Clem Shute Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California recently granted one of our firm’s founding partners, E. Clement “Clem” Shute, Jr., the second annual Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law at the 2015 Environmental Law Conference in Yosemite.

We are thrilled to see Clem receive this honor. Clem is rightly considered one of the founders of the practice of environmental law in California. He helped to establish and was the first person to lead the Environment and Consumer Protection Section in the Office of the California Attorney General, helping to frame the state’s use of the then-nascent California Environmental Quality Act, Coastal Act and other environmental laws. He co-founded Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger in 1980, making our firm one of the state’s first public interest environmental law practices, serving environmental groups and public agencies alike. 

Clem successfully defended land use regulations against takings challenges in two landmark environmental law cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, Agins v. Town of Tiburon (447 U.S. 255 (1980)) and Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (535 U.S. 302 (2002)), among many other significant legal accomplishments. Clem continues to demonstrate his commitment to the public good as an appointed member of the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, where he serves at the pleasure of Governor Jerry Brown.

This award recognizes not only legal acumen but also the recipient’s commitment to improving the lives of others, providing legal services with high ethics and collegiality, and demonstrating a commitment to working on environmental issues based on the merit – not the prominence – of the matters at hand. Clem fits these criteria perfectly. Dozens of our state’s top public and private environmental attorneys look to Clem as a mentor and a friend who helped them to launch their legal careers.

All of us at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger feel privileged to have worked with Clem as the long-time leader of our firm. Please join us in congratulating him on this well-deserved honor.