Employee Bio

Sabrina V. Teller

Sabrina V. Teller

Managing Partner

Ms. Teller joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in December 2006.  She has been the managing partner since December 2020. Ms. Teller represents public agencies, private applicants, and citizens’ groups in a wide variety of land use and environmental law matters.  Ms. Teller handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, from local agency administrative approvals through trial and appellate litigation.  Ms. Teller’s practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the California Water Code provisions relating to water supplies for development, the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, and the federal Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting.

Ms. Teller regularly teaches land use and environmental law continuing education classes and seminars for her client agencies and professional organizations such as the Association of Environmental Professionals. She served as an editor for the California Land Use & Policy Reporter from 2005 to 2008. She also contributed to the online Environmental Law Updates published by the Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association.

Representative matters include:

  • Outside counsel to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in 2018-2020 with respect to the preparation of a programmatic environmental impact report for the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP), which involves the use of prescribed fires and other techniques to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to restore forest health, and in litigation over the approval of that project.
  • Outside counsel to the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority regarding CEQA compliance for projects to reduce the risk of wildfires within Marin County.
  • Representing the City of Los Angeles in several ongoing cases defending the City’s compliance with CEQA for various development projects.
  • Representing the City of Livermore in litigation defending the City’s approval of a boutique hotel.
  • Represented the Town of Loomis in litigation defending the Town’s approval of a new Costco store.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Monterey in a variety of environmental and land use matters.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Mountain View in a variety of environmental and land use matters.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Santa Cruz for a variety of infill projects.
  • Outside litigation counsel to the County of Humboldt in a variety of cannabis permitting and other land use matters arising under CEQA and the State Planning and Zoning Law.
  • Outside litigation counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District in litigation under CEQA challenging the District’s proposal to study the removal of a mural in George Washington High School.
  • Counsel to RainTree Investment Corporation regarding land use entitlements and CEQA compliance for portions of the Green Valley Specific Plan area in Perris, California.
  • Counsel to various developers of Dollar General stores regarding compliance with CEQA and local land use regulations.
  • Jointly represented the California High-Speed Rail Authority with the California Attorney General’s Office to defend the Authority’s environmental review for individual project segments of the future statewide high-speed train system;
  • Successfully defended the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in litigation challenging the environmental review for the Board’s electrification and modernization project to improve the Caltrain commuter rail service on the San Francisco Peninsula;
  • Successfully defended the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s CEQA compliance for a freight rail service contract assignment and rail repair work, upheld by the Santa Cruz County Superior Court;
  • Representing landowners in Folsom and Roseville in the environmental review and subsequent implementation of specific plans for future residential and commercial development.
  • Defended the San Mateo County Community College District in cases challenging facility improvements at the College of San Mateo. In 2016, the California Supreme Court decided in the District’s favor a key question regarding the standard of review for agency decisions to rely on CEQA’s subsequent review provisions.
  • Defended the City of Monterey’s approval of a city-wide streetlight replacement project for energy efficiency in litigation challenging the City’s reliance on a categorical exemption from CEQA, upheld by the Sixth District Court of Appeal.
  • Represented Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas in successfully navigating CEQA, CESA, and local land use entitlement processes to obtain a conditional use permit in November 2008 for a new 103-MW wind power project on private land in Shasta County. Ms. Teller assisted RES in developing a strong biological and cultural resources mitigation program, working cooperatively with the County of Shasta, resource agencies, and environmental and tribal interests to avoid litigation after project approval.

Reported cases:

  • Save the Hill Group v. City of Livermore (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 1092
  • Hollywoodians Encouraging Rental Opportunities v. City of Los Angeles (2019) 27 Cal.App.5th 768
  • Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado (2018) 30 Cal.App.5th 358
  • Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1079
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 596
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937
  • Save Our Big Trees v. City of Santa Cruz (2015) 214 Cal.App.4th 694
  • Keep Our Mountains Quiet v. County of Santa Clara (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 714
  • Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo County Community College District (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1572
  • California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 173
  • Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1277
  • Tomlinson v. County of Alameda (2012) 54 Cal.4th 281
  • California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 603.
  • Shasta Resources Council v. U.S. Dept of Interior (E.D.Cal. 2009) 629 F.Supp.2d 1045
  • Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412
  • Friends of the Sierra Railroad v. Tuolumne Park and Recreation Dist. (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 643
  • Save Our Neighborhood v. Lishman (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1288
  • The Pocket Protectors v. City of Sacramento (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 903
  • Sierra Club v. County of Napa (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1490

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2001
    B.A., Geography, University of Texas, Austin, 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • The State Bar of California
    • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts, all California Districts
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Lead Articles Editor, Texas Environmental Law Journal, 2000-2001
  • Editor, California Land Use & Policy Reporter, 2005-2008
  • Contributing Author, Environmental Law Updates, Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, 2017-2020
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2022 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine and Rising Stars section of the 2009-2011 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine

Community Involvement

  • Former Member, Environmental Law Society, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Member, Public Interest Law Association, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Board Member, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership- Northern California Chapter
  • Former Corporate Board Member, Francis House, Sacramento

Louisa Rogers

Louisa Rogers

Associate

Louisa Rogers joined the firm in 2022. Her practice specializes in environmental law, land use and planning, water law, initiatives and referenda, and administrative law generally.

Ms. Rogers attended the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law on a Dean’s Merit Scholarship. She earned her Juris Doctorate with certificates in environmental law and public service law. At King Hall, Ms. Rogers was an editor of both the UC Davis Law Review and Environs, the Environmental Law and Policy Journal. As a student, Ms. Rogers worked as a summer associate for the firm and was also an intern with the California Attorney General’s Office, in the Land Use and Conservation section of the Division of Public Rights.

Ms. Rogers received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and her Master of Science degree in Soils and Biogeochemistry from the University of California, Davis. While earning her graduate degree, Ms. Rogers studied carbon cycling in natural and agricultural systems and worked as a teaching assistant for various graduate- and undergraduate-level classes.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2022
  • M.S., Soils and Biogeochemistry, University of California, Davis, 2019
  • B.A., Biology, Whitman College, 2015 (magna cum laude and with honors in the major)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
  • Admitted to all California State Courts

Christina Berglund

Christina Berglund

Senior Associate

Ms. Berglund joined the firm in 2016 as an associate. Her practice focuses on land use and environmental law, including handling all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, administrative approvals and litigation. She has extensive experience in preparing NEPA documents and managing the NEPA process, as well as long-range planning and zoning analysis. She has helped entitle millions of square feet of development in California, affordable housing projects, mixed-use development, warehouses, and regional medical facilities.  Her practice centers on CEQA and NEPA, state and federal endangered species, air and water quality, and other related land use statutes such as the Subdivision Map Act, Outdoor Advertising Act, and Planning and Zoning Law.

Ms. Berglund’s representative matters include:

  • Associate counsel defending the City of Los Angeles in litigation challenging various development projects.
  • Associate counsel representing the City of Newport Beach in litigation challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the Southern California Metroplex Project.
  • Associate counsel representing Waste Management in litigation challenging the Alameda County Waste Management Authority’s approval of an organics recycling facility.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Berglund worked as a consultant for WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff advising public agency clients on all elements of the procurement and contract drafting processes for large alternative delivery projects. She was a key member of the consultant team advising on the first phase of the California High-Speed Rail Project in the Central Valley.

Ms. Berglund has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2008.  She also has several years of experience as a community and environmental planner.

Education

  • J.D., University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, 2007 (cum laude)
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, 2002
  • B.A., Geology, Carleton College, Northfield, 2000 (cum laude)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento
  • American Planning Association
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter, Editorial Board, 2019-2020
  • Selected for inclusion as Super Lawyer for 2021-2022
  • Minnesota State Courts

Community Involvement

  • Secretary of the Sacramento County Bar Association Environmental Law Section (2022)
  • Vice President of Rio del Oro Rapids Parent Board (2022)

Nathan O. George

Nathan O. George

Partner

Mr. George joined the firm in 2016 as an associate. Mr. George’s practice focuses on land use and environmental law, handling all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative decision-making and litigation. His practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, as well as administrative and municipal law, including compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act.

