Gene Livingston

Gene Livingston

Shareholder

Gene Livingston Chairs the Proposition 65 & Green Chemistry Practice and is recognized as a go-to-person to address public policy in the California Legislature, to affect proposed regulations, and to challenge agency actions in court. In addition to being an authority on the rule-making process, he is front and center, representing individual clients and business associations, on the implementation of California’s green chemistry law, also known as the safer consumer products regulation, and continues to be heavily involved in Proposition 65, a practice he began in 1986, the year the initiative passed.

Further, Gene advises and represents his business and trade association clients on legislation affecting business, other environmental regulatory issues at Cal-EPA, such as VOCs in consumer products, insurance legislation and regulations.

While Gene works hard to achieve public policy results favorable to his clients, litigation is necessary at times. He handles court challenges to legislation on constitutional grounds, to regulations lacking legal authority, and to administrative actions without a scientific, factual or legal basis. His reputation and experience as a litigator furthers his credibility as a public policy advocate.

Concentrations

  • Advocacy before the California Legislature, state agencies and the courts
  • Business regulation and compliance
  • Green chemistry
  • Proposition 65 compliance and litigation
  • Environmental regulation
  • Insurance regulation
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Capabilities

Experience

  • Worked to secure the passage of a major controversial bill in the closing days of the 2011 legislative session to resolve the issue of internet retailers collecting California sales tax.
  • Developed a coalition of pharmaceutical companies, doctors, public and private universities and others to oppose legislation that would have criminalized animal testing necessary to verify the safety of medical and consumer products used on humans.
  • Developed a coalition of realtors, builders, insurers and labor to secure passage of the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The $10.5 billion privately funded CEA enabled the client to reenter the homeowners insurance market, a market it limited following the Northridge earthquake due to the risks.
  • Served on the APA Advisory Group to advise the Director, pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order, on improvements to California's Administrative Procedures Act.
  • Helped shape the regulations implementing California's Proposition 65 (duty to warn) initiative statute.
  • Served as a principal stakeholder in the development of California’s green chemistry regulations.
  • Obtained a court of appeal decision addressing “exposure” in the context of Proposition 65.
  • Represented a major pharmaceutical client in a Proposition 65 case in which the California Supreme Court sustained the client's defense that the Proposition 65 claims was preempted by federal law.
  • Challenged a regulation doubling the fee paid by commercial entities that electronically access the Department of Motor Vehicles' records.
  • Litigated through the Court of Appeal an action invalidating regulations adopted by the Insurance Commissioner that restricted insurers use of claims history data.
  • Secured a court of appeal decision, halting the sale of state property that would have resulted in the loss of our client’s business of four decades.
  • Represented insurance trade associations in two different lawsuits, challenging underground regulations in one and regulations lacking legal authority in the other.

Livingston founded Livingston & Mattesich in 1982 to represent clients in their interactions with the State of California. Gene was among the first attorneys in Sacramento to provide experienced and effective advocacy in all forums of public decision-making: the Legislature, regulatory agencies, and the courts. Prior to founding the firm, Gene ran two agencies in California state government. The Governor appointed him the first director of California's Office of Administrative Law. The Legislature created the Office in 1980 to review all state agency regulations, to reduce their number and improve their quality. Gene organized the office and under his leadership, new regulations adopted by the 124 state agencies were cut by 50%, over 11,000 pages of existing regulations were evaluated with 24% targeted for elimination, and another 33% changed to conform to the law. The Legislature and the business community hailed the Office of Administrative Law as a unique success in state government.

The experience at OAL gave Gene an insider's view of every state agency. He has effectively combined his insider's knowledge of state government, litigation experience, knowledge of the Legislature, state agencies, and the courts to the full advantage of his clients. His philosophy of tailoring services to the exact needs of each client remains a central theme.

The five years before organizing the Office of Administrative Law, Gene served as Chief Deputy Director and then acting Director of the California Employment Development Department, an agency with 15,000 employees and a budget of $2.5 billion. He operated several major programs, including the collection of unemployment, disability insurance and state income taxes and the payment of unemployment and disability insurance benefits.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Administrative / Regulatory Law; Environmental Law; Government Relations Practice; Litigation - Environmental, 2009-2019
  • Team Member, Best Lawyers in America® "Top Listed – Government Relations," 2018
  • Listed, "Top Lawyer,"Sacramento magazine, 2015-2017
    • Environmental; Insurance; Legislative & Governmental Affairs, 2015
    • Environmental; Legislative & Governmental Affairs, 2016
    • Environmental; Government Contracts; Legislative & Governmental Affairs, 2017
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006, 2013-2018
  • Team Member, BTI Power Rankings, “The 16 Strongest Firms for ‘Go-To Outside Counsel’ Insurance Work,” 2016
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Government Relations Law Firm of the Year," 2014
  • Ranked, Tier 1 – Government Relations, Sacramento Metropolitan Area
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5
  • Named, one of the ten most "powerful lawyer-lobbyists in Sacramento," California Lawyer magazine, 1998

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, American Bar Association

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, 1965
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Order of the Coif
    • Editor, Oklahoma Law Review, 1964-1965
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1962
Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Oklahoma
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California