Bob Infelise is a litigation attorney with a focus on environmental matters.
Bob handles high-stakes litigation in a broad range of substantive areas for real estate developers and investors, financial institutions and high net-worth individuals. In an era in which few matters actually go to trial, he has tried forty matters to judgment. He handles matters in a broad range of substantive areas, including environmental law, tax and electrical generation. He is a leader in the use of judicial reference as a mechanism for potential defendants to avoid jury trials.
In addition to his practice, Bob is a longtime adjunct lecturer at Berkeley Law. Depending on the semester, he teaches Environmental Law & Policy, the Environmental Law Writing Seminar, Climate Change & the Law, Pathways to Carbon Neutrality, Remedies and Evidence. Bob has been awarded the honorific title of the Christopher J. Edley, Jr., Lecturer.
Bob has litigated environmental matters involving the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Clean Water Act, as well as their state law analogues and common law claims; California’s Proposition 65; and the federal Americans With Disabilities Act and its state law analogue. He was lead counsel for a lender and developer in one of the few environmental cost recovery actions tried to a jury. Bob was also co-counsel for the developer plaintiff in the seminal California case focusing on stigma damages.
Bob has represented taxpayers in connection with complex tax deferral and minimization strategies in the federal courts and before the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the California Franchise Tax Board. He represented high net-worth clients against a major accounting firm stemming from its mass marketing of a tax deferral strategy.
Bob also focuses on issues involving electrical generation and supply. He represented the commercial building industry in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission relating to creating a competitive platform to provide power to office buildings. Bob negotiates electrical supply contracts for end users.
Represented the defendant, a large home developer, in action for recovery for fear of cancer associated with exposure to naturally occurring asbestos.
Obtained favorable settlement that required the redevelopment agency which sold contaminated property to a client to remediate the site that was contaminated with hydrocarbons.
Obtained multi-million dollar jury verdict for a New York based developer with plans to build a hotel in Laguna Niguel in an action against oil companies and adjacent landowners arising out of the discovery that the land on which the hotel was to be built was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons.
Obtained summary judgment for a plumbing manufacturer that produced bombs during WWII under an order from the Department of Defense in RCRA and CERCLA action brought by property's current owner.
Obtained summary judgment for a developer which was sued under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for burying DDT-laden soil under the streets in a new development.
Represented developers and landowners against neighboring and upstream landowners alleging that the landowners were responsible for contaminating our clients' property.
Obtained favorable jury verdict for a bank and a hotel developer suing a neighboring landowner and tenant for polluting our clients' property. The appellate decision arising out of the verdict continues to set the standard for the liability of a landlord for pollution caused by a tenant.
Obtained successful writ from decision of trial court refusing to enforce judicial reference provision in purchase and sale agreements between developer and homeowners.
Obtained a walk-away settlement in favor of a developer who had entered into a joint venture with another major developer to build several large communities in San Joaquin County that was being accused of various intentional torts and contractual claims.
Obtained judgment in favor of developer defendant following demurrer to claim seeking to invalidate a purchase and sale agreement to which plaintiff was not a party on the grounds that developer purportedly violated unfair competition" statutes for including a judicial reference provision.
Represented defendants in claim by law firm that defendants engaged in a scheme to communicate with, solicit and steal actual and potential clients represented by the firm in a construction defect case and sought damages for intentional interference with contractual relationship, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, conspiracy, violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and injunctive relief.
Obtained judgment in favor of the owner of substantial office, commercial and industrial space, in a case brought by tenants challenging the ability of landlords to pass on increases in property taxes of about $40 million to tenants when properties are sold.
Represented a landlord public pension fund against commercial tenant in unlawful detainer action.
Defended a developer in a case brought by buyers of property who refused to consummate the sale and sought recover the deposit which was retained as liquidated damages under the express terms of the agreement.
Represented a client in connection with an FTB audit.
Settled a multi-million dollar dispute following filing of a Rule 56 summary judgment motion on behalf of large property owner in dispute with IRS for unpaid income/capital gains taxes based on purportedly unlawful tax shelter.
- Law Firms following real estate markets to East BayNews, 04.27.07
- Cox, Castle at Home in SF.News, 02.28.27
- Seminar, UC Berkeley, School of Law, Berkeley, California, 3.12.14
- Climate Policies: In Our Backyard And Abroad, Richard And Rhoda Goldman Graduate School Of Public PolicyConference, U.C. Berkeley, Fall 2013
- Conference, U.C. Davis School of Law, Davis, California, 1.26.13
- Seminar, 7.23.12
- Seminar, Berkeley, California, 12.2.10
- Seminar, Berkeley, California, 11.19.10
- Conference, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Berkeley, California, 4.10.08
- Article, Daily Environment Report, 8.20.13
- Article, Westlaw Journal, 3.27.13
- Article, Electric Light & Power, 12.17.12
- Practical Changes To Environmental Due Diligence Under the New All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) Rule (PDF)Client Alert, 12.01.05
Awards & Affiliations
Christopher Edley, Jr. Lecturer
Center for Law, Energy and the Environment Advisory Committee, Chairperson
Foundation of the State Bar, Board of Directors
Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member
State Bar of California, Environmental Section, Member
Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Section, Member
Environmental Section, State Bar of California, Member