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  Donald C. Nanney
Attorney
Environmental Law, Real Estate, Transactions and Litigation
Email Donald C. Nanney 
Phone: 310-393-4000
 

Donald C. Nanney

Practice Areas
Environmental
Real Estate
Litigation

 
 
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Honors & Associations
  • Media
  • Pro Bono
  • Education

Profile

Donald C. Nanney is a partner with Gilchrist & Rutter, with a practice focusing on environmental law and real estate, including environmental aspects of business and real estate transactions; regulatory compliance counseling; environmental assessments/audits; contractual allocation of environmental risks; environmental insurance; environmental litigation, claims and penalties; hazardous materials emergencies; and sustainability issues.

Mr. Nanney is the author of Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: A Practical Guide (Second Edition, 1993; First Edition, 1990) and co-author of California Environmental Law Handbook (Third Edition, 1989, through Eleventh Edition, 1999). Mr. Nanney has published widely on issues in his areas of expertise, with articles appearing in legal journals and other professional and business publications, and has been a frequent seminar speaker or sponsor at events held by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar of California and other professional groups.

Experience

Successfully defended a major movie studio against Proposition 65 citizen suits and claims under California's Unfair Competition Law in cases involving alleged exposures to chemicals and discharges of pollutants.

Provided compliance counseling regarding environmental laws and regulations affecting ownership or operation of real property, and advice concerning environmental liability.

Assisted clients with respect to underground storage tanks; asbestos in buildings; dry cleaners; environmental permit requirements; hazardous substance emissions and contamination to air, soil and water; notification, warning, hazard communication and release reporting; hazardous waste disposal and related fees and taxes; sale or purchase and development of "brownfield" properties; prospective purchaser agreements or covenants not to sue; and governmental agency oversight, approval and closure of remedial activities.

Handled environmental claims and litigation between potentially responsible parties, including present and past owners or operators of contaminated properties, as well as generators of hazardous waste, including complex allocation of liability among numerous responsible parties. Handled litigation with conflicting testimony of expert witnesses and environmental regulators as witnesses.

Handled defense of administrative orders from environmental regulators, including petitions to senior agency for administrative relief.

Obtained administrative orders against responsible party, including reopener of closed site.

Represented parties in major contaminated site cases, including "Superfund" sites requiring intensive negotiations with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Obtained determination twice by the EPA not to pursue a client for liability at a Superfund site, first for a subsidiary and next for the corporate parent.

Defended and settled administrative claims and penalty actions regarding alleged violations of hazardous waste laws or occupational safety and health regulations.

Handled emergencies and disaster management issues involving release of hazardous materials; compliance with reporting duties; and extensive dealings with environmental consultants, cleanup contractors and regulatory agencies, including the defense of citations and notices of violation. Matters involved earthquake and fire incidents at a major movie studio, and fire at an industrial warehouse, including response to impacted runoff from fire suppression efforts.

Handled enviromental claims under old insurance policies; assembled with insurance archaeology a library of a century of policies relevant to coverage for environmental claims at Superfund and other sites for a major food processing company; and negotiated and obtained new, state-of-the-art environmental insurance policies, including obtaining environmental insurance for transaction parties in lieu of consultant-recommended Phase II site assessment.

Handled a portfolio transaction involving environmental issues at over 100 sites in California and other western states.

Handled due diligence regarding sale of pipelines and transfer of rights-of-way throughout California by a major oil company.

Honors & Associations

Honors and Awards:

Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer Award, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2016

The Best Lawyers in America® (Environmental Law, 2013-2017), copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Southern California Super Lawyers (Environmental Law); selected by Law & Politics Media, Inc.; www.SuperLawyers.com (fourteen years selected, 2004 - 2017)

2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources; selected by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell

"L.A.'s Top 100 Lawyers," selected by Los Angeles Business Journal, 2009

"Who's Who in L.A. Law,” profiled among L.A.'s leading environmental attorneys, selected by Los Angeles Business Journal, 2008

AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell, www.martindale.com
(nineteen years AV-Rated, 1999-2017)

Bar Admissions:

California, 1974
District of Columbia, 1979 (inactive)
U.S. Supreme Court, 1978
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1975
U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1980
U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1998

Professional Associations and Memberships:

California State Bar, Member, Environmental Law Section and Real Property Law Section

2008-2013, Advisor, Executive Committee, Real Property Law Section

2007-2008, Vice Chair, Real Property Law Section

2005-2008, Executive Committee Member,
Real Property Law Section

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member, Real Property Section and Environmental Law Section

