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Nossaman LLP

Paul S. Weiland

Partner

T 949.833.7800
F 949.833.7878
18101 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 1800
Irvine, CA 92612

Paul Weiland, chair of Nossaman’s Environment and Land Use Practice Group, focuses on litigation, permitting, and compliance counseling.  Mr. Weiland’s clients include public agencies, publicly regulated utilities, private developers, large landowners, and trade associations.  He counsels clients regarding land use, endangered species, wetlands, water quality, air quality, climate change, green building, transportation, and hazardous substances issues.

In addition, Mr. Weiland litigates environmental and natural resources matters at the trial and appellate court levels.  His experience includes litigation involving the Administrative Procedure Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, Endangered Species Act (ESA), Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Forest Management Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Wilderness Act.

Prior to joining Nossaman, Mr. Weiland worked in the Law and Policy Section, Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. There, he was lead counsel for the United States in a number of high profile trial and appellate cases. He assisted federal agencies in the formulation of policies and rules and has drafted comments on proposed legislation regarding the ESA, federalism and preemption, the NEPA, regulatory reform, small business, defense, and transportation. 

Mr. Weiland regularly comments on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States on the Firm’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog.

Representative Work

Litigation

  • New Mexico Department of Game and Fish v. Department of the Interior, 854 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2017). Representing plaintiffs in case challenging release of captive Mexican wolves into an experimental population in New Mexico in violation of federal and state law. The Firm successfully obtained a preliminary injunction from the district court against the federal government, halting the release of captive wolves within the State of New Mexico. Defendants and intervenors appealed from the preliminary injunction, and the Tenth Circuit reversed on grounds that New Mexico failed to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm. The case is expected to proceed to the merits stage in district court.
  • Union Neighbors United v. Jewell, 831 F.3d 564 (D.C. Cir. 2016). Serve as lead litigation counsel for client, Buckeye Wind LLC, which is pursuing permits for a 100-turbine wind energy project in Ohio. The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected plaintiff-appellants claims that the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act in issuing an Incidental Take Permit for the project, but the court agreed with plaintiff-appellants that the Service violation the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to consider a sufficiently comprehensive range of alternatives. The matter has been remanded to the Service to conduct additional environmental analysis.
  • Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4854 (9th Cir. March 25, 2015).  Represented defendant City and County of San Francisco in an action alleging violation of section 9 of the ESA.  Obtained grant of motion to dismiss action as moot as well as denial of motions for preliminary relief and summary judgment in the trial court. The Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal as moot.
  • Coalition for a Sustainable Delta v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, E.D. Cal. Case No. 09-2024.  Successfully represented plaintiffs Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and Kern County Water Agency in action challenging the Federal Emergency Management Agency for failure to consult under the ESA regarding the effects of the National Flood Insurance Program on listed species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Obtained settlement requiring FEMA to consult and pay attorney’s fees.
  • Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, 717 F. Supp. 2d 1021 (E.D. Cal., 2010). rev’d 747 F.3d 581 (9th Cir. 2014) Represented plaintiffs Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and Kern County Water Agency in consolidated actions challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2008 biological opinion for continued operations of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project on the grounds that the Service violated the Administrative Procedure Act and ESA when it issued that opinion.  Obtained injunctive relief and grant of summary judgment of all claims in the trial court, which was reversed by a 2-1 decision in the Ninth Circuit.
  • U.S. v. Atlantic Research, 551 U.S.128 (2007).  Successfully represented numerous public water agencies and private water purveyors including the Association of California Water Agencies as amicus curiae in a case involving the ability of parties to recover cleanup costs under section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
  • Spirit of the Sage Council v. Norton, 511 F. Supp. 2d 31 (D.D.C. 2007).  Successfully represented a number of public and private sector Intervenor-Defendants that intervened to defend the No Surprises Rule and Permit Revocation Rule promulgated by Fish and Wildlife Service to implement the habitat conservation planning provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

Compliance Counseling and Permitting

  • Kern County Water Agency.  Counsel client regarding the development of a $25 billion infrastructure project (California WaterFix) to improve water supply and fulfill federal and state Endangered Species Act as well as California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act requirements.
  • Coalition for a Sustainable Delta.  Collaborate with client team to develop a strategy to address significant contributors to ecosystem decline in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Assist client with implementation of strategy including through participation in regulation and legal proceedings.
  • Tenaska.  Assist client with endangered species and wetland permitting issues associated with development of a photovoltaic solar energy projects in Imperial County, California.
  • Dairy Cares.  Work with client team to evaluate petition to list tricolored blackbird under the California Endangered Species Act including by assessing the legal and scientific bases for the petition. Represent client in front of the California Fish and Game Commission and Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • Imperial Irrigation District.  Counsel client regarding federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and California Hazardous Waste Control Act (HWCA) compliance.  Represent client in discussions with EPA regarding storage and disposal of equipment containing PCBs.

Awards & Honors

Named one of California's Top 25 Land-Use Attorneys in 2011 by Daily Journal

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Environmental Litigation from 2010-2016 by Los Angeles magazine

Named a Southern California "Rising Star" in 2008 and 2009 by Los Angeles magazine

Awarded Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005 by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft

Paul S. Weiland
Paul S. Weiland

Practices

Education

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1999, Heyman Fellowship

Ph.D., Indiana University, 1996, Center for Urban Policy and Environmental Dissertation Fellowship, School of Public and Environmental Affairs Doctoral Fellowship

B.A., University of Southern California, 1992, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, All-USA College Academic Team

Admissions

California

Massachusetts

Supreme Court of California

U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit

Supreme Court of California

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit 

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit 

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

United States District Court, Central District of California

United States District Court, Eastern District of California 

United States District Court, Southern District of California 

United States District Court, Northern District of California

United States District Court, District of Colorado 

United States District Court, District of New Mexico

United States District Court, District of Columbia

United States District Court, Western District of Texas

United States Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

Adjunct Faculty, University of California, Davis

American Bar Association, Section on Energy, Environment, and Resources

Harvard Law School Association, Environmental Law Section

Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Distinguished

Awards & Honors

Named one of California's Top 25 Land-Use Attorneys in 2011 by Daily Journal

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Environmental Litigation from 2010-2016 by Los Angeles magazine

Named a Southern California "Rising Star" in 2008 and 2009 by Los Angeles magazine

Awarded Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005 by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft

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