Government, Regulation & Public Policy

A single political decision at any level of government—from the smallest municipality to the U.S. Congress—can impact an entire industry. And that is why for decades, clients have turned to the bipartisan government relations team at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to navigate the maze of politics and policy in Washington and at state and local levels. Whether policy issues reside at international, federal, state or local levels, clients know we meet their challenges with the creativity, know-how and tenacity needed to succeed.

Representative Matters
  • Represents a large Midwestern utility on energy legislation and energy policy.

  • Provides strategic counsel to a gateway municipality in navigating regulatory issues with federal land management agencies.

  • A district encountered a dispute with a Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) regarding jurisdiction over annexations and the district's provision of additional latent services. The district and LAFCO agreed to resolve their dispute through the introduction of special legislation rather than resorting to litigation. Services included drafting special state legislation, working with legislative consultants for the California Assembly and Senate, and governmental relations services.

  • Drafted special legislation on behalf a major California city to provide concrete authority for it to utilize a public-private partnership (P3) for development of a civic center project.

  • Counseled major labor union in connection with regulatory inquiry involving a state agency.

  • Counsel to a group of local agencies in Ventura County to draft and negotiate a joint powers agreement to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

  • Counseled public pension regarding regulatory compliance, fiduciary duties, and outside counsel matters.

  • Successfully defended nonprofit policy organization in election law dispute involving compliance with Colorado campaign finance laws. Achieved complete dismissal of all claims.

  • Represented several municipalities in obtaining over $300 million in economic development awards from State of Colorado.

  • Currently represent several high-profile ballot issue campaigns through drafting of measure, title setting process, and campaign finance compliance during statewide election.

  • Representing one of the Republic of Argentina’s largest creditors—with judgments totaling $1.7 billion—in post-judgment discovery and enforcement proceedings in Nevada.

  • Special Counsel, City of Rialto. Represent Rialto regarding a wastewater change petition before the State Water Resources Control Board for the purpose of implementing Rialto’s recycled water master plan. 2013 to present.

  • Special Counsel, Rancho California Water District. Represent RCWD in negotiations regarding formation of a joint powers agency to own and operate a regional wastewater treatment plant. 2013 to 2016.

  • Drafted and negotiated large-scale software development and service agreement relating to the development and maintenance of mission-control e-discovery solution for use by attorneys and law enforcement statewide.

  • Represented municipal party in bench trial against resident in contested matter.

  • Represents the Interstate Stream Commission in the transfer of water rights on the Pecos River for river augmentation and compact compliance purposes. The case involves 33 rights and is one of the largest transfers in state history.

  • Represented Guatemalan immigrant in Ninth Circuit appeal of removal order

  • Represents the City of Aurora in its $700 million Prairie Waters Project. This work involves complex water rights transactions, water court representation as well as state and local permitting.

  • Successfully represented oil and gas trade association in federal district court matter related to the Endangered Species Act, resulting in dismissal of the underlying action.

  • Successful representation of municipality seeking over $140 million in state funding for large-scale development projects under Colorado's Regional Tourism Act.

  • On behalf of a joint powers authority, negotiated, drafted and implemented nearly a dozen drought water transfers and exchange agreements to supplemented imported State Water Project deliveries during historic and extended drought in California. Program optimized use of existing water supply and delivery infrastructure.

  • Assisted with Secretary of State's vendor certification process.

  • Represented RGS Energy in its private offering of equity securities for gross proceeds of approximately $7 million.

  • Drafted joint powers agreement and oversaw the formation of a joint powers authority comprised of the six cities of the Monterey Peninsula. Presently represent the authority as special counsel before the California Public Utilities Commission with respect to a comprehensive replacement water supply project that includes a large desalination plant and potential advanced-treated reclaimed water and groundwater replenishment project. Further representation includes matters before the State Water Resources Control Board concerning compliance with a cease and desist order pertaining to the community's water supply and other related water matters.

  • Represented RGS Energy, a nationwide leader of turnkey solar energy solutions for residential, commercial, and utility customers, in its acquisition of Elemental Energy, LLC, a full-service solar energy firm operating under the Sunetric brand, based in Oahu, Hawaii.

  • Intellectual Property counsel to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, protecting, enforcing and licensing the world-famous, billion-dollar "What Happens Here, Stays Here" and "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" brands.

  • Represents Union County, New Mexico in connection with general corporate and health care regulatory matters with respect to Union County General Hospital, including operating and management agreements and potential acquisition of hospital assets.