Chair Emeritus, Real Property Section

2008-2009, Chair, Real Property Section

1999-2010, Member, Executive Committee, Real Property Section

1998-2001, Co-Chair, Land Use Planning & Environmental Law Subsection, Real Property Section

1995-1997, Member, Executive Committee, Environmental Law Section

1995-1997, Chair, Corporate Issues & Transactions Committee, Environmental Law Section

Stanford Professionals in Real Estate, Founder's Circle Member, Steering Committee Member, 2010

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Greater Los Angeles, Member, Governmental Affairs Committee, 2010 - Present

Media

Classes/Seminars Taught:

Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE)/Real Property Law Section, California State Bar, Real Estate and Law (REAL) Symposium, Inaugural Chair 2011, Planning Committee 2010-2015

USC Law School Institute/LACBA Bejamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business, Chair, 2003 and 2004

Moderator of panel of seven experts selected for nationwide television program Impact of Environmental Laws on the Transaction, Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions, Broadcast Live from New York City via the Continuing Legal Education Satellite Network, 1990

Speaker, moderator or program sponsor of over 100 other seminars since 1988, for California Continuing Education of the Bar, The State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Other Professional Groups

Published Works:

* BOOKS / HANDBOOKS *

Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: A Practical Guide (Second Edition), McGraw-Hill, Inc./Executive Enterprises Publications Co., Inc., 1993

Real Estate Transactions and Environmental Risks: A Practical Guide (First Edition), Executive Enterprises Publications Co., Inc., New York, 1990

California Environmental Law Handbook (Co-Author), 3rd Edition, 1989, through 11th Edition, 1999, Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, Maryland

* ARTICLES *

New Cause to Beware of Proposition 65 Bounty Hunters, Gilchrist & Rutter Newsletter,
September 2016

Other Lender Protections Besides Waiver of Security Interest in Contaminated Real Property, Commentaries & Bulletins of Korek Land Company, Inc.,
June 2011

Lender’s Right to Waive Its Real Property Security Interest in Environmentally Impaired Property, Commentaries & Bulletins of Korek Land Company, Inc.,
April 2011

Saving a Deal When Environmental Consultants Don't Agree: a Transaction and Environmental Insurance Case Study, Gilchrist & Rutter Newsletter,
January 2011

Anthropogenic Global Warming: Believe it or Not, it's Here, Real Estate Southern California, March 2008

Negotiation of Enviromental Insurance: Policy Clarifications that Insurers May Give, California Real Property Journal, Real Property Law Section - The State Bar of California, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2008

The Lawsuit Trigger: Closing the Gap in Environmental Insurance, Brownfield News, August 2006

Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium Embarks on New Era, Real Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Summer 2004

Brownfields: Consider Aggravating & Mitigating Factors (Co-Author), Valuation Insights & Perspectives, Vol. 9, No. 2, The Appraisal Institute, Second Quarter 2004

Appraising Brownfield Sites, Brownfield News, July/August 2003

Environmental Risk in Today's Market, Real Estate Issues, Counselors of Real Estate, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Fall 2001)

Ninth Circuit Also Rules that Voluntary Remedial Action May be "Necessary" under CERCLA, Real Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, November/December 2000

Mitigating Factors in Appraisal and Valuation of Contaminated Real Property (Co-Author), Real Estate Issues, Counselors of Real Estate, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 2000)

Getting All Your Ducks in a ROW: Right-of-Way Portfolio Management (Co-Author), American Gas, Dec.'98/Jan.'99

Environmental Insurance is Finally Catching On, Real Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, September/October 1997

Manage Mess, California Law Business, a Los Angeles Daily Journal Supplement, December 2, 1996

Asbestos Inspection, Disclosure by Building Owners and Employers, California Real Property Journal, Real Property Law Section -- The State Bar of California, Summer 1996

New OSHA Asbestos Standards: A New Chapter in an Old Controversy, Environmental Liability Enforcement and Penalties Reporter, January 1995

New OSHA Asbestos Regulation Expand Duties of Employers and Building Owners and Tenants, Journal of Environmental Regulation, Winter 1994/1995

New Asbestos Regulations Create Expanded Duties, The Corporate Counselor, December 1994

Hazardous Materials Disaster Management, Environmental Manager,
October 1994

ASTM Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Environmental Liability, Enforcement and Penalties Reporter, August 1993

Trustee and Fiduciary Liability Under CERCLA: What Did the Trustee Know and When Did the Trustee Know It?, Probate Law Journal of Ohio, July/August 1993

Note: The foregoing list of articles does not include articles by others in which Mr. Nanney was quoted.

