Law Seminars International Presents: 11th Annual Advanced Seminar on the

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Update on a big year for regulatory developments and court decisions

September 18, 2015
DoubleTree Guest Suites Santa Monica Hotel in Santa Monica, CA

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, real estate and environmental professionals, corporate managers and governmental representatives

Why You Should Order

This is another big year in CEQA law and policy. Once again this seminar will feature presentations on the most important developments confronting land use and environmental professionals today. With so many CEQA cases making it to the California Supreme Court, this year we will focus several presentations on those cases, including discussing the Supreme Court's new Berkeley Hillsides tests for Categorical Exemptions, the pending CBIA v. BAAQMD case on whether CEQA requires analysis of existing environmental conditions' potential impacts on future users, and the pending case on whether public officials' personal email and text accounts are subject to the Public Records Act.

We will also focus on high-profile CEQA controversies, including examining the new developments in avoiding CEQA for major projects through the voter initiative process and the high-profile instances of special CEQA legislation to promote specific sports arenas and stadiums. In the important and evolving climate change arena, we will discuss the range of practices for GHG emissions significance thresholds across the state, the use of "Break from Business As Usual" to determine CEQA significance, and how Governor Brown's Executive Order B-30-15 adds new complexities. We will also have an SB 743 update on the pending process for shifting transportation assessments from traffic congestion to vehicle miles travelled, and will discuss the Save Tara progeny about when an agency might pre-commit to a project before completing CEQA review. Wrapping up our day with a perennial favorite, we will hear "quick hits" from a leading CEQA treatise author about the many published CEQA decisions over the last twelve months.

~ James L. Arnone, Esq., Latham & Watkins LLP, and Douglas Carstens, Esq., Chatten-Brown & Carstens, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

What Attendees Said


Friday, September 18, 2015

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

James L. Arnone, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Latham & Watkins LLP / Los Angeles, CA

Douglas Carstens, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Chatten-Brown & Carstens / Hermosa Beach, CA

8:45 am

Supreme Court Two-Step: What to Make of Berkeley Hillside's New Tests for Categorical Exemptions?

The somewhat confusing test: The two tests' standards of review and whether this will differ from a simple "fair argument" test in practice

Susan Brandt-Hawley, Esq.
Brandt-Hawley Law Group / Glen Ellen, CA

Michelle Ouellette, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Riverside, CA

9:30 am

Touchdowns, Slam-dunks, and CEQA: Should Major Sports Arenas and Stadiums Get Special Treatment?

The special legislation for the Downtown Los Angeles NFL proposal, the City of Industry NFL proposal, and the Sacramento Kings arena; whether that legislation was helpful, and whether the policy choices are defensible

Beth Collins-Burgard, Esq.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP / Santa Barbara, CA

David Pettit, Esq., Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council / Santa Monica, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

We The People: With Initiatives Exempt From CEQA, Will We See a Lot More Initiatives?

Case law on voter-initiated initiatives not requiring CEQA review and upholding exemptions even when a legislative body approves the initiative without putting it on the ballot; opportunities and limitations of using initiatives to approve projects

Douglas M. Champion, Esq.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP / Los Angeles, CA

Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq.
Strumwasser & Woocher LLP / Los Angeles, CA

11:15 am

Municipal Attorneys and the Public Records Act (PRA): From Texts and Emails on Personal Devices to Legal Bills

City of San Jose, et al. v. Superior Court (Smith) and related case law on whether public officials' text messages and emails on personal devices are subject to the PRA when used for something related to their public duties

County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court appellate opinion that legal invoices are privileged and need not be disclosed under the PRA, now going to the Supreme Court

Christi Hogin, Esq.
Jenkins & Hogin, LLP / Manhattan Beach, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

New Developments in CEQA Appellate Case Law

The perennially popular appellate case law review

James G. Moose, Esq.
Remy Moose & Manley, LLP / Sacramento, CA

2:30 pm

CBIA vs. BAAQMD: Does CEQA Cover the Environment's Impacts on Projects?

Case law on whether CEQA requires analysis of how existing environmental conditions may impact future residents or users of a proposed project; the CBIA v. BAAQMD appellate opinion; Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council

Prognostications for the Supreme Court opinion

Corin L. Kahn, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Santa Monica, CA

Andrew B. Sabey, Esq.
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP / San Francisco, CA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Climate Change and Significance Thresholds: Break-From-Business-As-Usual (BaU), AB 32, and Gov. Brown's Executive Order

Range of practices for GHG emissions significance thresholds across the state and among agencies; judicial support for the Break-from-BAU approach; complexities in light of Gov. Brown's Executive Order B-30-15 and getting close to 2020

Marc T. Campopiano, Esq.
Latham & Watkins LLP / Orange County, CA

Matthew D. Vespa, Esq., Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Program
Sierra Club / San Francisco, CA

4:15 pm

SB 743 and Assessing Traffic Impacts: What's Up with the New Guideline?

The policy principles in the August 2014 draft Guideline and a status update on the pending regulation

Christopher H. Calfee, Esq., Senior Counsel
Governor's Office of Planning and Research / Sacramento, CA

4:45 pm

"Pre-commitment" and the Timing of CEQA Review: Does Save Tara Even Matter?

