Contact

Donald C. Nanney
(310) 393-4000
dnanney@gilchristrutter.com
Awards & Honors

Donald C. Nanney

Attorney

Donald C. Nanney is a partner with Gilchrist & Rutter, with a practice focusing on environmental law and real estate, including environmental aspects of business and real estate transactions; regulatory compliance counseling; environmental assessments/audits; contractual allocation of environmental risks; environmental insurance; environmental litigation, claims and penalties; hazardous materials emergencies; and sustainability issues.

Mr. Nanney is the author of Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: A Practical Guide (Second Edition, 1993; First Edition, 1990) and co-author of California Environmental Law Handbook (Third Edition, 1989, through Eleventh Edition, 1999). Mr. Nanney has published widely on issues in his areas of expertise, with articles appearing in legal journals and other professional and business publications, and has been a frequent seminar speaker or sponsor at events held by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar of California and other professional groups.

Experience

  • Successfully defended a major movie studio against Proposition 65 citizen suits and claims under California's Unfair Competition Law in cases involving alleged exposures to chemicals and discharges of pollutants.
  • Provided compliance counseling regarding environmental laws and regulations affecting ownership or operation of real property, and advice concerning environmental liability.
  • Assisted clients with respect to underground storage tanks; asbestos in buildings; dry cleaners; environmental permit requirements; hazardous substance emissions and contamination to air, soil and water; notification, warning, hazard communication and release reporting; hazardous waste disposal and related fees and taxes; sale or purchase and development of "brownfield" properties; prospective purchaser agreements or covenants not to sue; and governmental agency oversight, approval and closure of remedial activities.
  • Handled environmental claims and litigation between potentially responsible parties, including present and past owners or operators of contaminated properties, as well as generators of hazardous waste, including complex allocation of liability among numerous responsible parties. Handled litigation with conflicting testimony of expert witnesses and environmental regulators as witnesses.
  • Handled defense of administrative orders from environmental regulators, including petitions to senior agency for administrative relief.
  • Obtained administrative orders against responsible party, including reopener of closed site.
  • Represented parties in major contaminated site cases, including "Superfund" sites requiring intensive negotiations with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Obtained determination twice by the EPA not to pursue a client for liability at a Superfund site, first for a subsidiary and next for the corporate parent.
  • Defended and settled administrative claims and penalty actions regarding alleged violations of hazardous waste laws or occupational safety and health regulations.
  • Handled emergencies and disaster management issues involving release of hazardous materials; compliance with reporting duties; and extensive dealings with environmental consultants, cleanup contractors and regulatory agencies, including the defense of citations and notices of violation. Matters involved earthquake and fire incidents at a major movie studio, and fire at an industrial warehouse, including response to impacted runoff from fire suppression efforts.
  • Handled enviromental claims under old insurance policies; assembled with insurance archaeology a library of a century of policies relevant to coverage for environmental claims at Superfund and other sites for a major food processing company; and negotiated and obtained new, state-of-the-art environmental insurance policies, including obtaining environmental insurance for transaction parties in lieu of consultant-recommended Phase II site assessment.
  • Handled a portfolio transaction involving environmental issues at over 100 sites in California and other western states.
  • Handled due diligence regarding sale of pipelines and transfer of rights-of-way throughout California by a major oil company. 

Government/Military

  • Task Force on Financial Administration and Internal Controls, appointed by Mayor of Pasadena, CA, in response to a $6.4 million embezzlement case by a city employee (2015).
  • Veteran, Vietnam War Era (ending in November 1975).
  • Captain, U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Active Duty 1975 – 1979): Assigned as Legal Officer in the Administrative Law Division, Office of The Judge Advocate General, Department of the Army, Pentagon, Washington D.C. Received Meritorious Service Medal and Honorable Discharge.
  • Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Signal Corps and Infantry, assigned to graduate studies in law under the Distinguished Military Graduate Program of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (1971-1974)
  • Army ROTC Cadet, with full tuition four-year scholarship from U.S. Army, at Stanford University (1967 – 1971).

