- Served as City Attorney for the City of Cupertino. Advised City staff and officials on open meeting laws, development applications, public infrastructure projects, local regulatory actions, real estate transactions, election matters, emergency orders, public contracts, and interagency agreements. Assisted the City in meeting its goals within the bounds of the law and vigorously defending and advancing the City’s interests before the courts when necessary.
- Served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Half Moon Bay. Advised the Planning Commission on development applications, land use regulations, open meeting laws, and conflicts of interest.
- Representing agricultural interests, successfully opposed an oil and gas streamlining ordinance adopted without adequate environmental review or mitigation (King and Gardiner Farms, LLC v. Kern County (2020) 45 Cal. App.5th 814).
- Drafted initiatives in Santa Barbara and San Benito Counties that ban the use of land for fracking and other high-intensity petroleum operations. The San Benito measure passed, and subsequent litigation challenging the measure failed.
Community Service, Publications, and Recognitions
King and Gardiner Farms, LLC v. Kern County (2020) 45 Cal. App.5th 814 (invalidating ordinance to streamline approval of oil and gas development).
Friends of Better Cupertino v. City of Cupertino (2020) Santa Clara County Superior Ct., Case No. 18CV330190 (upholding City’s approval of SB 35 project and accepting City’s response demonstrating its long track record of approving and facilitating affordable housing).
- Solano County Orderly Growth Committee v. Solano County (2017) Solano County Superior Ct., Case No. FCS0466724 (vacating County approval of a subdivision on open space lands that would have required municipal water and sewer services in contravention of a city initiative).
- Save Our Historic Town Center v. City of San Juan Capistrano (2016) Orange County Superior Ct., Case No. 30-2014-00760231 (vacating approval of development proposed in the City’s downtown historic area due to inconsistency with City’s general plan).
- American Coatings Assn. v. South Coast Air Quality Management District (2012) 54 Cal.4th 446 (upholding air district’s authority to adopt “technology-forcing” rules).
- California Trout, Inc. v. Bureau of Reclamation (2009) United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. CV09-0312 (litigation settlement resulted in greater flows into Santa Clara River to protect endangered steelhead trout).
Publications and presentations:
- The California Municipal Law Handbook, Chair of Chapter 8 (Public Property), previously reviewer of Chapter 11 (Protecting the Environment), League of California Cities/CEB.
- Residents Can Play a Vital Role in Establishing Funding Streams for Local Programs, SMW In the Public Interest (Jan., 2022).
- “Don’t Get Pinched by Golden Door: Records Retention Best Practices for Projects Subject to CEQA,” presentation to the Contra Costa County City Attorneys’ Association (Nov., 2021).
- “Commercial Cannabis Activities: Regulating a ‘New’ Land Use at the State and Local Level,” Dan Curtin Land Use Law Lecture, Sonoma State University Planning Commissioners Conference (Dec., 2017).
- Public Records Act Ruling: Inadvertent Disclosure Does Not Waive Exemptions. But Then What?, SMW In the Public Interest (Spring 2016).
- Local Control of Oil and Gas Operations: Getting a Handle on Fracking and Cyclic Steaming Through Land Use Prohibitions, Moratoria, Discretionary Permits, and Citizen Initiatives, Environmental Law News (Fall 2014).
- “Recent Developments in the Regulation of Fracking at the Local, State, and Federal Levels,” panelist, State of California Environmental Law Section annual environmental law conference at Yosemite (Fall 2014).
- The Open Space and Land Conservation Handbook, contributing author (Solano Press, 2011).
Member of the State Bar of California.
U.C. Berkeley School of Law, J.D.
Certificate in Environmental Law
Order of the Coif (top 10 percent of graduating class)
Judicial Clerkship: Honorable Garland E. Burrell Jr., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.C. Los Angeles, M.A., Urban Planning
U.C. Berkeley, B.A., History
Before becoming an attorney and the mother of two daughters, I taught English in rural Japan, hiked the California portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, worked in the Office of the Secretary at the California State Resources Agency, and served on the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.