Brian D. Langa
profile

Mr. Langa's practice focuses primarily on environmental and real estate law. Mr. Langa has a strong background in the environmental field and is readily familiar with both the technical and legal issues surrounding environmental matters. In this regard, Mr. Langa's practice has encompassed environmental and general business litigation, business and real estate transactional, environmental compliance, and environmental legislative and regulatory updates. In these matters, Mr. Langa represents individuals, public and private companies, and governmental entities.

Mr. Langa is an effective and successful litigator accomplished in prosecuting and defending claims in both civil and administrative arenas. Mr. Langa's practice has expanded from environmental matters to representation of clients in contractual and other business related litigation matters, including unlawful detainer matters. Further, Mr. Langa often assists private parties and public entities in the acquisition of and development of properties, particularly when such transactions are complicated by environmental concerns. Mr. Langa works closely with experts and consultants and supervises their work product in both litigation and general transactional settings. Mr. Langa also regularly communicates and negotiates with regulatory agency personnel to obtain his clients' end goals. Mr. Langa is also experienced in insurance coverage issues, especially those related to environmental matters.

Mr. Langa was named a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star in the field of Environmental Law for all years eligible, including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 . Mr. Langa has also been a guest lecturer at regional and national National Business Institute ("NBI") seminars and at Los Angeles Chapter of the International Right of Way Association meetings; his most recent engagement was a national teleconference seminar entitled "Commercial Leases: Environmental Requirements and Provisions." Mr. Langa is the former Chair of the Steering Committee of the California Waste Association, Los Angeles and Orange County Chapter.

Practices

  • Environmental
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • General Compliance
  • Appellate

Education

  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1998
    • Honors: Moot Court Honor Board; Vice President, Environmental Law Society 1996-1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Philip C. Jessup Competition, 1996
    • Honors: Recipient, Best Orator Award, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Mark of Distinguished/Environmental & Advanced Environmental Law 1996-1998
    • Honors: Editor, Casenotes Publishing Inc. 1997-1998
  • Rice University
    • B.S. - 1995
    • Major: Environmental Engineering

Admissions

  • California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008

Experience

Environmental Litigation

  • Substantial experience in defending and prosecuting cost recovery actions brought under CERCLA and related state and common law causes of action including representation of potentially responsible parties (PRP) at numerous Federal and State listed sites including: the Omega Superfund Site; the Operating Industries, Inc. (OII) Superfund Site; McColl Superfund Site; Gardena Sumps Site; Montrose Site; Del Amo Site; San Fernando Valley Superfund Site; and San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site. Clients include oil and gas producers and distributors, paint and coating manufacturers, waste haulers, metal platers, engravers, circuit board manufacturers, plastic and metal part fabricators, furniture manufacturers, commercial and residential real estate developers, and more.
  • Represented plaintiffs and defendants with respect to sites allegedly contaminated due to past activities. Representations have included responding to Federal and State enforcement agency claims and the negotiation of favorable Consent Decrees and Enforcement Orders while also investigating and prosecuting successful cost recovery claims against other PRPs, many of which had not been previously identified by the regulatory agencies.
  • Appointed Liaison Counsel by United States District Court in a large scale CERCLA litigation. Proposed a complex civil litigation procedure to simplify the massive litigation and then negotiated and finalized multifaceted settlements involving numerous PRPs, municipalities, water companies, and Federal and State regulatory agencies.
  • Investigated and prosecuted cost recovery and injunctive relief actions on behalf of landowners, including location and pursuit of current viable parties responsible for historic contamination.
  • Prosecuted multiple professional negligence actions against environmental consultants with respect to improper Phase I environmental site assessments.
  • Defended clients against RCRA, Clean Water Act, Proposition 65 and other citizen suit claims.
  • Represented a myriad of defendants in complex toxic tort litigations, including the methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) Multi-District Litigation which involved more than 100 consolidated lawsuits; large scale groundwater contamination cases involving approximately 3000 plaintiffs and 100 various types of defendants; claims involving exposure to asbestos, diesel gas, and more.
  • Litigated administrative and civil challenges to regulatory agency decisions, actions, and omissions, including petitions of writ of mandate to agency actions, administrative petitions, variance petitions, orders for abatement, and stipulations in connection with RWQCB, AQMD, EPA, and other agency directives, notices to comply, notices of violation and similar.
  • Represented clients in criminal defense of alleged violation of environmental statutes and successfully plea bargained numerous alleged misdemeanor violations down to infraction status.

