Rebecca R. A. Smith

Rebecca R. A. Smith

Counsel

Rebecca R. A. Smith

Counsel
  • Counsel clients on claims of riparian and pre-1914 water rights, investigate water rights, and advise clients in interactions with the State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Delaware Tetra Technologies, Inc. v. County of San Bernardino; Center for Biological Diversity v. County of San Bernardino. Representing County in defense of six coordinated actions challenging the Cadiz Groundwater Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project under CEQA and the County’s Desert Groundwater Management Ordinance. Prevailed at trial on all claims in all six actions.
  • Prepare motion for summary judgment for community services district relating to a claim for tax refund, resulting in a $2 million judgment for client.
  • Draft legislation protecting landowner voting structure of irrigation district, and interface with legislative staffers to ensure the bill’s passage.
  • Counsel joint powers authority on matters relating to authority’s powers and obligations under the California Joint Powers Authority Act, and provide advice regarding the restructuring of that authority.
  • Prepare election materials and provide legal guidance regarding election procedures for numerous public agency clients, including California Water Districts, Reclamation Districts, Irrigation Districts, and Community Services Districts. During particularly contentious elections, provide valuable on-site legal advice regarding election challenges and voting procedures.
  • Counsel clients on issues relating to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation water contracts, water allocation and shortage policies, and compliance with federal Reclamation law.
  • Perform detailed CEQA analysis for private developer in connection with permit applications related to second phase of ongoing development project.
  • 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.
  • Represent municipality in large-scale CEQA and groundwater litigation.
  • Prepare and defend comprehensive administration record in advance of litigation.

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