ELJC is comprised of two faculty lawyers, two GGU Law Graduate Fellows, and our student clinicians. ELJC clinicians are certified under California State Bar Rules to perform many attorney duties. Under the strict supervision of the faculty, they interview and advise clients, develop legal strategies, draft legal documents, appear at hearings and negotiate with opposing parties. We will assign your application to one of our certified law students for the admissions process. After a brief interview, we analyze your case to determine if it fits into the mission and objectives of the ELJC and if the clinic`s human resources allow it to represent you. DPH has issued guidelines for emergency responders and shared key CDC guidelines, including: The 18th. In September 2018, the Third Circuit of the California Court of Appeals issued a decision largely confirming our victory in a case of great importance to California`s drinking water. The decision is the first of its kind by an appeals court that states that permits granted to farmers must demonstrate a “high probability” of meeting clean water standards. For more than four decades, the state has taken a soft approach to regulating powerful agribusiness – relying primarily on education, voluntary action to reduce pollution from farmers, and encouraging farmers to be “better” when water quality doesn`t improve. This approach clearly failed, but the state did not want to comply with its own laws without this litigation. Fe Gonzalez provides administrative support to the Environmental and Justice Law Clinic and the WERC. Fe joined the clinics in 2002 and brought with her many years of experience as a legal secretary and paralegal.
In August 2015, a Sacramento court issued a 44-page decision upholding the rights of ELJC customers to cleaner water on the Central Coast. In Monterey Coastkeeper v. California State Water Resources Control Board, the court ordered the state to better regulate water pollution from irrigated farmland on California`s central coast. The decision concerns a vast cultivated area – 435,000 hectares and about 3,000 farms. Clients were jointly represented by the clinic, Stanford Environmental Clinic and California Rural Legal Assistance. The state and an industry group recently appealed the decision. In April 2014, we filed a petition with the U.S. EPA for reconsideration, along with the signatures of more than 24,000 concerned citizens calling on the EPA to determine that lead from aviation fuel poses a threat to human health. On January 27, 2015, the EPA responded to our petition stating that it was delaying the first risk assessment until 2018. This delay is inexcusable.
“The EPA has known for decades that lead has serious public health implications,” said Professor Deborah Behles, quoted in a Law 360 article. We represent Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Oregon Aviation Watch. These efforts stem from the clinic`s research and petition in 2006, and Earthjustice has since joined as co-counsel. Lucas has litigated environmental cases of public interest since graduating from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2008. Lucas worked at the Environmental and Justice Law Clinic (ELJC) as a clinical student and became a graduate scholar from the ELJC after graduation. As an ELJC Graduate Scholar, Lucas has represented low-income communities of color in civil lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Clean Air Act. Lucas successfully advocated for a CEQA appeal on behalf of ELJC`s clients. He has also worked extensively on cases advocating for reducing California`s reliance on fossil fuels in lawsuits before the California Public Utilities Commission. Upon completion of his fellowship, Lucas joined Lexington Law Group (LLG), a public interest environmental and consumer protection firm. At LLG, he has litigated cases involving exposure to toxic chemicals, as well as class action lawsuits involving corporate greenwashing of consumer products. Lucas is thrilled to be returning to ELJC. The seminar examines the legal and policy issues that are at the heart of the environmental justice movement.
Students will specifically address issues that arise when representing customers disproportionately affected by pollution. Topics include the ethical responsibility of lawyers in environmental justice, the interaction between civil rights and environmental justice, and the causes of environmental justice issues. The seminar also provides information and professional training necessary for effective legal representation. Competency training is tailored to the needs of the clinic`s workload, but typically includes environmental law research and writing, fact-finding and short letter writing. DPH COVID-19 Information for Local Boards of Health includes updates to public health guidelines, documents for communicating with the public, and shared preparedness resources. In another case, the clinic served as counsel to the Center for Biodiversity to provide a friend brief of the court, arguing that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction to hear a challenge to a declaratory order from a federal agency, the Surface Transportation Board. But because of its lack of jurisdiction, the court was willing to hear exactly the same legal issue raised in the California Supreme Court case. Our letter, written with the Stanford Environmental Clinic, was the only letter that raised the issue of jurisdiction. Students work under the guidance of two faculty and one graduate student to directly represent clients on public health, toxins and environmental justice issues. Students support the clinic by interviewing clients, researching and writing memos, and writing statements and briefs. Students may also attend conciliation conferences and attend community meetings and court hearings.
If circumstances permit, students can argue in court on behalf of clients. The clinic provides free legal and environmental science advice to non-profit community groups and people working on pollution issues. We focus on communities disproportionately affected by pollution, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. On behalf of Pacific Environment, the clinic received a positive decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which reinforces California`s clean energy policy. The decision clarifies that utilities should always consider nature conservation and renewable energy from fossil fuels when providing electricity to consumers. Student clinicians were involved in all aspects of this process, including writing briefs and appearing at hearings. “This decision prevents utilities from undermining renewable energy development in California. Now California can more effectively reduce its reliance on fossil fuels,” said Patrick Sullivan, one of the law students working on the case. “This sensible approach should go a long way toward achieving California`s clean energy goals,” said Aaron Gaspard, another student on the team. The clinic`s legal and factual research led to a letter to the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association advocating for “real” reductions.
The letter was joined by NRDC, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club California, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Planning and Conservation League. In response to these efforts, the exchange introduced measures to ensure that loans are real and truly result from efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, not economic shutdowns.