Environmental Trials | October 16 & 17, 2017 | Washington, DC

The ability to try an environmental case remains a fundamental skill that clients will need in coming years.

Our upcoming Environmental Trials conference is an opportunity to hear directly from some of the litigators and experts directly involved in some to the most significant recent major environmental cases, including criminal prosecutions. Our objective is to help you incorporate the lessons learned into your strategies for pending and future cases. We’ll address major new developments in the environmental damage assessment science, economic damage assessment tools, and legal developments affecting your ability to prove your case at trial.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from criminal and civil practitioners, prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as technical experts, in-house counsel, and experts on trial preparation and strategy. The case studies will involve panels on criminal trials; Clean Water Act trials; Natural Resource Damage trials; Superfund cost allocations; and toxic torts.

In addition to staying on top of substantive law and technical issues, successful environmental trial attorneys must be increasingly sophisticated in the psychology of persuasion. We’ll have experts on the mental processes that jurors use for evaluating environmental issues and tips for creating, and testing, messages a systematic way. We’ll also have experts who can help you up your game for use of graphics in trial presentations, particularly for sophisticated younger people coming into jury pools, and the use of virtual techniques for mock jury testing.

Register now to hear and discuss the current best thinking on environmental trials and pick up the practical tips that you can immediately apply to your next case. You’ll also have an opportunity for informally exchanging ideas at the reception and dinner sponsored graciously sponsored by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and Farella Braun + Martel LLP.

More information is available on our website. We hope to see you there.

Model Toxics Control Act | September 28, 2017 | Seattle

This year’s bi-annual MTCA program starts out with changes to the program coming out of the legislature including funding levels. We’ll then have Jim Pendowski, Toxics Cleanup Program Manager for the Department of Ecology, provide the agency’s view of the impact of the new legislation, coupled with the Trump Administration’s proposed funding cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, and MTCA priorities for the coming year.

We’ll have three additional topics on funding. One will be the evolving and expanding role for the state’s Pollution Liability Insurance Agency. Second will be a legal analysis of recent key court decisions on liability insurance coverage including Gull Industries and Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co. The third will be a case study of a project in the Rainier Valley to use the state’s Brownfield Redevelopment Trust Fund to clean up the Mt. Baker neighborhood.

MTCA cases require good technical evidence and we’ll address standards for use of empirical evidence to support or dispute the effectiveness of model remedies.

There has been a lot of debate over the effectiveness of the Voluntary Cleanup Program. We’ll have a panel discussion on how the program could be improved with Ecology, regulated community, and environmental perspectives We’ll also have a lender on the panel to discuss the impact on lender risks for financing.

Additional information is available on our website. We hope you’ll join us for an in-depth discussion of the most pressing current MTCA issues.

Local Climate Change Planning | Nov 13 & 14 | Sacramento

The big news today in the California Climate Change arena is Governor Brown signing AB 398 and AB 617. Here’s a word from the co-chairs for our first conference on Local Climate Change Planning issues:

“As the Trump Administration turns its back on climate change policy, Governor Brown and the California Legislature are tackling the issue head-on. On the first day of the conference, speakers will analyze recently adopted and signed legislation including AB 398, which extends the Cap and Trade program for an additional 10 years and AB 617, which enacts some of the strongest air quality protections in California history.

“In the administrative arena, speakers will examine CARB’s 2017 Scoping Plan, which lays the framework for achieving statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals; implementation of SB 743, which will change the way transportation impacts are analyzed under CEQA; SB 375, which established state greenhouse gas emission reduction targets; and the CARB Vibrant Communities and Landscapes 2050 vision, which considers how the state can support actions, at all levels of government, to facilitate development and conservation patterns that help achieve California’s climate goals. In examining judicial developments, speakers will address GHG analyses following the Supreme Court’s decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (2015), as well as the Court’s recent decision in Cleveland National Forest Foundation v. San Diego Association of Governments (2017).