  • Crafted and passed legislation on behalf of DealerTrack Processing Services to authorize the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles to implement an electronic lien and titling process as well as an electronic temporary tags and vehicle registration process. Organized a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Department of Motor Vehicles, County Clerks Association and new and used car dealers in order to pass and implement this expansive legislation.

  • Represents the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, the nation’s preeminent legal reform organization.

  • Selected by the Colorado Republican Committee Chairman to serve as General Counsel to the Denver 2016 Host Committee in Denver’s effort to secure the Republican National Convention in 2016.

  • Represented metropolitan district in five-day trial in Division Water Court over a change of ditch company shares.

  • Numerous successful challenges to, and defenses of, citizen-initiated ballot measures before Title Board and Colorado Supreme Court.

  • Successful First Amendment defense of political organization from trial to Colorado Supreme Court in challenge to organization's political advertisements.

  • Represented the Mexican Embassy on an international Treaty matter.

  • Developed and implemented fifty-state attorney general strategy for various entities such as national airline, utilities, and leading casino operator.

  • Secured $3.5 million in federal funding over the next three years under the Ryan White program to provide services to HIV/AIDS patients on behalf of our client.

  • Negotiated on behalf of a municipality an amended and restated development agreement and parks agreement with respect to a large master planned community.

  • Advocated for policy changes and funding related to water efficiency, water reuse, water supply, and groundwater management on behalf of a water agency serving nearly 4 million people.

  • Lead counsel for plaintiff in the power industry in complex breach of contract action involving agreements for royalty payments. Obtained favorable settlement just before trial.

  • Advised tax-exempt organization in the re-design of chief executive’s employment agreement and application of IRC 409A.

  • Provide federal representation to an Indian tribe in connection with the federal legislation, which ratifies the tribe's water compact and authorizes federal funding for the tribe's water-related infrastructure projects. (PL.114-322)

  • Negotiated sale of 36 acres of vacant land on behalf of City of Henderson.

  • Given its significant experience related to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act, Brownstein was selected to provide strategic direction to a major national nonprofit foundation regarding the proposed determination of whether the African lion is an endangered species as defined by the Endangered Species Act.

  • Representation of several municipal providers, a regulated utility, a water district, and a mutual water company, in priority groundwater basins located around the state, with respect to implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.

  • General Counsel to the Central Coast Water Authority, a joint powers authority comprised of eight member agencies. CCWA is a wholesale water provider delivering State Water Project water to 13 water districts and private companies in Santa Barbara County, and another 11 water purchasers in San Luis Obispo County.

  • Served as bond counsel for $10 million of privately placed municipal debt financing for an expansion of the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, New Mexico.

  • Provide federal representation to the Blackfeet Tribe in connection with the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement Act, which ratifies the Blackfeet Tribe-Montana Water Rights Compact and authorizes federal funding for the Tribe's water related projects.

  • Brownstein represented Alliant Energy in obtaining a $60,000,000 Term Loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank as Lender for its subsidiary, Franklin County Holdings LLC to finance Franklin County Wind Farm.

  • Defending class action complaint brought against Clark County, Nevada and McCarran International Airport where Plaintiffs are seeking permanent injunction to prohibit Defendants from owning, maintaining and/or operating CUSS Kiosks, that Plaintiffs believe discriminate against the blind. Defendants' Counsel successfully requested that the Court stay discovery pending resolution of its Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint.

  • Represented Native American tribe before the Bureau of Indian Affairs on an issue related to off-reservation policy and gaming. Also worked with Congressional appropriators to secure support for loan guarantees of economic development projects.

  • Engaged Congress and the Department of Justice in forming a relationship with one of the largest non-profits in the United States focused on girl’s and women’s issues. Collaboration yielded the successful development and funding of three programs at the Department of Justice, focused on serving girls in non-traditional settings.

  • Defended City of Long Beach against claims of unlawful delegation of police power, violation of Brown Act open meetings law and various provision of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) arising out of efforts by the City of Long Beach to implement its Clear Air and CleanTruck programs. The focus of the attack is the settlement of litigation in which the American Trucking Associations challenged a measure to implement the City's Clean Air and CleanTruck Programs by requiring drayage carriers to sign a Concession Agreement and agree to truck maintenance, insurance and other requirements, and abide by all safety, security and environmental rules of City, State and Federal Government. After the issuance of preliminary injunction in that litigation, the City of Long Beach settled. NRDC then challenged that action as a violation of the open meeting requirements of the Brown Act, as an unlawful delegation of police powers and as violations of various provisions of CEQA. Natural Resources Defense Council & Sierra Club v. City of Long Beach, et al.