Breach of Contract and Related Business Litigation

  • Prosecuted and defended countless breach of contract actions involving real estate purchase and sale or lease agreements, services contracts, supply contracts, and more.
  • Represented individuals in connection with dissolution of partnerships and joint ventures, including appraisal and distribution of various business entities’ assets.
  • Represented numerous lessors and lessees in all manners of lease disputes. When applicable, utilized the unique unlawful detainer procedural statutes to facilitate and expedite litigation of the matter and obtain prompt, successful settlements or verdicts.
  • Represent public and private landlords in numerous unlawful detainer actions, including a massive public project requiring prosecution of scores of unlawful detainer actions concurrently to meet project deadlines.
  • Advised clients regarding alleged infringement of copyright, trademark, and unfair competition violations by a national competitor.
  • Represented businesses through litigation in connection with claims by regulatory authorities for alleged code, zoning, permit or land use violations, including negotiation of settlements with code enforcement agencies and obtaining appropriate amendments or variances as needed to permit the existing uses.

Property Acquisition, Development, and Management

  • Assisted numerous private parties with the acquisition, development, and management of industrial, commercial, and residential projects– often when such transactions are complicated by environmental concerns. The property uses at issue have ranged from industrial manufacturing, retail, strip malls, law firms, banks, restaurants, gasoline stations, trailer parks, multi-family residential including condominium and apartment complexes, golf courses, large private estates, and more.
  • Negotiated and finalized access and indemnity agreements to address and allocate cleanup responsibility among parties at particular properties.
  • Assisted property owners in connection with discovery of contamination at their sites, including: selection and supervision of consultants, including environmental engineers, surveyors, and health risk assessors, in completing work in a timely and efficient manner; negotiation with regulatory authorities to obtain closure; communications with tenants and occupants to limit exposure and ensure continued operations; advise and pursue regarding claims against responsible parties.
  • Worked with appropriate Federal, State, and local regulatory agencies including Department of Toxic Substance Control, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and Certified Unified Public Agencies, to obtain No Further Action characterizations and similar appropriate directives to facilitate development and continued use of allegedly contaminated sites, including where applicable, negotiating and finalizing Land Use Covenants to allow for the prospective use.
  • Assisted developers with large scale projects delayed due to unexpected discovery of contamination.  Assistance includes working with consultants and regulatory agencies to address the contamination and promptly obtain an appropriate No Further Action letter with limited impact to the construction schedule.
  • Researched and reviewed potential site acquisitions on behalf of public and private entity clients to address environmental concerns raised by buyers and sellers. Assisted consultants in completing work in a timely and efficient manner sufficient to allow the planned transaction and/or project.
  • Assisted clients in connection with access and easement related issues, including both obtaining necessary access to properties and enforcing exclusive property rights of clients.
  • Proficient in Brownfields redevelopment, including representation of private developers and redevelopment agencies concerning large brownfields projects including implementation of the former Polanco Act and the Gatto Act on behalf of public agencies, and obtaining Federal and State assistance. Obtained on behalf of a redevelopment agency one of the first, (and still only one of a few), Polanco Act immunity letters issued by the LARWQCB.  Pursued and obtained public funds to assist in cleanup of contaminated sites.