“We are fortunate to have the author of SB 743 and SB 375, former Senate President Pro Tem and Mayor Darrell Steinberg, in attendance to address how those two pieces of legislation affect local land use planning. CARB board member and Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna will address the recently adopted CARB Scoping Plan, and the impact of the extension of the Cap and Trade program through 2030.

“On the second day of the conference, speakers will discuss how these emerging laws and policies affect local land use planning, including local agencies’ obligations under CEQA after the Newhall Ranch and SANDAG decisions. Planning Directors from two of the “Big Four” Metropolitan Planning Organizations will discuss the new regional targets proposed by CARB in their June 2017 Draft Staff Report, and how these aggressive targets affect planning for MPOs’ forthcoming Sustainable Communities Strategies.

“Finally, we will look at Climate Action Plans, and the role they play in implementing climate policy within local jurisdictions. We are grateful for the diverse group of speakers who have agreed to present their perspectives and findings about climate change and shifting state and federal policies.”

Jennifer L. Hernandez, Esq. of Holland & Knight LLP and
Tina A. Thomas, Esq. of Thomas Law Group, Program Co-Chairs

It’s not too early to register to reserve your seat!

Environmental Trials | October 16 & 17, 2017 – Washington, DC

The premise for this program was lessons from high-stakes environmental litigation cases coupled with trial practice insights from the cutting-edge tools and tactics that parties to big dollar litigation have created and employed. Our program co-chairs have succeeded brilliantly in putting that combination together.

The ability to try an environmental case remains a fundamental skill that clients will need in coming years. It’s an opportunity to learn from criminal and civil practitioners, prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as technical experts, in-house counsel, and experts on trial preparation and strategy—all of whom are at the top of the game and who have tried the most significant recent cases: Criminal trials; Clean Water Act trials; Natural Resource Damage trials; Superfund cost allocations; and toxic torts.

To be successful, environmental trial attorneys must be increasingly sophisticated in the psychology of persuasion for technical issues and the latest trial research tools. You’ll have an opportunity to hear from leading experts in those fields and ask whatever questions you may have.

For more information, you can check it out here. We think you’ll be impressed with the topics and lineup.

Natural Resource Damages | March 23 & 24, 2017 – Washington, DC

The news today is that the Senate is close to confirming Scott Pruitt as the new head of the EPA and that the Trump administration will rapidly issue a number of Executive Orders relating to environmental policy. By March, we’ll be in a position to much more accurately assess the impact on the approach the government and federal trustees will take towards assessment and recovery of natural resource damages.

Towards the end, we’re very pleased to have both Ken Salazar and Rachel Jacobson speaking at our Natural Resource Damages conference on March 23 & 24 in Washington, DC. Mr. Salazar formerly served as the Secretary of the Interior. Ms. Jacobson formerly served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Principal Deputy Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

They join a stellar facility of current federal trustees, state trustees, responsible party representatives, NRD practitioners, and technical experts. At the state level, we’re particularly pleased to have Commissioner Bob Martin with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

This is a great opportunity to share ideas for adapting to federal and state policy changes with some of the more thoughtful people in the field.

More complete information is available here.

SEPA & NEPA | January 13, 2017 – Seattle, WA

sepa_nepaThere are a ton of new developments on the agenda for our upcoming SEPA/NEPA seminar. In addition to our annual analysis of case law trends, we’ll be highlighting the following topics:

  • Impact of the federal FAST Act designed to expedite the NEPA process for major infrastructure projects
  • What to expect moving forward for the Council on Environmental Quality’s Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts
  • Implications of the recent SEPA appeal of Okanogan County’s All-Terrain Vehicle Ordinance
  • SEPA issues in the development of affordable housing.

The full agenda is available at http://www.lawseminars.com/seminars/2017/17SEPAWA.php

This program qualifies for 6.5 Washington CLE credits and we’ve applied for 6.5 AICP planner credits.

Tribal Water Law in California | October 27-28 – Valley Center, CA

tribwca-pm-pixabay-creek-320x240Law Seminars International is pleased to announce the publication of our annual Tribal Water Law in California Conference. Our Co-Chairs, Colin Cloud Hampson of Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP and Denise Turner Walsh of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians have been tremendous in helping us to identify some valuable interesting new topics.

