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Environmental Law

The Environmental Law Practice Group is headed by Robert C. Goodman, an experienced trial attorney in both the private and public sectors. He and the attorneys in this group have a detailed understanding of the complex and rapidly changing world of environmental law, litigation and enforcement.

The Group's clients include national and regional manufacturers, developers, property owners, and individuals. It represents clients in disputes and litigation with federal, state, and local environmental regulators, and in private party cost recovery cases arising under state and federal environmental laws, and has prosecuted and defended cases under all of the major federal and state environmental statutes, including the federal Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Ocean Dumping Act, and California's "Proposition 65," Polanco Act and Environmental Quality Act. The Group has particular expertise in litigation involving contaminated soil and groundwater, including cases arising under CERCLA (the "Superfund" law), the Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA"), and their state law counterparts. Members of the group have defended clients in actions between private parties for contribution and indemnity and in actions brought by federal and state agencies.

In addition to litigation, the Environmental Law Practice Group has broad experience in counseling clients on environmental issues and has worked with clients and their environmental consultants to develop and implement due diligence in the acquisition of businesses and real property. They are experienced in representing clients in negotiating with regulatory agencies to develop reasonable and cost-effective approaches to addressing subsurface contamination.

The Environmental Law Practice Group’s attorneys also specialize in analyzing and litigating a broad range of complex commercial* and retail industry trade regulation* cases.

Representative Cases and Issues

  • Defended major retailer in statewide enforcement action alleging violations of California Hazardous Waste Control Law
  • Successfully defended major oil company in lawsuit alleging property damage due to release from pipeline, with complaint dismissed with prejudice by trial court, and affirmed by California Court of Appeal
  • Served as lead counsel for two oil companies in a multi-year, multi-million dollar, investigation and environmental clean-up in San Francisco's Mission Bay area. Coordinated negotiations with stakeholders, including other responsible parties, property owners, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the City and County of San Francisco
  • Defended plating company against EPA enforcement action alleging violations of RCRA's hazardous waste regulations
  • Defended wide range of clients against citizen suit enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act and RCRA
  • Defended Marin construction company against EPA enforcement action alleging violations of the Ocean Dumping Act and the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act ("MPRSA")
  • Following motions for summary judgment, secured dismissal of two major oil companies from Proposition 65 lawsuit brought against more than two dozen defendants relating to petroleum coke dust emissions from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach
  • Represented plaintiffs and defendants in more than fifty cost recovery cases under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Compensation Act in federal courts throughout the Unites States
  • Defended public utility and reached favorable settlement in enforcement action brought by air pollution control district and U.S. EPA alleging violations of the federal "PSD" regulations
  • Defended chemical manufacturer in litigation alleging injury resulting from exposure to chemicals, resulting in favorable settlement for client

References available upon request.

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Environmental Law Publications


Attorneys
Robert C. Goodman (chair)
Renée D. Wasserman
Ann M. Blessing
Walter S. Chen
James Robert Maxwell
Alexis J. Morris
D. Kevin Shipp

*Retail Industry Trade Regulation / 
Complex Commercial