Professional Associations:

  • California State Bar, Member, Environmental Law Section and Real Property Law Section:
    • 2008-2013, Advisor, Executive Committee, Real Property Law Section.
    • 2007-2008, Vice Chair, Real Property Law Section.
    • 2005-2008, Member, Executive Committee, Real Property Law Section. 
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member, Real Property Section and Environmental Law Section
    • Chair Emeritus, Real Property Section. 
    • 2008-2009, Chair, Real Property Section (with previous officer positions leading up to Chair).
    • 2003 & 2004, Chair, Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business.
    • 1999-2010, Member, Executive Committee, Real Property Section.
    • 1998-2001, Co-Chair, Land Use Planning & Environmental Law Subsection, Real Property Section.
    • 1995-1997, Member, Executive Committee, Environmental Law Section.
    • 1995-1997, Chair, Corporate Issues & Transactions Committee, Environmental Law Section.
  • Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) – Greater Los Angeles:
    • Member, Government Affairs Committee (2010 to present).
  • Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE) (2010 to present):
    • Founder's Circle Member.
    • Steering Committee Member, 2010.
    • Inaugural Chair of the annual Real Estate and Law (REAL) Symposium (2011), held at Stanford University, co-sponsored by SPIRE and the Real Property Law Section, California State Bar.

Classes/Seminars Taught:  

Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE)/Real Property Law Section, California State Bar, Real Estate and Law (REAL) Symposium, Inaugural Chair 2011, Planning Committee 2010-2015

USC Law School Institute/LACBA Bejamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business, Chair, 2003 and 2004

Moderator of panel of seven experts selected for nationwide television program Impact of Environmental Laws on the Transaction, Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions, Broadcast Live from New York City via the Continuing Legal Education Satellite Network, 1990

Speaker, moderator or program sponsor of over 100 other seminars since 1988, for California Continuing Education of the Bar, The State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Other Professional Groups

Published Works

BOOKS / HANDBOOKS *

Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: A Practical Guide (Second Edition), McGraw-Hill, Inc./Executive Enterprises Publications Co., Inc., 1993

Real Estate Transactions and Environmental Risks: A Practical Guide (First Edition), Executive Enterprises Publications Co., Inc., New York, 1990

California Environmental Law Handbook (Co-Author), 3rd Edition, 1989, through 11th Edition, 1999, Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, Maryland

ARTICLES *

New Cause to Beware of Proposition 65 Bounty Hunters, Gilchrist & Rutter Newsletter, September 2016

Other Lender Protections Besides Waiver of Security Interest in Contaminated Real Property, Commentaries & Bulletins of Korek Land Company, Inc., June 2011

Lender’s Right to Waive Its Real Property Security Interest in Environmentally Impaired PropertyCommentaries & Bulletins of Korek Land Company, Inc., April 2011 

Saving a Deal When Environmental Consultants Don't Agree: a Transaction and Environmental Insurance Case StudyGilchrist & Rutter Newsletter
January 2011

Anthropogenic Global Warming: Believe it or Not, it's Here, Real Estate Southern California, March 2008

Negotiation of Enviromental Insurance: Policy Clarifications that Insurers May GiveCalifornia Real Property Journal, Real Property Law Section - The State Bar of California, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2008

The Lawsuit Trigger: Closing the Gap in Environmental InsuranceBrownfield News, August 2006

Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium Embarks on New EraReal Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Summer 2004

Brownfields: Consider Aggravating & Mitigating Factors (Co-Author), Valuation Insights & Perspectives, Vol. 9, No. 2, The Appraisal Institute, Second Quarter 2004

Appraising Brownfield SitesBrownfield News, July/August 2003

Environmental Risk in Today's MarketReal Estate Issues, Counselors of Real Estate, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Fall 2001)

Ninth Circuit Also Rules that Voluntary Remedial Action May be "Necessary" under CERCLAReal Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, November/December 2000

Mitigating Factors in Appraisal and Valuation of Contaminated Real Property (Co-Author), Real Estate Issues, Counselors of Real Estate, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 2000)

Getting All Your Ducks in a ROW: Right-of-Way Portfolio Management (Co-Author), American Gas, Dec.'98/Jan.'99

Environmental Insurance is Finally Catching OnReal Property Section Review, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, September/October 1997

Manage MessCalifornia Law Business, a Los Angeles Daily Journal Supplement, December 2, 1996

Asbestos Inspection, Disclosure by Building Owners and EmployersCalifornia Real Property Journal, Real Property Law Section -- The State Bar of California, Summer 1996

New OSHA Asbestos Standards: A New Chapter in an Old ControversyEnvironmental Liability Enforcement and Penalties Reporter, January 1995

New OSHA Asbestos Regulation Expand Duties of Employers and Building Owners and TenantsJournal of Environmental Regulation, Winter 1994/1995

New Asbestos Regulations Create Expanded DutiesThe Corporate Counselor, December 1994

Hazardous Materials Disaster ManagementEnvironmental Manager
October 1994

ASTM Standard Practice for Environmental Site AssessmentsEnvironmental Liability, Enforcement and Penalties Reporter, August 1993

Trustee and Fiduciary Liability Under CERCLA: What Did the Trustee Know and When Did the Trustee Know It?Probate Law Journal of Ohio, July/August 1993

Note: The foregoing list of articles does not include articles by others in which Mr. Nanney was quoted.

SYMPOSIUM / SEMINAR PROGRAM MATERIALS *

Anthropogenic Global Warming: Believe it or Not, It's Here, Special Conference Supplement, Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium on Real Estate Law and Business 2008

Enviromental Insurance: The Top 10 Changes in Policy Terms That Insureds Should Seek and Insurers May Give, Real Property Law Section, The State Bar of California, 2007

Negotiation of Enviromental Insurance: Key Changes in Policy Terms That Insureds Should Seek and Insurers May Give, Real Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2007

Environmental Indemnities in Loan Documents: Theory and Practice, Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2005

Phase II Environmental Studies: When, Why & How?, Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2003

New Brownfields Legislation: Real Progress or Window Dressing?, Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2002

Top 10 Pitfalls for Real Estate Attorneys Reviewing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2001

Learning from Belmont Learning Center (An Environmental Primer for Land Deals), So. California Chinese Lawyers Association - Los Angeles County Bar Association (Real Property Section), 2001

Strike While the Market is HOT: Developments and Trends in Contaminated Real Property Transactions, In-House Presentation for Confidential Client, 1999

Mitigating Factors in Appraisal and Valuation of Contaminated Real Property (Co-Author) (Program: Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder: What Is Contaminated Property Really Worth?), Real Property Section/Environmental Law Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1999

To Lend or Not to Lend, That is Still the Question, but Fiduciaries Have Real New Protection from Environmental Liability (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Environmental Insurance is Finally Catching On (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1998

Asbestos Compliance Duties for Landlords and Tenants and Environmental Insurance (Program: Exploring the Complexities of Commercial Leasing -- A Walkabout with the Pros), The Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium / Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1997

Toxic Materials Legal and Legislative Update (Program: Fulcrum for the Future: Striving for Environmental Excellence), Association of Environmental Professionals, 1996

Environmental Liability for Contaminated Real Property (Program: Bridging the Gap (Into Real Property Law), Part II), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1996

New Asbestos Regulations: OSHA Rules Affecting Real Property Management (Program: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Real Estate Sales & Brokerage Law and Much More), Real Property Section - The State Bar of California, 1994

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Program: Environmental Liabilities in Real Property and Business Transactions), CLE International, 1994