  • Defending one of the country's largest telecommunications companies in multiple derivative cases.

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with a public sale of $69,795,000 Series 2012A & B Bonds to fund various public projects and private placement of $11,525,000 of Series 2012C and D Bonds.

  • Negotiated sale of downtown building on behalf of City of Henderson.

  • On behalf of a Fortune 100 company, composed a comprehensive elections and lobbying compliance manual for its Legal Counsel/Government Affairs departments. The manual covers multi-state and federal lobbying registration and reporting requirements, gift rules, workplace political activity, compliance with the regulatory burdens attached to independent campaign advocacy and direct campaign contributions, and ballot measure advocacy.

  • Served as counsel to Alliant Energy Corporation in connection with the $1 billion re-syndication of the unsecured revolving credit facilities of Alliant and its two public utility subsidiaries.

  • Working with a utility and a trade association to develop and implement a strategy in response to Clean Air Act rules.

  • Represented Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, in connection with the design, construction and leasing of a new 400,000 square foot office building for its new regional headquarters. Designed with a LEED-CS Platinum-certified shell, it is the first LEED Platinum high-rise office building in the country.

  • Special water rights counsel to two major municipal water providers with respect to the environmental compliance and water right and water quality permitting requirements associated with the development and delivery of recycled water within and outside the boundaries of the recycled water provider.

  • Special water rights counsel to a wholesale water supplier with respect to the maintenance and protection of numerous water rights associated with the operation of ten major reservoirs.

  • Represented a renewable energy company and its subsidiaries on corporate and contract issues regarding three wind farms in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Corporate work included negotiating and drafting joint venture structure and equity financing documents. Assisted the companies with negotiating and drafting master supply agreements, and operations, maintenance and supply agreements with vendors and contractors. Finally, assisted with analysis and negotiations concerning the availability of Section 1603 cash grants for its properties.

  • Special water rights counsel to a city with respect to possible options for reorganization of the city’s water and wastewater enterprises, which resulted in the city’s election to undertake a municipal service review with the local LAFCO.

  • Represented the owner of a large natural gas fired merchant power plant to successfully challenge state valuation of the plant for property tax purposes that did not recognize functional or economic obsolescence.

  • Worked with the State Bar of Arizona to draft and enact a comprehensive reform/modernization of Arizona's trust laws. The law governs all aspects of trust formation, obligations, and maintenance. Also worked with the State Bar of Arizona to draft and enact a comprehensive code governing the alternative dispute resolution process in Arizona. The modernized arbitration law provides businesses in the state certainty and predictability when using the increasingly popular alternative to often costly and protracted litigation.

  • Served as underwriter's counsel in the issuance of Albuquerque Municipal School District No. 12, Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties, New Mexico, general obligation bonds in the amount of $8,940,000.

  • Served as underwriter's counsel in the issuance of Dulce Municipal School District No. 21, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, general obligation refunding bonds in the amount of $12,550,000.

  • Represented one of Colorado's largest cities on air permitting issues and potential air emission litigation.

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, NM in connection with the sale of $135,000,000 short-term general obligation bonds, Series 2011A.

  • Represented Orange County toll road agency in seeking State and Federal Coastal permits to complete construction of State Route 241.

  • Represented city in denial of beachfront owner's vested rights claim under the Coastal Act.

  • Represented city in challenge to coastal zone land use authority by oil and gas facility.

  • Provided land use representation as special counsel in connection with the acquisition and development of the Ralph L. Carr Justice Complex and Colorado History Center Project.

  • Represented the New Mexico Department of Transportation in connection with the issuance by the New Mexico Finance Authority of approximately $550 million in state transportation revenue and refunding revenue bonds, and associated letters of credit.

  • Counsel, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority v. Orange County Sanitation District, JAMS Reference No. 1210030062 (2013) representing SAWPA.

  • Helped obtain funding for an innovative bioremediation project to remove a chemical pollutant from drinking water.

  • In two separate cases approved changes to Carson River water rights, pursuant to United States v. Alpine Land & Reservoir Company. Both cases included approvals to points of diversion, manner of use and place of use for decreed water rights.

  • Litigation challenging State Board issued NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities as violating the federal Clean Water Act and California's Porter-Cologne Act.

