"A really fantastic lawyer and true professional."
--The Euromoney Institutional Investor Benchmark: Litigation Survey

Practice Areas/Experience

Drew has a wealth of expertise in environmental law and litigation strategy as a result of his 20 years of experience.

Environmental Remedial Compliance
Contaminated Site Litigation
Toxic Torts
General Business Litigation
Pro Bono

Environmental Remedial Compliance

Drew guides large and small corporations and individual property owners through the complex process of reporting contamination, assessing the extent of contamination and determining the options for cleanup. Drew helps clients obtain cleanup permits as well as community approval for the actual cleanup. In addition, Drew assists clients in seeing that the responsible parties pay their fair share of the clean up costs. Drew’s remedial and compliance work culminates in assisting large and small clients in avoiding unnecessary litigation surrounding the cleanup of contaminated sites. A few highlights from Drew’s remedial compliance matters are described below:

Largest In Situ Project in the United States:

Recently, Drew led a team that assisted a confidential client in obtaining the necessary permits to remediate contamination near an industrial facility. The contamination was widely publicized in the press. Drew sought and obtained permits for an innovative land treatment remediation unit and for the largest in situ remediation project in the United States. Drew successfully fought appeals by neighbors and citizen groups challenging those permits to the State Water Resources Control Board. Drew also negotiated land purchases for properties overlying the groundwater contamination.

Complex Remediation Project Straddling Two States:

Drew assists a confidential client with its remediation permitting and litigation management at a facility straddling two states and a federal wildlife refuge. The client was ordered to remediate a groundwater contamination plume while protecting a nearby surface water body. This site and the related remedial projects have created an unprecedented group of stake holders including state regulators from various agencies in two states, federal regulators from various agencies, Native American tribes, water districts, community members, the media, and many others.

Chromium Plume Created By Former Tenant:

Drew assisted a large real estate trust that owned an industrial park when the trust discovered that a prior tenant had contaminated groundwater, soil, and buildings on the site. Drew assisted with reporting the issue to the regulatory authorities, hiring consultants to eliminate any exposure risks, and evaluating options for forcing the actual polluter to pay for the cleanup.

Rhone-Poulenc Basic Chemicals Co. v. City of Hammond

Drew represented a large chemical company whose entire facility was threatened when the City of Hammond, Indiana passed a regulation requiring the company to achieve 99.999999% destruction of waste in the company’s incinerator emissions. After proving the physical impossibility of the regulation, the matter settled when the City modified the requirement.

Litigation

Though Drew has valuable experience in regulatory compliance matters, he also has extensive litigation experience. Drew has tried many cases to verdict and has never lost a jury trial. However, Drew settles most of his cases on favorable terms before trial. Drew has experience with a wide variety of case types, some highlights of which are listed below:

Contaminated Site Litigation (Including State and Federal Superfund Matters):

San Diego Unified Port District v. General Dynamics Corp.

Drew defended a lawsuit filed by the San Diego Unified Port District alleging that General Dynamics was responsible for the Port's costs in cleaning up PCB contamination on and near a parcel where GD formerly conducted operations. Drew negotiated a stay to allow the parties to conduct an investigation of the groundwater and nearby bay sediments. The investigation demonstrated that part of the site did not require remediation, successfully avoiding costly litigation over that issue.

San Diego Unified Port District v. TDY Industries, Inc.

Drew defended General Dynamics when it was sued by TDY Industries for allegedly causing contamination in San Diego Bay. TDY sought reimbursement of prior and future bay, storm drain, and landside remediation costs. After two significant summary judgment motions were granted by the federal district court eliminating over 90% of TDY’s alleged damages, the parties were able to settle the matter.

Republic Imperial Acquisition Corporation v. Stockmar Energy, Inc.

Drew represented Harbert International in what was one of the largest Superfund cases in San Diego. This private cost recovery action involved the disposal of geothermal waste in an Imperial County landfill. The landfill sought approximately $80 million in damages for the costs of removing the waste, but the case was settled after significant motions were granted.

THAN v. ACETO

This large Superfund private cost recovery action involved liability claims for contamination resulting from the processing of raw pesticides. The case was one of the first Superfund cases in the country to consider the question of whether a party was liable for contamination resulting from the processing of raw products by a third party. Drew assisted in the negotiation of a settlement of this case after several important motions for summary judgment were granted.

Moyes v. City of San Diego

This case involved a parcel of property formerly owned by Drew’s client that was sold to the City of San Diego and then redeveloped as an industrial park. The industrial park owner sued the City and Drew’s client for cleanup costs. After a great deal of discovery, dispositive motions, and a companion case that went up and down to the court of appeal, the case settled on terms favorable to Drew’s client.

Acme Ormesa II Partners, L.P. v. Harbert Cogen, Inc.

In this case involving a contractual dispute pertaining to liabilities for the disposal of hazardous waste from a power plant, the plaintiffs contended that the liabilities were not disclosed in a purchase agreement between the parties. Drew successfully settled the case on attractive terms after the appellate court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment.

Toxic Torts:

Aguayo v. Betz Laboratories, Inc.

Several thousand plaintiffs sued PG&E for alleged personal injuries and property damage allegedly resulting from exposure to contaminants released from a PG&E facility. This case followed the prior case that was depicted in the movie Erin Brockovich. Drew assisted PG&E in demonstrating that the exposure allegations were unsupported and the claimed physical injuries were unrelated to the alleged exposure.

Newman v. Stringfellow

In what was the largest toxic tort case in the country when it was filed, Drew defended against the alleged personal injury and property damage resulting from alleged exposure to contaminants from a hazardous waste disposal facility. The case was successfully settled on attractive terms two months into what would have been a costly nine month trial.

Avila v. Willits Environmental Remediation Trust

Hundreds of residents sued the former owners of a metal plating shop claiming physical injuries and/or property damage from alleged releases from the plating shop. Several important motions were granted dismissing large numbers of claims. As a result, the parties were able to settle the case.

General Business Litigation:

Madcatz

Drew frequently represents Madcatz in contractual disputes, including disputes over intellectual property issues.

Mrs. Fields Cookies

Drew successfully represented Mrs. Fields Cookies in several disputes with franchisees as well as in lease and real estate disputes.

Hanson Aggregates

Drew successfully represented Hanson in litigation filed by the City of San Diego involving the disposal of liquid asphalt materials at a recycling facility.

Clark Realty Builders

Drew assisted Clark Realty Builders in resolving a dispute with the City of San Diego over water rights related to a building project at a former military site.

Pro Bono:

People v. Chaney

Drew represented a San Diego police officer charged with assault with a deadly weapon for shooting a felon who fled after ramming the officer’s car. The trial lasted three weeks, resulting in a not guilty verdict after only ten minutes of jury deliberations.

People v. Truong

Drew represented a Vietnamese immigrant who was charged with sexual abuse and placed in jail for eight weeks prior to his multi-day preliminary hearing. All charges against Mr. Truong were dropped after Drew presented the evidence and cross-examined the complaining witnesses.

Social Security Disability Appeal

Drew obtained social security disability benefits for a young man who is fighting Lyme disease and thoracic outlet syndrome. This is a sad case of a former high school athlete, Eagle Scout, and college graduate who lost his dream job and every other job he tried afterward because of a dramatic disability that took his ability to walk, lift, write, etc. in a very short period of time.

11622 El Camino Real, Suite 100 | San Diego, California 92130 | Tel: (858) 433-0122 | Fax: (858) 433-0124 | Email: drew@jdp-law.com
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