Biography

With more than 20 years of experience, Don Sobelman focuses his practice on helping clients navigate the complexities of federal and California environmental law. His multifaceted practice encompasses administrative enforcement defense, civil litigation, compliance with regulatory regimes, and contaminated site cleanup and redevelopment.

Don has tackled a diverse range of environmental law matters, including administrative proceedings and civil litigation in trial and appellate courts involving state and federal statutes (such as CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act); complex environmental/toxic tort litigation; contractual disputes and claims arising from environmental indemnities; compliance with local, state, and federal regulations pertaining to hazardous materials, hazardous waste, water quality, and wetlands; and remediation, transfer/sale, and redevelopment of brownfields sites requiring investigation, risk assessment, and remediation to address vapor intrusion and soil and groundwater contamination, including from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as PCE and TCE, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), metals, and PCBs.

He conducts due diligence regarding environmental liabilities associated with real estate and corporate transactions and navigates developers through the CEQA process, including defending projects in both trial and appellate courts.

Don’s clients benefit from his multidisciplinary approach to solving their problems and advancing their goals. By efficiently and effectively collaborating with technical experts and lawyers with relevant specialties, he ensures that his clients obtain the best possible advice when deciding how to address complex environmental issues. 

Active in his community, Don has represented pro bono the South Valley Islamic Center in San Martin, California since 2012 in an ongoing California Environmental Quality Act and permit process for its Cordoba Center—a 16-acre project including a mosque, community center, and cemetery. The project was approved by unanimous vote of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in December 2019.

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America©, Litigation-Environmental (2018-2020)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Environmental Litigation (2014-2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • California Bar Association, Section on Environmental Law
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section
  • Association of Environmental Professionals

Firm Highlights

Publication

CARES Act Money for Wineries?

Beginning tomorrow morning, April 3 rd , the Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the new CARES Act. Amid the flurry of news, small winery owners may...

Read More
Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

Read More
News

Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line

Mary McCutcheon was quote in the Claims Journal article,"Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line." Link to read the full article .

Read More
News

Farella COVID-19 Update: A Message From the Managing Partner

To our clients, alumni and friends, During these unsettling times, Farella Braun + Martel is focused on protecting the health and safety of our firm members, clients, and communities and doing our part to...

Read More
Publication

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law (the full 880-page text of the CARES Act is available here ). One feature of the CARES...

Read More
News

Daily Journal Names Farella Lawyers Among Top IP Lawyers in California

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partners Jeffrey M. Fisher and James L. Day were named to the 2020 list of “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal...

Read More
Event

Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure? (Webinar)

Join speakers, Matt Lewis and Janice Reicher, on the webinar discussing "Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure?"

Read More
Publication

Wine Businesses, Lenders, and Difficult Conversations

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health efforts to combat it will impact different wine businesses in different ways. Those that depend on on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, such as restaurant, hospitality, and tasting room...

Read More
News

Farella Advises on Sale of Diamond Creek Winery to Maison Louis Roederer

SAN FRANCISCO/ST. HELENA, March 16, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel represented the family of the late Boots Brounstein on the sale of their Diamond Creek Winery in Calistoga, Calf. to French Champagne producer Maison...

Read More
Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

Read More