  • Development of a process and framework to select a zero emissions technology for subsequent preparation of a RFQ/RFP to implement an environmentally friendly system to move shipping containers from the ports' docks to railroad distribution yards. Advised the ports concerning selection of procurement frameworks, public contracting, public relations, public records and confidential information.

  • Represented a public utility district in federal district court to acquire property and water rights for use by the district for its recycled water operations. The district required additional property and water rights for use in conjunction with land application of recycled water from its wastewater operations and for recreational and agricultural purposes.

  • Represented an oil and gas company with respect to its public securities compliance matters including annual meetings and notice-the-access-compliance, proxy and executive compensation disclosures and reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. Sections 13 and 16 reporting obligations.

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with the sale of $24,940,000 Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2010A and Short-term General Obligation Storm Sewer Bonds, Series 2010B.

  • Served as disclosure counsel for the City of Gallup, New Mexico in connection with $11,910,000 Gross Receipts Tax Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2010A and $3,520,000 Gross Receipts Tax Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2010B.

  • Representation of the cities of Burbank and Glendale in the context of a judgement adjudicating the rights of the parties in the Upper Los Angeles River Area, including successful implementation of an agreement to optimize management of the San Fernando Basin.

  • Hearing before the State Water Resources Control Board concerning a draft Cease and Desist Order limiting diversions from the Carmel River.

  • Represented an oil and gas public company in its successful private placement to 32 accredited investors (as defined in Regulation D) valued at $793,732.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque in the negotiation of the IRB lease agreement relative to Phillips Semiconductor's plant closure. Gulfstream Worldwide Realty, Inc. vs. Philips Electronics North America Corporation.

  • From 2004 to 2006 and starting again in July 2008, served as disclosure counsel to the New Mexico State Board of Finance in multiple bond issuances, including the issuance of general obligation bonds, severance tax bonds and supplemental severance tax bonds, representing more than $1.4 billion.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque in the formation of the Mesa del Sol, Quorum at ABQ Uptown and Winrock Tax Increment Development Districts. Represented Sandia View LLC in the formation of the Village of Rio Rancho Tax Increment Development District. Represents Verde Realty in connection with district formation and other development on the border of the United States and Mexico.

  • The Firm represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $26.3 million of special levy bonds by Public Improvement Districts.

  • From July 2006 through June 2008, served as bond counsel to the New Mexico State Board of Finance in multiple bond issuances, including the issuance of general obligation bonds, severance tax bonds, supplemental severance tax bonds and severance tax notes representing more than $1.3 billion.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque in the formation of the Ventana West, Saltillo, Montecito, The Trails, Volterra and Mesa del Sol Public Improvement Districts. Represented the Districts in multiple bond issuances representing more than $25 million.

  • Served as review counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with the issuance of an industrial revenue bond for the SUMCO Phoenix Corporation Project, Series 2010.

  • Represented Qwest (now CenturyLink) in lawsuits against multiple Competitive Local Exchange Carriers regarding switched access services.

  • Successfully represent a non-profit entity in Endangered Species Act listing litigation.

  • Advised and defended the Board of Directors of one of the country's largest public utility companies in parallel proceedings involving a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and shareholder litigation.

  • Served as underwriter's counsel in connection with the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico's offering of Water Utility System / Capital Outlay Gross Receipts Tax Revenue Bonds -- $18,080,000, Series 2009A (Tax Exempt), $41,890,000 and Series 2009B (Taxable Direct-Payment Build America Bonds).

  • Led a large coalition of diverse companies and industries to pass a temporary provision in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that allows for a ten year deferral of cancellation of indebtedness income. The first five years will be tax free, with ratable payments in each of the last five years. This provision will apply to debt for cash, equity or other debt, and should prove to be an important tool for companies that need to restructure debt in the midst of this severe economic down turn.

  • Represented various public entities on constitutional matters including the representation of the District Attorney's Office in a criminal constitutional challenge in a 4th Amendment case.

  • Legal representation on campaign matters for Jodi Stephens, a candidate for Nevada State Assembly.

  • Served as legal representation for Ben Kieckhefer, a candidate for Nevada State Senate, on campaign matters.

  • Represented Clark County, Nevada, as the operator of McCarran International Airport, in the defense of inverse condemnation airspace takings claims brought by landowners. Successfully argued that the landowners' claims were time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations and obtained dismissal of all causes of action with prejudice. Las Vegas Mall Limited Partnership et al. v. Clark County, Nevada, et al.

