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

Downtown Oakland Slated for Increased Development

The City of Oakland spent the last four years developing the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan to address growth and revitalization of the downtown area over the next 20 years and to ensure that development...

Read More
Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

Read More
Publication

Newly Adopted California Housing Laws - Senate Bill 330 Housing Crisis Act

Ahead of the January 1, 2020 effective date for several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor, we will explain upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first...

Read More
Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

Read More
Publication

Practices to Protect Trade Secrets in Failed Acquisitions and Customer Relationships

Published on  ACCDocket.com . By Walt Norfleet, Smiths Group plc and Eugene Y. Mar, Farella Braun + Martel LLP In part one of this three-part series on best practices for protecting trade secrets and guarding...

Read More
News

Farella Assists Patagonia With Challenge to Federal Agencies’ Weakening of ESA Protections

Read More
News

Chris Locke Joins Marin County Bar Association Board of Directors

Read More
Publication

California’s New Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration: How We Got Here and What This Means

All employers should be aware that their use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements is prohibited in California effective January 1, 2020 under recently signed Assembly Bill No. 51 (AB 51). Under current California law...

Read More
Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

Read More