Law Seminars International Presents:

The Fourteenth Annual Intensive One-Day Seminar on


Today's most important compliance, litigation and policy developments for land use and environmental professionals

January 13, 2017

Seattle, WA

Download PDF Brochure
Seattle - WA


Who Should Order

Attorneys, land use, real estate, and environmental professionals, consultants and governmental officials and regulatory staff

Why You Should Order

The seminar brings you important information on legislative, judicial, and administrative developments in SEPA and NEPA law during the past year. Speakers from a wide range of perspectives will address cutting-edge SEPA/NEPA compliance, litigation, and policy issues confronting land use and environmental professionals today.

These special topics will include the federal FAST Act designed to expedite the NEPA process for major infrastructure projects; the Council on Environmental Quality's Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts; unresolved issues in SEPA administrative and judicial appeals, exemplified by a recent SEPA challenge of Okanogan County's All-Terrain Vehicle Ordinance; and the impact of SEPA on the development of affordable housing.

Throughout the program, there will be lively discussion, commentary, and exchanges of ideas and opinions. We hope you will join us.

~ Program Co-Chairs: Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq. of Cascadia Law Group, and Richard L. Settle, Esq. of Foster Pepper PLLC and Seattle University School of Law

What You Will Learn

  • How SEPA is being applied by the State's administrative boards
  • Key takeaways from recent SEPA and NEPA decisions from the courts
  • Case study of the Methow Off Road Vehicles case and SEPA
  • Update on Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts and what is likely to change
  • Practical implications of FAST Act provisions for NEPA review of major infrastructure projects
  • Housing Affordability as a big issue for land use policy
  • The SEPA appeal process as a big problem for everyone

What Attendees Said

  • "Excellent. Very good discussions."
  • "Good variety of topics while conforming to the cohesive theme."
  • "I had every intent of leaving early to beat traffic but could not resist the topics, spirit and opposing views shared. As a planner, I gained immensly from this training."
  • "Some other conferences focus so much on networking that they lack content, but LSI always puts on very informational programs."
  • "This was the best CLE I have attended."


Friday, January 13, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Cascadia Law Group / Seattle, WA

Richard L. Settle, Esq.
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

8:45 am

Recent Case Law for SEPA and NEPA

Key takeaways from recent SEPA decisions from the courts

G. Richard Hill, Esq.
McCullough Hill Leary PS / Seattle, WA

Update on NEPA case law and guidance, including climate change and other relevant cases

Owen L. Schmidt, Esq.
Owen L. Schmidt LLC / Portland, OR

Practical implications of FAST Act provisions intended to improve the NEPA process for major infrastructure projects

Deborah L. Cade, Esq. , Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

The SEPA Appeal Process: A Big Problem for Everyone

Analysis of the problems

John W. Hempelmann, Esq. , Moderator
Cairncross & Hempelmann PS / Seattle, WA

Perspectives on the problems and regulatory or legislative fixes that have a realistic possibility of being implemented: What would the audience support as policy changes?

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

Harry Reinert, Esq. , (Ret.) Former Special Projects Manager
King County Executive Office / Seattle, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

SEPA at the Administrative Level

How SEPA is being applied by the State's administrative boards; impact of appellate cases such as Whatcom County v. Western Growth Management Hearings Board and Hirst; take-aways for project proponents and opponents

Tom McDonald, Esq.
Cascadia Law Group / Olympia, WA

2:15 pm

Methow Off Road Vehicles Case

Methow Valley Citizens' Council (MVCC) vs. Okanogan County: An unusual case that raises several interesting SEPA issues

Alexander (Sandy) Mackie, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Winthrop, WA

Melanie Rowland, Esq.
Attorney / Twisp, WA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

What Next for Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Final Guidance on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change Impacts

Likely impact of the election on the framework for Federal agencies to use for considering the impacts of their actions on global climate change in their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews

Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman LLP / Seattle, WA

4:00 pm

Housing Affordability: A Big Issue for Land Use Policy

How can SEPA reforms help? What are the downsides to proposed reforms?

Marty Kooistra , Executive Director
Housing Development Consortium / Seattle, WA

John C. (Jack) McCullough, Esq.
McCullough Hill Leary PS / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Rodney L. Brown, Jr., founder, Cascadia Law Group, focuses on natural resources, transportation megaprojects, energy and other environmental and natural resource issues. He was the principal author of Washington's Superfund law and Model Toxics Control Act. He is on Lawdragon's list of leading lawyers in America.

Richard L. Settle, Of Counsel, Foster Pepper PLLC, and Professor Emeritus, Seattle University School of Law, is experienced in representing landowners, developers, municipalities and citizen groups in state and local land use regulation before state and local agencies and trial and appellate courts. Chambers USA recently called him "the leading scholar in land use".

John W. Hempelmann, Moderator, Cairncross & Hempelmann PS, regularly handles complicated Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects, and has over 40 years of experience as a land use, natural resources and real estate development attorney.

Deborah L. Cade is an Assistant Attorney General in the Transportation and Public Construction Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General and is Chief Environmental Counsel to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

G. Richard Hill 's practice at McCullough Hill Leary PS, emphasizes land use entitlement, assisting private and public sector clients in obtaining governmental approvals for commercial, residential, educational, life sciences and recreational developments. Best Lawyers recently named him Seattle Land Use Lawyer of the Year,

Marty Kooistra, Executive Director, Housing Development Consortium, has been recognized for his progressive work in the areas of sustainable building practices, homebuyer financial readiness, community development, the rehabilitation and preservation of foreclosed and distressed properties, and strategic alliances,

Alexander (Sandy) Mackie, Attorney at Law, has long experience in land use and environmental law policy and practice. He is the attorney for Okanogon County.

John C. (Jack) McCullough, McCullough Hill Leary PS, focuses on land use and real estate financing and development issues for projects throughout the state of Washington. The Seattle Times recently called him "Power Broker & Deal Maker".

Tom McDonald, Cascadia Law Group, focuses his practice on water resource management, water rights and water quality, and the Endangered Species Act. He is the previous Chair of the Pollution Control Hearings Board, Environmental and Land Use Hearings Office.

Harry Reinert was recently Special Projects Manager, King County Department of Development and Environmental Services, where he worked on land use and environment issues. Previously he was Executive Director of the Land Use Study Commission.

Terese (T.C.) Richmond, partner, Van Ness Feldman LLP, represents state and local governmental agencies in Washington and Arizona in environmental law, land use, water law, and climate change. Recently, she served as Vice Chair for the federal advisory committee that authored the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, as part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan.

Melanie Rowland, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Methow Valley Citizens Council. She is an environmental attorney and previously was in the Office of General Counsel for NOAA, where she worked on conservation of salmon and marine mammals protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Owen L. Schmidt is an environmental consultant, principal of Owen L. Schmidt LLC, and the author of NEPA Models and Case Lists. Previously, he acted as Senior Counsel with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the General Counsel in Portland, OR, and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Tim Trohimovich is Director of Planning & Law at Futurewise. He review plans and development regulations and amendments for compliance with the Growth Management Act, smart growth principles, and organization policies and drafts and analyzes local and state legislation.


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.5 Washington CLE credits and 6.5 OR Bar CLE credits. We have applied for 6.5 AICP CM land use planner credits, which are pending. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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