John Van Vlear is a partner specializing in all aspects of “contaminated sites” environmental legal work. Applying technical acumen, John focuses on investigation, strategic analysis, and remediation for site acquisitions/sales, development, regulatory interface, and related litigation in federal and state courts. Spending free time cycling extreme mountain roads in the United States and Europe, he has a keen appreciation for the interplay between the ideal of pristine landscapes and the practical realities of business operations. Because of it, and for over 25 years, John has helped clients recognize and manage environmental risks related to property.

John represents clients before a wide range of environmental agencies. His portfolio of projects includes: commercial, industrial, raw land, and residential, as well as specialty facilities such as gas stations, oil fields, airports, and landfills. These matters have involved a complex array of soil, groundwater, and vapor contamination.

John is a frequent speaker on environmental, real estate and contamination topics. He is a professional author, an expert witness, and arbitrator on environmental issues. He has been interviewed on TV twice and has testified before the California Senate subcommittee on Environmental Quality.

Awards & Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review

Professional Affiliations

  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Groundwater Resources Association of California


  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California


  • Pepperdine Law (cum laude, J.D.)
    • University of California, Irvine (magna cum laude, B.A.)