  • Represent Edison Mission Energy in zoning and land use matters related to obtaining entitlements for construction of a solar energy project in Santa Barbara County, California. Representation includes environmental review, amendment of the zoning ordinance to provide for solar projects in agricultural zones, and conformity with the Williamson Act (Agricultural Preserve).

  • Represent a large electrical utility in a Clean Air Act investigation of a coal fired power plant. The EPA investigation covers over 25 years of documents and environmental and operational data at the multi-unit power plant. Representation involves advising the utility on its response to the agency and managing the production of tens of thousands of documents and data.

  • Represent a large electrical utility regarding laws and proposals dealing with federal and state renewable energy policy and incentives. Advise the client regarding issues relating to potential federal and state renewable portfolio standards, federal tax incentives and the U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee programs.

  • Represent a Nevada Indian tribe in the development of a 200 MW concentrated solar project in southern Nevada. Our representation includes the negotiation of lease and other agreements with a large renewable energy developer, development of water rights for the project, negotiation with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and other federal agencies, and guiding the tribe through the NEPA process.

  • Represented a western electrical utility with a large coal generation base regarding laws and proposals dealing with climate change. Advised the client regarding the economic and environmental issues relating to potential federal and state climate change laws. Representation included regulatory advocacy and advice on corporate climate change policy.

  • Served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $7 million Tax Supported Revenue Bonds by Fossil Ridge Metropolitan District No. 1 located in the City of Lakewood, Colorado.

  • Served as special counsel in connection with the delivery of a total of $338 million Certificates of Participation (Ralph L. Carr Justice Complex and Colorado History Center Projects) evidencing proportionate interests in base rentals and other revenues under an annually renewable master build-to-suit lease purchase agreement between CHS/CJS Building, Inc. as lessor and the State of Colorado as lessee.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in its issuance of $10.5 million Gross Receipts Tax/Lodgers' Tax Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2009A and $28.3 million Gross Receipts Tax Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2009B.

  • Served as tax counsel in connection with the $9,000,000 Tallyn's Reach Metropolitan District No. 3 (the City of Aurora, Colorado) Tax-Exempt Loan Facility.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in its issuance of $54.9 million General Purpose General Obligation Bonds, Series 2009A and $25 million Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2009B.

  • Represented a large utility provider in a case involving multi-plaintiff discrimination claims. Brownstein obtained judgment in favor of the client as a matter of law. The Tenth Circuit, on appeal of the District Court's ruling, issued a published opinion regarding the lawfulness of our client's actions and hiring processes in particular.

  • Special Water Counsel, City of Indio. Assisted City of Indio in disputes and litigation regarding water use and management of the Coachella Groundwater Basin. 2008 to 2014.

  • Represented a town with substantial groundwater rights in Nevada's Carson River Valley with regard to water rights litigation commenced by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians. Litigation included challenges to State Engineer rulings on water right change applications for new development. Cases were filed in both federal district and state district courts and involved issues of jurisdiction and venue in addition to substantive water law. Appeals were filed by the Tribe in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Nevada Supreme Court.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in the issuance of $14.9 million in commercial paper notes for projects at Albuquerque International Sunport.

  • Represented New Mexico State Investment Council and funds-of-funds created for public pension funds in Connecticut, New York, Texas and Oklahoma in more than $1 billion in investments in private equity, venture capital and mezzanine funds.

  • Represent a major hydroelectric utility company in litigation against the State of Idaho and Bureau of Reclamation regarding whether contracts between the parties obligated the federal government to release water from its upstream reservoirs to ensure certain flows in the Snake River.

  • Mediated and facilitated a basinwide agreement in the Pecos River basin that settled major aspects of a basinwide water adjudication, reduced groundwater depletions and assured compliance with the US Supreme Court decree in Texas v. New Mexico. The agreement has been successfully implemented and New Mexico now enjoys a surplus on the Pecos River.

  • Represented the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority as bond counsel in the issuance of $55.6 million Joint Water and Sewer System Improvement Revenue Bonds, Series 2008A.

  • Represented a coalition of the major Colorado utilities and water districts that utilized the Colorado River, in the negotiation of guidelines for management of federal Colorado River Reservoirs; the adoption of shortage and surplus guidelines and the development of efficiency and conservation measures, that the Secretary of the Interior called the most important agreement on the river since the 1922 Colorado River Compact.

