Catherine W. Johnson

Catherine Johnson is our exclusively recommended Environmental Law expert in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Catherine directly using the contact details listed above.

Catherine specialises in California and federal environmental law, representing a broad range of clients and industries, including manufacturing facilities, national transportation companies, food companies, a recycling facility, and leaders in the commercial real estate and multi-family housing industry. She has represented a leader in the multi-family homes industry for over twenty years, and served as the sole environmental lawyer for a publicly-traded REIT for over fourteen years. She has represented several of her current clients for over a decade or more.

Catherine’s areas of expertise include brownfields development, soil vapor intrusion, Proposition 65, pollution legal liability insurance policies, hazardous and solid waste, landfills, Superfund sites, electronic waste, underground storage tanks, asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, mould, radon, methane gas, OSHA, Porter-Cologne Act, Truck & Bus Regulation, CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and all aspects of the investigation, clean-up, and closure of contaminated properties. Catherine has special expertise in environmental due diligence and transactional matters for real estate, stock, and asset acquisitions. Catherine has handled enforcement actions brought by federal, state, and local agencies, under a variety of laws, including one of the first U.S. EPA enforcement actions brought under the California Truck & Bus Regulation.

Catherine’s transactional and compliance practice at EGC is backed by years of litigation experience, where she served either as lead counsel or co-counsel in several major cases, including citizens’ suits claims (Prop 65, storm water), CERCLA cost recovery claims, and claims for property damage associated with subsurface contamination and soil vapor intrusion.  Catherine was lead attorney for the landmark case, U.S. v. Chapman, 146 F.3d 1166, 1169 (9th Cir. 1998) (establishing a test for EPA’s recovery of its litigation fees in a CERCLA cost-recovery action) and she was lead co-counsel for SF Bay keeper v. Levin Enterprises, (N.D. CA, 2013) (first decision to address the scope of storm water permit requirements applicable to the transportation industry).

Before establishing EGC, Catherine was a partner at Hanson Bridgett, LLP, in San Francisco for seven years, and a partner at Wendel Rosen Black & Dean, in Oakland for thirteen years. Catherine started her environmental practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. Before practicing law, she served as a consultant to ICF, Inc., providing support to the U.S. EPA in development of some of the first environmental regulations under certain provisions of CERCLA and RCRA.

Catherine is the Immediate Past Chair of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Environmental Section.

Firm Overview:

Environmental General Counsel is an environmental boutique law firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have decades of experience with all aspects of environmental law, including compliance, enforcement, clean-ups, complex litigation, natural resources, risk allocation in loans and acquisitions — with special expertise in sophisticated transactions, Proposition 65, pollution legal liability policies, vapor intrusion, asbestos-containing materials, Environmental Health & Safety programs, environmental claims in bankruptcy, and development projects.

​EGC attorneys are veteran environmental practitioners. Our attorneys have practiced with some of the leading environmental departments and law firms in the country, including Paul Hastings, Holland & Knight, Beveridge & Diamond, Pillsbury Winthrop, Jeffers Mangel Butler & Mitchell, Barg Coffin, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Hanson Bridgett.  We have also served as counsel for environmental regulatory agencies, including the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California Coastal Commission .

EGC represents a wide range of industries, including real estate (single-family homebuilders, multi-family residential owners, developers, commercial property owners), consumer products, fashion and accessories, personal care industry, social media, pet food, chemical manufacturing and distribution, industrial manufacturing, food processing, high tech, maritime and transportation industry, and recycling.

​Our clients include Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies, national and international privately-held companies, publicly-traded companies, public agencies, family businesses, trusts, and individuals.​

We are engaged and active in our field as frequent speakers and writers and we contribute to the environmental legal community as leaders of local and state bar associations. Two of our partners are former Chairs of the California Bar’s Environmental Section — and one partner currently serves as advisor to the Section’s annual Yosemite conference. Two of our partners are former chairs of the San Francisco Bar’s Environmental Section — and one of our partners serves as the current Chair of the Section. We are also active in a leadership position with the County of Alameda’s Environmental Bar. ​

Kristin M. Bohm

Kristin Bohm is our exclusively recommended Litigation expert in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Kristin directly using the contact details listed above.

California, a western U.S. state, stretches from the Mexican border along the Pacific for nearly 900 miles. Its terrain includes cliff-lined beaches, redwood forest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Valley farmland and the Mojave Desert. The city of Los Angeles is the seat of the Hollywood entertainment industry. Hilly San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and cable cars.

Kristin practices in the area of litigation. Ms. Bohm has extensive experience in employment and labour law, representing Fortune 500 employers, self-insured employers, and insurance companies on all employment related issues including: coverage disputes, personal injury, wrongful termination, retaliation, workers’ compensation, discrimination, FEHA, Cal OSHA, wage and hour, social security disability, Labour Code section 132 claims, civil subrogation, corporate employment contracts, labour disputes, serious and wilful misconduct, and products liability litigation. Ms. Bohm brings this experience to her practice of liability and risk in the sports, recreation and outdoor activity areas, representing equipment manufacturers, retailers, venues and trade groups while developing the doctrine of primary assumption of risk. She also counsels ski resorts and well known brands of snow water and outdoor gear on risk management and avoidance in addition to insurance issues.

Kristin Bohm is a 2007 graduate of the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she was managing editor of the Journal of International Law and Policy and a senior staff editor for the Business Law Journal, and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is fluent in Spanish. She is also an avid skier, snowboarder, and marathon runner.

Firm Overview:

Duane Morris LLP, a law firm with more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally, is asked by a broad array of clients to provide innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges.

Evolving from a partnership of prominent lawyers in Philadelphia a century ago, Duane Morris’ modern organisation stretches from the United States to Europe and across Asia. Throughout this global expansion, Duane Morris has remained committed to preserving its collegial, collaborative culture that has attracted many talented attorneys. The firm’s leadership, and outside observers like the Harvard Business School, believe this culture is truly unique among large law firms, and helps account for the firm continuing to prosper throughout changing economic and industry conditions.

Amie Aldana

Amie Aldana is our exclusively recommended Labour Relations expert in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Amie directly using the contact details listed above.

Amie focuses her practice on international and domestic employment counselling.

She advises employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including policies, employee leaves, hiring and termination and government compliance. Amie’s experience includes drafting employment agreements, employee handbooks and separation agreements.

Amie Aldana also assists clients with labour relations and advises on labour and employment matters arising out of corporate transactions. She has experience conducting diligence and working with counsel outside of the US on global matters.

Firm Overview:

Since opening in 1986, our Los Angeles offices have played a major role in defining DLA Piper’s capabilities to serve local, national and international businesses. Our principal areas of practice are Real Estate, Commercial Litigation, Corporate and Securities, Intellectual Property and Technology, Finance, Labour and Employment, Securities Litigation and Tax.

Our clients in Los Angeles range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. We serve these clients wherever in the world they do business. But while markets around the world are internationalising, this doesn’t mean they are becoming the same. We remain committed, as always, to serving the Los Angeles community and all the local markets that are the building blocks of international business – yours and ours.

Gianna M. Assereto

Gianna Assereto is our exclusively recommended Family Law expert in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Gianna directly using the contact details listed above.

Gianna has practiced family law exclusively for over a decade, and she has been consistently recognised as a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2015-2020, a recognition only awarded to the top 2.5% of up-and-coming lawyers in California. Gianna honed her skills as an associate attorney for Hanson Crawford Crum for nearly seven years before becoming a partner at the firm.

Gianna’s commitment to family law drives her practice. She draws on her experience to help her clients resolve the difficult personal and financial issues they may face throughout the dissolution process. Gianna represents a wide variety of clients, including tech executives, founders of companies, real estate developers, physicians, lawyers, and stay-at-home moms and dads. Gianna routinely represents clients with spousal support, child support, property characterisation and division, and child custody and visitation issues. In addition, Gianna has a sub-subspecialty in cases that involve complex business issues such as venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, equity compensation, and  privately held businesses. Not only does Gianna have experience negotiating the complex and nuanced details of a divorce settlement, she is highly effective in contested proceedings in both the public courts throughout the Bay Area and private adjudication, when settlement is not possible.

