Biography

Chris counsels clients on toxic tort, commercial litigation, and business transactions, with a focus on complex litigation involving the defense of toxic injury product liability and premises liability claims involving asbestos, mold, and airborne and water-borne contaminants and chemicals.

He represents multinational manufacturers of heavy industrial equipment, such as valves, pumps, and automobile engine gaskets and brakes; flooring material manufacturers; pesticide and fertilizer manufacturers and suppliers; and chemical and petrochemical companies.

Chris has successfully defended cases involving exposure to contaminants at sea (and in port) under federal maritime law, including Jones Act claims and claims brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, as well as claims involving premises owners and alleged toxic exposures on those premises. He also has experience with litigation involving federal (including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) and state environmental statutes. He is also adept at overseeing and managing complex litigation in a national counsel role and has spearheaded coordination of statewide discovery and investigation for several major industrial manufacturers.

He recently successfully litigated a “first of its kind” case involving toxic tort liability for a supplier to the medical cannabis industry. He has been appointed to the American Bar Association’s task force on emerging cannabis law, and sits on the planning committee for the Defense Research Institute’s 2019 Marijuana Law seminar.

He 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.

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.

A rock musician with two decades of experience, Chris is a veteran of multiple San Francisco-based bands. He has a special appreciation of the issues facing fledgling musicians seeking to expand their reach and fan base. In this regard, Chris has represented the needs of unsigned artists in selecting corporate forms to limit liability, and has negotiated and drafted agreements with venues, promoters, recording studios, commercial enterprises and former band members, involving performance, use of copyrighted material, and licensing.

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