During law school, Mr. George served as a Board Member for the Journal of International Law and Policy, and as a Board Member for the Environmental Council of Sacramento. Prior to joining Remy Moose Manley, LLP, Mr. George worked as an associate at David Allen & Associates, and clerked for the California Environmental Protection Agency, Air Resources Board, the Office of the Attorney General, Public Rights Division, and the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, Public Integrity Unit.

Mr. George teaches CEQA courses and seminars or lectures for such organizations as the Association of Environmental Professionals, CLE International,  and the California Continuing Education of the Bar program.

Selected Published Cases:

  • Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1079
  • Martis Camp Community Association v. County of Placer (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 569
  • League to Save Lake Tahoe Mountain etc. v. County of Placer (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 63

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2014 (Environmental Law and Public Service Certificates)
  • B.S., Graphic Design, California State University, Sacramento, 2006 (with honors)

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Admitted to all California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • Selected for inclusion in the Rising Stars sections of the 2020-2023 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine

PUBLICATIONS

  • Author, Proper Notice, Feature Article, Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine (March 2023).

Veronika S. Morrison

Veronika S. Morrison

Associate

Veronika Morrison is an associate attorney in the Sacramento-based law firm of Remy Moose Manley, LLP, which specializes in environmental law, land use and planning, water law, initiatives and referenda, and administrative law generally. Ms. Morrison joined the firm in 2020.

Ms. Morrison received her Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Davis, King Hall School of Law in 2020, with certificates in environmental law and public service law. She attended on a full Dean’s Merit Scholarship. Ms. Morrison received her Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2017, graduating cum laude and with honors in the major. While in college, Ms. Morrison interned for the nonprofit Ecological Rights Foundation and the Hazardous Materials Surveillance Section of the Orange County Environmental Health Care Agency.

At King Hall, Ms. Morrison was a senior notes and comments editor of the UC Davis Law Review, a senior articles editor of Environs, the Environmental Law and Policy Journal, and a symposium committee member of the Environmental Law Society. Ms. Morrison’s Law Review note, Airbnbs & Coastal Access: Can the California Coastal Commission Reject City Ordinances that Ban Short-Term Rentals?, was published in the UC Davis Law Review and won the Patrick J. Hopkins Memorial Writing Award for best note. During law school, Ms. Morrison worked as a law clerk for Remy Moose Manley, LLP, practiced in the UC Davis Aoki Water Justice Clinic, and interned with Orange County Coastkeeper.

 

Education

  • J.D., University of California at Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2020
  • B.A., Environmental Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2017 (cum laude and with honors in the major)

Professional Affiliations

  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

Whitman F. Manley

Whitman F. Manley

Of Counsel (Retired)

Mr. Manley’s practice focuses on advising and representing public agencies, project applicants, and citizen’s groups both during administrative proceedings and in trial and appellate litigation. His practice encompasses California and Federal environmental and land use law, including the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, California Planning and Zoning Law, Subdivision Map Act, Williamson Act, initiatives and referenda, air and water quality, solid and hazardous waste, forestry, natural resources, endangered species, wetlands and related matters.

Upon graduation from law school in 1987, Mr. Manley spent a year clerking for the late Chief Judge Robert F. Peckham of the Northern District of California. He then joined the environmental section of McCutchen Doyle in San Francisco. In 1991 he moved to Sacramento and joined Remy and Thomas as an associate. He joined the partnership in 1996, became a named partner in 2003, and served as managing partner from 2007 through 2011. He went of counsel in 2014.

Along with Tina Thomas and Jim Moose, he is co-author of Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act (11th ed. 2007, Solano Press Books).

Published Decisions:

  • Sierra Watch v. County of Placer (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 86 (CEQA).
  • Martis Camp Community Assn. v. County of Placer (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 569 (CEQA).
  • Stopthemillenniumhollywood.com v. City of Los Angeles (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 1 (as Amicus Curiae) (CEQA).
  • Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach (2017) 2 Cal.5th 918 (CEQA).
  • Japanese Village LLC v. Federal Transit Administration, 843 F.3d 445 (9th Cir. 2016) (NEPA).
  • Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 160 (CEQA).
  • Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 840 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2016) (Tahoe Regional Planning Compact).
  • Beverly Hills Unified School Dist. v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Trans. Auth. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 627 (CEQA).
  • Defend Our Waterfront v. California State Lands Com. (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 570 (CEQA).
  • Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island v. City and County of San Francisco (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1036 (CEQA).
  • California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 173 (CEQA).
  • North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Marin Municipal Water Dist. Bd. of Directors (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 614 (CEQA).
  • Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (E. D. Cal. 2013) 916 F.Supp.2d 1098 (Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, CEQA).
  • Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2010) 48 Cal.4th 481 (as Amicus Curiae) (CEQA).
  • Sustainable Transportation Advocates of Santa Barbara v. Santa Barbara County Assn. of Governments (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 113 (CEQA).
  • South Yuba River Citizens League v. National Marine Fisheries Service, 237 F.R.D. 607 (E.D. Cal. 2009) (Federal Endangered Species Act).
  • Friends of the Sierra Railroad v. Tuolumne Park and Recreation Dist. (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 643 (CEQA).
  • Save Our Neighborhood v. Lishman (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1288 (CEQA).
  • Association for Sensible Development at Northstar, Inc. v. Placer County (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1289 (CEQA).
  • Friends of Davis v. City of Davis (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1004 (CEQA).
  • Citizens for Responsible Government v. City of Albany (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1199 (as Amicus Curiae) (CEQA).
  • Chaparral Greens v. City of Chula Vista (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1134 (CEQA).
  • Western States Petroleum Ass’n v. Superior Court (1995) 9 Cal.4th 559 (as Amicus Curiae) (CEQA).
  • Natural Resources Defense Council v. California Fish and Game Comm’n (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 1104 (California Endangered Species Act).
  • Board of Supervisors of Sacramento County v. Local Agency Formation Comm’n of Sacramento County (1992) 3 Cal.4th 903 (CEQA).
  • Ecodyne Corp. v. Shah, 718 F.Supp 1454 (N.D. Cal. 1989) (CERCLA).

Education

  • J.D., Cornell University, 1987 (Order of the Coif, Magna Cum Laude); Editor-in-Chief, Cornell Law Review (1986-1987)
  • A.B., Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 1981

Professional Affiliations and Community Activities

  • State Bar of California
  • Environmental Law Section
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • Sacramento and Yolo County Bar Associations
  • AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell (1998 – present)
  • Board member, Center for Natural Lands Management (Fallbrook, CA) (2003 – 2010)
  • Board member, Yolo Basin Foundation (Davis, CA) (2008 – 2019)
  • President (1997-1998), Board member (1995 – 2000), and chair of legal and endowment committees (1996 – 2000), Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Association
  • Contributing Editor, California State Bar Environmental Law Section, Environmental Law Section Update (2000 – 2017)
  • Instructor, State Bar of California (Continuing Education of the Bar); Judicial Council of California – California Center for Judicial Education and Research (2000 – present)
  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine (2006 – present)

Andrea K. Leisy

Andrea K. Leisy

Partner

Ms. Leisy joined the firm in 2000 as an associate and became a partner in 2005. She served as managing partner from 2011 through 2016. Her practice focuses on advising and representing public agencies, project applicants and citizen’s groups during administrative proceedings and in trial and appellate litigation, with a focus on issues arising under the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Planning and Zoning Law, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Integrated Waste Management Act, and initiative and referendum law as they relate to land use matters.  Ms. Leisy has also worked on projects involving compliance with, or permitting under, Tanner Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Ms. Leisy currently works out of RMM’s Orange County office and regularly teaches CEQA, land use and environmental law continuing education classes and seminars for professional organizations such as the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP), League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties.

Representative Matters:

  • Lead attorney representing Waste Management of California, Inc. and Chemical Waste Management, Inc., in various organics recovery, TS/MRF, and alternative energy projects, as well as in administrative entitlement processes and litigation throughout the state.
  • Outside counsel to various private applicants pursuing entitlements and the completion of environmental review for: cannabis related activities; affordable housing developments; aggregate mining; and senior care projects.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, and the City of Newport Beach in various matters subject to litigation, environmental review and entitlements.

