experienced litigators who have unique and required expertise. An excellent colleague concerned with being effective as well as efficient, Mr. Maternowski employs a team approach involving paralegals, associates and others as needed to provide the best services for clients.

Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a family of seven, Mr. Maternowski learned the importance of hard work, loyalty, respect and serving others. Those values have been the hallmark of Mr. Maternowski's legal career and his longstanding community service. In his law practice, he does everything possible to make sure his clients' best interests are served in the often technical and complicated world of environmental and business law. He draws on his vast experience, including time at the Minnesota Attorney General's Office where he represented the MPCA, to present his clients with the best information and most effective advice and advocacy. He serves as a trusted adviser throughout the case, building a strong relationship with his clients.

"Nothing is more important than to have my client's confidence, knowing that my colleagues and I will always be their advocates," Mr. Maternowski said.

Mr. Maternowski is equally active in the community, serving as a mentor to law students past, Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section, and as Chair of the Board of Directors of Eco Education, a non-profit group that conducts educational programs in Twin Cities schools.

"I feel privileged to be able to practice law in this community and I feel it is my duty to give back," Mr. Maternowski said.

A testament to Mr. Maternowski's integrity is that he is frequently sought out by other counsel to serve as co-counsel or to provide assistance on matters as a retained expert.

Mr. Maternowski is admitted to practice in Minnesota and the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. As a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice, Mr. Maternowski is frequently involved with alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration.

Areas of Practice:

  • Environmental Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Business Law
  • Litigation - Cost Recovery and Enforcement Defense

Other Major Projects Where Mr. Maternowski Has Assisted Clients Include:

  • Served as Common Counsel for a group of clients in a multi-million dollar Superfund cost recovery litigation involving contaminated scrap yard property in Minnesota.
  • Challenged federal, state and local environmental enforcement actions and obtained substantial reductions of civil and administrative penalty assessments.
  • Assisted clients involved with the purchase of commercial and industrial property in complying with the "all appropriate inquiry" standard and, where appropriate, advised as to the availability of liability assurances from state voluntary cleanup programs.
  • To follow developments in environmental law and compliance, please visit Mr. Maternowski's website and blog at

Honors and Awards:

  • Honored as Best Lawyers' "2013 - Minneapolis - Environmental Law 'Lawyer of the Year'"
  • Listed in "The Best Lawyers in America," 2010 - Present
  • Recognized as a Super Lawyer, 2011 and 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell (Rated AV - highest rating available) 2002 to Present
  • website (Rated "Superb" by surveyed clients) 2009 - Present
  • Lawsuit of the Year, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2005
Note: **Being named to the list or receiving the award is not intended and should not be viewed as comparative to other lawyers or to create an expectation about results that might be achieved in a future matter.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Environmental, Natural Resource and Energy Law Section Council, Chair, 2009 - 2010, Vice Chair 2008 - 2009, Member 1996 - Present
  • Ramsey County Bar Association, 2006 - Present
  • Member
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, 1996 - Present
  • Member
  • Eco Education, Board Chair, 2009 - Present; Member Board of Directors, 2006 - Present

Bar Admissions:

  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit


  • Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1984, J.D.
  • Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut 1978, B.A.
  • Major: History

Published Works:

  • Waterlogged, Minnesota Law & Politics by Maura Keller, December/January, 2005
  • Choosing an Environmental Consultant
  • New Laws Encourage Redevelopment of Polluted Land
  • David Beats Goliath: Court Orders State to Pay Defendants' Attorneys Fees, December, 2000
  • California's Proposition 65: Without a Product Warning, You May Pay the Price

Representative Cases:

  • Alfred Schumann v. Sheryl Corrigan, Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, (Olmsted Cty., Minn. Dist. Ct.. 2004)
  • State of Minnesota v. Rollies Sales & Service, Roland Walsh and Dale Walsh, (Douglas Cty., Minn. Dist. Ct., 1999)

Presentations and Appearances:

  • "Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation," Lorman Educational Services, - September 1, 2010
  • "BP Oil Spill: How the Law Can Help," WCCO Radio's "Minnesota Law, Presented by Moss & Barnett" - June 19, 2010
  • "Minnesota Equal Access to Justice Act - Attorney Fees Recovery Available to Small Businesses," WCCO Radio's "Minnesota Law, Presented by Moss & Barnett" - June 20, 2009
  • "CERCLA/RCRA Update," Minnesota CLE and the MSBA's Environmental Natural Resources and Energy Law Section 5th Annual Minnesota Environmental Institute - April 23, 2009
  • "Cleaning Up Contaminated Property," WCCO Radio's "Minnesota Law, Presented by Moss & Barnett" - June 14, 2008
  • "Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Basics," Minnesota CLE and the MSBA's Environmental Resources and Energy Law Section at the 4th Annual Minnesota Environmental Institute - April 23, 2008