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John R. Till

John R. Till


John Till is a founding partner of Paladin Law Group and also serves as the firm’s managing partner.  Mr. Till’s client base consists of landowners, business owners, developers, redevelopment agencies, and municipalities impacted by environmental contamination. He has significant experience in handling hazardous waste litigation, including Comprehensive Environmental Responses, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), the Polanco Redevelopment Act, public and private nuisance abatement, and trespass in both federal and state courts. Mr. Till has represented clients on sites involving underground storage tanks, manufacturing, plating, dry cleaning, printing, ship building, and city-owned sewer and water systems. He also counsels clients on real estate transactions and redevelopment projects incorporating mixed-use, green building, and other sustainable practices. In addition to his environmental law practice, Mr. Till represents his clients in connection with identifying, locating and obtaining the benefits of insurance policies, including auto, general liability, excess and umbrella, and environmental liability policies through insurance archaeology, negotiations with insurance companies, and when necessary, litigation. Mr. Till’s insurance archaeology practice has identified more than $1 billion in historical insurance assets providing his clients with tens of millions of dollars to defend (including investigation costs) and resolve potential long term liabilities, including environmental, asbestos, and products liability claims.

Practice Areas

Environmental Law, Litigation, Brownfields Redevelopment, Sustainability, Insurance Archaeology, Insurance Coverage and Policy Enforcement, Land Use and Real Estate


Santa Clara University – J.D., 1995
President of Environmental Law Society, 1994-95
Honors Moot Court Competition, 1994-1995

Menlo College – B.S. Business Administration, with Honors, 1991

Professional and Community Involvement

State of California Bar Association, Member
Contra Costa County Bar Association, Member
Northern California Professional Environmental Marketing Association, Member
California Redevelopment Association, Member
National Brownfields Association, Member
Leadership Contra Costa County, Alumni
The Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club, Board Member

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California, 1995
United States District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Publications and Lectures

The “Innocent Landowner” Defense Proves to be Out of Reach . . . Again
Santa Barbara Lawyer, July 2008

Recovery of Environmental Cleanup Costs under CERCLA – Answers from the High Court
Santa Barbara Lawyer, October 2007

California Redevelopment Association
Speaker, August 2007

Back from the Dead Suing Dissolved Corporations and Deceased Individuals
Santa Barbara Lawyer, July 2007

Cost Recovery Under Superfund Law: The Cooper v. Aviall Confusion Continues
Santa Barbara Lawyer, April 2007

Affirmative Defense for Setoff Could Constitute “Suit” Triggering Insurer’s Duty to Defend
Santa Barbara Lawyer, July 2006

Tribal First 2006 Spring Roundtable
Speaker, April 2006

American Welding Society, Inc.
Speaker, April 2006

Contaminated Collateral 
The RMA Journal, December 2005 – January 2006

Another Victory for Policyholders
Santa Barbara Lawyer, December 2005

Insurance Archaeology
Environmental Law Conference in Yosemite, October 2005
republished in Santa Barbara Lawyer, February 2006

When Best Management Practices Aren’t Enough 
Anodizing Newsline, August 2005
republished in Metal Finishing Magazine, November 2005

Looking for Buried Treasure
Uniform Textile Services Association, October 2005

California Redevelopment Association
Speaker, August 2005

The Document Retention Policy Fallacy
National Association of Accountants, August 2005

Buried Treasure in City Hall 
Public Agency Risk Mangers Association, June 2005

Surface Technology Association
Speaker, April 2005

Contact with John R. Till

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