Biography

Chris has more than 20 years of experience litigating complex environmental and toxic tort disputes.  

He focuses on the defense of large, multi-party environmental matters, including mass tort and products liability litigation involving alleged toxic injury arising from asbestos, lead, mold, solvents, and other contaminants. He has represented microchip and technology companies, chemical and petrochemical companies, heavy equipment manufacturers, and the pesticide and fertilizer industry. Over the past five years, he has also developed a significant industrial hemp and cannabis practice, defending ancillary and plant-touching businesses in environmental disputes and litigation. 

Environmental

Chris has extensive knowledge of relevant state and federal environmental statutes, with considerable experience in CERCLA and RCRA claims. He has also successfully defended numerous nuisance and trespass cases arising out of alleged site contamination, and aggressively defends clients in administrative enforcement actions arising out of alleged violations of state law and local ordinances. 

Toxic Tort

Chris is particularly experienced in the defense of toxic tort matters, having litigated dozens of cases from filing through final resolution in both state and federal court. He enjoys the challenge of developing creative, “out of the box” approaches to complex issues in order to obtain the best result possible for his clients, whether that means a reduced settlement, winning a dispositive motion, or obtaining a defense verdict. He has also served in a national counsel role for several product manufacturers, overseeing and managing complex litigation and spearheading the coordination of statewide discovery.

Regulatory

Recognizing that the best defense in a lawsuit is avoiding one in the first place, Chris counsels clients on compliance with state and federal environmental statutes and assists clients in drafting product warnings and other liability-limiting documents in order to proactively limit downstream litigation risks. Chris also has experience developing internal policies and procedures for his clients to address environmental risks, including responding to the airborne or water-borne releases of contaminants. Finally, Chris assists clients in managing environmental incidents and their aftermath, including appropriate response and reporting, managing health and safety issues, and working with regulators to address remediation issues. 

Business Disputes & Transactions

In the commercial context, Chris has experience with business litigation, including business torts, breach of contract claims, insurance coverage, and bankruptcy. He has counseled businesses, large and small, on all aspects of business formation, operation, and dissolution. In the process, he has drafted operating agreements, vendor agreements, policies and procedures, commercial leases, liability releases, rights agreements, and agreements governing ownership of intellectual property. Chris also has experience overseeing environmental due diligence in real estate transactions involving contaminated sites.

Education

  • Boston College  (B.A., cum laude, 1995)
    • English and Political Science
  • Villanova University  (J.D., 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
  • The Legal 500, recognition in Environmental Litigation (2019)