  • Served as bond counsel to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority on the issuance of $150 million in Joint Water and Sewer System Improvement and Refunding Revenue Bonds.

  • Brownstein negotiated the purchase and sale agreement for private property adjacent to city parks and open space; secured purchase monies from public grants and non-profit contributions in exchange for a covenant restricting development.

  • From April 2004 through March 2007, served as disclosure counsel to the New Mexico Finance Authority in multiple municipal bond issuances representing more than $2 billion, including the issuance of senior lien public project revolving fund revenue bonds, subordinate lien public project revolving fund revenue bonds and more than $1.5 billion in transportation bonds.

  • Since March 2007, served as bond counsel to New Mexico Finance Authority in multiple municipal bond issuances, including the issuance of senior lien public project revolving fund revenue bonds and subordinate lien public project revolving fund revenue bonds, representing approximately $734 million.

  • Defended CEQA challenge to the City’s renewal of its long-term Central Valley Project water supply contract in trial and appellate courts.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as review counsel in connection with the issuance of $100 million in industrial revenue bonds, Series 2009, on behalf of General Mills.

  • Provided the City of Oxnard with advice to insure that environmental documents prepared by the California city appropriately evaluated the global warming impacts created by the projects.

  • Represented the District before the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) regarding renewal of water right permits for a USBR owned reservoir and before the National Marine Fisheries Service with respect to Endangered Species Act compliance for listed steelhead. Representation included coordination with USBR, who holds the water right permits, and other project members holding water right entitlements in the reservoir for environmental compliance with CEQA, development of a biological assessment and biological opinion, and protection of downstream water rights interests.

  • Represented Qwest Communications in a nationwide consumer fraud class action in Madison County, Illinois, involving the Universal Services Fund (USF).

  • Kern County/Department of Toxic Substance Control administrative civil actions against client City of Oxnard regarding the storage and handling of biosolids. Successfully negotiated fines and remedy.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in its issuance of $11.2 million Gross Receipts Tax Revenue Bonds for Beach, Bluewater and Manzano Vista projects, Series 2008B.

  • Negotiated an agreement for the joint use of the Upper American River Project ("UARP") for the benefit of El Dorado County, an area of origin community at the headwaters of the American River. The agreement provided access to the UARP and the right to divert and store up to 40,000 acre-feet of water annually.

  • Served as bond counsel in the remarketing of $20,000,000 of General Obligation Variable Rate Bonds, Series 2004, by Bachelor Gulch Metropolitan District in Eagle County, Colorado.

  • Represented a public utility district in federal district court in an action commenced by the Forest Service against multiple parties regarding ground and groundwater contamination stemming from the contribution of waste, location of a district wastewater pipeline, and improper operation and closure of a landfill. The case was successfully resolved in the district's favor by entering into a consent decree and settlement agreement, neither of which required payment by the district. The district's legal costs were fully paid as a result of our identifying and obtaining insurance coverage.

  • Negotiations with the EPA regarding hexavalent chromium issues and potential responsible parties involving the contribution for remediation.

  • Served as tax counsel in securing a $10,000,000 tax-exempt loan facility for the Breckenridge Mountain Metropolitan District in the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $37.5 million Airport Revenue Bonds, Series 2008D/E.

  • Served as special COP counsel in connection with a $17,735,000 lease purchase financing of the new Denver Botanic Gardens parking garage. Certificates of Participation, Series 2008B, evidenced a proportionate interest in the base rentals and other revenues under an annually-renewable lease purchase agreement between the Denver Botanic Gardens Parking Facility Trust 2008 as lessor, and the City and County of Denver as lessee.

  • Defended Clark County, Nevada against a landowner's inverse condemnation airspace takings claims alleging damages in excess of $2.7 billion. The result was a summary judgment entered in favor of Clark County on issue of liability and the Court disposed of the case in its entirety. 70 Limited Partnership v. Clark County, Nevada et al.

  • Acted as bond counsel for first-of-its-kind $60 million lease appropriation financing for Grant County, New Mexico's Ft. Bayard Project with the State of New Mexico Department of Health.

  • Served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $15,000,000 in Public Improvement Fee Revenue Bonds, Series 2008A for the Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metropolitan District in Elbert County, Colorado.

  • Served as tax counsel in connection with securing a $16,000,000 tax-exempt loan facility for Vail Square Metropolitan District No. 1 in the Town of Vail, Colorado.

