About the Authors
Benjamin M. Reznik
Ben Reznik is the founder and chair of the Government, Land Use, Environment and Energy Department at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP. Ben's practice emphasizes real estate development entitlements, zoning and environmental issues. He appears regularly before planning commissions, city councils and other governmental boards and agencies, as well as the courts. Ben and his work have been featured in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Business Journal, and he has been included in the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of California's "Top 100" lawyers. Ben leads a group of distinguished attorneys whose work has resulted in JMBM's inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report / Best Lawyers® list of Best Law Firms (2011-2012) with a National First-Tier Ranking and a Metropolitan First-Tier Ranking (Los Angeles) in the area of Land Use and Zoning Law. Contact Ben at BMR@jmbm.com or 310.201.3572.
Kerry Shapiro has a comprehensive government, land use, environmental, and natural resources practice, with extensive experience working with NEPA, CEQA, the Endangered Species Acts, the Mining Law of 1872, FLPMA, the Mineral Materials Act, SMARA, and the Clean Water Act, in relation to various entitlements and public land matters and related litigation, at federal, state, and local levels. Kerry has also specialized in representing the construction and building materials industry on mineral extraction and land development projects for over 20 years, and has secured entitlements for the largest federally-approved sand and gravel project in the United States, obtained the first-ever vested rights confirmation from the State of California for the largest construction aggregate deposit in California, and successfully represented clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on federal endangered species and mining law matters. Contact Kerry at KShapiro@jmbm.com or 415.398.8080.
Sheri Bonstelle's practice focuses on land use, zoning, environmental, litigation and construction matters. She manages all aspects of the entitlement process, including representing clients before local and state agencies, commissions and councils. She coordinates environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and obtains permits and approvals necessary under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, California Coastal Act, and historic preservation laws. She also negotiates participation and development agreements with the Community Redevelopment Agency, and obtains approval of adaptive reuse projects in historic buildings in Los Angeles. She coordinates land use and environmental diligence review for large multi-property portfolio sales and represents signage companies and building owners with respect to preserving signage rights in Los Angeles. Sheri is a licensed architect in the State of New York. Contact Sheri at SBonstelle@jmbm.com or 310.712.6847.
Neill Brower represents JMBM's clients in environmental and land use issues, including permitting and regulatory compliance under CEQA, NEPA, CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and the California Fish and Game Code. Prior to his legal career, Neill worked for 10 years managing and preparing a variety of environmental and urban planning documents, including environmental impact reports and statements, archaeological and historic resources technical studies, and natural resources permit applications. He also provided peer review of planning and technical documents. During this time, Neill worked extensively with local and state agencies as clients and as regulators. Contact Neill at NBrower@jmbm.com or 310.712.6833.
Jon Welner is a leading practitioner of environmental and natural resource law in California. Jon represents clients in all areas of environmental, natural resource, and land use law. His practice includes the regulation of air, water, hazardous substances, hazardous waste, radiological materials, development of contaminated properties ("Brownfields"), energy and water companies, coastal development, endangered species and other natural resources, as well as matters involving CEQA and NEPA (environmental impact reports/studies), and Prop 65. He has special expertise in conducting legal audits and developing compliance systems, and in the early transfer and redevelopment of former military bases. Jon also represents clients on prevailing wage and public contracting matters. Contact Jon at JWelner@jmbm.com or 415.984.9656.
Matthew Hinks is a litigator with a wide-ranging practice that focuses primarily on the representation of real estate developers in difficult land use cases. Matt has extensive experience litigating complex mandamus actions and other claims involving signage disputes, governmental takings, CEQA challenges, planning and zoning law, civil rights violations, eminent domain issues, title disputes, lease disputes and community redevelopment and density bonus law. He has extensive experience in both federal and state courts, including trial courts and courts of appeal, as well as in arbitration, mediation and administrative settings. Contact Matt at MHinks@jmbm.com or 310.201.3558.
Scott Castro specializes in natural resources, land use and environmental law, and has extensive experience with NEPA, CEQA, federal and state Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, FLPMA, and various federal and state mining laws. His clients include renewable and traditional energy companies, mining companies, developers and other interests. He also represents investors and banks conducting due diligence efforts on mining and energy projects. Contact Scott at SCastro@jmbm.com or 415.984.9618.
Alex DeGood's practice focuses on land use, zoning matters, environmental compliance, and litigation. Alex appears in court and before zoning boards, advises clients on permits and regulatory requirements, completes and files land use applications and permits, and works with public agency staff and elected officials. Alex previously served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for a Washington, D.C. governmental affairs firm, where he represented local governments and public agencies on a wide range of infrastructure, redevelopment, and environmental initiatives. Contact Alex at ADeGood@jmbm.com or 310.201.3540.
- April 2013 (1)
- March 2013 (1)
- February 2013 (4)
- January 2013 (1)
- December 2012 (2)
- November 2012 (2)
- October 2012 (1)
- September 2012 (2)
- August 2012 (3)
- July 2012 (2)
- June 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (3)
- April 2012 (2)
- March 2012 (7)
- January 2012 (1)
- December 2011 (3)
- November 2011 (4)
- October 2011 (3)
- July 2011 (1)
- May 2011 (3)
- November 2010 (3)
- October 2010 (1)
- May 2010 (1)
April 25, 2013 CEQA Claimants Be Warned: New California Court of Appeal Opinion Holds That CEQA Filing Deadlines are Mandatory and Not Subject to Extension for Good Cause By Matthew Hinks Statues of limitations issues frequently loom large in litigation under the California...
March 22, 2013 Endangered Species Act to Trump Mining Claims: Supreme Court Lets Stand Ninth Circuit Ruling in Karuk Tribe of California v. U.S. Forest Service By Scott Castro On March 19, 2013, U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal...
February 15, 2013 Save Cuyama Valley v. County of Santa Barbara: JMBM Scores Significant Victory in CEQA Ruling on Significance Thresholds and Mitigation Measures By Scott Castro In a decision published on February 8, 2013, the Second Appellate District...
February 15, 2013 Ninth Circuit Ruling in Center for Biological Diversity v. Salazar Creates Tension Between Federal and California Law Regarding Idle Mines and Interim Management Plans by Kerry Shapiro As reported earlier this week in this blog, the recent Ninth Circuit...
February 11, 2013 Ninth Circuit Upholds BLM's Decision to Allow Uranium Mine -- Idled for Seventeen Years -- to Reopen Without a New Plan of Operations or Supplemental NEPA Review By Scott Castro On February 4, 2013, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued...
February 8, 2013 Saudi Prince Files a $25 Million Lawsuit Against the City of Los Angeles for Illegally Blocking Construction of His Family Residential Estate in Benedict Canyon On February 5, 2013, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell (JMBM) filed a lawsuit in...