Mr. Francis is the head of the Firm’s Environmental Department. He has over 21 years of experience dealing with contaminated real property and superfund sites, with over 14 of those years providing legal advice and representation to clients in a wide array of sites and matters.

He concentrates his practice on: Representing clients on issues and cases involving the impact of environmental laws on commercial and industrial real properties throughout California; Redevelopment of contaminated properties including projects involving the Brownfields and Polanco Act; Environmental compliance and insurance issues; Contaminated properties, groundwater contamination and underground storage tanks; and Cost Recovery litigation arising from those issues. Mr. Francis has substantial experience in defending and prosecuting CERCLA and RCRA federal actions, including state claims for nuisance, trespass, and negligence. He also represents clients in negotiations with state and federal agencies regarding these compliance issues.

Mr. Francis’ experience extends to: (a) CEQA matters related to the redevelopment of a potted plant nursery into a residential development; (b) Hazardous Waste enforcement and compliance matters related to industrial manufacturing facilities; (c) Toxic Release Inventory alleged violations involving an expanded form product manufacturer; (d) Proposition 65 litigation involving a faucet distributor and a metal finisher and a vitamin manufacturer.

Mr. Francis’ litigation experience includes environmental cost recovery prosecution and defense, toxic tort defense, and CEQA compliance. He routinely counsels his clients regarding compliance with environmental statutes and regulations, cost-recovery and remediation of contaminated properties, hazardous waste clean-up projects, regulatory agency requirements, insurance coverage for environmental claims, and environmental issues in real property and corporate transactions. Mr. Francis frequently negotiates contracts and settlements with federal and state environmental agencies involving clean air, clean water, CERCLA, and other environmental issues. He has defended corporations and persons accused of civil and criminal violations of environmental laws and regulations.

Mr. Francis has successfully negotiated cleanup standards and consent orders with both the United State EPA and DTSC at the numerous major Superfund sites. Recently, Mr. Francis successfully arbitrated a complex superfund contribution dispute involving over 30 potentially responsible parties which was ultimately upheld by the California Supreme Court.

Mr. Francis has negotiated with the DTSC the resolution of numerous alleged violations of the hazardous waste laws on behalf of a wide range of clients. In each of these cases, the firm has persuasively advocated its clients’ position to the DTSC. Through Mr. Francis’ extensive negotiation experience with the DTSC, Mr. Francis and the DTSC have developed a mutual respect for each other which favorably serves our clients’ interests.


Email: mfrancis@ddsffirm.com
Phone: (213) 624 8407 Ext. 144


  • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, 1986
  • M.S., Southern Illinois University, 1980
  • B.S., Southern Illinois University, 1978


  • California Bar, 1987
  • United States District Court, Central District of California, 1990
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2008


  • University of California at Los Angeles, Instructor:
    • “Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Substances,”
    • “Managing Environmental Compliance”
  • Government Institutes – California and Federal Environmental Law

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