 

Insurance Coverage

  • Represented clients in connection with investigating and obtaining insurance coverage for environmentally related losses, typically in connection with commercial general liability (CGL) policies.  Pursued carriers to obtain a defense of third-party claims and ultimately acquired insurance funding of settlements fully resolving the claims.  
  • Tendered claims and directed investigation and remedial work in a manner to ensure coverage in connection with Pollution Legal Liability (PLL) Policies and prosecuted claims against insurers until payment was provided under PLL policies.
  • Pursued insurance brokers for failure to provide sufficient coverage for clients and obtained favorable settlements from brokers’ insurers.
  • Negotiated insurance coverage products on behalf of clients acquiring allegedly contaminated properties and/or undertaking assessment and remediation activities.

General Compliance

  • Advised numerous clients regarding regulatory compliance, with specialty focus on environmental compliance requirements in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, property acquisition and development, oil and gas, paint and finishing manufacturing, nurseries, furniture manufacturing, nutritional supplement manufacturing, rendering, metal plating, and more.
  • Supervised application and pursuit of appropriate land use approvals and related necessary permits from Federal, State, and local agencies for clients in myriad of fields.
  • Assisted property owners in obtaining approval for proposed property uses notwithstanding alleged contamination concerns including indoor air quality issues. Negotiated and obtained approval from regulatory agencies and worked with present occupants to address concerns.

Appellate Work

  • Representation of public and private entity clients at the appellate stage including, but not limited to, retention to file amicus briefs on significant environmental related issues. Worked closely with DOJ and EPA in defending CERCLA settlement challenges in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Successfully reversed a jury verdict awarded against a client who had been represented by other counsel at trial. Successfully defended on appeal multiple judgments obtained for clients at the trial level.

Practices

  • Environmental
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • General Compliance
  • Appellate

Education

  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1998
    • Honors: Moot Court Honor Board; Vice President, Environmental Law Society 1996-1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Philip C. Jessup Competition, 1996
    • Honors: Recipient, Best Orator Award, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Mark of Distinguished/Environmental & Advanced Environmental Law 1996-1998
    • Honors: Editor, Casenotes Publishing Inc. 1997-1998
  • Rice University
    • B.S. - 1995
    • Major: Environmental Engineering

Admissions

  • California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008

Publications

Mr. Langa has had several items published in annual and monthly trade publications targeting environmental concerns of specific interest groups. Most recently, Mr. Langa was interviewed by New York Times columnist, Paul Sullivan, in connection with his article, Turning Polluted Properties Into Profits, which focused on a project Mr. Langa is handling in Garden Grove. Articles authored by Mr. Langa include the Los Angeles Lawyer article Taken to the Cleaners, which addresses the very real likelihood of CERCLA claims being asserted against settling parties who previously believed such liability had been resolved under Consent Decrees with government agencies. The Los Angeles Daily Journal also published Mr. Langa’s article, “Continuing Waste,” regarding recent United States Supreme Court opinions interpreting CERCLA.

Practices

  • Environmental
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • General Compliance
  • Appellate

Education

  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1998
    • Honors: Moot Court Honor Board; Vice President, Environmental Law Society 1996-1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Philip C. Jessup Competition, 1996
    • Honors: Recipient, Best Orator Award, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Mark of Distinguished/Environmental & Advanced Environmental Law 1996-1998
    • Honors: Editor, Casenotes Publishing Inc. 1997-1998
  • Rice University
    • B.S. - 1995
    • Major: Environmental Engineering

Admissions

  • California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008

Community & Professional

  • State Bar of California, Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • International Right of Way Association, Chapter 1
  • California Waste Association, Former Chair of Los Angeles/Orange County Steering Committee
  • Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, Governmental Affairs Committee

Practices

  • Environmental
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • General Compliance
  • Appellate

Education

  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1998
    • Honors: Moot Court Honor Board; Vice President, Environmental Law Society 1996-1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Philip C. Jessup Competition, 1996
    • Honors: Recipient, Best Orator Award, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Semi-finalist, Judson Falknor Moot Court Competition, 1997
    • Honors: Mark of Distinguished/Environmental & Advanced Environmental Law 1996-1998
    • Honors: Editor, Casenotes Publishing Inc. 1997-1998
  • Rice University
    • B.S. - 1995
    • Major: Environmental Engineering

Admissions

  • California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2008