Representative Cases:

  • City of Los Angeles v. Federal Aviation Administration (2023) (9th Cir.) 63 F.4th 835 (counsel for Petitioner)
  • G.I. Industries v. City of Thousand Oaks (2022) 84 Cal.App.5th 814 (counsel for Petitioner)
  • Sierra Watch v. County of Placer (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 86 (counsel for Real Party in Interest Squaw Valley Real Estate, LLC)
  • Stein et al. v. Alameda County Waste Management Authority (2020) 2020 WL 4745561 (Counsel for Real Party in Interest Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc.)
  • Sunset Coalition v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 2018 WL 1046243 (Counsel for Respondent City of Los Angeles)
  • Placerville Historic Preservation League v. Judicial Council of California (2017) 16 Cal.App.5th 187 (counsel for Respondent Judicial Council)
  • El Pueblo Para El Aire y Agua Limpio v. Kings County (2012) 2012 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 4984 (counsel for Real Party in Interest)
  • Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 296 (counsel for Real Party in Interest)
  • California Native Plant Society v. County of El Dorado (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 1026 (counsel for Real Party in Interest).

Education

  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1999
  • B.A., Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1994
  • B.A., Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1994

Professional Affiliations

  • The State Bar of California
    • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • Orange County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Editor, Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter, 2010-2012
  • Editor, California Land Use & Policy Reporter, 2001-2004
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2014-2023 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine and Rising Stars section of the 2009-2011 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine

Community Involvement

  • Member, T1 International / California #insulin4all (2021 – Present)
  • Member, Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (2022 – Present)
  • Board Member, Cottage Housing, Inc. (2008 – 2015)
  • Appointed Member, City/County Sacramento Environmental Commission (2011 – 2013)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Center for Youth Citizenship (2006 – 2009)
  • Board Member, Volunteers In Parole (VIP) Mentors, Inc. (2005 – 2009)
  • Member, Sacramento City-County Solid Waste Advisory Committee (2003-2008)

Publications

  • Author, A New Era: Consultation with California Native American Tribes and Consideration of Tribal Cultural Resources under CEQA, Vol. 24, No. 1, Environmental Law News, State Bar of California (Summer 2015).
  • Author, California Air Resources Board Endorses Long Anticipated Cap-and-Trade Regulation , Feature Article, California Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (January 2010).
  • Co-author, Attorney General Sues Squaw Valley USA for Environmental Violations , Feature Article, California Land Use Reporter (March 2002).
  • Author, Inherent Tribal Sovereignty and the Clean Water Act: The Effect of Tribal Water Quality Standards on Non-Indian Lands Located Both Within and Outside Reservation Boundaries 29 Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 139 (Spring 1999).

Howard F. Wilkins III (“Chip”)

Howard F. Wilkins III (“Chip”)

Partner

Mr. Wilkins joined the firm in 2005 and became a partner in 2010.  His practice focuses on land use and environmental law.  Mr. Wilkins handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative approvals and litigation.  Mr. Wilkins provides a wide variety of expert environmental and land use advice to public and private clients, including State agencies, cities and counties, special districts, environmental consultants, project applicants, environmental organizations, and individuals. With over 20 years of litigation experience in state and federal courts, Mr. Wilkins has been involved in litigation resulting in numerous precedent setting decisions in both California and Federal Courts. He also regularly represents clients in front of state and local agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, the California Energy Commission, State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, as well as numerous counties and cities. Mr. Wilkins’s practice covers the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, the California Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, the Williamson Act, the California Endangered Species Act, California Native Plant Protection Act, the Brown Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal Endangered Species Act, the federal Clean Water Act, the Tahoe Regional Compact, waste management, water law, administrative law, as well as initiative and referendum law.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wilkins was an associate attorney in the complex litigation and litigation groups at Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, where he represented public and private clients in state and federal court proceedings involving a broad range of matters, including inverse condemnation, eminent domain, contracts, products liability, unfair competition, and class actions.  He also volunteered at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, handling hearings, bench trials and a jury trial.  Before entering law school, he served in various positions in the political arena, including research director for a state political party, political consultant and campaign manager.

Mr. Wilkins is an advisor to the Executive Committee for California Lawyers Association Environmental Law Section, former executive committee member (2011-2016) and chair of the Section (2015-2016), and the co-chair of the 2013 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite.   Mr. Wilkins currently serves as the Treasurer for the California Lawyers Foundation and served on the Board of Representatives for the California Lawyers Association from 2018 through 2021 and as Chair of Board from 2019-2020.

