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Kevin T. Haroff

Kevin Haroff
Office Managing Partner
D - 415.684.9359

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Kevin Haroff is the managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. He has represented businesses, individuals, and governmental entities in civil litigation and regulatory matters for more than 25 years. Clients and colleagues have recognized Kevin as a “world-class … professional,” one of the “best in the business,” and “a talented and trusted … lawyer with the strategic vision to advocate for his clients while understanding their business realities.” Chambers USA has described him as a "highly regarded litigator," with "great expertise and experience in more complex environmental matters."

Kevin has spoken at numerous business, law, and policy conferences in California, throughout the United States and abroad. His speaking engagements have included presentations at Cornell University, Harvard Business School, and the Euromoney Conference on Trade and Finance in Shanghai, China. Through these engagements and various writing projects, Kevin has “repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to furthering public dialogue about critical legal issues.”

Representative Experience

Complex Civil and Appellate Litigation

Kevin Haroff has represented clients in federal and state court litigation matters, at both trial and appellate levels, throughout the United States. A significant part of Kevin’s litigation experience involves representing clients in cases involving government entities, including “bet-the-company” judicial enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Kevin was one of the lead counsel involved in litigation over the provisions of federal and state contracts to deliver water from the San Francisco Bay - Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta (Bay Delta) and the California Central Valley Project. Recently, Kevin obtained a decision in a case of first impression from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming the dismissal (with prejudice) of an environmental and insurance subrogation claim against a major U.S. manufacturing client - appellant's petition for certiorari review of the decision was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Environmental Law and Land Use

Kevin has represented clients on a variety of environmental matters under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and various other federal and state environmental laws. He also has handled regulatory disputes involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various EPA Regional Offices (Regions 5, 8, 9 and 10), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts, the California State Water Resources Control Board and various regional water quality control boards, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Kevin is a recognized expert on land use issues under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and related state laws, and he has been involved with some of the largest residential and commercial development projects in the state over the last ten years. He has represented both developers and project opponents in legal challenges to environmental review documents supporting specific project approvals and general planning determinations. He also represented a civilian airport authority in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Defense over the public benefit transfer of a former Naval air station on Guam. In addition to his law practice, Kevin has served on a local planning commission and city council addressing a range of complex project and planning issues. 

Oil, Gas and Alternative Energy

Early in his career, Kevin served as in-house counsel with a one of the world’s largest multi-national oil companies, where he supported the company’s petroleum exploration and production businesses. In addition, Kevin has been involved in a number of alternative energy projects over the years, advising on permitting issues for cogeneration and biomass power generation; defending regulatory claims against owners and operators of geothermal and biomass power generation facilities; and challenging the permitting of a biomass power generation facility. Kevin currently serves on the board of directors of a local not-for-profit electricity provider focused on delivering power from a range of renewable energy sources.

Toxic Tort and Proposition 65 

Kevin has defended clients in complex toxic tort cases and a variety of matters brought under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). Kevin obtained the complete dismissal of a multi-plaintiff personal injury and fear-of-cancer case involving alleged exposure to dioxin and other chemicals – the dismissal was upheld in all respects by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Proposition 65 cases, Kevin has defended clients against claims of alleged unlawful exposures to lead, cadmium, mercury and other chemical substances (including second-hand smoke) in connection with a variety of different consumer products (including food) and exposure scenarios. Most recently, Kevin help negotiate industry-wide settlement of Proposition 65 claims alleging exposure to chemical flame retardants in foam-cushioned furniture products.  

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Kevin has been involved in the mediation and arbitration of a number of different types of disputes. Kevin helped prosecute one of the first arbitration claims submitted to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the 1980’s. He also was involved in one of the first arbitration proceedings convened to allocate environmental response liability under California’s hazardous waste control laws. He has had substantial roles in private party mediations over environmental liability under CERCLA, groundwater contamination issues, disputes over costs and pricing to dispose of municipal solid waste, arrangements for the provision of municipal water supplies, and insurance disputes. Kevin has been praised by clients for his ability to “keep adversaries at the table working toward a solution.”


  • J.D., Cornell Law School (1981) 
  • M.B.A., with distinction, Cornell University (Johnson Graduate School of Management) (1981)
  • B.A, Cornell University (College of Arts & Sciences) (1977)

Admitted to Practice

  • State Bar of California, #123126 (1986)
  • State Bar of New York, #2344653 (1985)
  • State Bar of Texas, #09023000 (1982)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1985)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2010)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1991)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2010)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (1982)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (2003)
  • U.S. District Court for Central District of California (1993)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (1988)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (1986)

Professional Activities and Honors

  • Member, American Bar Association (Environmental, Energy and Resources and International Law Sections)
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, Texas State Bar Association
  • Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Listed in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – California Environmental (2007-2012)
  • Listed in Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2014)

