Brett H. Oberst is a partner in the Firm. Mr. Oberst represents a variety of clients in commercial and business litigation, with a specialty practice in environmental law. Mr. Oberst has successfully represented a wide range of clients, from large multinational publicly traded companies to small privately owned businesses, in a broad range of complex and high stakes litigation matters, including contract disputes, business tort claims, and professional malpractice claims.
Mr. Oberst’s environmental law practice focuses on contamination and clean-up issues, including the civil, criminal, administrative, and scientific issues that arise in the course of defending such claims. He has represented clients in proceedings related to soil contamination, groundwater contamination, air emissions, vapor intrusion, solid and hazardous wastes, toxic tort claims, cost-recovery claims, and alleged violations of federal, state, and local environmental laws. Representative matters include the following:
- Defended a real estate developer and related parties in a toxic tort lawsuit involving approximately 1,800 plaintiffs who allege personal injuries and property damages as a result of soil contamination and exposures to toxic chemicals allegedly caused by a former use of the property.
- Represented a trade association in a challenge to the State of California, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s efforts to add a chemical to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity.
- Defended a manufacturer in a toxic tort lawsuit involving over 800 plaintiffs and two putative classes alleging personal injuries and medical monitoring damages as a result of groundwater contamination allegedly caused by the company’s former operations in the area.
- Defended a manufacturer in federal and state cost recovery actions, as well as in administrative actions brought by the State and Regional Water Quality Control Board, related to groundwater contamination allegedly caused by the company’s former operations in the area.
- Defended an agricultural corporation in litigation involving thousands of plaintiffs from multiple countries who alleged personal injuries as a result of alleged exposures to a chemical while working for the company.
- Defended a manufacturer in an action involving claims for public and private nuisance based on the allegation that the company’s former operations caused soil and groundwater contamination.
In addition to Mr. Oberst’s litigation practice, he represents and advises corporate and real estate clients on environmental issues, including in the context of mergers, joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, financing, and leases. He has extensive experience conducting environmental due diligence, working with environmental consultants on performing environmental assessments and investigations (such as Phase I and II assessments), negotiating environmental terms in transactions, and working with clients to comply with environmental laws and regulations.
In September of 2012, Mr. Oberst was selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America®, 19th Edition, in the area of environmental law. Mr. Oberst has published numerous articles on issues related to litigation and environmental law.
Prior to joining Doll Amir & Eley LLP, Mr. Oberst practiced law at the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he was Of Counsel in the Litigation Department, and a member of the Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort Practice Group, and the Class Action and Complex Litigation Practice Group.
Mr. Oberst is a member of the State Bar of California, the Bar of the Central District of California, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He received a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University in 1994, where he graduated with honors and distinction. He received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1997, where he graduated with honors and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Oberst is a member of the executive committee of the Environmental Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is also a member of the board of directors for the University of Michigan Alumni Association Club of Los Angeles, and currently serves as the Club’s president.