Water and Natural Resources Staff Listing



AG Employment Opportunities



Deputy Attorney General


James Kaste
James Kaste is Deputy Attorney General for the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. James received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Wyoming in 1995 and his J.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1998. He began his career as the law clerk for the Hon. Edward L. Grant and Hon. Nicholas G. Kalokathis in the First Judicial District Court of Wyoming. Before joining the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office in 2008, James was a partner in a private insurance defense firm in Cheyenne where he oversaw a broad range of litigation in wide variety of venues. His private practice focused on general civil litigation primarily professional liability defense with significant emphasis on medical malpractice litigation, insurance defense, commercial litigation, products liability defense, and insurance bad faith.

Since joining the office, James has represented the State of Wyoming in a wide variety of cases related to the natural resources and waters of Wyoming, including winter use in the National Parks, grazing on the public lands, coal leasing in the Powder River Basin, the expansion of natural gas fields in Sublette County, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, and the Endangered Species Act. In addition to his supervisory responsibilities, James represents the Wyoming State Board of Control, and continues to represent the other client agencies within the Division as needed. James has also served as lead counsel in the interstate water dispute known as Montana v. Wyoming since 2012. The first phase of this interstate water compact litigation invoking the original jurisdiction of the United States Supreme Court was tried to a Special Master over the course of twenty-five trial days. Recently, James has also led the State of Wyoming and the Department of Environmental Quality’s legal team in all matters related to the bankruptcies of the three largest coal companies in Wyoming.

Supervising Attorneys General 

Christopher Brown

Chris Brown is a Senior Assistant Attorney General within the Water and Natural Resources Division. Chris is a Wyoming native from Cody and a United States Navy veteran. He received his J.D. with honor from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2002, and is a member of the Order of the Coif. Before joining the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office in 2011, Chris was a partner in a private law firm in Powell, Wyoming, where he gained a broad range of legal experience including tort litigation, real estate and business transactions, employment law, administrative law, and water law.

Chris supervises the Water Section of the Water and Natural Resources Division, whose attorneys represent the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the Wyoming Livestock Board, and several divisions of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality including the Land Quality, Industrial Siting, and Solid and Hazardous Waste Divisions. They also represent professional licensing boards including the Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. Chris’s primary representation responsibilities are to the State Engineer’s Office. He provides day-to-day advice and representation to that Office on all water related issues arising throughout the state, and national water issues affecting Wyoming. He is also the primary attorney providing legal representation to the state on all interstate river compacts and decrees such as those associated with the Colorado River. Chris is a member of the Western States Water Council, the Upper Colorado River Commission legal committee, and a 2017 recipient of the Bureau of Reclamation’s John W. Keys, III Award related to his work on the Colorado River. He was also part of the litigation team defending the United States Supreme Court original action, Montana v. Wyoming.


D. David DeWald
David DeWald is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division. David supervises the Natural Resources Section, which litigates cases brought at the direction of the Governor on an array of natural resource, energy, and environmental issues. David also supervises the attorneys who represent the Air Quality and Water Quality Divisions of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. 

 

David further represents the State of Wyoming in natural resource litigation involving wildlife issues, such as cases brought under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. His litigation experience includes appearances before every level of state and federal court, including merits experience before the Supreme Court of the United States. He has served as lead counsel in numerous trials, administrative proceedings, and arbitrations.

David primarily represents the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Commission, the agency charged with conserving Wyoming's wildlife resources. David advises his client on issues ranging from wildlife conservation to the promulgation of agency regulation and policy. David enjoys collaborating with Game and Fish because he works closely with professionals who ensure the State's wildlife are preserved for the next generation.

Prior to joining the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, David practiced commercial litigation for a national law firm, where he represented corporate clients in class action, antitrust and trade regulation, products liability, and professional negligence litigation. He received his Juris Doctor with High Distinction, Order of the Coif, from the Nebraska College of Law, where he served as Articles Editor for the Nebraska Law Review. David began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable John M. Gerrard of the Nebraska Supreme Court. An avid fisherman, David enjoys exploring waters throughout the state. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.
  




Senior Assistant Attorneys General 

J.D. Sater
J.D. Sater is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. A native of Boise, Idaho, J.D. earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Thomas Edison State University. While attending Liberty University School of Law, J.D. was a research assistant for Prof. Joel Hesch and an editorial board member of the Liberty University Law Review. He also participated in his law school’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic, estate planning clinic, and the Business Transactions Legal Society. In 2013, J.D. graduated summa cum laude. Eager to move back to the West, J.D. had the privilege of clerking first for the Hon. Keith G. Kautz of the Eighth Judicial District Court of Wyoming and later for the Hon. Daniel T. Eismann of the Idaho Supreme Court. 

Following his clerkships, J.D. worked for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, where he assisted with implementation of food safety regulations. Afterwards, he worked for a law firm assisting mostly farm and ranch clients in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho with real estate transactions, business entity formation, contracts, and estate planning. Currently, J.D. represents the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the Wyoming Livestock Board, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust Board, and other state boards and commissions connected with agriculture. 

