Dave Metres is an associate with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP. He practices in all major areas of environmental litigation and compliance counseling, focusing on Superfund investigation and remediation, endangered species and natural resources policy and permitting, and water quality and supply for both surface water and groundwater. 

Dave previously worked at Paul Hastings, LLP, where he was a member of the environmental practice group. Prior to entering private practice, Dave clerked at the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California and at the United States Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division.

I grew up in Illinois near the Des Plaines River on the far outskirts of suburbia. As I grew older, I saw the surrounding corn fields and prairie converted into commercial properties and housing developments. As I saw this change, I wondered how society had brokered these changes – what rules were in place to ensure that people could put land to their desired use, yet ensure that our limited natural resources remain vital for future generations. I was drawn to environmental law because every project touching land or water must address this fundamental tension, and I love unpacking these challenges to help my clients achieve their goals.

  • Fortune 1000 company in investigation and remediation of hexavalent chromium in groundwater at a major EPA Superfund site.
  • Fortune 100 subsidiary regarding investigation and remediation of abandoned uranium mines.
  • A major international environmental non-profit on development of a proposed credit exchange to provide habitat for endangered species.
  • Businesses and individuals in civil and criminal matters, including citizen suits alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.
  • Quasi-public entity in affirmative and defensive enforcement matters.




Dave regularly counsels clients in the following areas:

  • Litigation and counseling arising out of state and federal environmental and land use statutes and regulations, including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, CEQA, NEPA, and the  federal and California Endangered Species Acts
  • Prosecution and defense of claims for recovery of environmental cleanup costs and related damages
  • Endangered species permitting, conservation, and associated credit mechanisms
  • Administrative enforcement proceedings
  • Environmental liability and regulatory requirements in real estate transactions


  • Named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in their 2015 annual survey for Northern California
  • Morning Star Award recipient, 2014, State Bar of California Real Property Law Section, honoring young lawyers who have shown an early dedication to the State Bar


University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2010

  • Order of the Coif; Thurston Honor Society; Pro Bono Honors
  • Senior Articles Editor, Hastings Law Journal, 2008–2010

Northwestern University, B.A., American History, 2002


  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section
    • Treasurer, Executive Committee, 2016
    • Secretary, Executive Committee, 2015
    • Member, Executive Committee, 2011–present
  • Secretary of Help Educate (Ayuda Educativa), a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to providing Nicaragua's future leaders access to higher education


Bar Association of San Francisco
American Bar Association


State Bar of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California