Carissa Beecham

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Carissa Beecham focuses her practice on complex business litigation, representing both public and private clients in pre-trial discovery and motion practice through appeals, and in negotiating complex settlement agreements. She has specific experience in CEQA and land use litigation, consumer class actions, and products liability. Carissa is admitted to practice in California, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California; U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Is It Historical Under CEQA? Court Confirms Substantial Evidence Remains the Standard

Citizens for the Restoration of L Street v. City of Fresno, et al., No. F066498,(Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., August 28, 2014) In a two-part opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and writ of mandate, finding that the City of Fresno’s Municipal Code did not delegate authority to its … Continue Reading

Financial Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Determined By Reasonably Prudent Person

In SPRAWLDEF et al. v. San Franscisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, et al. (“SPRAWLDEF”)(certified for publication 5/28/2014), the First Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decision and held the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s (“Commission”) determination that a project alternative was not economically feasible was supported by substantial evidence. The project at issue, … Continue Reading

Failure to Comply With LAFCO Procedural Requirements Proves Fatal to CEQA Suit

In Protect Agricultural Land v. Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission (filed January 28, 2014) (“Protect Agricultural Land”), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed judgment on the pleadings in favor of the Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission (“LAFCO”), and squarely held that all “lawsuits seeking to set aside a LAFCO approval of an … Continue Reading

Vapor Intrusion Risk Insufficient to Trigger EIR for Urban Infill Project

In Parker Shattuck Neighbors, et al. v. Berkeley City Council, et. al. (First Appellate District, December 30, 2013) (“Shattuck Neighbors”), the court upheld the City of Berkeley’s approval of a mitigated negative declaration (“MND”) for a residential infill project. The court found no Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) was necessary because the expert opinion upon which … Continue Reading

Application for State Funds Not A “Project” Under CEQA

In City of Irvine v. County of Orange (“City of Irvine”) (published and modified on November 22, 2013), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that the County of Orange’s (“County”) application for state funding for jail expansion was not a “project” requiring environmental review pursuant to CEQA. In City of Irvine, … Continue Reading
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