Richard T. Drury

Richard T. Drury | Partner

Richard Toshiyuki Drury has been practicing environmental law in the San Francisco Bay area for over twenty years and is one of the leading environmental lawyers in the State. He graduated with honors from the Yale Law School in 1990 and clerked for Chief Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Richard is one of the only attorneys ever named Attorney of the Year by the California Lawyer magazine three times, in 2002, 2009, and 2011. In 2003, he received the prestigious Environmental Leadership Award from the Ecology Law Quarterly. He served on the Executive Committee of the Environmental Law Section of the California State Bar and was co-chair of the State Bar’s Environmental Law Conference in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Richard has extensive experience representing non-profit organizations and labor unions in matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the state and federal Clean Air Acts, Proposition 65, and many other environmental laws. He has litigated over fifty lawsuits in both state and federal court through trial, settlement, or other negotiated resolution. He has extensive experience in bringing labor unions and environmental organizations together to achieve common goals of securing clean, safe jobs and a better environment.

From 2003 through 2008, Richard was an attorney and then shareholder at Adams, Broadwell, Joseph & Cardozo. From 1993 through 2003, he was legal director of Communities for a Better Environment. Prior to that time, he was an associate at the San Francisco environmental law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger.

Richard has published extensively on several environmental law topics, including notable articles on labor-environment collaborations. He recently published a chapter in the book, Common Law Remedies to Environmental Problems, and also authored a book on international law, Plowshares, and Swords (Beacon Press).

Richard holds a B.S. degree in chemistry and a B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Illinois, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude. Mr. Drury has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Golden Gate University School of Law, and New College Law School in San Francisco. Richard has been voted by his peers to be a California “Super Lawyer” in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, a designation limited to only the top 5% of lawyers in the State.

Some of Richard’s most notable accomplishments include:

  • Successfully representing Communities for a Better Environment, the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 and Local 250 in a lawsuit to require environmental review for a diesel project constructed at the ConocoPhillips refinery in Wilmington. The litigation resulted in a landmark Supreme Court decision that defined the CEQA environmental “baseline.”
  • representing the California State Pipe Trades Council, the Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations in a successful lawsuit to require environmental review prior to the approval of a new form of plastic pipe that posed a risk of leaching chemicals into drinking water;
  • representing Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 and Local 250, in collaboration with Communities for a Better Environment in a lawsuit to require environmental review for a diesel project constructed at the ConocoPhillips refinery in Wilmington;
  • representing Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 342, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 302, Boilermakers Local 549, other labor organizations, and environmental groups in an administrative action requiring ConocoPhillips to install advanced pollution control equipment at its Bay Area refinery;
  • representing Communities for a Better Environment in a successful lawsuit against over a dozen of the worlds’ largest oil companies, including Chevron, Texaco, Shell, Unocal, ExxonMobil, and many others, that required those companies to clean up over 1000 contaminated sites throughout California;
  • representing Communities for a Better Environment in a lawsuit to require Unocal to clean up a massive underground oil spill in the town of Avila Beach, California at a cost estimated to exceed $100 million;
  • representing various environmental organizations in successful federal court lawsuits to require several Southern California oil companies including Chevron to use equipment to capture hazardous vapors released during oil tanker loading;
  • representing several labor unions in a successful campaign to require the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to adopt rules requiring oil companies to monitor and reduce “flaring” at their refineries.

Some interesting links. . .

See Lozeau Drury discussing Lumber Liquidators flooring on 60 Minutes

2002 CLAY (pdf)

2009 CLAY (pdf)

2011 CLAY (pdf)

Air Pollution Trading and Environmental Justice

Need for a Blue/Green/Brown Alliance