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Law Offices of David Roe                                             
office: 510-465-5860  cell:510-207-2836


legal representation, mediation, consulting 



Senior Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund (1976-2001)


Senior Counsel, Human Rights First
       (formerly Lawyers Committee for Human Rights)
founder and head, West Coast office (2001-2003)





partner, Calvo & Clark LLP (helped open San Francisco office)


special counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California


strategic consultant [representative clients: Ashoka, Public Media Center, adidas-Salomon]


Lecturer, Harvard Law School [on sabbatical leave from Environmental Defense Fund]


Senior Research Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University [same]


associate, Steinhart, Goldberg, Feigenbaum & Ladar, San Francisco  (general litigation)


law clerk to Judge Stanley Weigel, U.S. District Court, N.D. Cal.


consultant on constitutional issues, Drug Abuse Council, Washington, D.C


correspondent for Time magazine, Bonn, West Germany


reporter for Los Angeles Times, Washington, D.C.






Yale, J.D. 1974
         editor, Yale Law Journal


Oxford University, 1969-71
         (Rhodes Scholar)


Yale, B.A. 1969
         honors with exceptional distinction (English literature)


State of California; U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.)
(E.D. Cal.) (S.D. Cal.); U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Cir.);

U.S. Supreme Court


retired from:






primary public-








other employment:























law school









member of the bar:








      a. books

Dynamos and Virgins (Random House, 1984)


      b. studies and academic articles:

"Economics as Judo: turning self-interest to work for the environment," The American Oxonian (Winter 2015), vol. CII, no. 1, pp. 15 ff.


“Little Labs Lost: An Invisible Success Story,” 15 Green Bag 2d 275 (Spring 2012)


"Yardsticks for Workers Rights: Learning from Experience" (2003) [published online by Lawyers Committee for Human Rights]


"Ready or Not: The Coming Wave of Toxic Chemicals," 29 Ecology Law Quarterly 623 (2002)

"Toxic Chemical Control Policy: Three Unabsorbed Facts," Environmental Law Reporter, vol.32 (February 2002)

"TRI: A First Step (Commentary)," Environment vol. 43, no. 9, November 2001 [Comment on M. Graham and C. Miller, "Disclosure of Toxic Releases in the United States," Environment, October 2001]

"Green Scholarship," Green Bag 2d vol.3, no. 1 (Autumn 1999)
[review of "Eco-Pragmatism", by Daniel Farber] [see also Farber, "Response: Green Scholarship - An Oxymoron?" Green Bag 2d vol. 3, no. 2 (Winter 2000)]

Toxic Ignorance: The Continuing Absence of Basic Health Testing for Top-Selling Chemicals in the United States by the Environmental Defense Fund (1997) [principal author]

"Technology and Environmental Responsibility," Technology and Responsibility, International Research Center for Energy and Economic Development (ICEED), University of Colorado,1993

Potential for Source Reduction and Recycling of Halogenated Solvents [12 volumes] (Source Reduction Research Partnership: 1992) [general editor]

"An Incentive-Conscious Approach to Toxic Chemical Controls," Economic Development Quarterly, vol.3, no. 3 (August 1989)

"Barking Up The Right Tree: Recent Progress in Focusing the Toxics Issue," Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 13, no. 2 (1988)

Approaches to Source Reduction of Hazardous Waste by the Environmental Defense Fund (California Institute of Public Affairs, 1986) [general editor]

Nowhere To Go: The Universal Failure of Class I Hazardous Waste Dump Sites in California by the Environmental Defense Fund et al. (1985) [general editor]

A New Alternative to Completing Nine Mile Point Unit 2 Nuclear Station: Economic and Technical Analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund (1981) [general editor; also for similar EDF studies on other proposed generating facilities and public utility supply plans, 1978-80]

contributed chapter in Selling the People’s Cadillac: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Edsel (Yale U. Press: 1976, J. Deutsch, ed.)

"Simple Justice" [book review], 64 Calif. L. Rev. 1291 (1976)

"United States Supreme Court, February Term 1824," 84 Yale L.J. 770 (1975) (with Russell K. Osgood)

Note, "Privacy in the First Amendment," 82 Yale L.J. 1462 (1973)



      c. general periodicals and other publications:


The New Yorker, "Talk of the Town" section,  "Notes and Comment" 9/28/81[unsigned]; various other unsigned contributions(1977-1985)

"Time to Measure This Social Experiment's Results," Environmental Law News, vol. 17, no. 1, p. 4 (2008)


"In Memoriam: Kurt Schork," The American Oxonian, fall 2000

"America’s Toxic Ignorance," Environmental Forum, vol. 15, no. 3, May/June 1998, p. 24 (with William S. Pease) [cover article]

"Industry’s Chemical Blind Spots," Journal of Commerce, 6/11/98, p. 5A (Opinion)

"Toxic Law: The Toxic Substances Control Act Cannot Assure Chemical Safety Since It Fails to Produce Even the Most Basic Data on Toxicity," The Recorder: Environmental Law, 1997, p. 22

"Take A Lead From the Past in Environmental Policy," Environment Strategy America, 1996/97, p. 63 (with Fred Krupp)

"California has successful model of regulatory risk assessment," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/25/95 (with Gilbert Omenn)

