Richard McNeil

 Partner Orange County
Phone: +1 949.798.1381
3 Park Plaza, 20th Floor
Irvine, CA 92614-8505

Rick McNeil is a partner in the Environment & Natural Resources and Commercial Litigation Groups.  Rick is a trial attorney with numerous jury, bench and administrative trials to his credit and also has substantial expertise in general business, real estate, land use, and environmental litigation.

Rick’s environmental experience spans nearly all aspects of federal and California law. He has been involved in the majority of Superfund sites (in some cases as the Chair of the PRP Group or its Legal or Allocation Committees) in Southern California, numerous RCRA sites throughout California, a wide range of Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulatory and enforcement matters, including dozens of matters before the SCAQMD, the DTSC, and the Los Angeles and Santa Ana RWQCB’s, many Proposition 65 matters, and TSCA and FIFRA matters. He also has handled numerous CEQA cases through the administrative, trial and appellate phases.

Rick is a member of the American Law Institute, where he contributes to the current revision of the Restatement of the Law, 4th, Property. 

He is also a member of the Litigation Section and the Environment, Energy and Resources Section of the American Bar Association, the Litigation Section and the Environmental Law Section of the California State Bar and the Real Estate, Business Litigation and Environmental Law Sections of the Orange County Bar Association.

Rick was selected for inclusion in the Los Angeles rankings of Super Lawyers from 2004 through 2009 and was named one of Los Angeles Daily Journal's "Top 20 Under 40" in 1997.

Rick is Member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association and Co-Chair of its Diversity Committee, and also serves on its Pro Bono Committee.

Rick also is a Member of the Board of Directors for Legal Aid of Orange County. 

Rick also is the Chair Emeritus of the Pacific Chorale, a symphonic choral organization that provides free after-school music education to inner city children.

Rick is also an experienced mediator, having mediated many commercial, land use and environmental cases.


Admitted to practice: California, United States District Court, All Districts of California, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
    • Environmental Law Section (Former Member, Executive Committee)
    • Litigation Section
  • Orange County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section, Member (1998-present), Chair (2016-2017)
    • Diversity Committee  Chair (2015-present)
    • Elimination of Bias Subcommittee, Chair (2016-present)
  • American Law Institute (1997-Present)

Professional Recognition & Awards

  • Southern California Super Lawyers, Environmental (2004-2009)
  • Top 20 Under 40, Los Angeles Daily Journal (1997)

Community Involvement

  • Pacific Chorale, Board of Directors (1997-present)
    • Chairman of the Board (2014-2015), Chair Emeritus
  • Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Board of Directors (2016-present)

Speeches & Presentations

  • "NOT IN MY BACKYARD: Land Use Implications of Siting Sober Living Homes and Treatment Centers in Residential Zones in Orange County," California Municipal Revenue & Tax Association, Long Beach, CA (October 11, 2017). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Habits of the Mind - Implicit Bias in the Workplace," Orange County Bar Association Diversity Task Force CLE, Newport Beach, CA (December 1, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Update on Sober Living Homes in Orange County," Get Connected with Councilwoman Katrina Foley, Costa Mesa City Council Chambers, CA (September 27, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "NOT IN MY BACKYARD: Land Use Implications of Siting Sober Living Homes and Treatment Centers in Residential Zones in Orange County," Orange County Bar Association Real Estate Section, Santa Ana, CA (August 23, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Developments in Water Rights in Orange County," Orange County Bar Association Environmental Law Section, Newport Beach, CA (June 30, 2016). Moderator: Richard McNeil.
  • "San Clemente Case Study," Sober Living Homes in Orange County, Regional Town Hall Meeting, Laguna Hills, CA (May 12, 2016). Panelist: Richard McNeil.
  • "Business Development: Special Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Attorneys," American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Roundtable (March 30, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Exploring Diversity: The Collective Benefits of a Diverse Workforce in Today's Legal Environment," Orange County Bar Association Solo Practitioner/Small Firm Section January Meeting, Newport Beach, CA (January 21, 2016). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Moving Forward Through Diversity: Perspectives on the Collective Benefits of a Diverse Workforce in Today's Legal Environment," OCBA Diversity Task Force Seminar, Costa Mesa, CA (November 17, 2015). Moderator: Richard McNeil.
  • "How to foster and maintain civil relationships with opposing counsel despite animosity amongst your clients," Putting the Civil Back in Civil Litigation, Orange County Bar Association, Newport Beach, CA (October 9, 2014). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "2014 Legal and Legislative Update for Commercial Real Estate," Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, Newport Beach, CA (January 27, 2014). Co-Presenter: Richard McNeil.
  • "Desalination: The Carlsbad Project and Huntington Beach," California Water Law Conference, San Diego, CA (May 3-4, 2012). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Developments In Stormwater," JMBM Breakfast Briefing, Irvine, CA (September 26, 2011). Speaker: Richard McNeil.
  • "Climate Change/AQMD Update," JMBM Breakfast Briefing, Irvine, CA (March 24, 2011). Speaker: Richard McNeil.


  • "Environment & Natural Resources – Will Streamlining NEPA Implementation Work?" Crowell & Moring's Regulatory Forecast 2019 (February 27, 2019). Contributors: Timothy McCrum and Richard McNeil.
  • "To Succeed at Business Development and Client Relationships, Female and Minority Attorneys Face Challenges and Opportunities," American Bar Association, Commercial & Business Litigation - Section of Litigation, Volume 18, Issue 1 (Fall 2016). Co-Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "Rumble in the Riviera," OC Lawyer Magazine (April 2016). Co-Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "'CEQA-in-Reverse' Case Headed for the California Supreme Court," Orange County Business Journal Co-Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "'Takings' Decision Raises State Law Questions," Daily Journal (July 8, 2013). Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "LEED Legal Alerts," Orange County Business Journal (November 19, 2012). Co-Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "Will Health Care Facilities Prove To Be The Antidote For Orange County's Ailing Real Estate Market?" Orange County Business Journal (September 26, 2011). Author: Richard McNeil.
  • "How Review Standards Changed Cap-And-Trade In California," Law360 (April 19, 2011). Author: Richard McNeil.

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Jan.23.2018 Experienced California Environmental Litigator Richard J. McNeil Joins Crowell & Moring