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Jena Shoaf Acos



Jena is an Associate in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Santa Barbara office and a member of the Natural Resources Department.

Mack Carlson



With a background in environmental geology and the analytical skills that come with it, Mack Carlson is a member of the firm’s Natural Resources Department. At Brownstein, Mack works with various partners across the natural resources practice area on a variety of topics, including water law, land use, environmental law and public law.

Before attending law school, Mack was a hydrogeologist in California and Utah, where he worked for an international mining company and an investor-owned water utility. While in law school, he was a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du in Nevada and a legal extern with the Office of the California Attorney General’s Office in the Land, Environment and Natural Resources Section. He also was a panel co-chair of the California Water Law Symposium, served as president of the Water Association of Law & Policy and participated in the inaugural class of the Aoki Water Justice Clinic.

Jessica L. Diaz



With broad experience in California natural resources law, Jessica Diaz works with clients including energy companies and property owners on land use and water regulatory matters, including issues related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and Coastal Act. She also assists on public law matters, including counsel to a variety of public agencies. Prior to her legal career Jessica worked in both state and local government and her familiarity with public agency work supports her ability to advise clients on environmental compliance.

Prior to joining the firm, Jessica clerked for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Joel Bolger. She also worked as a summer law clerk for a San Francisco law firm and for the California Attorney General’s Natural Resources Section.

Combining a background working with and for government agencies, Liz Esposito leverages her diverse, hands-on natural resources experience to provide strategic counsel and advocacy at the junction of water and land use law.

Christopher is an associate in Brownstein’s natural resources practice group where he focuses on land use and water rights.

Prior to joining the firm, Christopher practiced complex litigation at a large international law firm.

Chris Frahm



Law, politics and business converge around nearly every issue concerning water, energy and infrastructure. Chris practices at that intersection, coordinating and strategically planning at the state and local level to help her clients achieve project objectives. She is known for her track record of success in getting water and infrastructure projects done, from initial strategic planning, through agreements. When necessary, she also assists with the defense of those projects against attack in the media, in litigation or otherwise. The head of our San Diego office, Chris is a frequent speaker before a wide variety of professional and community forums.

Stephanie is a Shareholder and member of the firm’s Natural Resources Department. She counsels in water law and related environmental issues. She represents the interests of all water users – wholesale and retail water providers, landowners, home builders, ski resorts, energy developers, industry, golf courses, vineyards and agriculture – in both transactional and litigation matters, at trial and on appeal.

Bradley J. Herrema



Brad is a Shareholder in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Santa Barbara office and a member of the Water & Public Lands Group. His practice includes a broad range of water issues in California and Nevada, including strategic water supply planning, water rights permitting and regulatory compliance, adjudications of groundwater rights, water utility concerns, Indian water rights and environmental matters affecting water use, including CEQA compliance and water quality issues, including those arising under the federal Clean Water Act and California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.

At Brownstein, Kimberly’s recent work includes supporting some of the state’s largest public and private water authorities, agencies and companies in an array of water supply related matters. Kimberly also works with private entities and public agencies on issues related to compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) advises on corporate compliance with California Hazardous Waste Control Law (HWCL).

Ronda Sandquist



Ronda Sandquist serves as a strategic advisor to clients on environmental, regulatory and legislative approaches for major projects and legal compliance. She also represents municipal entities and land development companies on approvals for complex projects and regulatory compliance. Ronda counsels owners and developers of major projects on environmental and natural resource permitting and regulatory compliance – the scope, magnitude and complexity of which often trigger federal environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She applies extensive knowledge of environmental frameworks and alternative compliance strategies throughout the project approval process.

Robert Saperstein



Rob’s practice focuses on water law and related environmental issues, primarily representing public entities potable water and recycled water suppliers. He counsels and advocates in both transactional and litigation settings, and appears before local agencies, the California State Water Resources Control Board, various regional water quality control boards, the California Public Utilities Commission and state and federal courts.

Scott S. Slater



A member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Scott Slater is an experienced litigator and transactional attorney. His practice emphasizes negotiation and strategic planning for his clients including holistic resource management solutions to further clients’ business goals in securing new reliable water supplies. Transactions must be sustainable to survive legal and political scrutiny in the highly charged arena of water. Whether helping guide private companies to serve as public stewards of their water resources or representing public agencies serving the resource needs of their constituents, his creativity and support for innovation can change the paradigm from win-lose to non-zero sum outcomes.

Amy M. Steinfeld



Amy is a member of the Water & Public Lands Group. She has specialized experience in Colorado River Issues and Endangered Species Act compliance. She represents public water agencies, special districts, private landowners and water utilities in both litigation and transactional matters. Amy works on a broad range of water and land use issues, including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance, water rights permitting, administrative proceedings, complex groundwater adjudications, and water supply planning under SB 610/2210.

Brooke Wangsgard practices at the intersection of water rights and land use law, combining both public and private sector experience to deliver results for clients. Her practice encompasses advisory, litigation and regulatory matters across a wide variety of industries, including water, land use, environmental compliance and cannabis. Brooke regularly works on  water rights due diligence and related litigation and counsels clients on compliance with state and federal environmental laws such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Ryan Waterman



Being mindful of the goal without getting lost in the details is a critical part of Ryan’s practice as a land use and environmental attorney. Ryan’s deep familiarity with the land use entitlement process and CEQA/NEPA environmental review are foundational to his practice representing complex pre-approval entitlement and post-approval litigation in the trial and appellate courts. Ryan also delivers strategic advice on California water permitting, regulations, and compliance related to water sufficiency, water quality, storm water permitting, groundwater, infrastructure and policy development. Ryan’s focus on land use and water links issues that go hand-in-hand in California.