Our environmental litigators handle a wide range of environmental, natural resource and land use issues. We are experienced trial lawyers who represent both plaintiffs and defendants in complex federal court, state court and administrative agency settings. We defend federal, state and local agency environmental enforcement actions, prosecute and defend citizen lawsuits under federal environmental laws, advocate for insurance coverage and recovery, participate in cost recovery litigation, file and defend actions under CEQA and NEPA, and address a full range of hazardous waste, wetlands and endangered species problems. We litigate many types of water issues, including actions under California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, groundwater contamination cases, as well as water rights, water supply and water quality matters.

Government Representation

Our environmental practice is closely related to our robust government representation practice, in which we represent governmental agencies, constitutional officers, municipalities and state agencies, often in high-stakes litigation. Our environmental lawyers have represented many cities and counties in California and in other western states, as well as similarly situated clients such as universities and a national laboratory operator. Because of our deep experience in representing government clients, we understand and are adept at managing the special regulatory, institutional and political issues implicated by such litigation.


Our environmental litigation practice is complemented by our compliance, permitting and regulatory representation practice. We have the background and experience to help guide our clients through the complexities of environmental regulation. Our lawyers have obtained environmental and land use permits for many projects ranging in size from a large solar facility to small real estate development projects. We have often acted as special counsel for clients who need to resolve difficult environmental issues with California or federal agency regulators. We are experienced in conducting due diligence on environmental issues and/or permitting in connection with project financing or sales transactions.

Our attorneys have:

  • Successfully defended a California county in a federal court citizen lawsuit brought under the Endangered Species Act seeking to enjoin all development in a large county area
  • Successfully defended the operator of a national laboratory in several federal court environmental litigation matters, including a RCRA citizen lawsuit
  • Successfully defended a variety of Clean Water Act lawsuits relating to water discharge, stormwater, permit violation and wetlands issues
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a federal court trial under the Endangered Species Act seeking to stop a California coastal development project
  • Led the federal and state environmental permitting for a 550-megawatt solar project
  • Prosecuted and defended a variety of CEQA actions relating to water, solar facility, mining, real estate and other development projects
  • Represented the former owner of a wood products company in securing insurance defense of underlying contamination, despite insurers’ assertion of a “pollution” exclusion
  • Represented stadium ownership interests against insurer in action to recover environmental cleanup costs
  • Successfully resolved three sets of administrative agency civil/administrative enforcement actions against a dairy facility
  • Prevailed in a case before the Hawaii Supreme Court which established the gathering and access rights of Native Hawaiians to coastal properties
  •  Successfully negotiated with utility company concerning remediation and construction costs resulting from contamination by a manufactured gas plant