Hall Estill

Joel Johnston is an environmental, energy, and regulatory attorney who focuses on energy development (renewable and traditional), environmental compliance and enforcement defense, transactions, permitting, and land use/planning. Joel has worked on projects both nationally and internationally, and is admitted to practice law in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Having spent a decade as an environmental consultant prior to practicing law, Joel brings significant technical experience to bear in assisting clients across a broad array of industries. 

Joel focuses his practice in three main areas:

Environmental - transactional, regulatory compliance and enforcement defense. Within this area he assists clients with matters related to compliance with air, water, and waste laws and regulations. He works with clients in the renewable energy development, oil and gas exploration and production, industrial manufacturing, commercial/industrial land development, transportation, and waste management industries, among others.

Regulatory - renewable energy, industrial compliance, transportation and OSHA. In this area of his practice, Mr. Johnston routinely assists  with regulatory compliance, permitting, and transactional matters. Because of his frequent entanglements with his environmental practice, he also assists clients with transportation law matters, including DOT enforcement defense, and penalty mitigation relating to hazardous materials transportation planning, permitting, and compliance, as well as with compliance related to safety-sensitive positions, and records management compliance.

Corporate Services - transactional, general contracting, formation, governance, litigation, bankruptcy. With a broad background as a business leader, and having served on several non-profit boards of directors, Joel is well versed in contract and commercial matters, especially in the energy sector.

Joel earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa College of Law with a certificate in Sustainable Energy & Resources Law. He served as a Notes & Comments Editor for the Energy Law Journal, and as staff of the ABA Year in Review. He was a Chesapeake Energy Corporation Scholar at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Joel is bar licensed in Oklahoma, Colorado and Wyoming, and a licensed geologist in Wyoming. 


  • University of Tulsa College of Law (J.D., 2015) Energy and Resources Law Certificate
  • Colorado State University (B.S. in Geology, 2001)


  • Oklahoma
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado
  • 2015-Present Hall Estill 
  • Spring 2015, The Law Office of Lee W. Paden, Legal Extern in the case styled: In the Matter of the Application of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company for Commission Authorization of a Plan to Comply with the Federal Clean Air Act Cost Recovery; and for Approval of the Mustang Modernization and Cost Recovery.
  • Spring  2015, NBI Services, Inc./Pacer Energy Marketing, Legal Extern
  • Recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star in Environmental Law
  • The Landings at Standley Lake (Arvada, CO), Former Member, Board of Directors, 2018-2021
  • Former Member, Tulsa Geological Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Former Member, Living Arts Tulsa, Board of Directors
  • Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Member, Bylaws/Nominating Committee, Colorado Environmental Management Society
  • Member, Denver Petroleum Club
  • Tulsa Bar Association, Member
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Member
  • Wyoming Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member
  • Oklahoma Renewable Energy Projects: Permitting Considerations, 19th Annual Renewable Energy Law Institute, Austin, Texas, January 2024. Presenter and Lead Co-Author.
  • Energy Sector Mergers & Acquisitions, University of Tulsa College of Law, Master's in Energy Business Symposium, Denver, Colorado, January 2017. Panelist.
  • A Brief Survey of Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Trends, Third Quarter 2016 Oklahoma Agency-Industry Working Group Meeting, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Co-Presenter.
  • Hydraulic Fracturing: A National Consultant's Perspective on Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Presented to:
    • Mississippi Bar Association, Natural Resources, Energy, Environmental Law Section Annual Meeting, March 2014
    • Oklahoma Agency-Industry Working Group, June 2014
    • American Society of Civil Engineers - Louisiana Annual Conference, September 2014


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