James Colopy

James Colopy
Partner, Farella Braun + Martel, San Francisco, CA

For over twenty years, Jim Colopy has specialized in representing private and public entities  in all types of environmental, toxic tort and land use litigation, including alternative dispute resolution.  Mr. Colopy also counsels clients on environmental compliance issues and management strategies.

Mr. Colopy’s significant complex environmental litigation experience includes representing manufacturers, chemical companies, developers and governmental institutions in environmental enforcement actions, citizen suit litigation, cost recovery actions, toxic tort cases, product liability actions and administrative proceedings involving federal, state and local environmental laws.  He specializes in actions involving CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and other federal and state statutory and common law claims, as well as cost recovery litigation and private attorneys general actions and citizen suits.

An efficient and effective trial lawyer, Mr. Colopy was hired shortly before trial to replace prior counsel for the plaintiff in a complicated groundwater cost recovery lawsuit, where he represented the client through an intense discovery and trial preparation phase culminating in a very favorable settlement.  In another matter, Mr. Colopy was brought into a case to represent defendants on post-trial motions following a $100 million punitive damages award, which he reduced by 93 percent.  Mr. Colopy also represented a plaintiff at a five-week jury trial and obtained a substantial award of punitive and compensatory damages.

Mr. Colopy regularly speaks and publishes in the field of environmental litigation .  He recently served as chair of the Environmental Law Department for six years and has served as co-chair of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee. 

Mr. Colopy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Environmental Law Institute.  Mr. Colopy is a past chair of the Executive Committee of the Environmental Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.  He has served as president of the Board of Advisors of the YMCA of San Francisco (Mission branch).

Mr. Colopy received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1994, where he was Senior Article Editor for the Stanford Environmental Law Journal, and received his B.A. in History from Harvard in 1990. 

Farella’s Environmental Law Department is recognized by Chambers USA as a top tier environmental practice in California, and by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” as a top tier firm nationally for its environmental and mass torts practice areas.