Marc Mihaly, Clem Shute, and Mark Weinberger
Why our firm was founded
In 1980, Clem Shute, Marc Mihaly, and Mark Weinberger left the Environment and Consumer Protection Section of the California Attorney General’s Office to start a new kind of law firm. Inspired by their work in a public agency that had been committed to advancing the public interest through creative legal advocacy, they envisioned a private practice serving the same ends, representing community groups and local governments. Since that time, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger has grown to become one of the state’s leading public interest law firms.
E. Clement Shute, Jr.
Clement “Clem” Shute, Jr. helped pioneer California environmental law first through his work in the California Attorney General’s Office in the late sixties and seventies and then through groundbreaking work at the firm on a wide range of matters. Clem’s work at the firm ranged from protecting Lake Tahoe and defending local land use and environmental regulations against takings claims, to negotiating landmark agreements with major airports limiting aircraft noise and mediating complex land use disputes. His appellate work established significant precedents in the public trust, takings, and CEQA. In 2015, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the California State Bar for his contribution to Environmental Law.
Clem received his JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1964 and was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Consumer Protection Section of the California Attorney General’s Office before founding the firm. He served on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board and was an adjunct professor at both UC Berkeley School of Law and UC Hastings College of the Law.
Marc Mihaly served as Managing Partner for the firm’s first 17 years, helped establish its collegial culture, and hired many of its current partners. He pioneered the practice areas of local land use initiatives, energy, complex public-private development, and hazardous materials remediation. He represented progressive cities and counties; state, regional, and local environmental agencies; farmers; community groups; and Native American tribes.
After serving in the Peace Corps, Marc received his JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1974. He worked as a Legal Aid attorney and a California Deputy Attorney General before co-founding the firm in 1980. In 2004, after 25 years at the firm, he moved to Vermont to head Vermont Law School’s nationally recognized environmental law program. He then served as the school’s eighth president and dean and is now professor emeritus.
Mark I. Weinberger
(1948 – 2005)
Mark Weinberger played a pivotal role in the emerging field of California environmental law. A brilliant litigator and negotiator, he won many groundbreaking cases and was frequently called upon to negotiate complex land use disputes. His leadership and his abiding interest in mentoring the firm’s younger lawyers were instrumental to the firm’s growth and success.
Mark earned his law degree from Harvard University in 1974. He was as fierce in his battle against leukemia as he was in the many battles he waged to preserve open space and protect environmental values during his career. His courage continues to influence his friends and colleagues at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger.