James A. Bruen has more than 40 years of criminal and civil litigation and business counseling experience. He is President-Elect of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, where he also serves as a member of its Executive Committee, is involved in the leadership of the international pro bono program and chairs the Cuba Working Group. Mr. Bruen is listed as one of the top (Band 1) environmental lawyers in California by the 2016 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers. He is listed as one of the top five environmental experts in the United States in Legal Media Group's 2013 Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers-Best of the Best. In 2009, he was designated as one of the nation's 16 "Distinguished Environmental Advocates" by the American Bar Association.
Mr. Bruen's practice includes representation of industry, universities and governmental institutions in complex domestic and international products and environmental counseling and litigation. He is also a highly regarded expert in product stewardship with wide-ranging experience in product design, manufacturing, distribution and stewardship issues, as well as on plant sitings, plant closures, raw material sourcing, EHS management systems, codes of conduct, effluent guidelines and other sustainable development issues. He coordinates and supervises domestic and international products and environmental litigation. He serves and has served as lead trial counsel (to trial teams and "virtual law firms") in mass tort litigation, natural resource damage litigation, environmental enforcement litigation, environmental cost recovery/contribution litigation and white collar environmental crimes defense. He has extensive experience in leading the successful prosecution or defense of litigation while simultaneously managing confounding regulatory or business matters. He is nationally known for his expertise in emergency response and crisis management. He has been trained as a mediator by the Strauss Institute for Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine University.
Prior to joining Farella, Mr. Bruen was the founding partner of Landels Ripley & Diamond's Environmental Law Department. Before entering private practice, he served for seven years as a Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorney, a Civil Division Assistant United States Attorney, and Chief of the Civil Division, in the Northern District of California.
Mr. Bruen is a widely known author and lecturer in environmental and products liability law. His articles and teaching materials are in current use by law departments and governmental entities throughout the country. Mr. Bruen is named in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort Litigation and was named the Best Lawyers 2014 San Francisco Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants “Lawyer of the Year.” He is the recipient of the 2015 Client Choice Award for Environment & Climate Change for California. He has been recognized in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, International Corporate Law's Guide to Environmental Law Experts, Practical Law Company's Which Lawyer? Yearbook, Expert Guides' Best of the Best Environment Lawyers, International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, PLC Cross-Border Environment Handbook, Who's Who Legal USA (Environment), Who's Who Legal California (Environment), and Who's Who in American Law. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.