Law Seminars International Presents:

The 18th Annual Intensive One-Day Seminar on


Today's most important regulatory, litigation, and compliance developments for land use practitioners, government officials, and environmental professionals

January 10, 2020

Seattle, WA

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Program Overview

Who Should Order

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

Why You Should Order

For our 18th annual advanced SEPA/NEPA program, we highlight the potential impact of the Trump Administration's proposed changes to NEPA on environmental review for projects in Washington State. These changes are likely to be the most significant in the history of NEPA. We'll take a detailed look at the proposed changes from a variety of viewpoints.

We include our annual SEPA/NEPA case law update, which is a very useful way, even for people who regularly read the decisions, of tying the pieces together and condensing the trends. Owen Schmidt discusses NEPA and a distinguished panel discusses the significant Washington SEPA cases together with legislative changes to SEPA by the Legislature and Seattle City Council.

The study of cumulative impacts is fraught with uncertainty under both NEPA and SEPA and this issue is addressed by another distinguished panel. Additional topics include the relationship between MTCA and SEPA and assorted procedural issues that remain unresolved despite decades of SEPA case law.

We carry on the tradition of an interactive program so that you can contribute your own ideas and have your specific questions answered. We hope you will join us for what promises to be a very lively discussion.

~ Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq. of Cascadia Law Group and Patrick J. Schneider, Esq. of Foster Garvey, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Major new NEPA developments
  • SEPA case law update
  • State and local Legislative changes to SEPA
  • Cumulative impacts-what you need to consider
  • Areas of uncertainty and how to deal with them

What Attendees Said

  • "I am not a legal practitioner but always learn a great deal from these seminars"
  • "The case studies are informative"
  • "Supplemental materials useful and will be great resource for later"
  • "Excellent faculty - great audience interaction"
  • "Pretty fascinating stuff; I'll definitely be back"

Friday, January 10, 2020

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

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

Patrick J. Schneider, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

8:45 am

Major New NEPA Developments

Recent NEPA cases and federal administrative policy changes, including the new GHG guidance, and update on administration efforts to rewrite NEPA regulations

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

9:45 am


10:00 am

State and Local Legislative Changes to SEPA

Perspectives on changes by the 2019 legislature and the Seattle City Council

Claudia M. Newman, Esq.
Bricklin Newman / Seattle, WA

Katie Kendall, Esq.
McCullough Hill Leary / Seattle, WA

Perspectives on how cities can make SEPA work better and faster without creating bigger exemptions

Shirley Schultz , Principal Planner
City of Tacoma / Tacoma, WA

Ted Hunter, Esq.
Sound Law Center / Seattle, WA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Review of Cumulative Impacts

Court decisions under NEPA vs. SEPA, and evolving regulatory agency views, make it complicated and unclear: What other proposals do you need to consider (just "reasonably foreseeable" or anything possible)? How far upstream or downstream?

Richard L. Settle, Esq. , Moderator
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

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

Darren E. Carnell, Esq. , Land Use Section Chair
King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office / Seattle, WA

Julie Blakeslee , Environmental and Land Use Planner
University of Washington / Seattle, WA

Heather Page , Principal Environmental Planner
Anchor QEA / Seattle, WA

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

SEPA Judicial and Board Decision Updates

Patrick J. Schneider, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

3:30 pm

Areas of Uncertainty After All These Years: Issues that Neither the SEPA Rules nor Current Case Law Definitively Resolve

Perspectives on "prima facie" compliance with SEPA: What does this judicially created standard mean in light of the "substantial weight" that must be given to agency decisions?

What is the consequence of failure to comment on a threshold determination or draft EIS?

What process is needed to cure an inadequate EIS?

What does it mean for the Shorelines Hearings Board to have "sole jurisdiction" over SEPA issues pursuant to RCW 43.21C.075(7)?

When is judicial review available, and when does a limitation period begin to run, when the appealable action is something other than issuance of a permit?

Susan Elizabeth Drummond, Esq.
Law Offices of Susan Elizabeth Drummond / Kirkland, WA

Steven J. Gillespie, Esq.
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

Bob C. Sterbank, Esq. , City Attorney
City of Snoqualmie / Snoqualmie, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Cascadia Law Group. He focuses on environmental and land use law relating to natural resources, transportation megaprojects, energy and other project permitting.

Patrick J. Schneider, Patrick J. Schneider, is a Principal at Foster Garvey. He advises developers on land use entitlement and litigation strategies. He previously served as lead land use attorney for the City of Seattle and a senior land use attorney for King County.

Richard L. Settle, Richard L. Settle, Moderator, is Of Counsel to Foster Garvey and focuses on land use law. Chambers USA described him as "one of the leading lights of the land use community and such an expert that people go to him with any arcane question."

Julie Blakeslee Julie Blakeslee is an Environmental and Land Use Planner for the University of Washington and their SEPA Responsible Official. She is skilled in land use development strategies and major institution master planning.

Darren E. Carnell is a Senior Deputy in the King County Prosecutor's Office and is Chair of the county's Land Use Practice Group.

Susan Elizabeth Drummond, Susan Elizabeth Drummond, Law Offices of Susan Elizabeth Drummond, works on virtually every facet of land use law from permitting to litigation. She also provides hearing examiner services.

Steven J. Gillespie Steven J. Gillespie is a principal at Foster Garvey. He assists Seattle's major institutions in obtaining master plan approvals as well as project-level permits.

Ted Hunter, Sound Law Center, has served as Legal Counsel to the Washington State Legislature on energy and environmental matters. He also was selected as the Chief Negotiator for the Legislature in matters involving land use proposals at the U.S. Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Katie Kendall Katie Kendall is a partner at McCullough Hill Leary. She counsels clients on all aspects of land use law, including zoning compliance, master plans, shoreline issues, critical areas, impact fees, vesting strategies, design review, Development Agreements, code amendments, and rezones. She also litigates zoning and permit related appeals before Hearing Examiners, City Council,?boards, and state courts.

Claudia M. Newman Claudia M. Newman is a partner at Bricklin Newman. She represents environmental organizations, citizen groups, individuals, and local governments in matters involving comprehensive planning, environmental review, and site-specific development proposals.

Heather Page Heather Page is Principal Environmental Planner at Anchor QEA. She manages environmental documentation for a variety of complex projects with a focus on infrastructure within or adjacent to aquatic systems.

Owen L. Schmidt, Owen L. Schmidt, Owen L. Schmidt LLC, a former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is known for his NEPA expertise. He advised the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other USDA agencies in Washington and Oregon.

Shirley Schultz Shirley Schultz is Principal Planner for the City of Tacoma where she is the SEPA Officer for the city. She formerly served as a Land Use Planner focusing on long-range planning activities for the City of Auburn.

Bob C. Sterbank Bob C. Sterbank is the City Attorney for the City of Snoqualmie. Before he came to the City, he was in private practice and served as special counsel for numerous Puget Sound-area cities on land use and shoreline planning matters.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.50 WA MCLE credits, 6.50 ABCEP environmental professional credits, and 6.50 AICP planner credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.