James H. (Jim) Colopy

  • 415.954.4978
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Jim Colopy has extensive experience representing private and public entities in environmental and commercial litigation, environmental compliance and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. 

Mr. Colopy’s significant complex environmental litigation experience includes representing manufacturers, chemical companies, developers and governmental institutions in environmental enforcement actions, citizen suit litigation, cost recovery actions, toxic tort cases, product liability actions and administrative proceedings involving federal, state and local environmental laws. 

An efficient and effective trial lawyer, Mr. Colopy was hired shortly before trial to replace prior counsel for the plaintiff in a complicated groundwater cost recovery lawsuit, where he represented the client through an intense discovery and trial preparation phase culminating in a very favorable settlement.  In another matter, Mr. Colopy was brought into a case to represent defendants on post-trial motions following a $100 million punitive damages award, which he reduced by 93 percent.  Mr. Colopy also represented a plaintiff at a five-week jury trial and obtained a substantial award of punitive and compensatory damages.

Mr. Colopy also frequently represents individuals, family-owned businesses and trust institutions in complex trust, estate and probate litigation in courts throughout California.  He has litigated numerous different types of disputes, including breach of trust claims, beneficiary disputes, will and trust challenges, creditor claims, undue influence and incapacity and community property claims.  Recent successes include the multi-year representation of a trustee in numerous trust litigation and trust administration associated with a large complex trust with over $150 million of real property, partnership and business assets, the successful defense at trial of an attempt to invade numerous wealthy family trusts through a marital dissolution and the representation of a client challenging a will and estate plan on the grounds of incapacity.

Mr. Colopy regularly speaks on environmental litigation and trust and estate litigation. He is named in The Best Lawyers in America (2018-2019) in the area of litigation–environmental and listed in Who’s Who Legal 2017 for environmental law. He has been listed among the Northern California Super Lawyers in environmental law since 2004.

He served as chair of Farella’s Environmental Law Department for six years and has served as co-chair of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.


  • Member, Board of Directors, Environmental Law Institute
  • Member, Leadership Council, Environmental Law Institute
  • Associate Editor, Litigation Update Editorial Board, ABA Section of Litigation (2005-2006)
  • President, Environmental Section Executive Committee, Bar Association of San Francisco (2006)
  • Member, San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association
  • Former President, Board of Advisors, YMCA of San Francisco (Mission branch)
Farella’s Environmental Law Department is recognized by Chambers USA as a top tier environmental practice in California, and by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” as a top tier firm nationally for its environmental and mass torts practice areas.