Kristin N. Reyna DeHart


  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    Kristin Reyna DeHart serves as the Assistant Managing Partner of grsm’s San Diego office. She is co-chair of the firm's Environmental practice group and a member of the Toxic Tort practice group, specializing in the defense of complex environmental claims, toxic tort and product liability claims. She represents a wide range of entities in her practice, including corporations, manufacturers, product suppliers, industrial operations, property owners, insurance companies, municipalities, homeowners’ associations, construction companies and environmental abatement companies. She can handle environmental claims which range from one site to state-wide. The matters which she has handled have dealt with such issues as soil, groundwater, well and sediment contamination by various contaminants, storm water issues, mold contamination, asbestos contamination, crop loss claims, and environmental, occupational and industrial exposures to myriad chemicals and toxic substances. She has also worked on a diverse range of product liability matters, and food and water-bourne illness matters.

    Kristin also counsels clients regarding environmental compliance issues outside the litigation context, including regarding property contamination, waste generation, handling and disposal, and recycling/reuse programs. She regularly assists clients with environmental investigations and removal/remedial actions on their properties including representing clients in communications and negotiations with Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Environmental Protection Agency. Kristin also regularly performs environmental due diligence work in real property and business transactions including mergers and acquisitions.

    Kristin has both trial and appellate experience with toxic tort/personal injury exposure claims and complex environmental soil, groundwater, sediment and well contamination property damage claims. Both her education and practice have given her significant knowledge of the key Federal and California environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), the Hazardous Substance Account Act (HSAA/California Superfund), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource, Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (CLRRA), the Polanco Redevelopment Act, and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act.

    Kristin sits on the Steering Committee of the firm-wide Environmental & Toxic Tort practice group and leads the Environmental subgroup of this practice. She is also the San Diego office representative to the firm-wide Diversity Committee and active in the firm’s Women’s Initiative.

    In the community, Kristin is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Trinity United Methodist Church, one of the oldest churches in San Diego.


    • California
    • U.S. District Courts, California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


    • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience
    • Has defended numerous lawsuits brought under CERCLA, HSAA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Porter-Cologne, CLRRA and Polanco Redevelopment Act and has intimate knowledge of each of these statutes.

    • In the context of her environmental practice, has specialized in soil, groundwater and municipal well contamination cases involving volatile organic compounds, including PCE and TCE, over the past twelve years.

    • Has counseled clients on property contamination issues, and environmental investigations and response actions.

    • Has counseled and represented clients with respect to storm water issues.

    • Has counseled clients on waste handling and disposal issues and formation of recycling and reuse programs which will be accepted by the EPA and local environmental agencies.

    • Has specialized in city-wide, area-wide and state-wide environmental contamination claims.

    • Has handled and successfully resolved a wide range of product liability matters.

    • Has handled and successfully resolved various food and water-bourne illness claims.

    • Has achieved victories for her clients at the motion to dismiss, summary judgment, trial and appellate levels in both toxic tort and environmental contamination cases.

    • Litigated the city-wide PCE contamination case of City of Modesto et al. v. The Dow Chemical Co., et al. for ten years and two trials, resulting in a combination of directed verdicts and nonsuits for the client.

    • In the context of the Modesto case, represented a party in interest in the appellate decision City of Modesto Redevelopment Agency v. The Dow Chemical Co. (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 28, which has been used as a standard for Water Code section 13304 liability and nuisance liability in the state of California, including its favorable citation by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Redevelopment Agency for the City of Stockton v. BNSF Railway Company, et al., 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 13135 (June 28, 2011) in its pronunciation of the law of nuisance liability in the Ninth Circuit.

    • Has achieved significant summary judgment victories for her property owner and property manager clients regarding mold contamination, including summary judgment of plaintiff’s claims in her clients’ favor and summary adjudication of their cross-claims in her clients’ favor awarding them indemnity and defense costs.

    • Represented one of the parties involved in the decisions in the Ninth Circuit in the Hinds Investments, L.P. v. Angioli cases, which resulted in affirmations of the Eastern District’s granting of motions to dismiss CERCLA, HSAA, RCRA, nuisance and trespass in favor of equipment manufacturer defendants, including a benchmark published decision from the Ninth Circuit as to the standard for RCRA liability in the Ninth Circuit.

    • Has won several summary adjudication motions in environmental contamination cases and toxic tort cases based on the defense of the statute of limitations.

    • Has represented clients before the regional and state water quality control boards in cleanup and abatement order proceedings.

    • Has represented clients in communications and negotiations with the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    • Has won several summary adjudication motions in environmental contamination cases under CERCLA and HSAA, with Court holding that client did not qualify as a potentially responsible party under either statute.

    • Has tried toxic tort cases to verdict, successfully representing property owners defending against claims of workplace exposures, and succeeded in upholding defense verdicts on appeal.

    • Has litigated toxic tort cases to summary judgment, and on appeal, representing chemical and equipment manufacturers and suppliers against claims of product defect and workplace exposures.

    • Has significant appellate experience in both toxic tort and environmental cases.

  • Publications & Presentations
    • Cutting Edge Topics in Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation: What is New and What is Trending, GRSM Legal Education Conference, New York and Hartford (May 2018)
    • Speaker/Panelist, Identifying and Negotiating Cost Allocation Among Potentially Responsible Parties: History, Science, and Money, American Bar Association, Section of Environmental, Energy and Resources, 41st Annual Conference
    • The Importance of Understanding where Historical Chemical Handling and Disposal Practices and Scientific Knowledge Meet:  A Litigation Perspective, Superfund and Natural Resources Damages Litigation Newsletter, American Bar Association
    • Co-author, 30 States & Counting: Mold Legislation Continues to Sweep the Nation, Mold Columns, Harris-Martin
    • Co-author, Mold Legislation: Its Easier Said Than Done, Mold Columns, Harris-Martin
    • The Dormant Commerce Clause: Municipal Waste-Processing Regulations, 13 Tulane Env.L.J. 518
    • Ohio Forestry Association v. Sierra Club: The United States Supreme Court Reexamines Ripeness in the Context of Judicial Review of Agency Action, 12 Tulane Env. L.J. 249
  • Education


    J.D., magna cum laude, Tulane University School of Law, 2000

    • Order of the Coif
    • Certificate of specialization in Environmental Law
    • Senior Managing Editor, Tulane Environmental Law Journal

    B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, Pepperdine University, 1995


    Best Lawyers in America® distinction in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2024)

    Leader of Influence in Law, San Diego Business Journal (2023)