Decisions of Note

  • Chubb Custom Insurance Company v. Space Systems/Loral, Inc., et al., 710 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 82 U.S.L.W. 3241 (U.S. Jan. 13, 2014) (No. 13-412) (CERCLA cost recovery and subrogation)
  • California Air Resources Board, et al., v. Association of Irritated Residents, et al., No. A132165 (1st Dist. Ct. App. 2011) (climate change and cap and trade)
  • Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, 130 S. Ct. 2743, 561 U.S.  __139, 177 L. Ed. 461 (2010), rev’g Geertson Seed Farms v. Johanns, 541 F.3d 938 (9th Cir. 2008) (NEPA)
  • In re Bay-Delta Programmatic Environmental Impact Report Coordinated Proceedings, 43 Cal. 4th 1143; 184 P.3d 709 (Cal. 2008), (CEQA, water quality, and water rights)
  • United States v. Alisal Water Corp., No. C 97-20099 JF (HRL), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41677 (N.D.Cal. 2007) (federal SDWA enforcement)
  • San Diego Unified Port District v. TDY Industries, Inc. et al., 2006 U.S. Dist. 54942 (S.D.Cal. 2006) (CERCLA cost recovery and contribution)
  • State Water Resources Control Bd. Cases, No. C044714, 136 Cal. App. 4th 674; 39 Cal. Rptr. 3d 189;36 ELR 20038 (3d Dist. Ct. App. 2006) (land use and water rights)
  • In re Vaccine Cases, No. B168163, 134 Cal. App. 4th 438; 36 Cal. Rptr. 3d 80 (2d Dist. Ct. App. 2005) (Proposition 65 and unfair business practice claims)
  • Consumer Advocacy Group, Inc. v. Kintetsu Enterprises of America, 129 Cal.App.4th 540; 28 Cal.Rptr.3d 775 (2d Dist.Ct.App. 2005) (Proposition 65)
  • City of Barstow v. Mojave Water Agency, 23 Cal. 4th 1224; 5 P.3d 853; 99 Cal. Rptr. 2d 294; 31 ELR 20023 (Cal. 2000) (water rights)
  • Collier v. Simpson Paper Co., No. 97-15101, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 36334 (9th Cir. 1997) (toxic tort and fear of cancer claims)
  • County of San Joaquin v. State Water Res. Control Bd., No. C023548, 54 Cal. App. 4th 1144; 63 Cal. Rptr. 2d 277; 1997 Cal. App. LEXIS 356; (3d Dist. Ct. App. 1997) (water rights and civil procedure)
  • California v. Summer del Caribe, 821 F. Supp. 574; 23 ELR 21261 (N.D. Cal. 1993) (CERCLA cost recovery and remediation)
  • Ecodyne Corp. v. Shah, No. C-88-4813-JPV, 718 F. Supp. 1454;  20 ELR 20172 (N.D.Cal. 1989) (CERCLA cost recovery and remediation)
  • Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Le Resche, Nos. 6396, 6648, 663 P.2d 923 (Alaska 1983) (administrative law and regulation)

Select Publications

  • Kevin T. Haroff, EME Homer City v. EPA Affirms Role of Federalism in Environmental Regulation, The Legal Pulse (Washington Legal Foundation, September 2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Open or Shut? – Pleading Federal Environmental Claims After Twombly and Iqbal, Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee Newsletter (ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, July 2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, With Diminished Prospects Overall for a Comprehensive Strategy on Climate Change in the United States, the State of California Moves Forward on Its Own, International Environmental Law Committee Newsletter (ABA Section of International Law, January – April 2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, On Thin Air: Standing, Climate Change, and the National Environmental Policy Act, 46 Val. U. L. Rev. 411 (2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, California’s Climate Change Program Comes Together in 2012 – Or Does It?, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee Newsletter (ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, April 2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff and Amanda Leiter, On the Merits: EME Homer City Generation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Wash. Legal Found., April 2012)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Climate Change Game Changers: The Evolution of Regulation and Litigation, Aspatore Special Report - Understanding Recent Climate Change Developments (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore, December 2010)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Biotech – Geertson Seed Farms and Beyond, Joint Newsletters of the Environmental Litigation and Toxic Tort, Agricultural Management, and Environmental Impact Assessment Committees (ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, November 2010)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, The New Environmental Paradigm: Trends and Strategies for Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change, The Legal Impact of Climate Change – Leading Lawyers on Navigating New Laws, Avoiding Liability, and Anticipating Future Challenges for Clients (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore, 2010 ed.)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Climate Change Litigation in the United States, Liability for Climate Change? – Experts’ Views on a Potential Emerging Risk (Munich RE Corporate Climate Centre, March 2010)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Summers v. Earth Island Institute Reiterates Actual Injury Requirement for Citizen Suit Standing, 24:27 Legal Backgrounder (Wash. Legal Found., August 14, 2009)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Delta Smelt Biological Opinion Sets the Stage for the Latest Skirmish in California’s Water Wars, Water Resources Committee Newsletter (ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, May 2009)
  • Kevin T. Haroff, Prospects for International Engagement on Climate Change by the Obama Administration, The International Environmental Law News (ABA Section of International Law, March 2009)
  • Kevin T. Haroff & Jacqueline Hartis, Climate Change and the Courts: Litigating the Causes and Consequences of Global Warming, Natural Resources and the Environment (American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Winter 2008)
  • Kevin T. Haroff & Katherine K. Moore, Global Climate Change and the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.F.L. Rev. 155 (2007)