  • Represented the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico as disclosure counsel in the issuance of $13.2 million Water and Wastewater System Revenue Bonds, Series 2008.

  • Served as underwriter's counsel in connection with the issuance of the $15,200,000 Limited Tax Variable Rate Senior Bonds, Series 2008A and $32,500,000 Limited Tax Variable Rate Junior Bonds, Series 2008B, by Base Village Metropolitan District No.2 in the Town of Snowmass Village in Pitkin County, Colorado.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $37 million Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2008C.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $43 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 2008 A/B.

  • Represented the New Mexico State Board of Finance as bond counsel in the issuance of $127 million State of New Mexico Severance Tax Notes, Series 2008S-B.

  • Served as bond counsel to the New Mexico State Board of Finance in the issuance of $149 million Severance Tax Bonds, Series 2008A-1 and $20 million Supplemental Severance Tax Bonds, Refunding Series 2008A-2.

  • Served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $30,485,000 Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2008, by Marin Metropolitan District in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $16.6 million Gross Receipts Tax Refunding Bonds, Taxable Series 2008A.

  • Represented Heritage Todd Creek Metropolitan District as bond counsel in its issuance of $17.4 million in General Obligation Subordinate Bonds - Series B, for general public infrastructure improvements.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $21.2 million Airport Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2008B/C.

  • Represented San Juan County, New Mexico as bond counsel in the issuance of $17.4 million in Subordinate Gross Receipts Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2008.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $13.6 million Airport Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2008.

  • Served as bond counsel in connection with the issuance of $1,121,768 Subordinate Non-Ad Valorem Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2008C, and $251,669 Taxable Subordinate Non-Ad Valorem Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2008D, by Vista Ridge Metropolitan District in Weld County, Colorado.

  • Represented the Town of Lochbuie, Colorado as bond counsel in its issuance of $1.58 million in Colorado Water Activity Enterprise Water Revenue Refunding and Improvement Series 2007 Bonds.

  • Represented the Eagle Ranch Metropolitan District as bond counsel in its issuance of $6.8 million of General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2007.

  • Represented Waterfront Metropolitan District as bond counsel in connection with its issuance of $5.5 million Limited Tax General Obligation Refunding and Improvement Bonds -- Series 2007, for general public infrastructure improvements.

  • Represented Vintage Reserve Metropolitan District as bond counsel in connection with its issuance of $6 million in Limited Tax (convertible to Unlimited Tax) General Obligation Refunding and Improvement Bonds.

  • Represented a large electric utility in an enforcement action containing numerous alleged violations of the Clean Air Act against one of its coal-fired generating stations. The enforcement action was brought by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Justice. After considerable time and effort, the company was able to negotiate a complex settlement with all parties in the form of a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court. The settlement included a fine significantly less than the fine amounts initially proposed by the governments. In addition, the consent decree involved several supplemental environmental projects, including the creation of environmental reduction credits.

  • Brownstein represented a water and sewer district in the condemnation of 1,400 acres of land and 2,300 acre-feet of surface water rights on a river for use in connection with the district's recycled water operations. Condemnation was commenced in Federal Court after pre-condemnation negotiations did not result in an amicable purchase.

  • Advised a major California city on reorganization of its water, wastewater and solid waste utilities, including evaluation of dependent and independent special district, privatization and public-private partnership options and financing. Legal services were provided in conjunction with financial consultants to advise the city on developing an option to meet its short and long term financial goals and commitments.

  • Successfully represented the City of Seaside in the Seaside Groundwater Basin adjudication, including negotiation of settlement of overlying water right claims and litigation of basin management plan.

  • Brownstein showcases its bi-partisan efforts nationally through its involvement with the National Conventions of both political parties. Brownstein founding partner Steve Farber served as co-chair and a member of the executive committee of the Host Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Melissa Kuipers served as Chair of the Colorado Chairman's Host Committee for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. Earlier this year, Melissa Kuipers and Mike Feeley were engaged as legal counsel for the Denver 2016 Convention Host Committee.

  • Amicus curiae on behalf of a regulated utility and groundwater user in City of Barstow v. Mojave Water Agency (2000) 23 Cal.4th 1224.

  • Represent one of the largest water districts in the State of Arizona in connection with the NEPA review of a coal-fire powered plant.

  • In keeping with our effort to be on the forefront of emerging public policy issues, the Brownstein team crafted and passed legislation on behalf of DealerTrack Processing Services to authorize the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles to implement an electronic lien and titling process as well as an electronic temporary tags and vehicle registration process. Brownstein organized a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Department of Motor Vehicles, County Clerks Association and new and used car dealers in order to pass and implement this expansive legislation.

