Overview

About Bao

Bao regularly helps clients comply with California’s Proposition 65 and other chemicals-related product safety laws and regulations. He also navigates clients through laws and regulations involving sustainability-related practices, claim substantiation, and advertising. Bao’s practice routinely involves complex regulations established by federal agencies, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as California agencies, including the Air Resources Board, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Department of Toxic Substances Control, and Attorney General.

Clients also rely on Bao when they are the subject of single-plaintiff, class action, or government prosecutions. He has a successful track record of aggressively defending consumer product companies and their suppliers when they are alleged to have violated consumer protection, competition, and environmental laws and regulations. He helps clients with vendor and supplier disputes too.

Bao’s a frequent speaker at compliance seminars for product safety, compliance, regulation, quality assurance, green chemistry, chemical management, and sustainability professionals based in the United States and beyond. His clients are industrial facilities and other manufacturers, packagers, distributors, and retailers. His clients’ products and industries include:

  • Medical Foods
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Organic and Conventional Foods and Beverages
  • Electronic Vaporizers
  • Cosmetics
  • Furniture
  • Apparel
  • Fashion Accessories
  • Footwear
  • Vehicles and Vehicle Parts
  • Metals Fabrication
  • Industrial Lubricants
  • Cleaning Solvents
  • Hobby Supplies
  • Miscellaneous Consumer Goods

In addition to Stoel Rives, Bao has practiced at other national and international law firms, and he has served as a judicial extern to the Honorable James Ware (Ret.), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the Honorable Roger L. Efremsky, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. Bao serves on the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

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Experience

Experience

Sustainability

  • Advised auto manufacturing, food, and dairy facilities on contractual and scientific claim substantiation and advertising language for carbon reduction goals and efforts, including Scope 1 (direct through mitigation or offsets), Scope 2 (electricity usage through renewable energy credits or RECs), and Scope 3 (indirect through offsets and internal and vendor and supplier policies and audits) emissions.
  • Advised personal care products marketers on compliance with the FTC’s “Green Guides,” including scientific claim substantiation and advertising of environmental product and packaging attributes (e.g., recyclable, made from recycled material, compostable, and biodegradable).
  • Defended clients against consumer claims and government investigations for alleged improper use of claims such as “biodegradable” and “all natural.”

Chemicals Management and Related Litigation

  • Developed chemicals management and compliance programs for consumer product companies to comply with laws like Proposition 65, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). 
  • Defended industrial facilities and oil and gas operators against common law and Proposition 65 claims alleging environmental (air or occupational) and water discharges of chemicals including arsenic, benzene, hexavalent chromium, and tetrachloroethylene (PERC).
  • Defended consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers against consumer exposure Proposition 65 claims. 
  • Defended consumer products, paint, and solvents manufacturers against allegations involving failure to disclose hazardous substances under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA).
  • Represented product manufacturers in California Air Resources Board investigations concerning allegations of excess volatile organic compounds (VOC) and methylene chloride content in their products.

Other Regulatory Compliance and Labeling

  • Defended food manufacturers against allegations involving failure to comply with the Nutritional Labeling Act (NLEA).
  • Represented product manufacturers in California Department of Pesticide Regulation investigations concerning allegations of improperly registered pesticides.
  • Advised athletic footwear manufacturer on compliance with California’s ban on the importation of exotic animal skins, enumerated under Penal Code § 653o.

Competition

  • Defended medical foods company against a competitor lawsuit, involving false advertising and labeling and related claims.
  • Defended metals fabricator against a competitor lawsuit, involving trade secret misappropriation and related claims.
  • Defended road construction company against a competitor lawsuit, involving bid rigging, price fixing, and market allocation antitrust claims.

Other Complex Disputes

  • Defended multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation against numerous class action lawsuits involving genetically modified crops.
  • Defended national honey cooperative against numerous class action lawsuits involving unfair competition and breach of warranty allegations and issues under the FD&C Act.
  • Represented electric generation facility in multimillion-dollar dispute involving complex 418 MW Power Purchase and Sale Agreement with large, investor-owned utility.
  • Represented electric generation facility in multimillion-dollar dispute with Southern California municipality.
  • Representing solar project developer in multimillion-dollar payment dispute with project’s purchaser.
  • Representing solar energy producers in federal bankruptcy and appellate courts involving large, investor-owned utility’s bankruptcy.
  • Defended industrial facility specializing in materials conversion and titanium, steel, and high-temperature alloys forging in administrative enforcement proceeding before the South Coast Air Quality Management District, concurrently prosecuting related writ lawsuit before the Superior Court challenging curtailment procedures.
  • Represented solar energy project developer in numerous disputes throughout United States involving Engineering, Procurement, and Construction agreements, supplier agreements, and commercial leases.
  • Arbitration counsel for recycling corporation in multimillion-dollar indemnity dispute concerning largest metals recycling facility in California.
  • Arbitration counsel for national qui tam law firm in multimillion-dollar professional negligence lawsuit.
  • Trial and appellate counsel for asphalt plant operator in mineral trespass lawsuit brought by gold dredging company seeking disgorgement damages exceeding $10 million. Cal. Sierra Dev., Inc. v. George Reed, Inc., 145 Cal. App. 5th 663 (2017).
  • Briefed and argued to defend judgment secured on behalf of Special Servicer before the California Court of Appeal in case involving effect of bankruptcy discharge.
  • Briefed and assisted with argument to defend order denying remand to State Court secured on behalf of Special Servicer before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Corral v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., 878 F.3d 770 (9th Cir. 2017).
  • Briefed and assisted with argument to defend order appointing receiver over three commercial centers in Puerto Rico on behalf of Special Servicer before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
  • Briefed and assisted with argument to defend judgment secured on behalf of test and measuring device company in case involving employment discrimination.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Listed among Rising Stars (Business Litigation, Environmental Litigation) Northern California Super Lawyers ®, 2019–2020
  • Board of Directors, AIDS Legal Referral Panel
  • Board of Directors, Asian Law Alliance
  • Mentor, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations




Related News & Publications


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