The issue leading to Save Tara; the Supreme Court's ambiguous ruling and the case law that followed seemingly narrowing the scope of the Supreme Court's opinion

Michelle Black, Esq.
Chatten-Brown & Carstens / Hermosa Beach, CA

Susan K. Hori, Esq.
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP / Costa Mesa, CA

5:30 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn



Regular tuition for in person or webcast attendance for this program is $695 with a group rate of $520 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $465. For students, people in their job for less than a year, and public interest NGO's, our rate is $347.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Contact our office for more information.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 7.25 California MCLE credits and 7 AICP credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Faculty Bios

James L. Arnone, Program Co-Chair, Los Angeles Deputy Office Managing Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP, focuses on complex real estate developments and energy and infrastructure projects. He has extensive appellate and trial court experience and was recently named one of "California's Top 50 Development Lawyers".

Douglas Carstens, Program Co-Chair, Chatten-Brown & Carstens, has extensive experience in environmental, land use, municipal and natural resource matters. He has been involved in all of the firm's appellate litigation and was lead counsel on the CEQA cases Uphold Our Heritage v. Town of Woodside and Committee to Save the Hollywoodland Specific Plan v. City of Los Angeles. He has been selected as a Super-Lawyer.

Michelle Black focuses on environmental and administrative law at Chatten-Brown & Carstens. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Black worked for the California Integrated Waste Management Board in plastics recycling technology.

Susan Brandt-Hawley, Brandt-Hawley Law Group, represents public-interest groups in preservation issues statewide. Her cases have contributed to precedent in the six districts of the Court of Appeal and in the California Supreme Court. She has been named in Super Lawyers 2010-2015 and also the 30 Top Women Litigators by the Daily Journal.

Christopher H. Calfee is Senior Counsel at the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. His work centers on updating regulations and technical guidance on CEQA and related laws. Previously in private practice he represented both governments and private applicants in CEQA matters and water law.

Marc T. Campopiano, partner in the Environment, Land & Resource Department, Latham & Watkins LLP, parlays his strong technical background with extensive legal experience to deliver specialized representation on energy and infrastructure matters. He previously worked as an environmental consultant evaluating infrastructure projects under CEQA and NEPA.

Douglas M. Champion, senior associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and member of the real estate and land use practice group. He represents real estate developers, private equity investors, institutional lenders, and energy companies in a wide range of matters, including the negotiation of land use approvals for ground-up construction projects and master-planned communities; strategic counseling for clients in the debt and equity markets who are considering lending to or investing in real estate projects; and representation of renewable energy companies in their acquisition, development, and financing of large-scale energy projects.

Beth Collins-Burgard, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, is a member of the Natural Resources, Real Estate, Land Use and Litigation groups. She assists landowners, public agencies and institutions, energy companies and developers, through all stages of the development process with expertise in CEQA, Coastal Act, Subdivision Map Act, Endangered Species Act, easement, title, and public law issues.

Beverly Grossman Palmer, partner, Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, represents clients in the fields of election law, land use and environmental law, economic regulation, and education law. Before entering the legal profession, Ms. Grossman Palmer was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC.

Christi Hogin, Jenkins & Hogin, LLP, specializes in land use, rent control, coastal and election law and serves as City Attorney for Lomita, Malibu, Palos Verdes Estates, and as Assistant City Attorney in West Hollywood. She was named among California's Top 25 Municipal Lawyers, the Top Women Lawyers in California and a Super-Lawyer.

Susan K. Hori, partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, focuses on land use planning, including development entitlements and regulatory permits for real estate development projects and the resolution of environmental issues affecting real property. She has been repeatedly recognized as a distinguished land use practitioner by Chambers, listed in Best Lawyers, and named a Top 25 Land Use Leader.

Corin L. Kahn, attorney at law, is a solo civil litigation practitioner, focusing on all aspects of land use and administrative hearings. For 25 years, he has represented all sides of the real estate development process utilizing his early background in urban planning.

James G. Moose, senior partner, Remy Moose & Manley, LLP, focuses on land use, water, and environmental matters with an emphasis on CEQA, NEPA, ESA and other relevant land and environmental statutes. He is co-coauthor of Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act (Solano Press Books).

Michelle Ouellette, partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP, helps cities, counties, special districts, developers and other clients in the private sector to navigate the requirements of CEQA, NEPA, and state and federal endangered species laws. She is listed in Super-Lawyers and Best Lawyers.

David Pettit, Senior Attorney, and Director, Southern California Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, focuses on litigation, air pollution, oil spills, CEQA, federal natural resource damages assessment process, sustainability, alternative energy, green development, environmental health, environmental justice, reform and policy.

Andrew B. Sabey, partner, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP, represents project applicants, land owners, and public agencies to resolve disputes arising out of the land use entitlement and permitting process. He was named a Super-Lawyer in Environmental Litigation, Land Use and Zoning.

Matthew D. Vespa, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Program, Sierra Club, focuses on clean energy in the western U.S. Previously, he worked on climate-related law and policy at the Center for Biological Diversity and practiced environmental and land-use law on behalf of public agencies and citizens groups.