Law Seminars International Presents: The Fourth Annual Advanced Conference on

Tribal Water Law in California
Effective Tribal participation in resolution of water issues in California

October 27 & 28, 2016
Harrah's Resort Southern California in Valley Center, CA
Anyplace you may be via webcast!

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Who Should Attend

Attorneys, Tribal, local, state and federal governmental representatives, environmental professionals, business executives, water users and their representatives

Why You Should Attend

The severe drought in California and the new State groundwater law are major factors that serve to highlight the increasing significance of Tribal water rights and Tribal governments in discussions regarding water availability, conservation and regulation in California.

The Tribes' Winters Doctrine reserved rights, as well as water rights protected under state law, come into play with respect to both surface water and groundwater. Tribal reserved water rights with early priority dates have been at the forefront in a number of federal and state licensing and resource allocation proceedings in which Tribal fishing rights dependent on adequate stream flows for their exercise are involved (as in the Klamath, Trinity and Eel River basins). Because many of these Tribal water rights have been unquantified, the past approach has often been to simply ignore them until a Tribe or the United States actively asserts the Tribe's rights. More recently, state and local governments and water agencies have begun to recognize that consideration of Tribal water rights is important for the development of effective policies for water resource protection, development and allocation in many areas of California.

This comprehensive conference will present an overview of the federal and California law governing Tribal water rights, with specific attention to the interplay of those rights and the challenges facing all water users in California. to the success of these initiatives. California's reliance on groundwater increases substantially during a drought.

This conference will focus attention on tribal governments that are grappling with the drought and the new State laws regulating groundwater as they develop strategies to protect and preserve their water rights and access to water sources. Specifically, we will consider how federally reserved water rights interface with the state's new regulatory scheme and existing state groundwater law, and how tribal interests and concerns can be advanced in this new water-scarce and regulatory environment.

Throughout our Tribal Water Law conference, we will explore ways in which Tribes, local governments and water agencies can work cooperatively to ensure an adequate and sustained supply of water for mutually beneficial uses into the future. We hope you can join us.

~ Colin Cloud Hampson, Esq. and Denise Turner Walsh, Esq., Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs


Thursday, October 27, 2016

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Colin Cloud Hampson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP / San Diego, CA

Denise Turner Walsh, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians / Valley Center, CA

8:45 am

Update on Implementation of California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and Follow Up on Legislation with an Impact on Tribes

Update on the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Tribal Consultation Policy and Tribal engagement relating to SGMA and Best Management Practices (BMP's) going forward

Anecita Agustinez, Tribal Policy Advisor
California Department of Water Resources / Sacramento, CA

Update on designation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs); other developments with an impact on Tribes

Art Bunce, Esq.
Law Offices of Art Bunce / Escondido, CA

10:15 am


10:30 am

California Water Fix and Plan for the Delta

Update on the Joint Biological Opinion and resulting Incidental Take Permit, Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, and California WaterFix

Douglas E. Coty, Esq.
Bold Polisner Maddow Nelson & Judson / Walnut Creek, CA

11:15 am

Klamath Basin Water and Resources: Dams, Adjudication, and Resolution Efforts

Update on the current status, how we got here, and prospects for future resolution of the issues

Paul S. Simmons, Esq.
Somach Simmons & Dunn / Sacramento, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Conjunctive Management and Tribal Water Rights Conflicts in Times of Drought

Issues arising from prior appropriation rights for groundwater and reasonable use rights for surface water: Update on delivery calls to junior rights holders and curtailment actions; need for aquifer recharge after precipitation returns to normal

David Sandino, Esq., Adjunct Professor
Santa Clara University School of Law / Santa Clara, CA

Conjunctive management issues arising during implementation of Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Water Settlement Act

Karl E. Johnson, Esq.
Johnson Barnhouse & Keegan LLP / Los Ranchos, NM

Behrooz Mortazavi, PhD., P.E., Principal
Water Resources Engineers, Inc. / Corona, CA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Resolving Groundwater Rights Disputes for Tribes