* SYMPOSIUM / SEMINAR PROGRAM MATERIALS *

Anthropogenic Global Warming: Believe it or Not, It's Here, Special Conference Supplement, Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business 2008

Enviromental Insurance: The Top 10 Changes in Policy Terms That Insureds Should Seek and Insurers May Give, Real Property Law Section, The State Bar of California, 2007

Negotiation of Enviromental Insurance: Key Changes in Policy Terms That Insureds Should Seek and Insurers May Give, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2007

Environmental Indemnities in Loan Documents: Theory and Practice, Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2005

Phase II Environmental Studies: When, Why & How?, Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2003

New Brownfields Legislation: Real Progress or Window Dressing?, Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2002

Top 10 Pitfalls for Real Estate Attorneys Reviewing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2001

Learning from Belmont Learning Center (An Environmental Primer for Land Deals), So. California Chinese Lawyers Association - Los Angeles County Bar Association (Real Property Section), 2001

Strike While the Market is HOT: Developments and Trends in Contaminated Real Property Transactions, In-House Presentation for Confidential Client, 1999

Mitigating Factors in Appraisal and Valuation of Contaminated Real Property (Co-Author) (Program: Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder: What Is Contaminated Property Really Worth?), Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1999

To Lend or Not to Lend, That is Still the Question, but Fiduciaries Have Real New Protection from Environmental Liability (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Environmental Insurance is Finally Catching On (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Asbestos Compliance Duties for Landlords and Tenants and Environmental Insurance (Program: Exploring the Complexities of Commercial Leasing -- A Walkabout with the Pros), The Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium / Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1997

Toxic Materials Legal and Legislative Update (Program: Fulcrum for the Future: Striving for Environmental Excellence), Association of Environmental Professionals, 1996

Environmental Liability for Contaminated Real Property (Program: Bridging the Gap (Into Real Property Law), Part II), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1996

New Asbestos Regulations: OSHA Rules Affecting Real Property Management (Program: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Real Estate Sales & Brokerage Law and Much More), Real Property Section - The State Bar of California, 1994

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Program: Environmental Liabilities in Real Property and Business Transactions), CLE International, 1994

Landlord/Tenant Liability for Cleaning Up Environmental Contamination (Program: What Your Lease Doesn't Say: Environmental Issues Between Landlords & Tenants), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1994

Liability for Cleaning Up UST Releases (Program: Underground Storage Tank Regulation in California: Compliance, Cleanup and Liability), California Business Environmental Assistance Center, 1993

Accounting for Environmental Liability, Real Estate Accounting Institute - Executive Enterprises, 1993

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1992

Exploring the Trends: New Developments in Legislation and Court Cases (Program: How to Conduct and Review Real Estate Site Assessments), HAZMACON, 1992

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Minimizing Risks in International Business Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1991

What Every Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About: Environmental Due Diligence (Program: Environmental Risks in Real Estate and Business Transactions), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1991

Asbestos Regulation (Program: Fundamentals of California Environmental Law Compliance), Government Institutes, Inc., 1991

Environmental Issues (Program: Resolving Troubled Real Estate Loans), Infocast, 1991

Impact of Environmental Laws on the Transaction (Moderator of Panel: Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions), Continuing Legal Education Satellite Network, 1990

Asbestos Notification and Disclosure Laws (Program: Fundamentals of California Environmental Law Compliance), Government Institutes, Inc., 1990

Developing Standards for Environmental Due Diligence: An Update From a Legal Perspective, Proceedings of the 6th Annual Hazardous Materials Management Conference West, 1990

Recent Developments Regarding Hazardous Substance Disclosure Obligations of Lessees, Lessors, and Sellers of Real Property (Co-Author) (Program: Fundamentals of Real Property Practice), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1989

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Fundamentals of Real Property Practice), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1989

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: The Real Estate Syndicate Disposes of a "Dirty" Property), The Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium / Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1989

* UNIVERSITY EXTENSION COURSE MATERIALS *

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: Performing Assessments and Avoiding Liability), University Extension Programs in Environmental Management - U.C. Riverside, 1994

Exploring the Trends: New Developments in Legislation and Court Cases (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: Performing Assessments and Avoiding Liability), University Extension Programs in Environmental Management - U.C. Riverside, 1994

What Every Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About: Environmental Due Diligence (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate and Business Transactions), U.C. San Diego Extension, 1991

Pro Bono

Pro-Bono legal work for St. George’s Episcopal Church, La Canada-Flintridge, CA. (e.g., leases, insurance claims, administration of Memorial Garden for interment of ashes).

Education

Honor graduate (1975), U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School at University of Virginia

J.D. (1974), University of California at Davis; Top 15% of Class

A.B. with distinction (1971), Stanford University, Stanford, California

 
 
           
   
 

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