Work/Environment Law Group
Work/Environment Law Group

San Francisco And Statewide
Employment Law, Energy Law

Energy/Environmental Law

Rick represents clients facing a wide variety of energy, environmental and business issues. He provides strategic advice based on practical experience, a deep familiarity with litigation, and a willingness to learn about each client’s business needs. Rick can help clients participate in administrative rulemaking that may affect them, understand and comply with the law, resolve disputes through agreement, and achieve their reasonable goals through litigation. Some of Rick’s past experience is set forth below:

Energy and Matters Before the California Public Utilities Commission

  • Rick represents San Diego Gas & Electric Company in proceedings, including evidentiary hearings, on electric infrastructure projects before the California Public Utilities Commission and associated litigation. He successfully represented SDG&E on its South Orange County Reliability Enhancement Project, South Bay Substation Relocation Project, East County Substation Project, Sycamore- Peñasquitos 230 kV Transmission Line Project, and 500 kV Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Project. He also represented SDG&E in litigation, including defending a CEQA approval and contesting whether an energy supplier’s wind farm project adequately complied with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. More generally, Rick provides advice regarding requirements of CPUC General Order 131-D, and siting and environmental review of transmission projects.
  • Rick successfully represented Pacific Gas and Electric Company in proceedings, including evidentiary hearings, on electric transmission projects before the California Public Utilities Commission, as well as energy-related rulemaking proceedings. Such projects include the Embarcadero-Potrero 230 kV Transmission Project, Jefferson-Martin 230 kV Transmission Line, the Northeast San Jose 230 kV Transmission Line, the Path 15 500 kV Transmission Line, and the Tri Valley 230 kV Transmission Line. He also represented PG&E in its successful application to the CPUC for authorization to replace steam generators at PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and in later litigation challenging Coastal Commission approval of such project. Rick also represented PG&E in the Commission rulemaking on EMF issues and advised on implementation of the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
  • Rick represented Pacific Gas and Electric Company in its defense of its Natural Gas Pipeline 57C Project, a crucial upgrade to its natural gas transmission and storage system. This effort involved three litigations, defending the State Lands Commission’s CEQA approval in Sacramento Superior Court, obtaining summary judgment on a complaint at the CPUC contending a CPUC permit was necessary, and prevailing in a “right to take” eminent domain trial in San Joaquin Superior Court against a Reclamation District.
  • Rick successfully represented The Walt Disney Company in the City of Glendale’s application to the CPUC for approval of a new railroad crossing that would enhance access to a new Disney facility in Glendale.

Prop. 65 Litigation and Other Environmental Litigation

  • Rick has represented clients in a variety of Prop. 65/Section 17200 litigations, including Safeway and Ralph’s Grocery Co. on claims involving bottled water products and federal preemption, Navistar on claims regarding diesel engines’ emissions and fuel efficiency, Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s on claims involving leaded crystal, and Fetco on claims involving stained glass picture frames.
  • Rick has represented plaintiffs and defendants in litigation over contaminated property and who should bear the costs of remediation. These federal and state court litigations have involved disputes between neighboring property owners, past and present property owners, companies that disposed of waste at licensed hazardous waste sites, and companies that contracted for pesticide formulation. Rick also has represented companies in toxic tort litigation.

Qui Tam and Whistleblower Litigation

  • Rick, along with partner Barbara Giuffre, represented the Relator in the qui tam litigation United States ex rel Alcaine v. Braden Partners, et al., which resulted in resulting in a significant U.S. recovery from medical device supplier under False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Rick, along with partner Barbara Giuffre, represented plaintiffs who were fired for reporting violations of the California Self-Storage Act in a whistleblower action based on the Labor Code and the California Private Attorney General Act.