Those include:

  • California water fix and plan for the Delta
  • Klamath Basin water and resources
  • Tribal water rights conflicts in times of drought
  • Agua Caliente litigation case study
  • Update on water bond funding for Tribal planning and projects

To view the full agenda and faculty, please visit http://www.lawseminars.com/seminars/16TRIBWCA.php

We hope you’ll be able to join us in person in Valley Center to connect with your colleagues. However, if you can’t make the trip this year, register and tune in remotely to our live streaming webcast, or watch the replay at your convenience. Group, non-profit, and government discounts are available.

Call us at 206-567-4490 if you have any questions.

Register soon to reserve your place!

Transportation & CEQA | November 2 – Los Angeles, CA

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“This seminar will feature presentations on the most important developments in the area of transportation impacts. We will hear how the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research has proposed to change the way that traffic impacts are analyzed under CEQA. In addition, we will include case studies about how cities such as Pasadena and San Francisco have already made the transition from LOS analyses to vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and we’ll discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition.”

It will be a great opportunity to hear updates and expert legal and professional insight on key issues. Those include:

  • New SB 743 CEQA guidelines for analyzing VMT
  • The current state of the science for modeling VMT
  • Implementation issues to resolve
  • The VMT reduction expectations for lead agencies to contend with
  • Mitigation options and strategies
  • Strategies for meeting the technical and legal challenges in a cost effective way

We hope you’ll be able to join us in person in Los Angeles to connect with your colleagues. However, if you can’t make the trip this year, register and tune in remotely to our live streaming webcast, or watch the replay at your convenience. Group, non-profit, and government discounts are available.

Register soon to reserve your place!

Call us at 206-567-4490 if you have any questions.

To view the full agenda and faculty, please visit http://www.lawseminars.com/seminars/16TRANSCA.php

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | September 16, 2016 – Santa Monica, CA

ceqa

Law Seminars International is pleased to announce the 12th Annual California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) seminar in Santa Monica.

Our Program Co-Chairs, Jim Arnone with Latham and Watkins and Doug Carstens with Chatten-Brown & Carstens have assembled a truly wonderful faculty and we are very excited about the topics they will be covering.

This year, our faculty will thoroughly examine CEQA law and policy, with special focus on recent big developments, especially in regards to the many published CEQA decisions over the course of the last year.

We’ll be going in-depth on: CA Building industry v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Friends of College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (pending case), CBIA v. BAAQMD and the Newhall Ranch case.

In addition, speakers will discuss the implications of climate change and the resulting GHG emission mitigation efforts, as well as SB743 and the resulting shift in assessment methods.

Join us in Santa Monica for what is shaping up to be another phenomenal educational day of sharing and learning.

To view full agenda, faculty and location information, please visit http://lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=16SEPACA

Endangered Species Act | June 2 & 3 – Long Beach

Credit: Center for Biological Diversity
Credit: Center for Biological Diversity

At our upcoming Endangered Species in California (ESA & CESA) conference we’ll be featuring the Tricolored Blackbird in the context of a case study on voluntary efforts vs. a regulatory regime. The panelists will be Lis
a T. Belenky with the Center for Biological Diversity and Noelle Cremers with the California Farm Bureau. They’ll also discuss Federal backlogs vs. faster state action as a consideration for selecting the best forum and approach for resolving ESA issues.

Two other panels that we are particularly looking forward to address issues arising from state and federal responses to climate change. At the state level, we’ll be addressing the implications of the Supreme Court’s Newhall Ranch decision for consideration of a project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. At the federal level, we’ll discuss both changes in regulatory policy and the science used to assess impacts.

Another key new area of concern involves ESA impacts arising from implementation of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. We’ll discuss the physical interrelationship between surface and groundwater and end with a case study of how water suppliers are adapting their operations the Bay Delta.

More information about the program is available here. We hope you’ll be able to join us.