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Richard McNeil

Phone: +1 949.798.1381
3 Park Plaza, 20th Floor
Irvine, CA 92614-8505

Rick McNeil is a partner in the Environment & Natural Resources Group and also is a partner in the Commercial Litigation Group.  Rick is a trial attorney with numerous jury, bench and administrative trials to his credit, particularly in the areas of environmental, land use, tort and product liability, real estate and business litigation.

Rick’s environmental experience spans nearly all aspects of federal and California law, including Superfund, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Proposition 65 and green chemistry, including numerous matters involving chemicals in food and consumer products.  

Rick also has substantial experience in cases involving claims for personal injury or property damage claimed to be the result of exposure to mold, lead, asbestos, pathogens, and other toxins (such as under Proposition 65 and federal and Cal-OSHA), as well as regulatory enforcement involving these types of claims.

Rick has handled dozens of matters before the USEPA, the SCAQMD, the DTSC, and the Los Angeles and Santa Ana RWQCB’s.

Rick is recognized for his knowledge about CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) and counsels clients on land use planning and zoning as well as strategies for obtaining land development entitlements. Rick has served as lead counsel or co-counsel in numerous CEQA cases through the trial and appellate phases and also counsels clients on strategies to avert CEQA lawsuits.

Rick is a member of the American Law Institute, where he contributes to the current revision of the Restatement of the Law, 4th, Property. He also is a member of the Litigation Section and the Environment, Energy and Resources Section of the American Bar Association and the Real Estate, Business Litigation and Environmental Law Sections of the Orange County Bar Association.

Rick also was appointed a member of the City of Newport Beach Water Quality and Coastal Tidelands Committee.

Rick just completed a six-year term as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association while remaining the Co-Chair of the OCBA’s Diversity Committee.

Rick also is a Member of the Board of Directors for Legal Aid of Orange County and is the Chair Emeritus of the Pacific Chorale, a symphonic choral organization that provides free after-school music education to inner city children.

Rick is also an experienced mediator, having mediated many land use, environmental, and business cases.


  • Yale University, B.A. (1981)
  • University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D. (1984) Member, California Law Review


Admitted to practice: California, United States District Court, All Districts of California, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
    • Environmental Law Section (Former Member, Executive Committee)
    • Litigation Section
  • Orange County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section, Member (1998-present), Chair (2016-2017)
    • Real Estate Law Section (Secretary)
    • Diversity Committee  Co-Chair (2015-present)
    • Elimination of Bias Subcommittee, Chair (2016-present)
  • American Law Institute (1997-Present)

Professional Recognition & Awards

  • Southern California Super Lawyers, Environmental (2004-2009)
  • Top 20 Under 40, Los Angeles Daily Journal (1997)

Community Involvement

  • Pacific Chorale, Board of Directors (1997-present)
    • Chairman of the Board (2014-2015), Chair Emeritus
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Board of Directors (2016-present)

View More

"OEHHA’s New "Clear and Reasonable Warning" Regulations", Proposition 65 Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA (September 21, 2020). Co-Panelist: Richard McNeil.
"CERCLA Litigation Watch: First Subsurface Intrusion NPL Site Listing Challenge Fails in the D.C. Circuit," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (August 14, 2020). Contacts: Richard McNeil, Jennifer A. Giblin, Elizabeth B. Dawson
Client Alert / Newsletter
"California Court Provides Practical Guidance On Affixing The "Baseline" In A CEQA Case – And Weighs In On A Thorny Federal/California Air Quality Issue," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (April 21, 2020). Contacts: Thomas A. Lorenzen, Richard McNeil, Robert Meyers
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Cal/OSHA Follows Federal OSHA With Guidance For Healthcare And Other Employers," Environment & Natural Resources: Occupational Safety & Health Alerts (April 1, 2020). Contacts: Renée Delphin-Rodriguez, Richard McNeil, Daniel W. Wolff
Client Alert / Newsletter
"OEHHA Clarifies Responsibilities and the Meaning of "Actual Knowledge" Under Prop 65 Regulations," Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation Alert (January 29, 2020). Contacts: Warren Lehrenbaum, Richard McNeil, Sigourney R. Haylock, Nina M. MacLeay
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Environment & Natural Resources – The Multifront Battle of Chemical Regulation and Litigation," Crowell & Moring's Litigation Forecast 2020 (January 22, 2020). Contributor: Richard McNeil.
"Recent Developments Regarding PFAS – Increasing Public and Regulatory Scrutiny of PFAS – Preparing for PFAS Legal and Financial Risks," National Association of Manufacturers' Manufacturers' Compliance Institute, Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2019). Presenters: Jennifer A. Giblin and Richard McNeil.
"California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Applicability to Zoning Ordinances," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (August 27, 2019). Contact: Richard McNeil
Client Alert / Newsletter
"CERCLA Litigation Watch: First Subsurface Intrusion NPL Site Listing Challenged in D.C. Circuit," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (February 28, 2019). Contacts: Richard McNeil, Jennifer A. Giblin, Elizabeth B. Dawson
Client Alert / Newsletter
"Environment & Natural Resources – Will Streamlining NEPA Implementation Work?," Crowell & Moring's Regulatory Forecast 2019 (February 27, 2019). Contributors: Timothy McCrum and Richard McNeil.

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