Sarah Peterman Bell

  • 415.954.4450
  • |

Ms. Bell focuses her practice on environmental and natural resources litigation and counseling in environmental enforcement actions, cost recovery litigation, citizen suits, complex toxic tort litigation, water quality litigation, product liability litigation, private attorneys general actions, and administrative proceedings. She also advises clients with regulatory compliance and project development, including representation in permit proceedings. She has experience in counseling, litigation and alternative dispute resolution under major federal and state environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, NEPA and CEQA, Proposition 65, RCRA and the ESA. She also has extensive commercial litigation experience, including representing developers and property owners in complex business, real estate and construction litigation.

Ms. Bell's clients include product manufacturers, distributors, transportation companies, real estate developers and commercial property owners.

Recent engagements include:

  • Lead trial counsel in complex toxic tort proceedings involving more than 200 plaintiffs alleging personal injuries and property damages.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of strict liability/ultra-hazardous activity, emotional distress and personal injury claims in complex environmental tort proceedings.
  • Obtained favorable settlements in representation of manufacturer and distributor of agricultural products in groundwater contamination litigation throughout California.
  • First-chaired three jury trials during pro-bono service as a prosecutor for a Bay Area county District Attorney’s office in 2012.

Ms. Bell speaks regularly on natural resource damages litigation. She was named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hotlist” (2018) and to the list of Northern California Rising Stars (2012-2013) by Super Lawyers.

Ms. Bell was a judicial extern for the Honorable Maxine Chesney of the Northern District of California and served as a legal intern for Waterkeepers, where she assisted with Clean Water Act litigation.


  • Executive Committee Member, Environmental Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Board of Directors, Golden Gate Audubon Society (2009 – 2016)
  • Board of Directors, California Summer Music (2009 – 2013)
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.