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Rebecca Anderson Smith
621 Capitol Mall
Areas of Law:
Water, Environmental, Food & Agriculture Law, Litigation
Admitted to Practice in:
Rebecca Anderson Smith counsels both private and public agency clients on a broad range of litigation and regulatory matters, including water rights, water supply, state and federal food safety rules, land use and development, and CEQA. She also counsels clients on environmental compliance issues, water supply assessments, and groundwater management issues.
Rebecca has significant experience in the area of state and local elections, and has advised public agency clients on matters ranging from Board vacancies to bonds and Mello Roos assessments. Rebecca has developed expertise in public agency law, including the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, and LAFCO. She counsels both public and private clients on easements and other land use matters.
Rebecca advises clients in the farming, wine, and alcoholic beverage industries on food safety compliance, land acquisition matters, and water supply issues. Rebecca's private-industry clients also benefit from her experience in reviewing and drafting supply and service contracts, and in ensuring compliance with state and federal contract and bidding rules.
Rebecca is a member of Downey Brand's food safety compliance team, and in that capacity has counseled farming, food processing, and wine clients on a broad spectrum of food safety regulatory matters. She has particular expertise in the Food Safety Modernization Act, and has written and presented in great depth on the legal issues presented by that federal law.
Prior to her time at Downey Brand, Rebecca attended the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of College and University Law, and as a member of the Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Team. Rebecca serves on the Board of Advisors for the California Water Law Journal.
Counsel clients on food safety compliance, including food safety protocols required by state and federal law and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance.
Assist wine and alcoholic beverage distributors in negotiating distribution agreements and expanding supply network.
Counsel clients on issues relating to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation water contracts, water allocation and shortage policies, and compliance with federal Reclamation law.
Advise clients on matters relating to environmental evaluations and review under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Counsel farming and winery clients on land acquisition matters, including easements, title restrictions, water rights, and development restrictions.
Assist clients in developing and evaluating water supply assessments and developing water supply policies, for future development and current needs.
Counsel public agency client through an election to change the rates and methods of apportionment of a special tax under the California Elections Code and the Mello Roos Act.
Extensive experience responding to, drafting, and challenging requests for public records under the California Public Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
Advise public agency clients on matters relating to Brown Act compliance and proper election procedures.
Counsel joint powers authority on matters relating to authority’s powers and obligations under the California Joint Powers Authority Act.
Served as a Volunteer Law Clerk for the Honorable William M. Skretny of the Federal District Court in Buffalo, New York.
Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Member
State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section, Member
University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D. 2010)
University of California, Davis (B.A. 2006)
Contributing Author: California Water Law and Policy Reporter
Legal Issues in Vineyard Expansion and Development, California Association of Winegrape Growers
Journal of College & University Law, 2009-2010 Editor-in-Chief
American Society for Enology and Viticulture Conference, “Wineries and the Food Safety Modernization Act,” Monterey, June 2013, Speaker
Downey Brand LLP, “Public Agency Ethics Training,” December 2012, Speaker
California Department of Public Health, “Groundwater 101,” April 2012, Speaker
Volunteer Legal Services Program, Lawyers in the Library Volunteer