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 (2018-2021) in the area of Litigation–Environmental
  • Who’s Who Legal 2017 for environmental law
  • Northern California Super Lawyers in environmental law since (2004-2020)

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 Advises 10x Genomics on Purchase of Retail Center Site

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Pleasanton-based biotech company 10x Genomics in its purchase of a 14.6-acre former shopping center site in Pleasanton at 1701 Springdale Ave., where it plans to...

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Event

17th Annual Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law

Linda Sobczynski is a featured panelist at the 17th Annual Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law virtual program. Details: Join us for a stimulating three-day immersion in environmental law at Western Boot Camp. Designed for new...

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Event

Bisnow Digital Summit: California Opportunity Zones Update

Julie Treppa will be speaking at Bisnow's Digital Summit: California Opportunity Zones Update virtual program, "An Update on Opportunity Zones Today." Details: How will the Biden administration change the OZ program? Did the pandemic sideline...

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News

Jeffrey Fisher Inducted as Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers

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Event

Eviction Moratorium Updates for Nonprofits

Tony Schoenberg speaking on "Eviction Moratorium Updates for Nonprofits" at the March Nonprofit Education Series.  As an owner or tenant, dealing with real estate has been one of the most significant challenges facing nonprofits...

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Publication

Cannabis and Hemp-Derived Products Subject to New Prop. 65 Warning Requirements in California

California’s regulatory framework for cannabis and hemp-derived products, including CBD, continues to evolve, most recently via updated Proposition 65 warning requirements that came into full effect Jan. 3, 2021. As of that date, anyone...

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News

Nevada Links Wins Summary Judgment Motion in Case Brought by United States

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel successfully defended Nevada Links, Inc., the owner of a championship golf course in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a $100 million lawsuit brought by the United States...

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Publication

New Round of PPP Loans: What Nonprofits Need to Know

Matt Lewis and Julie Treppa discuss "New Round of PPP Loans: What Nonprofits Need to Know."  The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a lifeline for nonprofits and other businesses that are struggling to survive during...

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Publication

Pandemic Restriction Challenges Face Uphill Battle in California

On Dec.16, 2020, in Midway Venture LLC v. County of San Diego, the San Diego Superior Court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of two COVID-19-related California public health restrictions as applied to two adult entertainment businesses...

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Publication

Data Center Business Deals Gone Bad, and the Risks of the “Known in the Industry” Defense

Exploring business partnerships often involves or even requires sharing highly confidential and even trade secret information. The data center industry is no exception, and its participants have in recent years faced litigation focused around...

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