Public Law

Public Law Journal: Spring 2015, Vol. 38, No. 2

The Public Law Section Kicks Off Two Unique and Exciting Conferences

By John M. Appelbaum*


This conference, co-sponsored with the State Bar’s Environmental Law Section, will inaugurate the Public Law Section’s first annual Administrative and Public Environmental Law Conference devoted to environmental issues unique to public entities. The conference will feature a panel of high-ranking public officials discussing the successful navigation of administrative agencies, such as the Water and Air Resources Control Boards, as well as other agencies which frequently interact with local government. The conference will provide an update of cutting-edge legal issues involving CEQA agency practice and remedies, including whether the environment’s impact on a project must also be assessed, the application of categorical exemptions for impacts which result from unusual circumstances, the scope of appellate review involving agency deference, fiscal constraints on mitigation measures, whether emergency and fire service impacts must be included as mitigation, potential federal preemption of CEQA, and the scope of judicial review, including whether issues raised after public comment may be reviewed.

Other topics to be discussed include the intricacies of preparing the administrative record including identifying privileged documents, e-mails and electronic documents, and the effect of joint defense agreements in limiting the record. The conference will also address S.B. 743’s effect on level-of-service standards, climate-change developments and its application to EIR’s, as well as on cap-and-trade. Of particular note, you will learn about the effect of the drought on public entities, including legislative and regulatory developments, and the State’s assumption of jurisdiction over groundwater. Finally, attendees will learn about important case developments affecting regulatory takings, with an emphasis on mitigation measures, such as fees and use restrictions, and the nexus between the exaction and the harm being remediated.

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