Mr. Wilkins has regularly teaches land use and environmental continuing education classes and seminars for organizations such as the State Bar of California, Law Seminars International, and Association of Environmental Professionals. He also regularly speaks at conferences and meetings, such as Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite.

Representative matters include:

  • Outside counsel to Marina Coast Water District for CEQA review of water and land use projects and in litigation defending challenge to proposed annexation. Wilkins also currently represents the District in challenges relating to a large desalination plant.
  • Outside counsel to Imperial County and the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District for CEQA review of energy and land use projects and in litigation defending challenges to project approvals.
  • Outside counsel to Yuba County Water Agency regarding numerous CEQA matters and in defense of federal Endangered Species Act cases.  The current case involves a challenge to several Biological Opinions regarding Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (“spring Chinook”), Central Valley steelhead (“steelhead”), and southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon (“green sturgeon”) on the Yuba River.  In prior cases, the plaintiffs alleged separate Section 9 “take” violations against the Agency.
  • Representing Homewood Village Resorts LLC, JMA Ventures LLC, Squaw Valley Resort LCC, Mountainside Partners LLC, Kila Lodge LLC, Kingsbarn Capital & Development, MJD Capital Partners, and BHR TRS Tahoe East LLC in separate matters navigating CEQA, the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact, and land use entitlement processes to obtain permits from Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) as well as litigation in federal and California courts.
  • Represented Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in defense of challenge to its adoption of Regional Plan in the United States Court for the Eastern District of California and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented Treasure Island Community Development, LLC and San Francisco Waterfront Partners II, LLC in separate matters navigating CEQA, and land use entitlement processes to obtain permits from the City and County of San Francisco and the State Lands Commission as well as litigation in California superior and appellate courts.
  • Represented County of Contra Costa in defense of two challenges to its CUPA Hazardous Waste Generator program fees and refund claims.  Successfully settled the matter after filing demurrer on behalf of County.   The case was settled on favorable terms for the County, and the fees remained valid.
  • Represented large retailer in successfully navigating CEQA and local land use entitlement processes to obtain a conditional use permit for home improvement store.  Despite vocal opposition during the permitting process, the project did not draw any litigation.  The entitlements sought included a tentative parcel map, design review, demolition permit, grading permit, building permits, encroachment permit from Caltrans, Asbestos Dust Mitigation Plan, approval for a piped canal, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and Nationwide 404 Permit.
  • Represented California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) in defense of petition for a writ of mandate and declaratory relief claims relating to whether it was exempt from annual water-related assessments.  The case was settled on favorable terms for DFG as DFG was not required to pay any past or future assessments and incurred no financial obligations to the plaintiffs.
  • Represented clients in administrative hearings, including the California Energy Commission, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Represented start-up companies in connection with proposals to site and obtain entitlements for proposed anaerobic digester facilities that transform organic waste into biogas fuel (hydrogen, methane), as well as biofuel, solar, and other clean energy projects.  Assisting clients in consultations with stakeholders and advising on environmental review process.  Assisted clients in successfully obtaining millions in grant funding.

Published Decisions:

