Denise G. Fellers skillfully litigates federal and state actions involving groundwater contamination, including Superfund cost recovery actions and mass toxic tort matters. Her practice includes both advice and counsel on complex regulatory issues, litigating environmental matters on both the plaintiff side (such as cost recovery and contribution claims), and defense side (defending environmental and common law claims), and compliance matters. Denise leverages her deep understanding of state and federal environmental laws in these complex cases to creatively and cost effectively manage these lengthy disputes.
Over the past ten years, Denise has worked extensively in the Superfund area including representing working groups as common counsel at large hazardous waste sites. In this leadership role, she negotiates consent decrees with federal and state agencies, works with federal and state agencies in environmental investigations and remedy selection, drafts comprehensive comments on agency decision documents, manages consultants and oversees necessary technical work that interplays with clients’ legal needs, leads third party cost recovery and contribution efforts, and supports allocation among potentially responsible parties.
Through her work on these Superfund sites, Denise represents a variety of diverse interests including oil and gas companies, aerospace corporations, chemical companies, municipal organizations, and landfill operators, to name a few.
Her regulatory compliance experience involves the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the California Hazardous Substance Account Act (HSAA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and California’s Proposition 65.
Most of Denise’s cases involve the strategic management of discovery issues, such as pre-litigation investigations, depositions, written discovery, preparing expert witnesses, and resolving various discovery disputes. She also has experience in the drafting and arguing of case dispositive motions and extensive experience in pre-trial issues including preparing exhibit lists, witness lists, motions in limine, designation and counter-designation of deposition testimony, and direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses.
A large chemical company in toxic tort litigation filed in Los Angeles involving hexavalent chromium
An aerospace company in large, multiparty cost recovery litigation involving CERCLA, RCRA and state equivalents
A Fortune 500 Company in a large toxic tort case involving TCE and perchlorate
An oil and gas company in CEQA litigation involving a large oil field
An aerospace company in challenging the actions of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Board
Involved in litigation against a city to enforce mitigation measures that the city refused to acknowledge
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 2002, J.D.
University of California, Los Angeles, 1999, B.A., summa cum laude
US District Court for the Central District of California
Awards and Affiliations
Vice Chair of Programming, American Bar Association – Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts)
Executive Committee, Environmental Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2009–current)
Second Vice Chair, Environmental Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2019)
American Bar Association, Environmental and Toxic Torts section
California State Bar, Environmental Law section
Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Los Angeles Chapter
Super Lawyers, Rising Star (Southern California) (2010-2013)