Mr. Pfaeffle is of counsel at Brown & Winters where he focuses on environmental law.

In 2010, President Obama appointed Mr. Pfaeffle to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) of The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As Principal Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Pfaeffle assisted in the management of OGC and its over 250 legal professionals, responsible for legal advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA's 17 sub-agencies.

Mr. Pfaeffle managed significant legal matters of a sensitive nature including leading USDA's legal team's participation in litigation strategy and settlement negotiations along with the Department of Justice and the Gulf States relating to the 2010 Deepwater-Horizon BP Oil Spill, the largest accidental petroleum oil spill in history. In addition, during his tenure Mr. Pfaeffle led negotiations for USDA on all legal matters as trustee of the multi-agency council established to administer billions in funding recovered from BP and its co-defendants. Other responsibilities included coordinating USDA's response to all significant Congressional inquiries with the White House and other federal agencies.

In 2014, the White House appointed Mr. Pfaeffle as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at USDA to assist in the management of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and its 5 divisions. His work included settlements involving several billions of dollars to resolve suits by African Americans and Native Americans, and he was instrumental in establishing a $1.33 billion administrative claims process to resolve claims by Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Pfaeffle was employed by the Office of the County Counsel of Los Angeles County for approximately thirteen years, where he prepared and tried civil suits, provided legal advice to senior officials, and managed outside counsel. Mr. Pfaeffle was responsible for environmental legal work for LA County, including handling CERCLA and other environmental litigation. In addition, Mr. Pfaeffle served as legal advisor to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, including counseling the Director and her senior management team on environmental concerns. As the principal counsel to the Los Angeles County Garbage Disposal Districts, Mr. Pfaeffle was responsible for legal matters surrounding regulation of refuse by local enforcement agencies with oversight over recycling, disposal facilities and hauling in 85 cities and the unincorporated territory of the County of Los Angeles. He worked closely with the County's Department of Health Services and Department of Regional Planning on landfill siting and permitting matters. In addition, Mr. Pfaeffle was responsible for the Antelope Valley groundwater adjudication litigation filed to resolve groundwater disputes involving approximately 75,000 parties, including federal, state, and local agencies.

Mr. Pfaeffle received his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the distinguished alumnus award.


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