Laura M. Harris

Senior Counsel

Ms. Harris joined the firm in 2006 and is a senior counsel 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 federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), air quality, climate change, water quality, vehicle miles traveled, affordable housing, natural resources, endangered species, wetlands and related matters.

Ms. Harris assisted in the successful defense of appeals in several published decisions, including: Parkford Owners for a Better Community v. County of Placer (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 714; 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 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 NEPA, and ESA.

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 defending the City of Inglewood in its CEQA review of the Inglewood Transit Connector.
  • Currently assisting the Yuba County Water Agency in ESA litigation over the biological opinion and letter of concurrence adopted for the Daguerre Point Dam and Englebright Dam in the lower Yuba River.


  • 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
    • Executive Committee (2010–2015); Chair (2016)
  • Former Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association, Environment Law Section Executive Committee (2016)
  • Editor, California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (2010-2015)
  • Volunteer Editor, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2020 Municipal Law Handbook
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine; selected for inclusion in the Rising Stars section (2010-2018)

Community Involvement

  • Strategic Fundraising Committee, Solar Cookers International