Law Seminars International Presents: 24th Annual Comprehensive Conference on

Water Law in Washington
New case law, legislation and policies for the water rights landscape

July 27 & 28, 2015
Courtyard Pioneer Square in Seattle, WA

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, environmental and real estate professionals, corporate managers, governmental officials, Tribal representatives, resource managers, planners and anyone else involved in water issues

Why You Should Order

The legal, policy, and environmental landscape for water law in Washington continues to evolve. Building on prior years' conferences, the Washington Water Law conference will explore current policy priorities in Olympia beginning with an opening address by Thomas Loranger, Water Resources Program Manager for the Washington State Department of Ecology. We will provide updates on litigation in the courts and before the Pollution Control Hearings Board, as well as on the just-concluded legislative session.

This conference promises thought-provoking discussions of numerous current issues of interest to water law practitioners, water users and resource managers. Beginning with an optional "Water Law 101" presentation on the fundamentals of water law, the conference brings together experts from a variety of perspectives and disciplines to share their experiences, challenges and insights regarding the changing water rights landscape, with a special focus on recent decisions addressing drought year water rights permitting and management, instream flow rules and the rural water supply dilemma, recent cases addressing the intersection of land use and water rights law, and the role of science in water management.

~ Marc A. Marquis, Esq. and Thomas M. Pors, Esq., Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn


Monday, July 27, 2015

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Marc A. Marquis, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Peterson & Marquis / Wenatchee, WA

Thomas M. Pors, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Law Office of Thomas M. Pors / Seattle, WA

8:45 am

Optional Water Law 101

A solid grounding in the fundamentals of water law for local government officials, real estate developers, and others primarily involved in land use issues

Marc A. Marquis, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Peterson & Marquis / Wenatchee, WA

9:45 am

Opening Address: The Department of Ecology's Priorities for Water Resources in Washington

Ecology's view of the key water resource management issues for the coming year

Thomas J. Loranger, Manager, Water Resources Program
Washington State Department of Ecology / Olympia, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

New Developments at the Intersection of Water Rights and Land Use

How local governments, environmental groups and developers are navigating the relationship between water rights and the Growth Management Act, including updates on Hirst v. Whatcom County and Fox vs. Skagit County

Tadas Kisielius, Esq., Moderator
Van Ness Feldman, LLP / Seattle, WA

Peter C. Ojala, Esq.
Ojala Law Inc., P.S. / Snohomish, WA

Tim Trohimovich, Esq., Director, Planning & Law
Futurewise / Seattle, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Regulation of Instream Flows after Swinomish v. Ecology

Developments after the Supreme Court's decision invalidating the 2006 Skagit Basin Amended Rule (including legislative proposals); the challenges in other watersheds; rethinking impairment standards and mitigation relating to instream flow values

Thomas M. Pors, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Law Office of Thomas M. Pors / Seattle, WA

The impact of the Swinomish decision on water rights permitting and mitigation; case study involving OWL vs. Kennewick General Hospital. Is there a pathway for out-of-kind mitigation under current law?

James L. Buchal, Esq.
Murphy & Buchal LLP / Portland, OR

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Stakeholder Perspectives on Approaches To Balance Instream and Out-of-Stream Water Uses in Rural Areas in the Wake of the Swinomish Decision

Update on the Rural Water Supply Task Force report: Do we need a legislative fix? If so, what form should it take? What other options are available for getting water supply to rural areas?

Dave Christensen, Moderator, Section Manager, Water Resources Program Development
Washington State Department of Ecology / Olympia, WA

Property owner and well driller perspective

Glen Smith, Lobbyist
Washington State Ground Water Association / Burlington, WA

Utility perspective

Adam Gravley, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman, LLP / Seattle, WA

Environmental perspective

Bruce Wishart
Sierra Club and Center for Environmental Law and Policy / Olympia, WA

Tribal perspective

Dawn Vyvyan, Esq.
Vyvyan Law Office / Seattle, WA

Developer perspective

Joe Mentor, Jr., Esq.
Mentor Law Group PLLC / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Adjourn Day One


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

8:30 am

Another Drought Year: What is in the Forecast and What do we have in our Toolbox?

Current snowpack and atmospheric projections; Ecology's tools for moving water around; how water rights transfers differ in drought years

Jeffrey J. Marti, Environmental Planner and Drought Coordinator
Washington State Department of Ecology / Olympia, WA

Regulation of junior water rights vs. senior: How the calls are made; the process for implementing them

Lawrence E. Martin, Esq.
Halverson Northwest Law Group / Yakima, WA

Washington State Water Trust as a tool for dealing with drought: The nature of trust water rights and how they interact with the bucket of other water rights; how they relate to mitigation banking

Susan Adams, Executive Director
Washington Water Trust / Seattle, WA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Science vs. the Precautionary Principle: In What Areas Can More Study Lead to Different Decision Making?

When an agency lacks sufficient information and decides to err on the side of protecting the resource; what action should be taken to improve the information available and who should take it?

Bob Anderson, Western Regional Vice President
Golder Associates Inc. / Redmond, WA

Tim Flynn, LHG, CGWP, President & Principal Hydrogeologist
Aspect Consulting LLC / Bainbridge, WA

Trevor Hutton, Senior Permit Writer; Office of Columbia River
Washington Dept. of Ecology / Yakima, WA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Streamflows in the Columbia River

Update on ESA and fisheries management issues; status report on renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty; impacts on the use of the river for irrigation, domestic consumption, and other uses

Peter H. Dykstra, Esq.
Plauche & Carr LLP / Seattle, WA

1:45 pm

Other Recent Decisions and Pending Cases to Watch

In the superior and appellate courts

Alan Reichman, Esq., Senior Counsel
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

At the Pollution Control Hearings Board

Travis H. Burns, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

Federal developments relating to Tribal water rights

Mason D. Morisset, Esq.
Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville / Seattle, WA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Legislative Look-Ahead: Interim Activities and Prospects for Legislative Action on Water Issues During the 2016 Session

What the political dynamics and results of the 2015 session suggest for next year

Bill Clarke, Esq.
Bill Clarke, Attorney at Law & Government Affairs / Olympia, WA

4:00 pm

Ethical Issues for Lawyers

Special issues arising during the complex administrative and court proceedings

Heather Burgess, Esq.
Phillips Burgess, PLLC / Olympia, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for in person or webcast attendance for this program is $995 with a group rate of $745 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $665. For students, people in their job for less than a year, and public interest NGO's, our rate is $497.50. 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: This program qualifies for 13.25 CA CLE (incl. 1 Ethiscs) and 13.25 WA CLE credits (incl. 1 ethics). 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

Marc A. Marquis, Program Co-Chair, Peterson & Marquis, is experienced in managing the spectrum of regulatory programs including water and wastewater. He assists clients with all manner of legal services related to water rights, irrigation, and water system administration.

Thomas M. Pors, Program Co-Chair, Law Office of Thomas M. Pors, is a leader in the field of water rights permitting, transfers, and appeals, with a track record of finding creative, effective, and efficient solutions for his clients.

Dave Christensen, Moderator, Section Manager for Water Resources Program Development, Washington State Department of Ecology, is experienced in environmental, water resources and drinking water protection working for state and local governmental agencies, nonprofit and private firms. He and his team are actively seeking solutions to rural water conflicts.

Tadas Kisielius, Moderator, partner, Van Ness Feldman, LLP, represents clients on land use and water resources law, including permitting of new appropriations, transfers and changes of existing water rights and water rights transactions.

Susan Adams, Executive Director at Washington Water Trust, focuses on executive management, policy development, facilitation and negotiation with private, public and nonprofit organizations working on natural resource issues.

Bob Anderson is the Western Regional Vice President of Golder Associates Inc.

James L. Buchal, partner, Murphy & Buchal LLP, represents the Columbia Snake River Irrigators Association and other Oregon, Washington and California interests with respect to water rights and natural resource issues, specializing in litigation against governmental entities. He is also the author of The Great Salmon Hoax.

Heather Burgess, founding member, Phillips Burgess, PLLC, practices in all phases of real estate development, from pre-acquisition due diligence, through local permitting and administrative, or judicial appeals associated with the permit process under GMA, SEPA and SMA.
Full bio and contact info for Heather Burgess at Phillips Burgess, PLLC

Travis H. Burns, Assistant Attorney General, Water Resources Section, Ecology Division, Washington State Office of the Attorney General, focuses on litigation and client advice related to water right permitting, mitigation, enforcement, and dam safety issues. Previously, he was a policy analyst for Ecology's Water Resources Program.

Bill Clarke, Attorney at Law & Government Affairs, attorney and lobbyist in Olympia, represents clients in water rights and other environmental permitting in the Washington State Legislature and before state agencies and local governments. He is a former member and Chair of the Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shorelines Hearings Board.

Peter H. Dykstra, partner, Plauche & Carr LLP, focuses on water rights, conservation transactions, ecosystem services markets, and government relations. Previously, he was Regional Director for The Wilderness Society and State Director for The Trust for Public Land.

Tim Flynn, LHG, CGWP, is President and Principal Hydrogeologist at Aspect Consulting, an earth science and engineering consulting, is experienced in water resources consulting with expertise in water supply development, water right permitting, water banking, and aquifer storage and recovery.

Adam Gravley, partner, Van Ness Feldman, LLP, practices environmental and water law with a focus on water resources development, transactions, civil litigation, and public policy.

Trevor Hutton, Environmental Specialist, Office of Columbia River, Washington Department of Ecology, oversees production of legislative reports, assists in policy development, project management, and coordination of program permitting efforts.

Thomas J. Loranger, Manager, Water Resources Program, Washington State Department of Ecology, has also worked with innovative approaches to toxics reduction and salmon recovery planning.

Jeffrey J. Marti, Environmental Planner and Drought Coordinator, Washington Department of Ecology, is experienced in hydropower licensing, administrative rulemaking, water right permitting and information management.

Lawrence E. Martin, Halverson Northwest Law Group, is experienced in water rights adjudications, assessment and transfer of water rights, and representation of irrigation districts, property owners, municipalities and businesses including before the Acquavella Adjudication Court, the Washington State Supreme Court, and the Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Joe Mentor, Jr., partner, Mentor Law Group PLLC, focuses on water resources, land use, and natural resources development with emphasis on legislative, policy, business and environmental compliance, funding issues and water-related legislation.

Mason D. Morisset, Director, Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville, is responsible for Indian treaty and water rights litigation including successful arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Washington and California Supreme Courts and the FERC.

Peter C. Ojala, Ojala Law Inc., P.S., focuses on land use, environmental, real property, and contract matters. He represents several various special purpose diking, drainage, and flood control districts. He has spent time in the land surveying profession.

Alan Reichman, Senior Counsel, Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Ecology Division, is Section Manager for Water Resources and Lead Counsel to the Department of Ecology's Water Resources Program.

Glen Smith is a lobbyist with the Washington State Ground Water Association.

Tim Trohimovich is Director of Planning and Law at Futurewise, a citizens' group that promotes healthy communities and cities, while protecting working farms and forests.

Dawn Vyvyan, The Vyvyan Law Office, focuses on government relations, Indian law, land use and natural resource law.

Bruce Wishart operates a public policy firm in Olympia, representing a range of non-profit environmental groups before the state legislature and regulatory agencies. He represents the Sierra Club and Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) on issues involving water resources.

Firm Links