A Valuable Tool for Equity
Due in part to a long history of unequal land use planning and discriminatory housing and industrial policies, communities of color and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms. Large polluting industries tend to be sited in or near these communities, leading to higher rates of long-term health conditions. These communities are also less likely to have...
The Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and called into question more than 50 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the right to privacy, affects us all. In taking away the right to safe and legal abortion care, the Court has opened the door to eroding a broad array of other personal rights, including the rights to contraception and to marry whomever you choose,...
SMW helped non-profit group Save Mount Diablo strike a blow against environmentally damaging, sprawl development in Contra Costa County, and as a result staved off massive grading and development in the hills between Pittsburg and Concord. Earlier this year, the Contra Costa Superior Court agreed with SMW’s argument that the environmental review for a proposed housing development violated the California Environmental...
SMW Partner Andrew Schwartz taught Land Use Law at UC Berkeley School of Law for the Spring Semester 2021-2022 and will repeat the class Spring Semester 2022-2023. Mr. Schwartz also teaches Land Use Law at Stanford Law School.
Matthew Zinn and Andrew Schwartz, partners at SMW, with the assistance of associate attorneys Ben Gonzalez and Orran Balagopalan, revised and updated the Takings Chapter of California Environmental Law and Land Use Law, a treatise co-edited by Loyola Law Professor and SMW Of Counsel Dan Selmi.
Catherine Engberg, a partner at SMW and City Attorney for Half Moon Bay, led a team of SMW lawyers to acquire nine vacant lots on a bluff overlooking the California coast for the City’s open space program.
Shute Mihaly & Weinberger partner Seph Petta moderated a panel discussion at the annual League of California Cities (CalCities) City Attorneys’ Spring Conference in Carlsbad, California. The presentation, titled “Staffing a Public Meeting: From War Stories to Your Story,” featured members of the League’s Attorney Development and Succession Committee, which is tasked with helping develop the diverse set of technical,...
SMW invited current firm attorneys and staff to reunite with SMW alumni, including former law clerks, fellows and staff, at a brunch on April 23rd at the David Brower Center in Berkeley. Together the attendees and their families celebrated the arrival of spring and the renewal of in-person connections after the long haul of pandemic isolation. Firm founders Marc Mihaly and Clem Shute were among the guests in...
In 2022, the firm began serving as General Counsel to the Highlands Recreation District. The Highlands Recreation District is a Special District in the unincorporated Highlands neighborhood of San Mateo County. The District has provided exceptional recreational services since its establishment in the 1950s.
Local agencies walk a fine line when producing effective informative materials for ballot measures without inadvertently ‘campaigning’. This article reviews current FPPC rules around spending public money to inform the electorate, how to steer clear of enforcement gray areas, and opportunities for the Legislature to authorize limited public agency electoral campaigns.
Systemic issues in land use planning have historically plagued small, low-income, unincorporated communities on the urban fringe. SB 244 took a first step to address the legal, financial, and political barriers affecting disadvantaged unincorporated communities in California. This article describes SB 244 requirements and looks at implementation progress.
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