  • Successfully defended and settled complex and high stakes water rights litigation that threatened to enjoin a municipality’s groundwater production and operation of a $30 million groundwater treatment facility, which in turn would have forced the client to rely entirely on costly and less reliable imported supplies. The settlement implements a physical solution that protects the client’s water rights, permits continued operation of its facilities and substantially reduces the threat of future litigation.

  • Provided land use and CEQA compliance advice to a major utility line regarding a large transmission line project traversing two counties.

  • Defended NEPA, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and Federal Power Act challenge to FERC's issuance of a 50-year permit renewal for hydroelectric dam for major utility in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meet The Team

Norman Brownstein Shareholder T 303.223.1101 nbrownstein@bhfs.com
Chris Frahm Shareholder T 619.702.6917 cfrahm@bhfs.com
Michael F. Feeley Shareholder T 303.223.1237 mfeeley@bhfs.com
Gregory W. Berger Shareholder T 303.223.1158 gberger@bhfs.com
Hank Brown Senior Counsel T 303.223.1177 hbrown@bhfs.com
Melissa Kuipers Blake Shareholder T 303.223.1164 mkblake@bhfs.com
Alexander R. Dahl Shareholder T 202.747.0508 adahl@bhfs.com
Beth Collins-Burgard Shareholder T 805.882.1419 bcollins@bhfs.com
Jason R. Dunn Shareholder T 303.223.1100 jdunn@bhfs.com
Milan V. Dalal Of Counsel T 202.383.4709 mdalal@bhfs.com
Rosanna L. Carvacho Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel T 916.594.9714 rcarvacho@bhfs.com
Sarah M. Clark Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel T 303.223.1139 sclark@bhfs.com
Steven W. Farber Shareholder T 303.223.1109 sfarber@bhfs.com
Kenneth Khachigian Senior Partner T 949.498.3879 kkhachigian@bhfs.com
Alfred E. Mottur Shareholder T 202.872.5284 amottur@bhfs.com
Alisa Nave-Worth Shareholder T 702.464.7061 anave-worth@bhfs.com
R. James Nicholson Senior Counsel T 202.652.2344 jnicholson@bhfs.com
William E. Moschella Shareholder T 202.652.2346 wmoschella@bhfs.com
Hal Stratton Shareholder T 505.724.9596 hstratton@bhfs.com
Ryan A. Smith Shareholder T 202.747.0507 rsmith@bhfs.com
Steven O. Sims Shareholder T 303.223.1149 ssims@bhfs.com
Ryan Waterman Shareholder T 619.702.7569 rwaterman@bhfs.com
Barry Jackson Strategic Advisor T 202.652.2342 bjackson@bhfs.com
Brian T. McGuire Policy Director T 202.383.4704 bmcguire@bhfs.com
Brian M. McKeon Senior Policy Advisor T 202.872.5283 bmckeon@bhfs.com
Cate McCanless Policy Director T 202.747.0505 cmccanless@bhfs.com
Carmencita N. M. Whonder Policy Director T 202.652.2343 cwhonder@bhfs.com
Douglas M. Maguire Senior Policy Advisor T 202.872.5289 dmaguire@bhfs.com
Don Perata Policy Director T 916.594.9717 dperata@bhfs.com
Elizabeth M. Gore Policy Director T 202.872.5296 egore@bhfs.com
Elizabeth A. Maier Policy Director T 202.872.5299 emaier@bhfs.com
Greta H. Joynes Policy Advisor T 202.383.4701 gjoynes@bhfs.com
Judy A. Black Policy Director T 202.872.5285 jblack@bhfs.com
Jon Hrobsky Policy Director T 202.872.5294 jhrobsky@bhfs.com
John Sonsalla Policy Advisor T 202.652.2357 jsonsalla@bhfs.com
Luke D. Johnson Policy Director T 202.747.0513 ldjohnson@bhfs.com
Laura Johnson Policy Advisor T 202.652.2349 ljohnson@bhfs.com
Michael B. Levy Policy Director T 202.872.5281 mlevy@bhfs.com
Teresa A. Cooke Policy Advisor T 916.594.9715 tcooke@bhfs.com
Zachary S. Pfister Senior Policy Advisor T 202.652.2345 zpfister@bhfs.com