Peter Hsiao is head of the Environment and Energy Group in Los Angeles and head of the Green Products and Chemicals team. Drawing upon his technical background as a chemical engineer, Mr. Hsiao has more than 30 years of experience in complex litigation and transactional work with a specialty as a lead trial attorney in environmental, natural resources, chemical toxic tort, and land use law.
Mr. Hsiao is recognized as one of the leading attorneys in environmental law. He is one of 16 lawyers named as a Distinguished Environmental Advocate by the American Bar Association. He was named Los Angeles Environmental Litigation Attorney of the Year in 2016 by Best Lawyers in America, and is identified as a Trailblazer in Energy and Environmental Law by the National Law Journal. He is a Fellow and elected as a Regent of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and is the former Chair of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section and a former member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Environmental Law. Mr. Hsiao is named by Chambers and Partners as one of the nation’s best environmental lawyers, and recommended by Legal 500 and PLC Global 3000 as one of the best environmental lawyers in the United States. The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers named him as a leading cross-border environmental attorney. He is listed by Super Lawyers as one of the leading environmental lawyers in California. The Los Angeles Business Journal named him as one of the top environmental lawyers in Los Angeles. Martindale-Hubbell rates Mr. Hsiao as AV-Preeminent in Environmental Law and Litigation.
Mr. Hsiao served as a senior trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. He was lead trial counsel representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies in major environmental and chemical litigation. Mr. Hsiao obtained several multi-million dollar judgments, including the second-largest penalty for violation of the volatile organic compound limitations for consumer and industrial coatings, the largest recovery for cleanup of soil and groundwater pollution, and the then largest penalty for violation of EPA’s administrative order authority.
Mr. Hsiao received the U.S. Department of Justice’s Special Commendation Award, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Achievement Award, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Golden Eagle Award. He was selected to lecture at the Justice Department’s trial practice institute on trial practice in environmental cases. He has litigated cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and the district and state courts. He also was appointed as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Municipal Court and has served as a mediator for environmental cases.
In private practice, Mr. Hsiao is an environmental trial attorney who advises Fortune 500 clients on a wide variety of complex environmental and land use matters. His cases include some of the largest environmental cases in California, including the cleanup of the San Francisco International Airport and the air pollution control measures for the Owens Dry Lake bed, the largest source of particulate air emissions in the United States. He represents clients in multi-party groundwater and soil contamination cases, hazardous waste management and disposal issues, and in Clean Air Act matters. He further advises both public and private clients on the state’s complex environmental assessment and land use planning requirements, and litigates cases under CEQA and NEPA.
Mr. Hsiao is the co-editor and co-author of the California Environmental and Natural Resources Law Handbook, a comprehensive treatise now in its 12th edition. He serves as a lecturer for the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association on expert witness testimony and litigation skills in chemical cases. He also has spoken and written widely on the subject of chemical regulation and litigation. Mr. Hsiao was nominated to membership in the American Chemical Society and is a former member and newsletter author for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Mr. Hsiao is past-president of the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Counsel for Justice, one of the nation’s oldest and largest providers of pro bono legal services. He is elected as a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation and is former chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Legal Services to the Poor. He is a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services from the State Bar.
Mr. Hsiao graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Utah in 1982, where he received the Outstanding Student Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He obtained his J.D. in 1985 from the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, where he received the McBaine Advocacy Award. He has worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, and for Dow Research and FMC Corporation.
Peter Hsiao is one of 16 lawyers named as a Distinguished Environmental Advocate by the American Bar Association. He is elected as a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He was named Los Angeles Environmental Litigation Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America (2016). He is identified as a Trailblazer in Energy and Environmental Law by the National Law Journal (2015). He is a Fellow of the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of Litigation Counsel of America and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Hsiao is recommended as a leading environmental lawyer by Chambers USA (2013–2016), Best Lawyers in America (2011–2016), Legal 500 US (2007–2016), Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers (2005–2016). He is rated by Martindale-Hubbell as AV-Preeminent in Environmental Law and Litigation. He is a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services from the State Bar of California (2015–2016).
Peter Hsiao named NLJ 2015 Trailblazer in Energy & Environmental Law
Morrison & Foerster Advises on Landmark Environmental Protection Win
Peter Hsiao Elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers
“Peter Hsiao impresses with his ‘extremely broad experience in all types of environmental issue,’ leveraging his experience as a chemical engineer when advising on disputes. His expert trial practice is particularly highlighted, with one client noting: ‘To hear him address a court is pure art.’” – Chambers USA 2015
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