Scott L. Shapiro

Scott L. Shapiro

Managing Partner

Scott L. Shapiro

Managing Partner

Scott Shapiro is known for his expertise in flood protection improvement projects throughout California’s Central Valley.

He is helping clients with more than a billion dollars in projects in California's Central Valley and issues involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) throughout the Western United States.

With a special focus on massive flood protection improvement projects, Scott advises clients through regulatory, contractual, financing, and legislative challenges. Acting as general or special counsel, he regularly interacts with senior management at USACE (Headquarters, South Pacific Division, and Sacramento District), the California Department of Water Resources, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.  He was named to the National Section 408 Task Force and has been invited to give testimony to the National Academies. Scott was instrumental in helping the first regional flood improvement agency that took a basin threatened by flood risk from less than 30-year level of protection to a level of protection approaching 200-year.

Having worked with FEMA on issues of floodplain mapping and levee accreditation for many years, Scott has developed collaborative environments in which he fosters win-win solutions for his clients.  He is also currently serving as the lead counsel on a flood insurance rate map (FIRM) appeal and has drafted Federal legislation to modify the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) several times.

Scott is known throughout the region for his extensive litigation experience focusing on cases arising from levee failures. He has litigated levee failures resulting from underseepage, failed encroachments, and rodent burrows as well as briefing levee overtopping cases at the appellate level. Scott is one of the few attorneys with experience litigating flood cases on behalf of plaintiffs as well as defendant government entities.


  • General Counsel to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority, the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency, and the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency on all issues, including formulation of nearly a billion dollars of levee improvement programs, before all regulatory agencies, and on all funding acquisition issues.
  • General Counsel, Special Counsel, or Program Manager to other regional flood agencies advancing nearly a billion dollars of levee improvement programs.
  • Special Counsel for the Cities of Burlington and Mt. Vernon (Washington) prosecuting an appeal of flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) issued by FEMA under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Counsel private companies and developers throughout California on flood protection issues, including navigating complicated regulatory environments for residential, industrial, and commercial development. Interact with FEMA on issues of floodplain mapping, special hazard flood zones, levee accreditation, and floodmap appeals.
  • Defend public agencies in flood damages cases and represent flooded landowners in legal actions against State, local flood control districts, city, and private landowner.
  • Develop state and federal legislation and regulations on floodplain management issues.
  • Senior Advisor to the Agricultural Floodplain Management Alliance and Convener of the National Coalition of Flood Project Partners.
  • Guide non-Federal sponsors through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' feasibility study process including negotiation of cost-sharing agreements, drafting of key sections of report, and presenter at Civil Works Review Board (CWRB).

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Senior Fellow, American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter, Class XVII
  • Board Member and Legal Affairs Committee Chair, Association of California Water Agencies, 2010-2013; Legal Affairs Committee Member, 2010-present
  • President, Shalom School, 2013-2015
  • President, Jewish Community Foundation of the West, 2006-2009
  • President, Hillels at Davis and Sacramento, 1997-2000
  • Chair, Flood Team, Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Cap2Cap Program, 2007-2015
  • Chair, Sacramento Metro Chamber's Cap2Cap Program, 2016
  • Member, Floodplain Management Association
  • Board Member, Valley Vision, 2014-present
  • Founding Editor-in-Chief, Floodplain Management and Liability Reporter
  • Former Member, Editorial Board, California Water Law & Policy Reporter
  • Former Contributing Editor, California Water Law Newsletter

Honors And Rankings

  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Environmental, 2016
  • Communication and Outreach Award, Floodplain Management Association, National Coalition of Flood Project Partners, 2013

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