Landlord/Tenant Liability for Cleaning Up Environmental Contamination (Program: What Your Lease Doesn't Say: Environmental Issues Between Landlords & Tenants), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1994

Liability for Cleaning Up UST Releases (Program: Underground Storage Tank Regulation in California: Compliance, Cleanup and Liability), California Business Environmental Assistance Center, 1993

Accounting for Environmental Liability, Real Estate Accounting Institute - Executive Enterprises, 1993

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Hazardous Waste and Real Property Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1992

Exploring the Trends: New Developments in Legislation and Court Cases (Program: How to Conduct and Review Real Estate Site Assessments), HAZMACON, 1992

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Minimizing Risks in International Business Transactions), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1991

What Every Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About: Environmental Due Diligence (Program: Environmental Risks in Real Estate and Business Transactions), Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1991

Asbestos Regulation (Program: Fundamentals of California Environmental Law Compliance), Government Institutes, Inc., 1991

Environmental Issues (Program: Resolving Troubled Real Estate Loans), Infocast, 1991

Impact of Environmental Laws on the Transaction (Moderator of Panel: Environmental Aspects of Real Estate Transactions), Continuing Legal Education Satellite Network, 1990

Asbestos Notification and Disclosure Laws (Program: Fundamentals of California Environmental Law Compliance), Government Institutes, Inc., 1990

Developing Standards for Environmental Due Diligence: An Update From a Legal Perspective, Proceedings of the 6th Annual Hazardous Materials Management Conference West, 1990

Recent Developments Regarding Hazardous Substance Disclosure Obligations of Lessees, Lessors, and Sellers of Real Property (Co-Author) (Program: Fundamentals of Real Property Practice), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1989

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: Fundamentals of Real Property Practice), California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1989

Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Property Transactions (Program: The Real Estate Syndicate Disposes of a "Dirty" Property), The Benjamin S. Crocker Symposium / Real Property Section - Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1989

UNIVERSITY EXTENSION COURSE MATERIALS *

Environmental Due Diligence in Real Estate Transactions: Will the Hope for a Level Playing Field be Realized? (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: Performing Assessments and Avoiding Liability), University Extension Programs in Environmental Management - U.C. Riverside, 1994

Exploring the Trends: New Developments in Legislation and Court Cases (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate Transactions: Performing Assessments and Avoiding Liability), University Extension Programs in Environmental Management - U.C. Riverside, 1994

What Every Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About: Environmental Due Diligence (Course: Environmental Risks in Real Estate and Business Transactions), U.C. San Diego Extension, 1991

Pro Bono 

Pro-Bono legal work for St. George’s Episcopal Church, La Canada-Flintridge, CA. (e.g., leases, insurance claims, administration of Memorial Garden for interment of ashes).

PUBLICATIONS/SPEAKING OR MEDIA

See all

Don Nanney Appointed to Pasadena Planning Commission

G&R Partner Don Nanney has answered the call of the Pasadena C... Read more

Posted 06/23/2017

Jonathan Gross, Richard Close and Donald Nanney Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

Gilchrist & Rutter attorneys Jonathan Gross, Richard Close and Donald Nanney are ranked in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

Gilchrist & Rutter Announces Our 2017 Super Lawyers

Gilchrist & Rutter is pleased to announce that eight of its attorneys have been named 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers: Thomas ... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

Los Angeles Sustainable City pLAn

Guest author Lance Honea, TEEMWorks Energy  California has always been a national leader in sustainability. The Gol... Read more

Posted 03/01/2017

New Cause to Beware of Proposition 65 Bounty Hunters

Following years of administrative process and wrangling of interest groups, California has adopted completely new regulations for “ Read more

Posted 09/15/2016

Don Nanney Honored as 2016 Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer by the Los Angeles County Bar Association

The Los Angeles County Bar Association has chosen Gilchrist & Rutter partner Donald C. Nanney as its Outstanding Real Estate Lawyer f... Read more

Posted 05/02/2016

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