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.
California’s recent fire seasons have been staggeringly destructive, and are poised to worsen over upcoming decades as the impacts of climate change increase. Yet, we are not helpless. The use of beneficial fire—at the right times and in the right locations—can increase forest resiliency and reduce wildfire risk. California’s pending Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire points public agencies in the...
Energy storage has a unique and pivotal role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy because it can help the electric grid accommodate more renewable energy. However, a number of barriers currently impede the process of connecting energy storage systems to the energy distribution grid. A new suite of actionable recommendations for regulators and utilities, launched in March of 2022 by a team of leading industry...
SMW attorneys successfully represented a community group in blocking construction of a drive-thru restaurant right across the street from a school in Brea, California. The plaintiffs, a group of staff and volunteers at Laurel Elementary School, were concerned that increased traffic and long lines of cars outside a new Raising Cane’s drive-thru restaurant would pose a significant danger to students walking to and from...
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP is looking for an experienced planner with relevant experience to join our dynamic practice.
About Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP is a law firm specializing in government, land use, renewable energy, and environmental law. Since 1980, the firm has provided public agencies, non-profits, tribes, and community groups with the...
Cities and counties face significant challenges in raising funds for basic services and special programs. Chief among these, local governments must receive two-thirds voter approval before imposing a tax to fund designated programs. However, under a series of recent court rulings, voter-sponsored initiatives for special taxes need only be approved by a simple majority. This article discusses this new revenue opportunity,...
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger's attorneys also regularly write for other publications. Some recent articles that may be of interest include:
Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine: Black Lives Matter as Government Speech
Daily Journal: Restoring California’s Leadership in Setting Tailpipe Emissions Standards
Daily Journal: Competition and Collusion on the Road to Clean Cars
ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources...
As last year drew to a close, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger continued its efforts to identify and make charitable contributions to groups engaged in environmental justice and anti-racism work. “It is part of our firm’s ethos to support non-profit organizations engaged in environmental justice, anti-racism, and empowerment work, and we are committed to continuing our support through annual contributions to groups doing...
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