California state processes for adjudicating disputes over basin boundaries and individual rights within basins; scope of state authority to quantify Tribal rights; tips for effective Tribal participation

Colin Cloud Hampson, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP / San Diego, CA

Avoiding litigation: Update on recent Tribal water settlements and tips for obtaining federal support for pursuing and funding settlements

Ryan P. Jackson, Chairman
Hoopa Valley Tribe / Hoopa, CA

Katie Brossy, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

Robert S. Pelcyger, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Boulder, CO

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP and Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians


Friday, October 28, 2016

8:30 am

Litigation Update

Case study of the Agua Caliente litigation including the process, decisions, and what happens next

Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Esq., Staff Attorney
Native American Rights Fund / Boulder, CO

Other state and federal water cases of particular interest to Tribes

Ryan A. Smith, Esq.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP / Washington, DC

10:00 am


10:15 am

Water Quality: Tips for Using the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act to Protect Tribal Waters

EPA and Indian Health Service (IHS) jurisdiction; addressing groundwater issues through regulation of surface water; tips for making effective use of federal help to protect drinking water systems

Sam Cohen, Esq., General Counsel
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians / Santa Ynez, CA

11:00 am

Preparing for Sustainability Planning by Quantifying Tribal Water Rights

Legal options for quantifying rights; special issues for Tribes with small land bases or little irrigational land; impact of federally reserved rights vs. removal of trust status

Mason D. Morisset, Esq.
Morisset Schlosser Jozwiak & Somerville / Seattle, WA

11:30 am

Water Bond Funding for Tribal Planning and Projects

Update on disbursements and remaining available funds; tips for putting together a successful application

John Flores, Manager, Domestic Water Department
San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians / Valley Center, CA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Development of GSAs and GSPs: Effective Tribal Participation in the State's Processes

GSAs: The nuts and bolts for becoming a GSA; state role in formation or selection of GSAs; what GSAs may manage; limits on authority; rules governing boundary changes; special issues for Tribes as GSAs

Jeremy N. Jungreis, Esq.
Rutan & Tucker LLP / Costa Mesa, CA

GSPs: Technical tips for complying with Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations and legally significant issues with GSP development

Iris Priestaf, Ph.D., President
Todd Groundwater / Alameda, CA

Processes for challenging GSPs including forums; standing; standards for review; and tips for participating in plan development with the possibility of appeal in mind

Theodore J. Griswold, Esq.
Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP / San Diego, CA

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn


Time Shift Your Content

Order Homestudy


Regular tuition for in person or webcast attendance for this program is $895 with a group rate of $670 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For Tribal members and government employees, we offer a special rate of $595. For students, people in their job for less than a year, and public interest NGO's, our rate is $447.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Materials will be available for download and review a few days before the seminar. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Contact our office for more information.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 11.75 California MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


The conference will be held at the Harrah's Resort Southern California at 777 Valley Center Rd. in Valley Center, CA 92082. Call the hotel directly at (760) 751-3100 for reservations and mention you are attending the Law Seminars International conference. Tribal members should ask for the Tribal discount. Rooms are on a first come, first served basis.
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Cancellation & Substitution

You may substitute another person at any time. We will refund tuition, less a $50 cancellation fee, if we receive your cancellation by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016. After that time, we will credit your tuition toward attendance at another program or the purchase of a webcast or audio replay.

Faculty Bios

Colin Cloud Hampson, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Perry LLP, a national Native American rights firm. He represents Indian tribes and Tribal organizations in litigation, transactional, governmental affairs and other matters.

Denise Turner Walsh, Program Co-Chair, is the Attorney General for the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians. She represents the Tribe in civil matters in Tribal, state and federal administrative proceedings and before Tribal, state and federal courts.

