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Climate Change Litigation: The Targets, the Cases, and What You Need to Know to Prepare


Speaker(s): Christopher J. McNevin, Mark J. Plumer, Michael S. McDonough, Thomas G. Allen
Recorded on: Oct. 18, 2017
PLI Program #: 230625

A partner in the firm’s Litigation and Insurance Recovery and Advisory practices, Mark Plumer is one of the most well-known insurance lawyers in the country.

For more than 25 years, Mark has dedicated his career to representing policyholders with insurance issues, at the point of purchase and claim. His assistance has involved a plethora of insurance issues and claims, including environmental, products, including automotive, asbestos and medical devices, toxic tort, cyber, first party property damage and business interruption, directors and officers, errors and omissions, fidelity, credit risk, and insurer insolvencies.

Representative Experience

  • Acted as lead counsel in parallel coverage litigations in the United States and Canada regarding a trans-boundary pollution claim.
  • Acted as lead counsel in litigation between one of the largest U.S. oil refiners against its historic insurers regarding insurance coverage for environmental contamination. Prevailed in a two-week bench trial..
  • Acted as lead counsel and negotiated dozens of settlements of complex insurance claims of many kinds outside of litigation, with claim values exceeding $4 billion.
  • In 2016, handled insurance claims under the laws of the various United States, Canadian Provinces, Japan, England, Jamaica, Brazil, Italy and Germany.
  • Collected hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for a Fortune 50 product manufacturer sued in thousands of lawsuits based on allegations of bodily injury.
  • Obtained first “all sums” scope of coverage ruling in Wisconsin state court for a Fortune 500 utility.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a Guam-based cable operator with property loss caused by a tsunami.

Professional Highlights

  • Member of the Insurance Recovery & Advisory practice, named by Law360 as a Practice Group of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
  • Former Chair or Co-Chair of national policyholder-side insurance practices at AmLaw 100 law firms (1999-2015)
  • Speaker at national RIMS Conference in five of past six years, including 2017 (selected)
  • “Considering Alternative Dispute Resolution,” Coverage Litigation, Chapter 25, New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide, Vol. II, 2015.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer (2004-2017)
  • Benchmark: Litigation, National Litigation Star (2016)
  • Who’s Who Legal, Insurance & Reinsurance (2015)
  • Expert Guides, World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (2015)
  • BTI Client Service All-Star (2013)
  • Super Lawyers (2012-2016)

Associations

  • Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
  • Member, Insurance Law360 Editorial Advisory Board

Education

  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 1986
    cum laude
  • B.A., Franklin and Marshall College, 1983
    cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Clerkships


Christopher McNevin leads Pillsbury’s Environmental Litigation team. He has twice won Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for Natural Resources Law.

Chris has extensive experience handling environmental litigation in federal and state court and agency tribunals, as well as investigations, remediation actions and regulatory compliance matters. He advises on water rights, climate change matters, soil, groundwater and sediment contamination, and air and water quality issues. Chris has successfully handled variance petitions, mandamus, CERCLA and real property contamination cases and NOVs, as well as spearheaded precedent-setting litigation involving transborder pollution claims.

Representative Experience

  • Defended Teck Metals, a Canadian mining and smelting company, in a historic cross-border contamination case involving CERCLA response cost and natural resource damages (NRD) claims related to emissions in Canada.
  • Represented ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil in asserting claims against the City of Long Beach, Calif., for the cost of hazardous waste disposal.
  • Advised a manufacturing company in a site investigation and cleanup, and litigated groundwater contamination claims arising from the manufacture of circuit boards.

Professional Highlights

  • Named Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Natural Resources Law – Los Angeles (2012, 2016) and recognized in its Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation categories (2010 – 2018).
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S., Environmental Litigation (2006 – 2017) and Chambers USA, Environment – California (2009 – 2014).
  • Authored a chapter on wildlife protection in the Matthew Bender treatise, California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice.

Honors & Awards

  • Who’s Who in LA Law, Environmental Law, Los Angeles Business Journal (2008)
  • Top Los Angeles Lawyer, Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent Rated
  • Super Lawyers (2003-2016)

Education

  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1983
  • B.S., Biology, University of Miami, 1979
    summa cum laude

Admissions

  • California
  • Texas

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd and 9th Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Supreme Court of California


Mike McDonough represents Fortune 500 companies, municipalities and private entities in complex environmental litigation, administrative and enforcement matters at the federal, state and local levels.

Mike’s practice focuses on defending enforcement actions, bringing regulatory challenges, litigating with and counseling clients on compliance with regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission, among others. He has particular experience in the interpretation and enforcement of air quality regulations in California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, the largest and most sophisticated local air quality regulatory agency in the world.

Representative Experience

  • Ongoing representation of the nation’s top petroleum refiners in environmental permitting, regulatory and enforcement matters before EPA and California oversight agencies.
  • Administrative litigation on behalf of Valero Refining Co. to challenge denial of millions of dollars of emission reduction credits for proven voluntary emission reductions benefitting the entire Bay Area.
  • Continuing representation of a Fortune 20 retailer in environmental regulatory compliance and administrative enforcement matters for its facilities throughout California.

 Professional Highlights

Mike is a regular speaker on environmental regulatory and litigation trends, and he advises companies and industrial trade associations on developments in the environmental law. He frequently comments in Law360 and other media outlets on current events in the environmental field.

Honors & Awards

  • The Legal 500 U.S., Environment (2016)
  • Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing (2013)

Education

  • J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law, 1997
    Pepperdine Law Review(1995–1997)
  • B.A., Stanford University, 1993

Admissions

  • California

Courts

U.S. District Courts for Eastern District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California and Central District of California

U.S. Supreme Court


Thomas G. Allen is a litigator, focusing his practice on international arbitration and cross-border disputes. He represents clients in a variety of industries with an emphasis on energy, manufacturing, construction, and aviation. Thomas has wide-ranging experience in high-value international and U.S. arbitrations. He also litigates the enforceability of arbitration clauses and arbitration awards in U.S. Courts. Thomas is a frequent lecturer on international arbitration topics and is a former adjunct professor in the international arbitration discipline. Before concentrating on international arbitration, Thomas began his career as a commercial litigator and has tried cases to verdict in both state and federal court. Thomas also counsels foreign and domestic clients on various U.S. government investigations and enforcement proceedings.