Law Seminars International Presents:

15th Annual Advanced Seminar on


Critical updates on major developments for attorneys, environmental and real estate professionals, planners, and agency officials

September 13, 2019

Los Angeles, CA

Download PDF Brochure
Seminar Image

Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, real estate and environmental professionals, corporate managers, and governmental representatives

Why You Should Order

This is another big year in CEQA law and policy. Once again this seminar will feature presentations on the most important developments confronting land use and environmental professionals today. This year has witnessed some significant developments in CEQA review as the Supreme Court has provided new guidance about the standard of review to be applied in CEQA cases, and how health impacts come into play. We will examine the timing and need for health risk assessments. Greenhouse gas emissions analysis and mitigation is ever evolving so we will be tracking the changes that have been occurring. Additionally, the new regime for traffic impacts, Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), will be taking the state by storm this year so our faculty will explain what you need to know. We will have experts that explain the new type of CEQA document, the Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment, that is coming more and more online this year. We will include the perennial favorite discussion with a leading CEQA attorney about the many published CEQA decisions over the last twelve months.

We hope you will join us.

~ James L. Arnone, Esq. of Latham & Watkins and Douglas Carstens, Esq. of Chatten-Brown & Carstens, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • New guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions
  • Standards of review after Friant Ranch
  • When and how for health risk assessments
  • Making the transition from LOS to VMT for transportation impacts
  • Viability of Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessments and Project Exemptions
  • Legislative developments for creating more affordable housing and their relationship to CEQA
  • Comprehensive CEQA case law analysis

What Attendees Said

  • "Overall great group of speakers."
  • "Panelists represented a good range of fields and interests. Well moderated session."
  • "Impressive collection of presenters!"
  • "I really appreciate the diversity of perspectives on the panels!"
  • "Good timing, questions addressed; will return next year."

Friday, September 13, 2019

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

James L. Arnone, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Latham & Watkins / Los Angeles, CA

Douglas Carstens, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Chatten-Brown & Carstens / Hermosa Beach, CA

8:45 am

Climate Change Analyses: Case Law, Regulatory Updates, and Prognostications

Nicole Buffa, Esq.
Latham & Watkins / Costa Mesa, CA

Adrian Martinez, Esq. , Staff Attorney
Earthjustice / Los Angeles, CA

10:00 am


10:15 am

The Shifting Sands of CEQA Standards of Review

The road to Friant Ranch and beyond

Susan Brandt-Hawley, Esq.
Brandt-Hawley Law Group / Glen Ellen, CA

Christi Hogin, Esq. , Of Counsel
Best Best & Krieger LLP / Manhattan Beach, CA

11:15 am

Health Risk Assessments: When, How, and Whether to do Them

Selecting your legal strategy and communicating scientific findings in a way lay people can understand

Joseph Power , Principal
Rincon Consultants / Ventura, CA

Sarah E. Owsowitz, Esq.
Best Best & Krieger / Walnut Creek, CA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

VMT is Coming: Are You Ready?

Tips for transitioning from traffic assessments to transportation engineering concepts

Patrick A. Gibson, Esq. , President
Gibson Transportation Consulting, Inc. / Los Angeles, CA

2:15 pm

SCEAs: A New Animal in the CEQA Menagerie

Tips for using Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessments

Kathryn Phelan, Esq. , Deputy City Attorney
City of Los Angeles / Los Angeles, CA

Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq
Strumwasser & Woocher / Los Angeles, CA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Legislative Update: Housing and Other Developments

Howard Penn , Executive Director
Planning and Conservation League / Sacramento, CA

4:00 pm

New Developments in CEQA Case Law

Andrea K. Leisy, Esq.
Remy Moose Manley LLP / Sacramento, CA

5:00 pm

Evaluations & Adjourn

Faculty Bios

James L. Arnone, James L. Arnone, Program Co-Chair, is Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department at Latham & Watkins. He also also serves on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where he serves as Chair of its Environmental Policy Committee.

Douglas Carstens, Douglas Carstens, Program Co-Chair, is the Managing Partner of Chatten-Brown & Carstens. He has extensive experience in environmental, land use, municipal and natural resource matters.

Susan Brandt-Hawley, Susan Brandt-Hawley, Brandt-Hawley Law Group, represents public-interest groups in preservation issues. Her cases have contributed to precedent in the six districts of the Court of Appeals and in the California Supreme Court.

Nicole Buffa Nicole Buffa is Counsel at Latham & Watkins. She rejoined Latham after serving eight years in the Obama Administration, most recently at the United States Department of the Interior.

Patrick A. Gibson, Patrick A. Gibson, P.E., T.E., PTOE, President of Gibson Transportation Consulting, Inc., has over 50 years of experience in preparing traffic and parking analyses for both public and private sector projects, including event centers and stadia, theme parks, movie studios, schools and universities, hospitals and medical centers, office buildings, shopping centers, residential projects, and industrial uses.

Christi Hogin Christi Hogin is Of Counsel at Best Best & Krieger. She serves as city attorney for the cities of Lomita, Malibu and Palos Verdes Estates. She also serves as assistant city attorney to West Hollywood and provides a variety of legal services to other city clients.

Adrian Martinez Adrian Martinez is a Staff Attorney at Earthjustice. He works on clean air, clean energy and environmental justice issues.

Sarah E. Owsowitz Sarah E. Owsowitz if Of Counsel at Best Best & Krieger. She focuses on CEQA advice and litigation, with a particular concentration on large-scale commercial, industrial and residential developments, water projects, and projects with significant cultural resource issues.

Beverly Grossman Palmer is a Beverly Grossman Palmer is a Partner at Strumwasser & Woocher. Before entering the legal profession, she was a Senior Research Associate at the Environmental Law Institute.

Howard Penn Howard Penn is Executive Director of the Planning and Conservation League. It is a statewide non-profit focusing on research, public education, and legislative policies that build a strong economy and a sustainable future for California.

Kathryn Phelan Kathryn Phelan is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. She focuses on land use, CEQA, planning and zoning, and municipal law. She previously served as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Fresno.

Joseph Power Joseph Power is a Principal at Rincon Consultants. He is an expert in the area of sustainability, having coauthored the American Planning Association publication A Planner's Guide to Sustainable Development.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 6.75 California MCLE credits, 6.50 AICP planner credits, and 6.50 ABCEP environmental professional credits.. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.