Rick R. Rothman focuses on environmental and energy counseling and litigation. Rick’s practice encompasses a broad range of environmental and energy laws, including the laws and regulations concerning air quality (both stationary and mobile sources), water quality, power plant siting, hazardous substances, impacted properties, energy efficiency, climate change, and Proposition 65. He is recognized for his environmental work by Chambers USA, where clients describe Rick as an “expert in air quality matters” and “very smart and knowledgeable, and easy to work with.”
Rick has experience counseling clients in a number of different contexts, including threatened enforcement actions, variance requests, permitting and appeals, transactional diligence reviews, and meeting state and federal reporting requirements and warning requirements.
Rick’s litigation practice involves the representation of clients from large corporations to local agencies in matters before both federal and state courts. He has litigated cases addressing alleged violations of most of the major environmental statutes, as well as cases involving alleged common law violations and injuries arising from exposures to products and chemicals regulated by those statutes.
His recent case load has included Clean Air Act enforcement matters, climate change litigation, Superfund actions, enforcement of waste disposal requirements, Clean Water Act discharges, Proposition 65 enforcement actions, multimedia enforcement actions, and chemical exposure complaints. Rick has worked on greenhouse gas reporting, mitigation, and litigation matters, and is a member of the firm’s Climate Change and Sustainability Working Group.
Rick has also applied his environmental knowledge to the appellate context. He has represented clients in both state and federal courts of appeal, including Clean Air Act cases, before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a Proposition 65 case before the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Rick was a partner in the environmental practice of another international law firm, where he served as a practice group leader and office managing partner of the Los Angeles office.
Represented a North American refining company concerning its response to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) renewed efforts relating to its New Source Review (NSR) refinery initiative enforcement at one of its refineries
Represented manufacturers and distributors of aftermarket parts in investigations and enforcement actions brought by EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)
Represented as part of the coordinating counsel team Sempra Energy and Southern California Gas Company in all litigation and regulatory matters involving the Aliso Canyon gas leak in Porter Ranch, California
Represented a former owner and operator of a manufacturing facility in addressing historical soil and groundwater contamination with local and state agencies as well as disputes with subsequent owners and operators of the facility
Represented a global leader in the paper and packaging industry in Superfund litigation, regulatory negotiations with EPA, and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) efforts
Represented Imperial County Air Pollution Control District with respect to the district’s efforts to defend its promulgation of new regulations
Represented a group of cosmetics brands and retailers in defending a Proposition 65 lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs
乔治敦大学法学院, 1989, J.D., cum laude; Editor-in-Chief, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
University of Michigan, 1985, B.A., Economics
District of Columbia
Supreme Court of California
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California
Supreme Court of the United States
Recognized, Leaders in Environmental Law, Environmental and Energy Law and Litigation, Lawdragon Green 500 (2023)
Recognized, Lawdragon 500 Leading Environmental & Energy Lawyers (2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Environmental, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Recognized, Acritas Star Lawyer (2017)
Recognized, Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental, Los Angeles, The Best Lawyers in America (2010–2024)
Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Environmental, Los Angeles, The Best Lawyers in America (2015)
Ranked, Environment, California, Chambers USA (2009–2023)
Recognized, Super Lawyers, Southern California (2004–2017)
Recognized, Who’s Who Legal: Environment (2014, 2016)
Recommended, Industry Focus: Energy litigation: oil and gas, The Legal 500 US (2020–2023)
Recommended, Industry Focus: Environment: regulatory, The Legal 500 US (2020–2023)
Recommended, Industry Focus, Environment: litigation, The Legal 500 US (2007, 2013, 2020)
Recommended, Industry Focus: Energy (Litigation), The Legal 500 US (2016)