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33rd Annual Environmental Law Spring Super Symposium

Program Title:
33rd Annual Environmental Law Spring Super Symposium

Program Date: 
Friday, April 12, 2019

Program Description:
The 33rd Annual Spring Super Symposium is the premier general environmental law event in Southern California, bringing together leaders from the private bar, government, academia, non-profits and in-house counsel to address important developments in environmental law.  This year’s symposium will offer five panels focused on: (1) Common Law Claims to Combat Climate Change, (2) RECLAIM Sunset: Swiftly Come the Landing Rules, (3) CEQA Meets Sustainability: Climate Change, Infill Development, and the New Guidelines, (4) Alternative Groundwater Regulation in Arid California during the age of SGMA, and (5) Ethical Implications of Environmental Due Diligence.


8:30 to 9:00 a.m. - Registration
9:00 to 9:10 a.m. - Introductions

Panel 1
9:10 to 10:20 a.m. - Ethical Implications of Environmental Due Dilligence

Description: This panel will discuss the ethical obligations and implications of environmental due diligence in real estate and corporate transactions.  Our panelists will discuss the issues that an attorney should consider or be concerned about when conducting environmental due diligence, by discussing how they would navigate a hypothetical but particularly tricky deal.

Moderator:  Matthew Wickersham, Alston & Bird

Steve O’Neil, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP 
Noah Perch-Ahern, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP 
Sheri Bonstelle, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP

Panel 2 
10:30 – 11:40 a.m. – CEQA Meets Sustainability: Climate Change, Infill Development, and the New Guidelines

Description:  This panel will address recent updates and developments in CEQA.  Topics will include how courts have addressed CEQA Significance Thresholds for Greenhouse Gases, exemptions for infill developments, and the recent update to the CEQA guidelines.

: Krista deBoer, BickLaw, LLP

Amy Freilich, Armbruster Goldsmith & Delvac LLP
Jane Ellison Usher, Musick, Peeler & Garrett, LLP
Dean Wallraff, Advocates for the Environment

11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Networking Break

12:00 to 12:50 p.m. – Lunch Presentation
Keynote Speaker Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Panel 3
1:00 to 2:10 p.m. – Alternative Groundwater Regulation in Arid California during the age of SGMA

Description: Because desert basins generally are low priority basins under SGMA, alternative means of groundwater regulation have relevance and importance to local stakeholders.  Local business have adapted to environmental regulation and produced new sustainable business models; these alternatives have also provided headaches for some development and led to such efforts as the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.  Absent baseline environmental data including groundwater, surface water, and biological aspects, effective regulation and/or resource management is not possible.  

Moderator: Christopher Foster, Clark Hill

Andy Zdon, PG, CHg, CEG, Technical Director Water Resources, Partner Engineering & Science, Inc.
Bill Christian, Policy Director, The Nature Conservancy
Susan Sorrells, Proprietor - Town of Shoshone
Panel 4
2:20 to 3:30 p.m. – Use of Common Law Claims to Combat Climate Change

Description: Who should pay for climate change?  In 2017, in an effort to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their alleged contribution to climate change, the Counties of San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Cruz, and the Cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Imperial Beach, and Santa Cruz filed complaints against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies under theories including public nuisance, private nuisance, strict liability for design defect and failure to warn, negligence, and trespass.  Panel will include a discussion of the most significant legal issues presented by these cases, both procedurally and on the merits, an update on the current status of the cases, and a discussion of the major arguments raised by the parties.

Moderator: Krista L. Hernandez, Enterprise Counsel Group

Vic Sher, Sher Edling 
Jeffrey Dintzer, Alston & Bird

3:30– 3:50 p.m. – Networking Break

Panel 5
3:50 to 5:00 p.m. – RECLAIM Sunset: Swiftly Come the Landing Rules

Description: The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s revolutionary, market-based program called RECLAIM (Regional Clean Air Incentives Market) is coming to an end.  As a result, RECLAIM facilities which once controlled their emissions by buying and selling RECLAIM Trading Credits or RTCs will now be subject to certain “Landing” rules that will impose strict emission limits and compliance deadlines on the various equipment and emission sources within each facility.  This panel will discuss the legal elements of this transition as well as explore the challenges faced when transitioning from a market-based regulatory scheme to a command-and-control regulatory regime.

:  Jeremy Esterkin, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Barbara Baird, Chief Deputy Counsel, SCAQMD
Michael Carroll, Partner, Latham & Watkins
David Pettit, Senior Attorney, NRDC

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
You are invited to join us for a reception immediately following the symposium. We wish to thank our sponsors of this reception: Alston & Bird, Bick Law LLP, and Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. 

Special Rate for Law Students, Government Attorneys, and Public Interest Attorneys:
There are a very limited number of subsidized registrations available for law students, government attorneys, and public interest attorneys.  For more information on the discounted registration price, please contact Vivian Heger via email at vheger@meyersnave.com.  Please be prepared to show proof that you qualify for the special rate.

The L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown
333 S. Figueroa St. 
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Registration/Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Program: 9:00 – 5:00 p.m.

CLE Credit: 
7 hours of CLE Credit (including 1 hour of Ethics)

Valet parking available at the hotel for $15 with validation.


CLE+ Members


Government/Nonprofit Attorneys


Environmental Law Section Members


LACBA Members


All Others


Law Students






4/12/2019 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown 333 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90017
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Advance registration (both online and via phone) closes for most programs approximately 12-24 hours before event time (in order to allow for operational considerations), we would still like to have you join us, and you are more than welcome to register on-site and attend, unless the program is specifically noted as SOLD OUT. Full refunds issued only for registrations which are cancelled 48 hours in advance.

The LACBA online event registration system supports registration for individual event participants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For assistance with group/multiple registrations, or if you’d simply prefer to register by phone (with Visa, MasterCard or American Express), please call LACBA’s Member Services Department at (213) 896-6560 any time from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions about programs or program registration, you’re also welcome to contact Member Services by e-mail at: msd@lacba.org

The Los Angeles County Bar Association is a State Bar of California MCLE approved provider. If this is a CLE event, the Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit. CLE events will state the amount and type of credit offered in the calendar listing.