Richard C. Coffin is of counsel to Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP, specializing in the defense of environmental enforcement and toxic tort lawsuits, practice under the federal Superfund law, the defense of Proposition 65 claims, and the prosecution of insurance coverage claims on behalf of policyholders. Since graduating from Stanford Law School in 1976, he has been involved in litigating many cutting edge issues of environmental law and insurance coverage law. He is also a frequent lecturer on environmental and insurance coverage issues. He was Managing Partner of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP from 2006 to 2009. From 1988 to 1991, he served as the Managing Partner of Landels, Ripley & Diamond, LLP, where he began his legal career in 1976.

When I graduated from law school in 1976, many of the major federal environmental laws were not yet enacted or in their infancy. By being involved in the litigation that defined the scope of the federal environmental laws, a number of Barg Coffin lawyers have a depth and breadth of knowledge of environmental law that is unprecedented.

In recent years, Rick has specialized in representing industry in all aspects of state and federal Superfund sites—negotiating remedies and enforcement documents with regulators, overseeing consultants in implementing remedies, developing brownfields associated with Superfund sites, bringing claims against insurers for environmental liabilities, defending both government enforcement actions and toxic torts arising from Superfund sites and prosecuting and defending allocation actions between responsible parties.

PUBLICATIONS

BLOG ARTICLES

WHERE THE LAW AND ENVIRONMENT INTERSECT

Rick’s experience includes:

  • Prosecution and defense of cost recovery claims for environmental cleanups
  • Compliance at state and federal Superfund sites
  • Defense of toxic tort claims arising from alleged environmental exposures
  • Defense of claims under California’s Proposition 65 and Business & Professions Code §17200
  • Defense of government and citizen enforcement claims for air, water, and/or hazardous substance pollution
  • Insurance claims for environmental damages

AWARDS + ACCOLADES

  • Three-time recipient of Best Lawyers’ award for San Francisco Environmental Lawyer of the Year (2016, 2014, 2010)
  • Listed as a Leader in the field of Environmental Law by Chambers USA (2010–present)
  • Named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
  • Designated by peer review to be one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the category of environmental law
  • Listed in the “Best of the Best USA” Expert Guide in the category of environmental law
  • Named a “Super Lawyer” by San Francisco magazine in an annual survey of Northern California lawyers every year since the survey’s inception in 2004
  • Named one of the Bay Area’s top environmental lawyers by Bay Area Lawyer magazine
  • Listed in the International Bar Association’s Who’s Who Legal guide

EDUCATION

Stanford University School of Law, J.D., 1976

  • Research Assistant to Professor Lawrence Friedman
  • Teaching Assistant for Clinical Seminar by Professor Anthony Amsterdam

University of Iowa, B.A., Political Science/History, magna cum laude, 1973

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Graduation with Highest Distinction
  • Rhodes Scholar Candidate from the University of Iowa

COMMUNITY | OFF HOURS

  • Rick is an instructor for the Environmental Law Institute and involved in a number of private philanthropic organizations.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Bar Association of San Francisco
American Bar Association, Natural Resources and Litigation Sections

BAR MEMBERSHIP

State Bar of California
United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals