Celeste Evangelisti

Celeste Evangelisti

Shareholder, Attorney at Law
Phone: (214) 521-3605
Fax: (214) 520-1181

Celeste Evangelisti has devoted more than twenty-five years of her career to representing individuals, municipalities, public water suppliers and states against chemical companies for cost recovery to clean up environmental contamination. A shareholder with Baron & Budd’s Environmental Litigation Group, Ms. Evangelisti currently represents clients in several states across the country who face a variety of contamination issues.

Ms. Evangelisti started her career at a large defense firm, representing some of the biggest corporations in the world in product liability cases. In 1999, Ms. Evangelisti used the knowledge she gained representing defendants in those cases and began working with Scott Summy, who represented corporate victims of wrongdoing. Mr. Summy was then expanding his groundwater contamination practice to California and other states. He brought his team to Baron & Budd in 2002, ultimately forming and expanding what is now the award-winning Environmental Litigation Group.

Through the years, Ms. Evangelisti has assisted in the representation of thousands of clients against the world’s biggest corporations, with recoveries for her clients in the billions of dollars. Her practice focuses on companies that manufacture chemicals knowing they will cause water contamination if used as intended. She successfully litigated against the major oil companies on behalf of hundreds of water providers who sought cost recovery for contamination of drinking water supplies by the gasoline additive MTBE, obtaining more than $500 million in settlements for her clients. She took on Monsanto, the manufacturer of PCBs, securing a settlement of approximately $600 million for stormwater cleanup costs on behalf of governmental entities. And she was one of the key players taking liability depositions and working with experts in the nationwide multi-district litigation (MDL) centered around PFAS contamination (colloquially referred to as “forever chemicals”), which resulted in a $12 billion settlement with 3M Company and a $1.185 billion settlement with DuPont. Ms. Evangelisti is currently litigating against DuPont and Chemours on behalf of public water providers and private well owners for costs due to contamination of the Cape Fear River and the surrounding community with GenX and other PFAS chemicals from the Fayetteville Works plant in North Carolina. Ms. Evangelisti’s knowledge and skill have been put to work in many other water contamination cases as well, including those involving perchloroethylene (PCE), Trichloropropane (TCP) and Atrazine.

Although Ms. Evangelisti is involved in all phases of litigation, her expertise is working up the liability case, which involves putting the historical story together (what a company knew about its chemical’s potential harm to human health and the environment and when), taking depositions of key players involved, and establishing defendants’ wrongdoing. This also involves developing a legal strategy, working extensively with expert witnesses, and preparing the case for trial.

Hard-driving and tenacious, Ms. Evangelisti’s legal prowess has earned her many professional honors and awards. Ms. Evangelisti is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its top rating. She was a member of the legal team representing Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) which was named “Attorneys of the Year” for Environmental Law in 2001 by California Lawyer (Daily Journal Corp.) for the resolution of a precedent-setting case requiring major oil companies to clean up more than a thousand sites contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE. Ms. Evangelisti has been nominated twice for Public Justice’s prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award (2009, 2013) for her work on MTBE and Atrazine respectively, and she was named a “Texas Super Lawyer” for three straight years (Thompson Reuters, 2003-2005). She has also been named among the Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2017-present), Top 10 Environmental Trial Lawyers in Texas (National Trial Lawyers, 2020-present), and Top 25 Product Liability Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2021-present). In addition, the Environmental Litigation Group was twice named Law360’s Practice Group of the Year for the United States in the category of Environmental Law (Law360, 2020 and 2023).


  • How to Work Up an MTBE Case – Documents and Depositions,” MTBE Multi-District Litigation PSC Group (March 15, 2005).
  • “Pursuit of Damages by Municipal Water Providers and Private Well Owners,” Mealey’s MTBE & USTs Litigation Conference (December 6, 2004).
  • “MTBE: The Plaintiffs’ Perspective,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (July 29, 2004).
  • “Perchlorate in Ground Water: Legal Implications,” American Ground Water Trust (February 9, 2004).
  • “Perchlorate: The Blast that Lasts,” 11th Annual Region 9 Tribal EPA Conference (October 23, 2003).
  • “Discovery Issues: What are your looking for? What are you going to find?” Mealey’s MTBE and USTs Litigation Conference (November 4-5, 2002).
  • “MTBE: What the Public’s Representatives Should Know,” Twelfth Annual Texas Environmental Superconference (August 2, 2000).
  • “Update on Class Actions,” Mealey’s MTBE Conference (May 11-12, 2000).


  • Cornell University School of Law (J.D. 1995)
  • State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A. Mathematics, 1992)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • California
  • New York
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California
  • United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois


  • 500 Leading Energy Lawyers (Lawdragon, 2024)
  • Green 500: Leaders in Environmental Law (Lawdragon, 2024)
  • Texas Super Lawyer (Thompson Reuters, 2003-2005)

  • Daily Journal Corp.’s California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for Environmental Law, 2001 (member of legal team/awardee)
  • Top 100 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2017-present)
  • Top 10 Environmental Trial Lawyers in Texas (National Trial Lawyers, 2020-present)
  • Top 25 Product Liability Trial Lawyers (National Trial Lawyers, 2021-present)

Professional Associations

  • New York State Bar
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Association for Justice – Environmental Law Section
  • Public Justice
  • Dallas Trial Lawyers Association