Veteran Environmental Attorneys Kathryn Oehlschlager and Donald Sobelman Join Downey Brand

November 2, 2015
Firm Furthers its Bay Area Commitment with Expansion of San Francisco Office

November 2, 2015 (San Francisco, CA) – Downey Brand LLP is pleased to announce the addition of two noted environmental law partners in its San Francisco office, Kathryn Oehlschlager and Donald Sobelman, previously of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP. Their addition follows the arrival of three attorneys in the San Francisco office earlier this year and complements Downey Brand’s well-established statewide natural resources, land use, and environmental practice.

“We are pleased to welcome Kathryn and Don to the firm,” said Managing Partner Scott Shapiro.  “Their knowledge, experience and outstanding legal abilities further strengthen our environmental law practice and enhance our presence in the Bay Area.”  Chairman, Stan Van Vleck noted that “as environmental legislation and regulations continue to evolve, we have made a concerted effort to strategically grow our practice to meet client demands.”  “With Kathryn and Don joining the team, we are well-positioned to do so,” he added.

Kathryn’s practice focuses on environmental and land use litigation and compliance counseling under federal and state statutes.  Over the course of her career, she has gained extensive experience in all aspects of environmental and land use law, including the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, federal and state endangered species laws, water rights, and laws governing solid and hazardous waste.  Kathryn earned her J.D.  from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 2003 and her B.A. in English literature from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1999.

With more than 15 years of environmental law experience, Don is adept in representing clients in matters spanning a wide spectrum of environmental and natural resources law.  He has particular expertise in environmental and land use litigation, compliance with Clean Water Act requirements related to storm water, and brownfields site cleanup and redevelopment.  Don also has significant experience in representing clients in litigation at the appellate level. At Downey Brand, he will continue to advise a broad range of public and private clients.  Don earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996, where he was Managing Editor for Harvard Environmental Law Review.  He received his B.A, summa cum laude, in English from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1991, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

"We are excited about joining Downey Brand and becoming part of this formidable and talented environmental team,” said Oehlschlager.  Additionally, “Downey Brand’s notable water law, real estate, and litigation practices are a huge benefit to our clients and provide the additional resources they need.” said Sobelman.  “We look forward to contributing to the growth of the San Francisco office and working with lawyers across the firm.”

About Downey Brand LLP

Founded in California’s capital city of Sacramento in 1926, Downey Brand is strategically positioned to serve clients in business, natural resources and litigation matters throughout California, Northern Nevada and beyond. As a preeminent full-service law firm, we offer counsel in more than 30 areas of civil practice including water, agriculture, corporate, civil litigation, environmental law, business planning, intellectual property, bankruptcy, employment, construction, real estate, trusts and estates and family law.  With 29 lawyers in its Natural Resources Department, the firm has one of the deepest natural resources and environmental practices in California. 

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