David Barnes concentrates his practice on consumer product and environmental litigation and regulatory compliance. He advises clients on complex scientific and technical issues involving food and drug law, advertising, consumer protection, and hazardous waste, with a particular focus on unique California laws and regulations. He has counseled and defended clients in hundreds of matters involving established California laws such as Proposition 65, while also advising clients on new California-specific laws like the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act.

Mr. Barnes represents clients in both federal and state courts, and before federal and state agencies including EPA, OSHA, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. His litigation experience includes arguing a criminal sentencing hearing in the Northern District of California and deposing both expert and fact witnesses. Before joining Arnold & Porter, Mr. Barnes served as first chair prosecutor in a federal criminal matter while interning at the Yosemite National Park Legal Office. He obtained a conviction that was ultimately upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Barnes also maintains an active pro bono practice. Together with co-counsel ArchCity Defenders and other Arnold & Porter attorneys, he represents a class of individuals in Section 1983 lawsuits against several St. Louis municipalities alleging that the municipalities engaged in unconstitutional debtors' prisons practices to coerce payment of unpaid fines from traffic tickets and other minor ordinance violations. He also represents asylum applicants in immigration matters, and assisted the ACLU of Northern California in a matter challenging the resumption of the death penalty in California. In addition, Mr. Barnes served as a founding Steering Committee Member of the Environmental Law Institute's Emerging Leader Initiative.

Experience

  • Dozens of companies ranging from food manufacturers to personal care companies concerning allegations that their products require Proposition 65 warnings.
  • Trade Association in First Amendment challenge to Proposition 65 warning requirement for acrylamide in food.
  • Large multinational conglomerate company in negotiations with California Department of Toxic Substances Control concerning groundwater contamination at multiple landfill sites.
  • Multiple retailers in California District Attorney environmental enforcement actions.
  • Large university in negotiations with California Department of Toxic Substances Control concerning California Hazardous Waste Control Law.
  • Large university in advising on compliance with OSHA and Cal/OSHA regulations.
  • Large university in negotiating settlement with the US EPA and California Department of Toxic Substances Control in CERCLA cost recovery action.

Perspectives

Changes to the FTC’s Green Guides on the Horizon
Environmental Edge: Climate Change & Regulatory Insights
California Extends Plastic Product Marketing Restrictions to Cover All Consumer Products
Enforcement Edge: Shining Light on Government Enforcement
California Enacts New Law Restricting Environmental Marketing Claims on Consumer Products
Environmental Edge: Climate Change & Regulatory Insights
CEQ Proposes Changes to Trump Administration NEPA Regulations
Environmental Edge: Climate Change & Regulatory Insights
What Environmental Justice Could Mean in the Biden Administration
Environmental Edge: Climate Change & Regulatory Insights
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Stanford Law School, 2017
  • BA, Kent State University, 2012, summa cum laude
Admissions
  • California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Activities
  • Environmental Law Institute's Emerging Leader Initiative, Founding Steering Committee Member (Former)
  • Vice President and Founding Member, Kent State University Bay Area Alumni Association
  • Member, Law Day Planning Committee, Yosemite National Park
Overview

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