Jad is the office managing partner of Shook’s Orange County, California office. He represents clients in wide range of environmental matters, including regulatory compliance, environmental enforcement, and civil cost recovery matters involving the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Toxics Release Inventory Program, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), California Superfund: Hazardous Substance Account Act (HSAA), California’s Proposition 65, Water Code, and California Health & Safety Code. He also handles matters related to design, construction and real estate redevelopment, as well as civil rights.
He has represented clients in state and federal courts around the country, as well as before most state, regional and local agencies, including State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards, California Air Resources Control Board, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as well as the California Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Typically, his clients seek assistance with state and federal lawsuits related to cost disputes resulting from alleged indoor air, soil, soil vapor or water contamination.
Jad’s clients range from family-owned businesses to multi-national corporations in diverse industries such as energy, petroleum, chemicals, aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, real estate, construction, asphalt and aggregate production, financial services, high-tech, computer manufacturing, consumer goods, in-store and online retail, cosmetics, food and beverage, sporting goods and transportation.
Jad has represented developers, general and subcontractors as well as design professionals in disputes related to construction contracts as well as traditional construction defect litigation. In April 2019, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association selected Jad to judge its Foundation's "Globe Awards" program of planning, design and construction of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects that enhance the natural environment.
Jad also is a sought-after mediator in the areas of environmental, stormwater, construction and civil rights. He serves as a pro bono mediator for the ADR Panel of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
In addition, he has served pro bono on several ad hoc legal task forces for the Orange County Business Council. He also has defended the City and County of Los Angeles in various civil rights lawsuits brought against officers and deputies.
On the eve of trial in May 2023, Jad’s client, the owner of a hotel in Oceanside, California, convinced the owners of an adjacent property to enter into a settlement agreement that provided the client more benefit than the client was able to obtain by judgment. This lawsuit was in the California Superior Court for the County of San Diego and involved the Hazardous Substances Account Act (California Superfund), and several common law tort claims because of prior releases of hazardous substances at the adjacent property and those substances migrated onto the client’s property.
Jad is the lead counsel in California defending Shook’s client, a multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies and biomedical companies in the world, against erroneous claims brought by counties and municipalities alleging that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contaminated buildings, roadways, infrastructures, various surface water bodies, soils, flora and fauna. These lawsuits are venued in the California Superior Courts for the Counties of Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin and San Mateo.
In 2021-2022, Jad was the lead trial counsel for his client, one of the world’s largest independent manufacturers of printed circuit boards and backplanes, in a 13-month bench trial in the California Superior Court for the County of Orange lawsuit entitled Orange County Water District v. Sabic Innovative Plastics US, LLC, et al., that involved the Orange County Water District Act, the California Superfund, and several common law tort claims. At the conclusion of trial, Sanmina was the prevailing party because the court awarded substantially less than the amount of settlements by other defendants, which offset the award.
In 2021, Jad’s team successfully obtained after a bench trial in the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles a seven figure judgment, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, for his client, the owner of a commercial property in Compton, California. Jad’s client purchased the commercial property from a seller who was contractually obligated to obtain a no further action letter from the local regulator, which required seller to properly assess and remediate the contamination at the property. Seller performed inadequate assessment and no remediation, and then sent the regulator a letter that he was going to cease any efforts to assess and remediate the property. Jad’s client was forced to file a lawsuit to enforce the provisions of the purchase and sale agreement, and his team prevailed after a bench trial.
Jad successfully works with his clients and their environmental professionals to either bring or keep clients in compliance with permits for their equipment and their industrial storm water permits.
Successfully defeated class certification allegations by way of a demurrer as to the alleged personal injury class and by way of defeating plaintiffs’ motion to certify property damage class in a lawsuit involving alleged emissions of hexavalent chromium by Jad’s client.
Lead trial counsel defending a metal forging client against personal injury and property damage claims brought by hundreds of individual plaintiffs alleging damages from client’s emissions of various hazardous substances.
Lead trial counsel for various clients against allegations that clients’ products violated Proposition 65 regarding various chemicals, ranging from rice, curry powder, and furniture to coffee-related products.
Argued before the Court of Appeal of the State of California (Fourth Appellate Division, District One) that the judgment in favor of his client should be affirmed. The Orange County Water District alleged that the client contaminated the soil and groundwater in the county’s North Basin, and alleged the response costs to be $200 million. In June 2017, the Court published a 161-page opinion that affirmed the judgment against the county’s claims.
As sole trial counsel, won a $1.2 million jury verdict on behalf of multinational plaintiffs after a three-week trial involving defective and contaminated consumer products.
Represents property owners in administrative proceedings before the California State Water Resources Control Board challenging Cleanup and Abatements Orders and Directives issued by the Regional Water Quality Control boards.
Provided legal counsel to a manufacturing client in negotiation with the EPA concerning a notice of alleged violation of the Clean Air Act that demanded monetary penalties of more than $1 billion.
Lead trial counsel for target defendant against five class actions and several thousand individual toxic tort lawsuits alleging property damages and personal injury due to purported exposure to hexavalent chromium in the air and groundwater.
Obtained summary judgment for a Fortune 500 client against allegations of soil and groundwater contamination involving alleged damages of several hundreds of millions of dollars.
Obtained summary adjudication of four plaintiff claims against his client in a large multiparty groundwater contamination lawsuit.
Successfully removed his client from a large multiparty cost recovery litigation involving CERCLA, RCRA and state equivalents.
