Nossaman Lauded as a “California Powerhouse”


Nossaman was among a select group of five law firms recognized as Law360's 2021 California Powerhouses (subscription required). Law360 profiled law firms in the Golden State that stood out over the past year for their exceptional achievements.

Law360 noted that Nossaman is “attached to projects affecting everything that makes California run: its sewage system, its trains and airports, its colleges, its energy and its internet” and highlighted our “award-winning infrastructure team.”

The profile praised our work with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on the “Sepulveda Pass Rail Transit Corridor, a transit system proposed to go between the San Fernando Valley and LAX…which could cost $6 billion to $10 billion” and noted that “Andrée Blais…is leading the legal team helping to facilitate the project.”

Law360 also highlighted the Firm’s role on “all aspects of the $1.1 billion elevated fixed guideway rail project to connect LA Metro's Crenshaw light rail line in Inglewood with the revitalized Market Street commercial area.”

Infrastructure Chair Patrick Harder said that working on these types of projects “is very satisfying, because when the projects are done, we can see that we had an involvement in making it happen…and it's usually something that we know the public is benefiting from."

The Firm’s public pension work was lauded, with Law360 writing that “in July 2020, [Ashley] Dunning and a team of Nossaman lawyers won a unanimous decision from the California Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of pension reform legislation the Legislature adopted in 2012. [They] were representing the Merced County Employees' Retirement Association in a suit brought by the Deputy Sheriffs' Association of Alameda County and had been litigating the case for about eight years.”

Ashley, Co-Chair of the Public Pensions Group, said the ruling “was momentous, just in terms of the importance it has to our clients…and since then, we've been helping a number of our clients interpret and apply that decision."

Also highlighted was Environment and Land Use Group Chair Paul Weiland’s victory “for industry groups including the Almond Alliance of California in November 2020 [where the State Superior Court in Sacramento County ruled] that insects are not protected by the state Endangered Species Act…and bees cannot be classified as fish."

Additionally Steve Kaufmann’s successful warding off of “an appeal of a previous trial court victory, in which a judge ruled that Santa Barbara could not issue a short-term rental vacation ban in its coastal zone” was commended. Law360 stated that “a Second Appellate District Court panel upheld the ruling, which found that the California Coastal Act gives private property owners the right to rent their land on sites like AirBnb and Vrbo, making the state's 2015 short-term rental ban illegal.”

To close the article, George Joseph, Nossaman’s Managing Partner, said the Firm has found a lot of success by staying focused on its strongest practice areas and being highly specialized. "We don't call ourselves a full-service law firm…while we have a lot of different practice areas, what we found that really was best, rather than trying to be all things to all people, was to concentrate on the things that we do the best."

This is the second time that Nossaman has been named a California Powerhouse by Law360.

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