"Atlas of United States Environmental Issues" [book review] Research & Exploration (National Geographic Society) autumn 1991

"Chasing Windmills: Post-Earth Day Solutions," Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin, summer 1990

"Turning the Tables on Toxics," Christian Science Monitor op-ed page, 3/7/90 (with Lester B. Lave)

"What the ‘90s Will Bring: Thirteen state leaders share their visions of the future" [section on "Environment"], California Business, January 1990

"What Kind of Data Does the Public Need?" EPA Journal, May/June 1989

"Drawing the Line on Toxics," Recorder, 9/15/88

"California Law Has a Built-in Toxin Alarm," Wall St. Journal op-ed, 4/22/88

"Don’t Give a Hoot, Pollute," Washington Post op-ed, 11/24/85, p. C1

"We Can’t Trust Firms to Clean Up Toxic Waste," Los Angeles Times, 2/24/85, p. 3

"Building Profits Into Conservation," The New York Times, Business Forum, 11/11/84

"Regulating Nuclear Power: Look at the Economics, Not the Politics," New York Times, Business Forum, 1/15/84

"Shopping for Electricity," Washington Post op-ed, 6/2/83
(with Laurence H. Tribe)

"Utilities and the Poor," New York Times op-ed, 2/11/83

"New Power Plants Risk Future Shock," Wall Street Journal op-ed, 2/3/83

California’s New Pesticide Regulations and You. A Guide to What They Say, What Your Rights Are, What You Can Do. (Resources Agency, State of California: December 1982)

"Viewpoint," Electrical World, May 1982, p. 59 (with Irwin Stelzer)

"Battling the Big Guys at Buffalo Creek" [book review], Litigation magazine, fall 1976



subject of profiles in:


Wall Street Journal, "Power Struggles: Environmental Group, In Change of Strategy, Is Stressing Economics," by John R. Emshwiller, 9/28/81, p. 1. 


California Lawyer (formerly State Bar Journal), vol. 2, no. 4, "David Roe: A New Type of Environmental Lawyer," by Robert E. Kroll, April 1982 


          Forbes, "Faces Behind the Figures," 11/14/88 


          House Beautiful, "Roe v. Toxins," May 1991 


       and see collected press coverage of Scorecard website.



lead counsel for Environmental Defense Fund in litigation at all levels of federal and California courts 1976-2001


principal author, Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65)

[California initiative measure, passed November 1986 by 63%-37% popular vote];
executive committee and steering committee, "YES! on 65" [campaign organization]
(for background on Proposition 65, see "Prop 65 kit" and official CA gov't website


U.S. District Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, Mediation Panel, N.D. Calif.


Board of Advisers, The Green Bag 2d (and juror, annual Exemplary Legal Writing competition)


trustee, The Harpswell Foundation (


general counsel, Fire Trade LLC (commercial venture to reduce global warming), 2003-07


Measurement Units for Workers Rights [interactive public database, published online by Lawyers Committee for Human Rights; see also "Yardsticks for Workers Rights: Learning From Experience" (2003)[same]

Global Reporting Initiative, Advisory Panel [child labor protocol], 2002-04

Social Accountability Int’l, Guidance Revision Committee [SA 8000 Standards], 2002-04


Panel on Environmental Enforcement, National Academy of Public Administration [overseeing evaluation directed by Congress in FY2000 budget], 2000-2001

Advisory Board (original member), University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) Bren School of Environmental Management, 1998 - 2001

commissioner, Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on a Unified Environmental Statute (California), 1994-1997; co-chair, Information Committee

board of directors, California League of Conservation Voters, 1990-1994

board of advisors, Environmental Health Policy Program, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, U.C. Berkeley, 1993-1995

founder and co-administrator, Source Reduction Research Partnership (Environmental Defense Fund and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California), 1987-1992

Adviser, American Law Institute, Project on Compensation and Liability for Product and Process Injuries, 1987-1991


advisory panel, Office of Technology Assessment, Industrial Source Reduction of Hazardous Wastes, 1985-86

Committee on Electricity in Economic Growth, National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, 1984-1985

co-founder and board member, Coordinating Committee on Pesticides (50 health, labor, environmental, and farm groups), 1977-82

consultant to Tennessee Valley Authority (electricity supply planning), 1979

special counsel to Attorney General, State of Arkansas, 1978 (proceedings before the Arkansas Public Service Commission)

Who’s Who in American Law


additional teaching:


Harvard Business School, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Stanford Law School, Boalt Hall School of Law (Berkeley), Hastings

College of the Law, University of California School of Public Health, University of California School of Journalism, UC College of Agriculture (Davis), UCLA, Knight Fellows Program (Stanford), Practising Law Institute, Aspen Institute


government advisory committees (not inclusive):


U.S. Department of Energy; California Department of Food and Agriculture; California Public Utilities Commission; California Department of

Water Resources; California Energy Commission; California Health and Welfare Agency; Governor’s Task Force on Toxics; California Environmental Protection Agency; California Insurance Commissioner; President’s Toxic Substances Advisory Committee, University of California




before Congressional committees, federal and state agencies, state legislative bodies (various subjects), 1976-ff. (primarily on behalf of

Environmental Defense Fund)

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