Ben Rubin assists developers, public agencies, landowners and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters. He counsels clients on matters dealing with the Federal and State Endangered Species Act, the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act, the California Hazardous Waste Control Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Act, the California Permit Streamlining Act and the Federal and State Constitutions. These matters generally involve federal and state permitting issues, local zoning issues and variances, environmental planning and compliance, right-to-take challenges and valuation of property interests. Ben also has experience assisting property owners and businesses with lease disputes and breach of contract claims.

Prior to joining Nossaman in 2007, Ben was a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford, United States District Judge. He also served as an intern for the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh, United States Magistrate Judge.

Ben regularly comments on news, events and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the U.S. on the Firm's Endangered Species Law & Policy blog. He also frequently comments on court decisions, news and events impacting eminent domain on the Firm's California Eminent Domain Report blog.



Montebello Hills Specific Plan Project. Provided environmental compliance counseling, including on CEQA document development and defended CEQA and specific plan project approvals for project proposing up to 1,200 single family homes, internal circulation network, backbone water system and supporting infrastructure, parkland and hiking trails and a 260-acre nature reserve for the threatened California gnatcatcher. Judgment for client in both the California Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal.

Diversified Pacific Development Company. Provided environmental compliance advice, including on CEQA document development and defended CEQA and Subdivision Map Act approvals for 71-unit project in the City of Highland.

Back Bay Landing. Part of team that provided compliance advice, including on CEQA document development and Coastal Act compliance and defended CEQA and other environmental approvals for residential and mixed-use project for a primarily undeveloped/underutilized 31-acre bay front site in Newport Beach, California.

Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies. Provides environmental compliance, including on CEQA document development and litigation support for large-scale infrastructure projects, including advice related to CEQA, NEPA, California Coastal Act and the Endangered Species Act. Also acts as general counsel to the Agencies, providing compliance counseling related to the California Ralph M. Brown Act and Public Records Act.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Defended light rail transit project from various challenges under CEQA, NEPA and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. Also provided environmental compliance and strategy recommendations on other matters regarding the federal and state Endangered Species Act, CEQA and NEPA. Also provided compliance advice related to state privacy law.

Imperial Irrigation District. Counseled client regarding federal Toxic Substances Control Act and California Hazardous Waste Control Act compliance. Represented client in discussions with EPA.

City of Bakersfield. Key part of team defending City’s CEQA approvals for a multimillion dollar freeway project connecting State Route 99 with I-5 and including major improvements to State Routes 99, 58 and 178. Judgment for client in both the California Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal.

Kern County Water Agency. Key part of team representing client in litigation regarding CEQA and Endangered Species Act approvals for the State Water Projects.

LA Department of Water and Power. Provide Coastal Act compliance counseling related to utility replacement project.

Wind Energy Partnership. Assisted client with permitting and litigation regarding a wind energy project in Riverside County, California.

Capistrano Unified School Dist. v. County of Orange et al., Court of Appeal Case No. G056177 (May 7, 2019). Defended the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency’s environmental approval for bridge safety project. Judgment for client in both the California Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal.

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish v. Department of the Interior, 854 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2017). Represented the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in proceedings challenging release of captive Mexican wolves into an experimental population in New Mexico in violation of federal and state law. As a result of the litigation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Department regarding future releases, allowing the Department to dismiss the litigation.

Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4854 (9th Cir. 2015). Part of team that defended City and County of San Francisco in an action alleging the City and County's operation of public property resulted in harm to a protected species in violation of Section 9 of the federal Endangered Species Act. The U.S. District Court dismissed the action and judgment was affirmed on appeal.

HonoluluTraffic.com v. Federal Transit Administration, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157937 (D. Haw. Nov. 1, 2012), aff'd 742 F.3d 1222 (9th Cir. 2014). Part of team that successfully represented the City of Honolulu in the defense of a $5 billion, 20-mile, rail transit project. The case included claims under the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act and section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act.

Sprint Spectrum L.P., et al. v. County of San Mateo et al., Case Nos. C 08-0342, C 11-0056, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171810 (Dec. 4, 2013). Successfully represented plaintiff Sprint Spectrum L.P. in challenge to County's denial of use permit renewal for wireless telecommunications facility. The litigation resulted in a U.S. District Court judgment in favor of the client.

Coalition for a Sustainable Delta v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 812 F. Supp. 2d 1089 (E.D. Cal. 2011). Successfully represented plaintiffs Coalition for a Sustainable Delta and Kern County Water Agency in challenge to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's administration of the National Flood Insurance Program in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Plaintiffs alleged that the Agency failed to comply with the consultation requirements under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The litigation resulted in a settlement obligating the Agency to consult and pay attorney's fees.

Coalition for a Sustainable Delta v. Koch, Case No. 08-397, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37306 (E.D. Cal. 2011). Successfully represented plaintiffs in challenge over the State of California's enforcement of sport-fishing regulations. Plaintiffs alleged that enforcement of the regulations violated section 9 of the Federal Endangered Species Act, which generally prohibits "take" of federal protected species. The litigation resulted in a settlement with the State requiring the California Department of Fish and Game to develop a regulatory proposal, with input from the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, to amend the sport-fishing regulations. The settlement included the establishment of a $1 million fund for research on the effects of predation on listed species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Building Industry Association of the San Joaquin Valley v. City of Fresno, Case No. F052538, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6806 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008). Successfully represented plaintiff Building Industry Association in an action challenging the City of Fresno's adoption of a fire sprinkler ordinance. Judgment in favor of client and affirmed on appeal.



Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements


Community & Professional

American Bar Association, Member

International Right of Way Association, Chapter 67 –  President (2013-2014), President Elect (2012-2013)

Orange County Bar Association, Member

Orange County Jewish Bar Association, Member

Orange County Business Council, Member


Honors & Recognitions

Selected to the Southern California Rising Stars list, 2013-2019



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