Environmental Law Section

News from the Section

Registration Is Open for the 2015 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®, October 22-15, 2015

YosemiteThursday-Sunday, October 22-25, 2015
Tenaya Lodge
1122 Highway 41
Fish Camp, California (“The Gateway to Yosemite”)

Qualifies for 11.25 Hours MCLE Credit, of which1.5 Hours Applies to Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession

September 21: Hotel Reservation Deadline

October 15: Registration Deadline

You can now REGISTER LINE for this program. Please note: online registration will close at the registration deadline.

The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. We hope you will join us and many of our nation’s top environmental officials, lawyers, and other professionals in the spectacular setting of Yosemite.

Following a long tradition of outstanding conferences, the year's event will feature an exciting line-up of speakers including California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez, Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Professor Manual Pastor, Professor Jody Freeman, Professor Richard Lazarus, photographer James Balog, and many others.

Yosemite National Park - Celebrating 150 Years2015 Yosemite Conference
Essential Information

Hotel Reservations
Program Schedule
Scholarship Information
Printable Brochure
Mail or Fax Reg. Form

North Coast Environmental Tectonics: Water, Climate, Cannabis and Change
North Coast -- Your Voice, Your Future

Friday, September 11, 2015
Eureka Public Marina
Wharfinger Building
1 Marina Way
Eureka, CA, 95501

Earn up to 4.75 Hours MCLE / AICP Credit

You can now REGISTER ONLINE for this program.  Online registration will close on the pre-registration deadline.

Essential Information
Printable Brochure
Mail/Fax Reg. Form

Including panels on:

  • Opening and Intro
  • Accelerating the Clean Energy Revolution
  • Drought Resilience on the North Coast: Seeing the Water Through the Trees
  • Rural Water Diversions and the State's Reporting System
  • Cannabis Crowns Itself King; Our Terra/Marine Ecotone is Morphing
  • Riding the Cannabis Legalization Wheel: Round 'n' Round 'n' Round We Go...
  • From Gumplant to Oysters: Planning and Implementation of Living Shorelines for Sea Level Rise Adaptation
  • Humboldt Bay's Evolving Shellfish Mariculture
  • Recap of the Day, Final Q & A, Thanks to All, Travel Home Safely

For the full program description, see Your Voice North Coast.

Webinar: International Environmental Law: The Investigation and Prosecution of Cross-Border Environmental Crimes

Presented by The International Law Section & Environmental Law Section

Friday, September 11, 2015, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

This program offers 1.5 hours participatory MCLE credit; 1.5 hours legal specialization credit in Criminal Law. You must register in advance in order to participate.

United States companies conducting business abroad or importing or exporting goods into/out of the United States face myriad legal responsibilities to ensure compliance with U.S. and international laws. Environmental laws are among these, many of which contain criminal enforcement provisions. This program will provide an overview of federal environmental laws with applicability to international business, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Lacey Act, and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The program will also review the federal agencies with enforcement responsibility, including the U.S. EPA, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the F.B.I., and others, and the components of the Department of Justice with prosecutorial responsibility. We will discuss examples of international environmental criminal cases, including the unlawful export of electronics waste; the unlawful discharge of oily waste from ocean-going ships; and the unlawful import of protected wood and wood products. Finally, we will provide an overview of best practices to ensure your clients remain in compliance with federal environmental laws and how to respond should your clients become the target of a federal investigation, including the preservation of relevant documents, interaction with government investigators, and best practices for conducting effective internal investigations.


  • Tim Heaphy, Chair of the White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations Practice
  • Todd Mikolop, Hunton & Williams LLP

State Bar of California Annual Meeting

My Annual MeetingThe State Bar of California 88th Annual Meeting
October 8-11, 2015
Anaheim, California

The State Bar of California returns to sunny Anaheim for the 2015 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a multiday showcase of continuing legal education courses, celebrity speakers, and noted legal scholars. Each day gives you several choices of courses and special events.

The Annual Meeting registration fee is structured to make it more affordable to attend. You can select either a Full Meeting Pass or a 2-Day Pass. Special fees are available for Young Lawyers and New Admittees. September 14 is the deadline for the lowest fee.

More than 100 programs are planned for the Annual Meeting, including these from the Environmental Law Section:

Program 40

CEQA Compliance Timing: Judicial Treatment of "Pre-Commitment" Since Save Tara

Program 73

Fracking Law 101

Program 116

Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change: A Regulatory System Comes of Age

For more information, see The State Bar of California Annual Meeting.

Winners of 2015 Student Negotiation Competition Announced:

  • First Place – California Western School of Law (R) Braden Drake and Amy Vaughn
  • Second Place – Southwestern Law School (J) Vardan Ksachukyan and Alexandria Davis
  • Third Place – UCLA School of Law (K) Gregory Maestri and Sarah Kozal
  • Fourth Place – Thomas Jefferson School of Law (Q) Frances Maldonado and William Burkett
  • Fifth Place – Whittier Law School (X) Mykhal Ofili
  • Sixth Place – Chapman University, Fowler School of Law (B) Heidi Stryker and Ryan Deegan
  • Seventh Place – Western State College of Law (E) Emma Popiolkowski and Yumi Choe
  • Eighth Place – Lincoln Law School (M) Elizabeth Fortune-Harndy and Sarah Bain
  • Ninth Place – UC Hastings College of the Law (N) Thomas Russell and Daniel Xuli
  • Tenth Place (tie) – Southwestern Law School (I) Diana Shaginian and Jason Barth
  • Tenth Place (tie) – UC Irvine School of Law (W) Ryan Ueda and Steven Kim

Environmental Law Update -- January-March 2015

Since 1999, the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California has sponsored the Environmental Law Section Update. The Update reports quarterly on recent Federal and California case law of note, as well as significant legislative and regulatory developments. The Update is a member benefit posted in our members-only area.

