Michael A Francis
profile

Mr. Francis is the head of the Firm's Environmental Department. He has over 30 years of experience providing representation and guidance in connection with a wide range of environmental matters including contaminated real property and superfund sites.

Mr. Francis 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 cases involving contamination, including CERCLA and RCRA federal actions, similar state statutes and claims for nuisance, trespass, and negligence. He also represents clients in negotiations with state and federal agencies regarding these compliance issues.

Practices

  • Environmental Laws on Commercial and Industrial Real Properties
  • Redevelopment of contaminated properties
  • Environmental compliance and insurance issues
  • Contaminated properties, groundwater contamination and underground storage tanks
  • Cost Recovery litigation

Education

  • Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1986
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • M.S., Master of Science - 00/1980
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 00/1978

Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008

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; (e) South Coast Air Quality Management District (“SCAQMD”) air pollution compliance and enforcement matters for industrial clients, and (f) Waste Water compliance and enforcement matters, including citizen suits involving the Clean Water Act.

Mr. Francis’ litigation experience includes environmental cost recovery prosecution and defense, air pollution and wastewater enforcement defense, lease enforcement and defense of environmental claim arising under lease provisions, 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 regulatory agencies for the resolution of numerous alleged violations of the hazardous waste laws on behalf of a wide range of clients. In each of these cases, he persuasively advocated his clients’ position.  Through Mr. Francis’ extensive negotiation experience with DTSC, RWQCB, AQMD, and other agencies, Mr. Francis and agency personnel have developed a mutual respect for each other which favorably serves our clients’ interests.

Mr. Francis provides guidance in real estate lease negotiations and purchase and sale agreement negotiations re environmental matters.

Mr. Francis assists and represent clients in connection with the investigation and clean up of their respective properties with government agency over site.  Mr. Francis successfully obtained numerous agency “No Further Action” letters and “Comfort Letters” in connection with such site investigations and clean ups.

Practices

  • Environmental Laws on Commercial and Industrial Real Properties
  • Redevelopment of contaminated properties
  • Environmental compliance and insurance issues
  • Contaminated properties, groundwater contamination and underground storage tanks
  • Cost Recovery litigation

Education

  • Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1986
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • M.S., Master of Science - 00/1980
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 00/1978

Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008

Community & Professional

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Executive Committee
  • American Bar Association, Section on Natural Resources Law
  • State Bar of California
  • University of California at Los Angeles, Instructor:
    • “Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Substances,”
    • “Managing Environmental Compliance”
  • Government Institutes – California and Federal Environmental Law

Practices

  • Environmental Laws on Commercial and Industrial Real Properties
  • Redevelopment of contaminated properties
  • Environmental compliance and insurance issues
  • Contaminated properties, groundwater contamination and underground storage tanks
  • Cost Recovery litigation

Education

  • Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1986
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • M.S., Master of Science - 00/1980
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 00/1978

Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008