(State Bar No. 072163)

Professional Experience

Opper & Varco LLP – San Diego, California

Partner, 2003 – 2015,  Of Counsel, 2015 – 2016.  Private law practice concentrating in litigation, transaction and regulatory support for the redevelopment of contaminated properties, hazardous waste cleanup and environmental cost recovery, land use, condemnation, regulatory takings and natural resources law.  Member of San Diego County Bar Association. Member of Lambda Alpha International, a real estate economics society. Member, Advisory Board for the Bureau of National Affairs (Environmental Due Diligence Guide).  Member of the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE). Selected as a “SuperLawyer” by peer-based SuperLawyer Magazine annually between 2007 and 2014 and ranked “AV Preeminent” every year for more than 15 years. Lecturer and past trainer on brownfield redevelopment tools and techniques for the U.S. EPA in the continental United States and Europe, the Center for Creative Land Recycling, the National Brownfield Association, and others.  Author of several articles about Brownfield redevelopment in state and national publications.  (See Publications)

Foley & Lardner – San Diego, California

Partner, 2001-2003. Chair of the West Coast Environmental Law Practice Group, Chair of the Brownfield National Practice Group.  Member of the California Redevelopment Association’s standing committee on Brownfields. Member of Council, ABA Section on State and Local Government Law, and Vice-Chair, Section on Environmental Law Committee on Transactions and Brownfields. Member, Governor’s Working Group (Cal-EPA) for Brownfields.

McKenna & Cuneo – San Diego, California

Partner, 1993-2001. Chair, Western Practice Group, Environmental Law.  President, Foundation for Border Progress (Progresso Fronterizo). Designed and implemented the legal strategy for the cleanup for Petco Park, a billion dollar redevelopment project. Acted as an advisor to the Department of State mission on private sector impacts to international treaties at the triennial conference of the World Conservation Union in Buenos Aires.  Published several chapters and articles focusing on environmental and health issues along the U.S. Mexico border

Jennings, Engstrand & Henrikson, P.C. – San Diego, California

Shareholder, 1987-1993. Public agency trial attorney representing counties, cities, special districts, and other public entities in various complex natural resource litigation matters. Other trial work involved condemnation, municipal finance and automation (primarily software development issues).  General counsel work included consultation for special districts and economic revitalization projects.

Attorney General – Agana, Guam
Government of Guam

1983 – 1986. Appointed and confirmed to lead department of 35 lawyers for a four year term, and widely recognized for advancing the professionalism of the department and its success at civil litigation and criminal prosecution. Selected and supervised various Special Counsel throughout the United States (New York, Washington D.C., Miami, Florida).  Attended White House briefing with President Reagan.  Litigated a wide variety of matters personally in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, before federal agencies in Washington D.C. and in local courts. Developed the first Office Procedure Manual used by the Department. Negotiated and approved major public financing transactions, negotiated the return of thousands of acres of federal land to the government of Guam, and assisted in the development of a new $14 million Justice Center for the Island.  Member, National Association of Attorneys General and National Association of District Attorneys.  Awarded Ancient Order of the Chamorri upon leaving office.

Guam Legal Services Corp. – Agana, Guam

Executive Director, 1981 – 1983. Established the first legal services office on Guam. Created the personnel handbook, hired and supervised all staff of ten people, including four lawyers.  Litigated multi-million dollar construction defect lawsuit involving Japanese and American corporations.  Wrote, produced and hosted a five-part TV series on personal legal rights issues. Administered the Lawyer Referral Service for the Guam Bar Association.

Guam Board of Education – Agana, Guam
Government of Guam

Legal Counsel 1979 – 1981. Chief in-house counsel for an organization that employed over five thousand people.  Advised two directors of education, Chief Negotiator for $125+ million labor contract, gained extensive labor litigation and negotiation experience. Negotiated with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Republic of the Philippines for special leave to hire Philippine nationals for employment in the Guam schools.

Department of Law – Agana, Guam
Government of Guam

1978 – 1979. Assistant Attorney General. Reviewed and approved government contracts.  Settled claims in excess of $100,000. Litigated criminal and civil (contract and tort) cases.  Coordinated and represented the Child Protective Services unit for the Department of Social Services.

Poppe & Opper, Attorneys at Law – Santa Cruz, California

Partner 1976 – 1978. Founding partner of small law firm focusing on a general business practice as well as offering specialized assistance in negotiating commercial and residential leasing and real estate development projects.  Served as Executive Director for the “Old Sash Mill”, a 10 acre major development in downtown Santa Cruz that eventually housed retail businesses, restaurants and a movie theatre.

Other Work Experience
Pre 1976

Renovated and then managed multi-unit residential income property in Los Angeles, CA; worked as an emergency forest fire fighter for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; employed as a professional photographer; co-hosted a local TV show and apprenticed as a sheet-metal mechanic.


Harvard Univ., Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
Master Public Administration, 1986 – 1987.
UCLA, School of Law, Los Angeles, California, Juris Doctor, 1973 – 1976.
U.C. Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, Bachelor, English Literature, 1969 – 1973.
Struer Statsgymnasium, Denmark, 2d G. Certificate, 1968 – 1969.
Hoover High School, Fresno, California, Diploma, 1965 – 1969.


California State Bar – 1976 (State Bar No. 072163)

Guam Bar Association – 1978

United States Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit – 1980

United States Supreme Court – 1984

United States District Court, Southern District of California – 1989

United States District Court, Southern District of Texas – 1991