Gianna also drafts and negotiates premarital agreements, post-marital agreement, and cohabitation agreements for her clients. . Gianna works with clients to ensure that their needs are met and they feel secure in their future.

Additionally, Gianna is skilled in assisting clients through the mediation process and often acts as a consulting attorney to mediation.  To expand her mediation skills, and build-upon her negotiation and litigation experience, Gianna completed 40 hours of intensive mediation training with Gary Friedman at The Centre for Understanding in Conflict and continues to take courses to improve upon these skills.

Regardless of the type of case presented, Gianna strives to maintain compassion and an awareness of her client’s individual challenges to determine the most effective and efficient path to resolution.

When she is not in the office, Gianna enjoys traveling and playing with her Cavalier King Charles named Archie.

Richard B. Andrade

Richard Andrade is our exclusively recommended Construction Litigation expert in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Richard directly using the contact details listed above.

Richard’s practice focuses primarily on construction litigation, including “changed conditions”, change order and differing site condition claims, Mechanic’s Lien and Stop Notice Litigation, Labour Law, including Trust Fund Litigation and General Business Litigation.  He counsels and represents project owners, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers.

Richard has specialised in the construction industry for nearly 25 years.  He has extensive experience in all aspects of the California Judicial System, the Federal System and the American Arbitration Association. Richard serves on the Board of Directors for the Engineering Contractors Association, is an affiliate member of the Southern California Contractors Association and the Associated General Contractors of California. Richard is also counsel to the Engineering Contractors Association, is a member of the Associated General Contractors State-wide Legal Advisory Committee to the construction industry, as well as a member of the Southern California Constructors Legal Advisory Committee.

Richard holds a California State Contractors License, and was actively involved in the construction industry as an owner of a company that, over a 10 year period, constructed in excess of 60 projects, the value of which exceeded $50 million.

Richard Andrade’s goal, in representing clients, is to achieve the optimum cost-benefit result possible within the context of the facts, law and good legal representation.  He attempts to solve problems, not create them, to achieve ends rather than frustrate them, and to do so in an aggressive yet ethical manner.

Melissa A. Jones

Melissa Jones is our exclusively recommended Agribusiness Law in California on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Melissa directly using the contact details listed above.

Melissa is a trial lawyer who provides experienced and practical counsel in complex business disputes, appellate matters and internal investigations. She has represented clients from a broad range of industries in complex civil litigation matters in both state and federal court, including the agribusiness, and oil and gas industries. Her practice includes an emphasis on Proposition 65 defence as well. Additionally, Melissa has held various leadership roles at the firm. She is the Firm Managing Partner and serves on the firm’s Executive Committee. Melissa is a former office managing partner for the firm’s three California offices and also recently served as the chair of the Partner Compensation Committee.

Melissa’s experience includes litigating claims for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, misappropriation of trade secrets, products liability, false advertising and unfair competition. She has worked on internal investigations for both publicly traded and private companies on complex compliance and accounting issues and has represented companies in government enforcement actions, including matters involving the California Attorney General’s office and the Air Resources Board.

Melissa regularly defends companies in litigation claims related to California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) and Unfair Competition Law (17200) and advises companies on Prop 65 compliance. She leads the Firm’s Prop 65 defence and compliance team. Her Prop 65 clients range from large retailers to vendors and manufacturers, in industries including apparel, footwear, handbags, eyewear, fitness products, children’s products, furniture, electronics, hobby and crafts, automotive, personal care products and accessories, food and dietary supplements and natural foods. She has defended Prop 65 actions and advised clients in matters regarding listed chemicals including lead, Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates (BBP, DBP, DINP, DIDP, and DEHP), carbon monoxide, cadmium, 4-MEI, crystalline silica, acrylamide, arsenic, tris phosphate (TDCPP, TCEP), Diethanolamine and Cocomide-DEA. She also advises clients on other California regulations.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Melissa was a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, where she worked for 10 years. After law school, she clerked for the Honourable Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

She has been an active member of the legal community, serving as President to the Sacramento Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, the Chair of the Eastern District Conference, a Board Member for Women Lawyers of Sacramento, and as a member of the Eastern District’s Judicial Advisory Committee.