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

News

Farella Braun + Martel Recognized in 2020 Chambers High Net Worth Guide for Private Wealth Law in Northern California

SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel’s Private Client Industry Group earned recognition in the 2020 Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) guide as a leading firm in the Private Wealth Law category...

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
Publication

7 Tips for Creating a COVID-19 Essential Business Travel Policy

As states are relaxing COVID-19-related restrictions, employers should remain cautious about business travel. California’s public health orders still limit travel to an “urgent matter” or that which is “essential to your permitted work.” Given...

Read More
Publication

Treatment of Commercial Leases in Tenant Bankruptcy - The Basics

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the nation’s economy, we have started to see bankruptcy filings by well-known companies such as GNC, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Modell’s, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s...

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

Community Reinvestment Groups Sue Trump Administration for Unlawfully Gutting Anti-Redlining Rules

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, OCC’s Rushed Rule Lessens Accountability for Banks, Silences Communities Impacted by Systemic Lending Discrimination National Community Reinvestment Coalition, California Reinvestment Coalition Seek to Halt Unlawful Rule, Protect Vulnerable Communities Federal Reserve...

Read More
News

Farella Names New White Collar Defense & Internal Corporate Investigations Practice Co-Chairs

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel announces that Senior Associates Aviva J. Gilbert and Janice W. Reicher have been appointed co-chairs of its White Collar Defense and...

Read More
Event

PDC 2020 PD Virtual Summer Camp

Sarah Good will be speaking at the Professional Development Consortium's live webinar, "Diversity Sponsorship Law Firm Programs." Details: Sponsorship is critical to the retention and advancement to partnership of associates at law firms. We will...

Read More
Publication

Engineering, Procurement and Construction Agreements for Utility-Scale Battery Projects

The negotiation of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for a battery energy storage systems (BESS) project typically surfaces many of the same contractual risk allocation issues that one encounters in the negotiation...

Read More
Event

Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

Sarah Bell will be speaking on this Strafford live webinar, "Reexamining Indirect Discharges and the Clean Water Act After County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund ." This CLE webinar will discuss the...

Read More