David M. Metres


David M. Metres
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  • Direct: (415) 228-5488
  • Office: (415) 228-5400
  • Fax: (415) 228-5450
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Dave Metres is a partner with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP. He practices in all major areas of environmental litigation and compliance counseling, focusing on Superfund investigation and remediation, air quality, surface and groundwater quality, environmental issues in real estate transactions, Proposition 65, and endangered species and natural resources policy and permitting.

Dave previously worked at Paul Hastings, LLP, where he was a member of the environmental practice group. Prior to entering private practice, Dave clerked at the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California and at the United States Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division.

I grew up in Illinois near the Des Plaines River on the far outskirts of suburbia. As I grew older, I saw the surrounding corn fields and prairie converted into commercial properties and housing developments. As I saw this change, I wondered how society had brokered these changes – what rules were in place to ensure that people could put land to their desired use, yet ensure that our limited natural resources remain vital for future generations. I was drawn to environmental law because every project touching land or water must address this fundamental tension, and I love unpacking these challenges to help my clients achieve their goals.

  • A major industrial company in investigation, remediation, and litigation regarding hexavalent chromium and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater at a major Superfund site in Southern California.
  • A railroad transportation company regarding investigation and remediation of abandoned uranium mines in New Mexico, and related CERCLA litigation.
  • A railroad transportation company in investigation and CERCLA litigation matters arising from historic activities at several sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.
  • A Fortune 500 company in dozens of lawsuits by public and private water districts alleging contamination of drinking water with an agricultural fumigant.
  • Engineering firms, oil recycler, and renewable energy and wine industry trade groups in administrative advocacy before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California State Water Resources Control Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, Air Pollution Control Districts, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and local Certified Unified Program Agencies.
  • Fortune 500 and start-up companies in environmental due diligence and real estate transactions.
  • Counseling and defense of 20+ businesses in defense of Proposition 65 lawsuits, and implementation of Proposition 65 compliance programs.
  • Successfully prosecuted insurance coverage claims on behalf of individuals (arising from the Ghost Ship Fire tragedy in Oakland, CA) and on behalf of businesses (numerous), including in federal court.
  • Quasi-public water utility in affirmative and defensive enforcement matters arising under federal and state environmental laws.
  • An international environmental non-profit on a cutting-edge credit exchange program in California to provide habitat and mitigation credits for endangered species.
  • Businesses and individuals in civil and criminal litigation, including citizen suits alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.
  • Pro bono work on behalf of: Mountain bike access advocacy groups in San Francisco, California; Community groups in CEQA, species, wetlands, and public review processes; and Individuals seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum.




Dave regularly counsels clients in the following areas:

  • Litigation and counseling arising out of state and federal environmental and land use statutes and regulations, including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Proposition 65, CEQA, NEPA, and the federal and California Endangered Species Acts
  • Representing clients in federal and state courts and before government agencies, including the California Water Boards, Air Pollution Control Districts, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal, state, and local agencies
  • Prosecution and defense of claims for recovery of environmental cleanup costs and related damages
  • Environmental liability and regulatory requirements in real estate transactions
  • Endangered species permitting, conservation, and associated credit mechanisms


  • Named in Best Lawyers in America, 2020-2024
  • Named a "Super Lawyer" in Northern California Super Lawyers annual survey, 2022-2023
  • Named a "Rising Star" in Northern California Super Lawyers annual survey, every year from 2015-2020
  • Morning Star Award recipient, 2014, State Bar of California Real Property Law Section, honoring young lawyers who have shown an early dedication to the State Bar


University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (f/k/a as University of California, Hastings College of the Law), J.D., magna cum laude, 2010

  • Order of the Coif; Thurston Honor Society; Pro Bono Honors
  • Senior Articles Editor, Hastings Law Journal, 2008–2010

Northwestern University, B.A., American History, 2002


  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section
    • Chair, Executive Committee, 2018
    • Member, Executive Committee, 2011–2022
  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
    • Member, Legislation Committee, 2019–present
  • Outreach Chair for Truckee Dirt Union, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to promoting mountain biking
  • Founding Board Member of Help Educate (Ayuda Educativa), a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to providing Nicaragua's future leaders access to higher education
  • National Ski Patrol member, Palisades Tahoe, 2022-present


Bar Association of San Francisco
American Bar Association


State Bar of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico