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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 in the Commercial Litigation Group. Rick is a trial attorney with numerous jury, bench and administrative trials to his credit and also has substantial experience in environmental, land use, real estate and general business litigation.

Rick’s environmental experience spans nearly all aspects of federal and California law. He has been involved in the majority of Superfund sites in Southern California and a wide range of Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, RCRA, and Proposition 65 matters. He has handled dozens of matters before USEPA, the SCAQMD, the DTSC, and the Los Angeles and Santa Ana RWQCB’s.

Rick also counsels clients on land use and CEQA strategies for obtaining zoning and planning entitlements. He also has served as lead counsel or co-counsel in a number of CEQA cases through the trial and appellate phases, including prosecuting and defending CEQA cases involving development and redevelopment projects in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego counties.

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 is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association and also serves as Co-Chair of its Diversity Committee and serves on its Audit 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)
    • Audit Committee
  • 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

"Environment & Natural Resources – The Multifront Battle of Chemical Regulation and Litigation," Crowell & Moring's Litigation Forecast 2020 (January 22, 2020). Contributor: 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: Jennifer A. Giblin, Elizabeth B. Dawson, Richard McNeil
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.
"EPA Implements Obama-Era Subsurface Intrusion Regulation with National Priorities List Additions," Environment & Natural Resources Law Alert (September 25, 2018). Contacts: Jennifer A. Giblin, Elizabeth B. Dawson, Richard McNeil
Client Alert / Newsletter
Experienced California Environmental Litigator Richard J. McNeil Joins Crowell & Moring (Jan.23.2018)
Firm News / Announcement
"NOT IN MY BACKYARD: Land Use Implications of Siting Sober Living Homes and Treatment Centers in Residential Zones in Orange County," California Municipal Revenue & Tax Association, Long Beach, CA (October 11, 2017). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
California Supreme Court Invalidates EIR for Coastal Mixed-Use Development (April 19, 2017). Author: Richard McNeil.
"Habits of the Mind - Implicit Bias in the Workplace," Orange County Bar Association Diversity Task Force CLE, Newport Beach, CA (December 1, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
"Update on Sober Living Homes in Orange County," Get Connected with Councilwoman Katrina Foley, Costa Mesa City Council Chambers, CA (September 27, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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