Successfully negotiated TCE and PCE remediation plans against California State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Board. In addition, successfully resolved two multiparty toxic tort lawsuits involving benzene brought against the client.
Successfully defended a renewable biofuels company and the members of its board of directors against claims of breach of contract, alter ego and piercing the corporate veil made by a leading international project development and construction company.
Design and Construction
Successfully defended subcontractor defendant in four separate construction defect lawsuits filed by a large developer regarding allegations of defective workmanship and product on projects in excess of $20 million.
On behalf of the developer, drafted and negotiated a guaranteed maximum price construction contract for a commercial apartment complex in San Diego with a price in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Negotiated change order disputes on various commercial projects for general contractors, subcontractors and design professionals.
Successfully defended City of Los Angeles Police Department officers in several excessive use of force civil rights lawsuits, primarily involving the department’s Rampart Division.
Defended City of Los Angeles Police Department officers in a wrongful death civil rights lawsuit brought by the estate of Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls).
Obtained jury defense verdicts on behalf of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in two civil rights lawsuits alleging the deputies purportedly used excessive force during plaintiffs’ arrests.
Argued a commercial dispute in two separate bench trials and obtained judgments on behalf of his client, a commercial real estate company with assets of about $12 billion.
Amicably resolved before trial a set of 30 individual actions and one national class action following a criminal prosecution of certain corporate officers and directors.
The allegations involved marketing a dietary supplement as an all-natural herbal product for overall prostate health, when the product was alleged to be a combination of numerous pharmaceuticals, including the banned synthetic hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES).
Successfully defended real estate agents and broker clients against claims of fraud and deceit.
Successfully defended a retail store manager against allegations of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and assault.
So, What Happened During That Year-Long Trial in the Orange County Water District Case?, OCBA Environmental Law Section Meeting, October 6, 2022.
Public Assets: Risks, Rewards and Reducing Environmental Liabilities, CLM Alliance, Boston, July 14, 2016.
The New Coal Ash Regulations, Infocast Events, Inc.’s B2B Webinars.net, April 22, 2015.
Environmental and Toxic Tort – An Update on Relevant Environmental Issues From a Legal, Insurance & Technical Perspective, CLM Alliance 2015 Annual Conference, Palm Desert, California, March 27, 2015.
How and Where Are Most CCRS Currently Generated and Disposed – How Will That Change? and Evaluation of Coal Ash Remediation Solutions (panelist), 4th Plant DDD Managing the Power Plant Decommissioning, Decontamination & Demolition Process, Charlotte, North Carolina, January 13, 2015.
Construction Documentation: Best Practices & Sound Claims Management, American Road & Transportation Builder’s Association (ARTBA) Academy, Snowbird, Utah, May 2013.
The Quandaries of Managing Law Enforcement Misconduct & Lawsuits, Public Agency Risk Managers Annual Conference, Rancho Mirage, California, February 2013.
Update on U.S. EPA’s Proposed Construction General Permit, ARTBA Regional Meeting, December 2011.
How Will the U.S. EPA’s Proposed Construction Permit Affect You, ARTBA National Convention, Monterey, California, October 2011.
The Storm Waters are Rising: Troubling Trends for the Transportation Construction Industry, ARTBA Webinar, May 2010.
Lawsuits Challenging New Crystalline Silica Exposure Rules, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 17, 2016.
Meet the “Waters of the United States,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 29, 2015.
EPA Gets Dirty Regulating Coal Ash and Then Defers a Critical Issue, Westlaw Environmental Journal, Vol. 25, Issue 15, February 18, 2015.
Changes to EPA’s Construction & Development Point Source Pollution Rule, Storm Water Solutions Magazine, October 2014.
Regulation Could Increase Water Bills, California Daily Journal, April 22, 2014 (with Tiffany K. Ackley).
State Proposes Strict Water Standard, But Who Picks Up the Tab? Daily Journal, October 10, 2013.
EPA and Logging Industry: Odd Bedfellows Before US High Court, Daily Journal, July 18, 2013.
California’s Environmental Regulatory Agencies: Fractured, But Salvageable, Westlaw Journal – Environmental, Vol. 33, Issue 2, August 15, 2012.
Fight Increased Oversight Costs: Water Code Section 13365, Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 2, 2012.
2011 Roundtable Series, Environmental Law, California Lawyer Magazine, December 2011.
Six Critical Changes to General Permit Compliance, SCCA Magazine, September 1, 2011.
The Coming Storm: EPA Should Devise a Stormwater Program That Gives Contractors More Geographical Flexibility, Constructor Magazine, August 1, 2011.
Permits Cross-Examined: Assessing Potential Impacts of Revising the National Storm Water Program, Storm Water Solutions, April 2011.
EPA to Regulate Coal-Combustion Residuals, Westlaw Journal – Environmental, January 5, 2011.
Residential Contractors’ Defense Obligations in California, January 5, 2009.
A Case of Mistaken Indemnity, Los Angeles Daily Journal, November 10, 2008.
How to Minimize Potential Liability for Jobsite Injuries, Construction Executive, April 4, 2004.
Court Makes Strides in Bias Reduction for Jury Selection, Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 24, 2002.
Shook Hardy Taps Enviro Ace To Lead Orange County Shop, Law360, January 11, 2024.
Gatto Act Case Dismissed Due to Lack of Specifics Regarding Land Contamination, Northern California Record, July 18, 2018.
OSHA’s New Silica Rule Unhealthy for the Industry, Constructor Magazine, July/August 2016.