Biography

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

Jim'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, and product liability actions and administrative proceedings involving federal, state and local environmental laws. 

An efficient and effective trial lawyer, Jim 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, he 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. Jim also represented a plaintiff at a five-week jury trial and obtained a substantial award of punitive and compensatory damages.

Jim 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.

Jim regularly speaks on environmental litigation and trust and estate litigation. 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.

Distinctions

  • The Best Lawyers in America (2018-2020) in the area of Litigation–Environmental
  • Who’s Who Legal 2017 for environmental law
  • Northern California Super Lawyers in environmental law since (2004-2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • 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)

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...

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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...

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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?"

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 .

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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...

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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.

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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...

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