Click HERE to go directly to The Update and enter your State Bar Number and password. If you haven't created an account on My State Bar Profile, you can do so at https://members.calbar.ca.gov.

For an expanded discussion of this and other state and federal environmental cases from January-March, follow the links below.

Environmental Law Update: January-March 2015

Any questions regarding The Update should be directed to Cyndy Day-Wilson at cday-wilson@ci.eureka.ca.gov.

It's Easy To Be Green: How To Sign Onto The State Bar Eco-Pledge -- And Get Recognized at the Yosemite Conference!

Lawyers for a Sustainable CaliforniaHave you wondered what more your office can do to reduce energy and resource demands? Law offices in all sectors are taking steps to be more sustainable in their operations. Saving energy and resources not only supports sustainability goals, impressing clients and elevates employee morale. These efforts can also translate into significant cost savings for the operation.

If your firm or law office is working to become more sustainable, or wants to do so, in just three easy steps your law practice can sign onto the California State Bar Eco-Pledge. Once it does, your organization can use the State Bar Eco-Pledge Logo on firm materials to demonstrate this commitment to sustainability.

Step 1: Review the Voluntary State Bar of California Lawyers Eco-Pledge and Model Law Office Sustainability Guidelines. Adopted by the Board of Governors, these Guidelines include a list of specific means to conserve, reuse, recycle and reduce the use of supplies, energy and natural resources. The Guidelines cover a range of issues, including the following:

  • Educate Staff
  • Reduce paper use
  • Use sustainable service providers
  • Eliminate disposable items
  • Reuse/recycle equipment and supplies
  • Reduce toxic chemicals
  • Use and encourage “green” meetings
  • Reduce water usage
  • Reduce energy use
  • Develop sustainable IT practices
  • Purchase sustainable products
  • Provide commuter incentives
  • Engage in sustainability related public service consumption
  • Participate in programs that encourage best practices
  • Carpool, bike and public transit
  • Recycle paper

Step 2: Assign someone at the firm to take the lead on implementing the policy (as is feasible for the individual firm) and commit to educate employees about the policy.

Step 3: Take the Eco-Pledge! Fill out the simple one-page form and submit it to the Environmental Law Section.

The Eco-Pledge is voluntary and there are no inspections or compliance audits, but the simple act of putting someone at the firm in charge of the issue, educating employees about the measures that have been implemented, and revisiting the commitment annually will translate into increased sustainability of your operations in addition to cost savings to your firm.

The nearly 40 law firms that have already taken the Eco-Pledge are listed on our Section website. In addition, we will be providing special recognition at this year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite to all the firms that have taken the Eco-Pledge and determined that sustainability is core to their business. We urge those offices that are interested in sustainability to sign up now and receive recognition at the Conference. You too can be green. Take the initiative and take the State Bar Eco-Pledge!

In Case You Missed It -- Past Webinars Available Online!

Did you know that the Section’s Webinars are available at low cost to view on line? Have you ever wanted CLE credit on topics that actually interest you? Was there a presentation you wanted to attend but just couldn’t make your schedule cooperate? If so, never fear! Almost 40 (and that number is growing) Environmental Law Section Webinars are available on line, including titles such as "CEQA 101 -- Learn the Basics!", "Beyond 2020: How Will California Meet its 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals?" and many others. See Environmental Law Section Courses in the Online Catalog to find a program of interest to you.

Four Hours of Self-Study CLE in Legal Ethics -- Complimentary for Members of the Environmental Law Section!

The Environmental Law Section Thanks you for Your Membership! Four Hours in Legal EthicsAs a 2015 benefit of Section membership, we are pleased to offer four hours of MCLE credit in the field of Legal Ethics. That's enough to fulfill the Ethics requirement.

If you were purchasing these courses individually in our Online Catalog, they would cost $140 -- so that's your Section membership more than paid for, and then some!

Just watch these programs, and keep a record of having done so in the event you're audited for MCLE compliance.

You can access these programs and the accompanying written materials any time this year in the Members Only Area.

The programs are:

  • Advertising Your Expertise and Experience: What Can You Do to Build Your Practice While Meeting Your Ethical Obligations?
  • Conflicts of Interest and Disqualification Arising from Prior Client Representation: What are the Rules?
  • Ethics Update 2014: Significant Development in the Law of Lawyering
  • Lawyering on the Outside: Electronic Communications & Social Networking vs. Ethics & Professional Responsibility

Follow the Sections and CYLA on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn!




Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter. Connect with us on LinkedIn!

Social media, anyone? The Sections and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA) now have a page on Facebook, Twitter and a new LinkedIn account, where we can keep you up-to-date on our latest news and events.

We're also looking forward to interacting with a wider community and reaching out to people who are not currently members.

We invite you to "Like" us and follow our "Tweets. "

And by the way, the CYLA definition of "young" is any California attorney under the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice.

Members Only Area

 The Environmental Law Section is pleased to offer a members only area, including online issues of Environmental Law News and Environmental Law Update. Our new members only area also includes a number of other benefits available through My State Bar Profile. For more information, see Members Only Area.

Save money with CEB

CEB Discount Program for Section MembersContinuing Education of the Bar, California (CEB) is extending a special offer to our section. As a member of the Environmental Law Section, you're eligible for a rebate on your section dues that can be applied to the cost of a CEB Gold CLE Passport or a CLE program ticket. Information about the section dues rebate program can be found on the CEB Web site.

Contact Us

Environmental Law Section
The State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
FAX 415-538-2368