David Cranston founded and chairs the firm’s Environmental Group. He has specialized in environmental law for over 25 years and is recognized as one of the preeminent attorneys in the field. He is ranked as one of the leading environmental lawyers in California by Chambers USA (2013, 2014), which notes that clients describe Mr. Cranston as a “very strategic advocate” and “courtroom lawyer” who has achieved “amazingly positive results.” Mr. Cranston has also been recognized as one of the World’s Leading Environment Lawyers by Legal Media Group (2005) and a Southern California Super Lawyer in Environmental Law (2009-2015).
Mr. Cranston’s broad-based experience ranges from the litigation of complex environmental disputes under CERCLA, CEQA, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act to representation and counseling on regulatory and policy matters. Mr. Cranston emphasizes the implementation of cost-effective and innovative strategies for favorable resolution of environmental disputes through alternative dispute resolution and, when necessary, litigation.
Mr. Cranston is relied upon by some of the country’s largest companies to resolve environmental claims in connection with their national portfolios of contaminated properties. At numerous sites throughout the country, Mr. Cranston has recovered the costs of environmental cleanup from the parties legally responsible for the contamination.
Mr. Cranston has represented his clients in connection with a number of Superfund sites, including defense of U.S. EPA claims of liability and the negotiation of administrative orders, consent decrees and allocation among potentially responsible parties. Mr. Cranston has served as common or lead counsel for a number of defense groups in litigated and non-litigated matters.
Mr. Cranston also has significant expertise in the environmental issues arising from oil and gas production. Mr. Cranston led the litigation and negotiations on behalf of Culver City resulting in a landmark settlement of hotly contested CEQA litigation, favorably resolving a number of environmental issues in connection with future operations of the Baldwin Hills Oil Field.
Mr. Cranston has substantial expertise in air quality litigation, regulation and counseling on policy and rule-making matters. For more than ten years, the Central California dairy industry has relied on Mr. Cranston for providing the legal counseling, representation and litigation in a region known for significant air quality issues and aggressive challenges by environmental organizations. He also advises on the challenges and opportunities arising under California’s Cap and Trade regulatory regime.
Mr. Cranston has worked with most of the major insurance markets in negotiating manuscripted environmental insurance policies to specifically address environmental risks arising from known and unknown pollution conditions. He has also helped his clients recover for claims under such policies.
Mr. Cranston advises real estate investors and developers in connection with the acquisition and redevelopment of properties impacted by environmental contamination. He helps direct the due diligence, risk management and regulatory initiatives necessary for a successful transaction.
Mr. Cranston is also a competitive bicyclist, when time permits. In 2010 he won the State Championship in road racing at the California Senior Games. Racing for the U.S. team, he also won a gold medal at the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2009. In 2013 he completed the 620 mile “Million Dollar Challenge” in support of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.