Select Speeches and Presentations

  • “California Water Quality and Supply Consideration,” LSI Conference on Environmental Regulation and Hydraulic Fracturing in California; Santa Monica, California (July 2013)
  • “Developing Offset Projects for Compliance,” Moderator, Marten Law and American Carbon Registry Conference on California’s Cap and Trade – Strategies for Effective Market Participation; Sacramento, California (July 2013)
  • “Pleading Federal Environmental and Toxic Tort Claims – Navigating Pleading Standards Amid Differing Court Decisions, and Overcoming Other Procedural Challenges,” Strafford Webinar (January 2013)
  • Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA – A Key New Decision for Climate Change Regulation,” Moderator, LSI TeleBriefing (August 2012)
  • “Rolling the Dice: Using Science-Based Risk Assessment in Making Decisions on Energy Policy,” Cornell Environmental Law Society 2011 Energy Conference at Cornell Law School: Ithaca, New York (April 2011)
  • “Water Supply Planning Considerations For Land Use and Development Projects,” Association of Environmental Professionals 2011 Annual State Conference: Monterey, California (March 2011)
  • “Climate Change Litigation Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),” 2011 Monsanto Lecture and Conference on Climate Change Litigation, Valparaiso University School of Law: Valparaiso, Indiana (February 2011)
  • “Land Use Planning Approaches to the Climate Change Challenge,” 2010 SHB Conference on the Next Generation of Environmental Law; Miami, Florida (December 2010)
  • “Overview of California Water Law and Regulation,” LSI Conference on California Water Quality and Its Impact on Water Supply; San Francisco, California (July 2010)
  • “Changes in Pleading Requirements: Bolstering Defense Advantages by Using Potential Plaintiff Problems with the Iqbal-Twombly Standard,” ACI Conference on Chemical Products Liability and Environmental Litigation; Chicago, Illinois (April 2010)
  • “Environmental and Regulatory Challenges to Developing Energy Alternatives – A Case Study,” Law, Science and Sustainability Seminar at Cornell Law School; Ithaca, New York (March 2010)
  • “Cap and Trade Fundamentals - An Introduction to Market-Based Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” CLE 2008 International Climate Change Conference; San Francisco, California (updated and expanded – September 2009)
  • “Waxman-Markey – A Brief Overview of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” Bay Area Council Energy Committee, San Francisco, California (July 2009)

Civic Activities

  • City of Larkspur (Marin County, California) - City Council Member (2013-Present); City Planning Commissioner (2012-2013)
  • Marin Clean Energy - Board Member (2014-Present)
  • Cornell Law School Alumni Association - Executive Board Member (2012-Present)
  • Voluntary Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco – Board and Executive Committee Member (2012)
  • San Francisco Bar Association Foundation –  Member of the Board of Directors (2010-2011); Board Secretary (2011); Chair, Lawyers Campaign for VLSP and Diversity (2010)
  • United Way of the Bay Area – Member, Campaign Cabinet (2011-2012); Recipient of the Silverback Award for Extraordinary Campaign Efforts and Personal Leadership (2009)
  • World Affairs Council of Northern California –  Past Trustee and Member, Education Committee
  • California Asia Business Council – Past Member of the Board of Directors

Representative Experience

ECS Refining

We represent ECS Refining, one of the nation’s largest electronics recycling companies, in connection with a range of environmental compliance and enforcement matters, including compliance with state requirements governing the management of hazardous and “universal” wastes. More

Ford Motor Company: Recovery of Insurance Payments Under CERCLA

Marten Law represents Ford Motor Company in connection with a complex environmental cost recovery and insurance subrogation case involving a former aeronautical manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California. In 2011, the U.S. More

Golden Heritage Foods

We represent Golden Heritage Foods, a major U.S. processor and packager of retail honey products, in connection with a private enforcement action brought under California’s Proposition 65 toxics enforcement and notification law. More

Pattern Energy: Court Upholds Federal Right of Way for California Wind Project

On February 27, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted Pattern Energy and the United States Bureau of Land Management summary judgment on all claims in the suit brought by the Quechan Tribe against the Ocotillo wind project, located near San Diego. More