Between undergraduate and law school, J.D. spent two years in the beautiful mountainous and rural eastern part of Taiwan, where he taught English as a second language in public elementary schools. In his spare time, J.D. especially enjoys traveling and exploring the great outdoors through hiking, skiing, hunting, and fly fishing.

Kelly Shaw 

Kelly Shaw is an Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. Kelly earned her J.D. and a certificate in environmental and natural resources law from the University of Colorado Law School. She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated magna cum laude with concentrations in international affairs, political science, and history. Before joining the Wyoming Attorney General's Office in 2015, Kelly completed internships with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Western Resource Advocates, Friends of Animals, and the Getches-Green Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic. 

Kelly primarily represents the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, where she represents the Uranium Recovery Program and the Water Quality Division. She also advises the Wyoming Board of Professional Geologists. During her time at the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Kelly has argued cases to the Environmental Quality Council and presented oral argument to the Wyoming Supreme Court. She has also participated in the Department of Environmental Quality’s efforts to protect Wyoming’s air, land, and water resources through Wyoming’s Voluntary Remediation Program, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Water Act.

Matt VanWormer
Matt VanWormer is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. Matt represents the Land Quality, Abandoned Mine Lands, and Industrial Siting Divisions within the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

Matt received his J.D. in 2008 from the University of Virginia School of Law. Upon graduation, Matt was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to create partnerships between legal services providers and healthcare centers on the Navajo Nation. Through these partnerships, Matt represented low-income patients and their families in civil cases before administrative agencies and tribal, state, and federal courts. In 2016, Matt relocated to Wyoming and developed Wyoming’s first medical-legal partnership in collaboration with Laramie County healthcare entities.

Assistant Attorneys General 

Elliott Adler

Elliott Adler is an Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. A native Kentuckian, Elliott earned his B.A. from the University of Louisville and, prior to attending law school, worked for the city as a Compliance Officer within Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District. Elliott received his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2019 where he graduated Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif and served as a Senior Staff member of the American University Law Review. While attending law school in the nation’s capital, Elliott worked as a legal intern with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of General Counsel.

Elliott works as a natural resource litigator for the State of Wyoming. The State’s natural resource litigators represent Wyoming in federal litigation that the Governor determines necessary to protect the State’s natural resource interests. The subject matter of these cases is diverse and includes litigation arising under statutes such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. As one of the State’s litigators, Elliott serves as counsel for the State of Wyoming in a broad array of these cases.

Darren Cook
Darren Cook is an Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division. Darren primarily represents the State Engineer’s Office and provides advice on intrastate water related issues. Darren also represents the Wyoming Water Well Contractors Board.

Originally from Green River, Wyoming, Darren graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Returning to Wyoming, Darren worked for the Bureau of Land Management as a Planning and Environmental Coordinator for the Rock Springs Field Office. Darren received his J.D. in 2016 from the University of Wyoming College of Law during which time he participated in the Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and an externship with Judge Steven Cranfill, District Judge for the Fifth Judicial District. Darren simultaneously received his Master in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming in 2016.

Prior to joining the office, Darren clerked for The Honorable Alan B. Johnson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Wyoming. Following his clerkship Darren practiced law with the Wyoming firm Brown and Hiser LLC, working on a wide variety of issues ranging from family law to land use law. Darren is also a Judge Advocate with the Wyoming Army National Guard Where he has served in the capacity of Trial Defense Counsel, Legal Assistance Attorney, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, and in his current role as Brigade Judge Advocate to the 115th Field Artillery Brigade.
  
Travis Jordan
Travis Jordan is an Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resources Division and represents the State of Wyoming in its natural resource litigation.  Representative matters include federal court actions to protect Wyoming's interest in federal land, water, air, mineral, wildlife, and natural resource management.

Raised in Northeastern Wyoming, Travis is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with degrees in Political Science and Environment & Natural Resources. After college, Travis served nine years as an agriculture, environment, judiciary, and federal land advisor to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi in Washington, D.C.  While working on Capitol Hill, Travis attended the George Washington University Law School where he was the Senior Articles Editor for the GW Journal of Energy & Environmental Law.  Travis also completed a legal internship with the Natural Resources Section of the Alaska Department of Law in Anchorage, Alaska.

Following law school, Travis clerked for the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming from 2016-2017. Prior to joining the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, Travis practiced law at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in Denver, Colorado representing clients in environmental enforcement, regulatory compliance, and products liability litigation. Travis is admitted to practice law in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and Colorado.

Callie Papoulas
Callie Papoulas is an Assistant Attorney General in the Water and Natural Resource Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Callie represents the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Division. In her role she advises the Division regarding legal issues, deals with enforcement actions, and assists with other matters.

Callie grew up in northwest Colorado. After graduating from high school, she moved to Laramie, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming. Callie received her B.S. in Political Science and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming in 2015. While earning her B.S. Callie did an externship for the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust. Callie received her J.D. in 2019 from the University of Wyoming College of Law. During her time in law school she completed an internship at the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer Protection Unit and an externship with Chief Judge Scott Skavdahl in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. 


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Paralegal

Hunter Davila
(307) 777-6946
hunter.davila@wyo.gov

Cheryl Lobb
(307) 777-7895
cheryl.lobb@wyo.gov