Anecita Agustinez is the Tribal Policy Advisor for the California Department of Water Resources. She has been actively engaged with DWR's various divisions assisting in Tribal consultation and in the development of DWR's Tribal Consultation Policy.

Katie Brossy, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, is a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She has worked on a number of highly significant Tribal issues, including one of largest Indian water rights settlements in U.S. history and the largest Tribal trust claim settlement.

Art Bunce represents the Barona Band of Indians and has participated in both development of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and the Department of Water Resources implementation planning processes.

Sam Cohen has served as the Government Affairs Officer and General Counsel for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, located in Santa Barbara County, since 2005. He has represented Tribal governments since 1996.

Douglas E. Coty, Bold Polisner Maddow Nelson & Judson, currently serves as General Counsel for the Oakwood Lake Water District in Manteca and is the firm's lead attorney for the Contra Costa Water District. He participates in the Legal Affairs Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies.

John Flores is the Director of the Environmental Department and Manager of the Domestic Water Department for the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians. He has worked in Indian Country for over 9 years on Tribal environmental, water, and waste water issues.

Theodore J. Griswold is a partner at Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP and serves as Chair of the Native American team. He counsels clients on Native American governance, intergovernmental agreements, natural and cultural resources, wetlands, habitat, environmental and land use matters.

Ryan P. Jackson is Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Karl E. Johnson is the managing partner of Johnson Barnhouse & Keegan LLP. His practice focuses on Tribal economic development, environmental protection, and Indian land and water rights.

Jeremy N. Jungreis is senior counsel in Rutan & Tucker LLP's Government & Regulatory Section. He has particular expertise in groundwater law and currently serves as General Counsel for the Pauma Valley Community Services District, Assistant General Counsel for the Vista Irrigation District and Serrano Water District, and General Counsel for the Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Company and the Hadronex Corporation.
Full bio and contact info for Jeremy N. Jungreis at Rutan & Tucker LLP

Mason D. Morisset, Director at Morisset Schlosser Jozwiak & Somerville, is responsible for Indian treaty and water rights litigation including successful arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Washington and California Supreme Courts and the FERC.

Behrooz Mortazavi, Ph.D., P.E., is a Principal at Water Resources Engineers, Inc. For over two decades, he was in charge of developing and implementing water resources management plans at Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD). During his tenure, EMWD secured its groundwater water rights after an Indian Water Rights Settlement, which was enacted by Congress.

Robert S. Pelcyger has practiced Indian law, with emphasis on Tribal sovereignty, water and other natural resource issues, for more than 40 years. He was one of the attorneys who started the Native American Rights Fund.

Iris Priestaf, Ph.D., is President of Todd Groundwater. She has more than 30 years of experience in groundwater investigations, combining research and teaching at the university level and consulting on a variety of water management issues.

Professor David Sandino of Santa Clara Law School is a former Chief Counsel for the California Department of Water Resources. During his 20 year tenure with the Department, he also served as lead counsel for the California Reclamation Board (currently named the Central Valley Flood Protection Board) which is responsible for flood control protection in Central Valley.

Paul S. Simmons, shareholder at Somach Simmons & Dunn, focuses on water rights and environmental issues affecting water resources. He is widely known for his extensive involvement in the Klamath Basin of Oregon and California, where he has represented irrigation interests from both states and led a coalition of 20 parties in an ongoing general stream adjudication.

Ryan A. Smith is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP. Before joining Brownstein, he served as a senior legislative advisor to former Senate Minority Whip, Jon Kyl (RAZ), and Deputy Counsel for the Arizona Department of Water Resources. He successfully ushering through Congress significant pieces of legislation concerning Indian water settlements, the Colorado River, water management, and federal funding for Indian Country.

Heather Whiteman Runs Him is a Staff Attorney at the Native American Rights Fund where she focuses on Tribal water rights and natural resource issues. She previously served as Joint Lead Counsel for the Crow Tribe of Montana for a wide variety of legal issues including water rights.