Laura M. Harris

Senior Counsel

Ms. Harris joined the firm in 2006 and is a senior associate in the firm. Her practice focuses on land use and environmental law.  Ms. Harris handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, including administrative approvals and litigation. Ms. Harris’s practice covers the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Cortese-Knox-Hertberg Local Government Reorganization Act, air and water quality, natural resources, endangered species, wetlands and related matters.

Ms. Harris assisted in the successful defense of appeals in several published decisions, including: Placerville Historic Preservation League v. Judicial Council of California (2017) 16 Cal.App.5th 187; Beverly Hills Unified School District v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 627; Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 296; and South County Citizens for Smart Growth v. County of Nevada (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 316, as well as in the successful defense and prosecution of a cross-appeal in the published decision Planning and Conservation League et al. v. Castaic Lake Water Agency et al. (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 210. Ms. Harris is currently actively defending several lawsuits brought under CEQA.

Representative matters include:

  • Currently assisting the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority in its CEQA and NEPA review of and land use litigation over various public transit projects.
  • Currently representing Real Party in Interest, Friant Ranch, L.P., in the matter of Sierra Club et al. v. County of Fresno (Case No. S219783), which is pending before the California Supreme Court.
  • Currently defending the City of Los Angeles against CEQA and municipal code challenges to the City’s approval of the Archer Forward: Campus Preservation and Improvement Plan.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, School of Law, 2006
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of California, Davis, 2002

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
    • Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts (Eastern, Central and Northern Districts)
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Former Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association, Environment Law Section Executive Committee (2016)
  • Editor, California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (2010-2015)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Rising Stars section of the 2010-2018 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine