Buzz Hines has practiced environmental law for 30-plus years, providing regulatory representation, compliance counseling, and strategic advice to clients with respect to federal, California, and local environmental, natural resource, real estate, and energy matters. He is the chair of Farella’s Air Quality and Climate Change Group. Buzz is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

A former Department of Justice Trial Attorney with the Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C., Buzz has trial and litigation expertise, and regularly defends government and citizen enforcement actions and leads internal investigations. His practice also encompasses facility and project permitting, regulation of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions, administrative variance proceedings (including trials before administrative tribunals), site investigations, closures and cleanup, and Proposition 65 counseling, product stewardship, supply chain advice, and brand protection.

In addition, Buzz advises on renewable energy project development issues and property disposition matters, including due diligence, brownfield remediation, and securing immunities and environmental covenants. He also assists clients in obtaining environmentally-related insurance products and securing coverage for losses.

Buzz also works with clients in the wine and cannabis industries, where he assists with facility expansions, acquisitions, and agricultural and related product issues, such as advising on water diversion and use, FIFRA and state equivalent label requirements, and providing product stewardship advice.  

Along with an enormous amount of hands-on experience, Buzz brings an exceptional ability to listen to and work with his clients – understanding their objectives, and integrating those objectives into the overall strategy. In the enormously complex field of environmental law in California, Buzz is a genuine trusted advisor and consummate industry professional.

Buzz is a frequent speaker on environmental law and related topics.


  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers (2017 to present)
  • Chambers USA, Environment (2011-2019)
  • Member, Environmental Law Institute Leadership Counsel (2016 to present)
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Northern California Super Lawyers

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Co-Division Director, Division V – Substantive, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2019-2020)
  • Member, Membership & Marketing Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2018-2019)
  • Co-Chair, Membership & Marketing Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2017-2018)
  • Co-Division Director, Division I – Membership and Benefits, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2016-2017)
  • Co-Division Director, Division VII - Public Service and Special Projects, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2015-2016)
  • Co-Chair, Regional Meetings Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2014-2015)
  • Co-Chair, National Institutes and Regional Meetings Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2012-2013, 2013-2014)
  • Co-Division Director, Division III - CLE and Programs, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2010-2011, 2011-2012)
  • Member and Board Chair, Board of Directors, Ecology Project International (2010-2016)
  • Court-Appointed Mediator, ADR Multi-Option Program, United States District Court, Northern District of California (1993- present)
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Advisory Council, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (2010-present)
  • Member and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra (1997-2010)
  • Co-Chair, ABA Annual Meeting (San Francisco), Section of Litigation (2010)
  • Co-Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2005-2008)
  • Co-Chair, Environmental Litigation Committee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2001-2005)
  • Co-Chair, Environmental Enforcement Subcommittee, American Bar Association (1993-2001)
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitrators Association (1991- 2005)
  • Adjunct Professor, Golden Gate University School of Law (Environmental Law Program) (1993-2000)
  • American Academy of Attorney-Mediators, Inc., completed “AAM Seed Group” Mediator Training Program (February 1996)
  • Trial Attorney, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice (Honors Program) (1986-1988)

Firm Highlights


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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