  • Marina Coast Water District County of Monterey, __ Cal,App. __, 2023 WL 6459328 (2023) (counsel for Marina Coast Water District; CEQA case).
  • League to Save Lake Tahoe Mountain etc. v. County of Placer (2022) 75 Cal.App.5th 63 (May 18, 2022) (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; CEQA case).
  • Sierra Watch v. Placer County (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 1 (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; Ralph M. Brown Act case).
  • Friends of the River v. National Marine Fisheries Service (counsel for Intervenor-Defendant Yuba County Water Agency; Federal Endangered Species Act case)
    • 786 Fed.Appx. 666 (9th Cir. 2019) and
    • 293 F.Supp.3d 1151 (E.D. Cal. 2018).
  • Friends of the River v. National Marine Fisheries Service (E.D. Cal., July 18, 2017, No. 216CV00818JAMEFB) 2017 WL 3034700 (counsel for Yuba County Water Agency; Federal Endangered Species Act case).
  • Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (counsel for Tahoe Regional Planning Agency; Tahoe Regional Planning Compact case)
    • 840 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2016)
    • 2014 WL 1366253 (E.D. Cal., Apr. 7, 2014) and
    • 2013 WL 3070632 (E.D. Cal. June 17, 2013).
  • Defend Our Waterfront v. California State Lands Commission (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 570 (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; CEQA case).
  • Citizens for a Sustainable Treasure Island v. City and County of San Francisco (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1036 (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; CEQA case).
  • Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community Environment v. County of Placer (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 25 (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; CEQA case).
  • Sierra Club v. Tahoe Reg’l Planning Agency,916 F.Supp.2d 1098 (E.D. Cal. 2013) (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; Tahoe Regional Planning Compact and CEQA case).
  • Citizens for Open Government/ Lodi First v. City of Lodi(2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 296 (counsel for Real Parties in Interest; CEQA case).
  • Yuba River Citizens League v. Nat’l Marine Fisheries Serv. (counsel for Yuba County Water Agency; Federal Endangered Species Act case)
    • 851 F. Supp. 2d 1246 (E.D. Cal. 2012);
    • 629 F. Supp. 2d 1123 (E.D. Cal. 2009); and
    • 257 F.R.D. 607 (E.D. Cal. 2009).

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, 1999
  • B.S., Political Science, Santa Clara University, 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
    • Member (1999-present)
    • Environmental Law Section Chair (2015-2016) and Executive Committee Member (2010-2016); Advisor (2016-2017)
  • California Lawyers Association
    • Board of Representatives, Chair (2019-2020), Vice Chair (2018-2019), and member (2018-2021)
    • Environmental Law Section Executive Committee Advisor (2018-present) and Representative to CAL Board of Representatives (2018-2021)
    • Environmental Law Section member (2005-present)
  • Admitted to all California State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section member
    • Executive Committee (2010-2015), Chair (2014-2015)
    • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine (2018-present)

Community Involvement

  • Master of the Bench, Schwartz/Levi Inn of Court
  • Board Member, Harry S. Truman Club

Tiffany K. Wright

Tiffany K. Wright

 Partner

Ms. Wright joined the firm in 2000 and became a partner in 2006. Ms. Wright represents public agencies and private applicants in a variety of land use and environmental law matters. Ms. Wright handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative approvals and litigation. Her practice covers the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the Williamson Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal Endangered Species Act, and the federal Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting.

Ms. Wright teaches several land use and environmental law continuing education classes and seminars each year for professional organizations such as the Association of Environmental Professionals and Law Seminars International. She also regularly speaks at conferences and meetings, such as conferences for the California Chapter of the American Planning Association, the California Association of Environmental Professionals, the League of California Cities, the County Counsels’ Association of California and the American Public Transportation Association.

Her clients and representative matters include:

  • The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for CEQA review of several transit and transportation projects including the Metro Crenshaw/LAX (K) Line, Regional Connector, Westside Purple Line Extension, West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor, and the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, and the successful defense of several of those projects in CEQA and NEPA litigation.
  • The City of Inglewood for the CEQA review of the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (Intuit Dome) and the Inglewood Transit Connector Project
  • Richland Communities for several large specific plan projects, including the Lincoln Village 5 Specific Plan, a 4,943-acre mixed-use development in western Placer County.
  • The Port of Los Angeles for CEQA review of various projects to implement the Port’s Master Plan.
  • Calaveras County and Tuolumne County in the updates of their general plans.

Published Cases

  • Ocean Street Extension Neighborhood Assn. v. City of Santa Cruz (2022) ___ Cal.App.5th ___.
  • Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (2018) 6 Cal.5th 502.
  • Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439.
  • Japanese Village, LLC v. Federal Transit Administration, 843 F.3d 445 (9th Cir. 2016).
  • Beverly Hills Unified School District v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 627.
  • South County Citizens for Smart Growth v. County of Nevada (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 316.
  • Sustainable Transportation Advocates of Santa Barbara v. Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 113.
  • St. Vincent’s School for Boys, Catholic Charities CYO v. City of San Rafael (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 989.
  • CalBeach Advocates v. City of Solana Beach (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 529.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, 2000
  • B.S., Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Admitted to all California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, all California Districts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Association of Environmental Professionals
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer in 2018 & 2019 and as a Rising Star in the 2009 & 2010 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine