Somach Simmons and Dunn, Attorneys at Law Somach Simmons & Dunn | Attorneys at Law

Areas

Education

  • Stanford School of Law (J.D., 1970)
  • Yale University (B.A., 1967)

Clients

  • Central Arizona Water District
  • State of Texas
  • Westlands Water District

Robert B. Hoffman
Of Counsel

Bob Hoffman is a litigator who has built a respected water rights practice that combines his vast knowledge of water law, a deep understanding of historical water agreements, and his passionate advocacy of his clients’ water rights.

As a senior water litigator and trial attorney, Bob handles complex water rights cases in the western United States, including California, Arizona, and Texas. Many of his cases involve issues that span the course of multiple years and involve historical water agreements and land divisions that have been in place for nearly a century.

Among his experience is handling disputes involving the 1922 Colorado River Compact and the Gila River Decree. In recent years, Bob has devoted part of his practice toward working with the State of Texas on issues with their compact with New Mexico and Colorado governing the division of water from the Rio Grande. He also assists in the representation of various public agencies in a dispute with the California State Water Resources Control Board to determine whether an impost is a tax or a fee.

He is adept at examining issues of water rights that involve the intricate interweaving of history, politics, regulation, state and federal government, tribal laws, and the environment. His attention to detail has earned him the respect of a multiple-state client base with cases before a wide variety of courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Outside of his water law practice, Bob represents the middle generation of a three-generation family of bird watchers. He particularly enjoys spending time in southern Arizona carrying on the bird watching tradition with his children that was begun by his mother.

Representative Matters

Water Resources

Successfully represented a water conservation district in a dispute with the federal government (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) over the amount of its repayment obligations for a major water project.

Represented various parties in disputes regarding the 1922 Colorado River Compact and on Colorado River matters.

Represented various non-Indian entities in Indian water settlement negotiations.
Represented major utilities in a dispute concerning the use of effluent for cooling for a nuclear power plant.

Provided water rights advice to various entities regarding groundwater rights in Arizona.

Represented parties in continuing disputes concerning the Gila River Decree (Globe Equity 59 (1935)) pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
Represented a major agricultural grower in a dispute with various mining companies over their use and transportation of groundwater from a protected basin in Arizona.

Represented a mining company in litigation over whether and what underground water constitutes subflow of a stream in Arizona.

Represented claimants in general stream adjudications pending in Arizona state courts.

Land Use

Successfully represented a lessee of Indian land in a dispute with a tribe seeking to terminate his lease and take his property.

Represented major utilities in a dispute with an Indian tribe over the scope of a tax waiver in a lease of Indian land and a Section 323 grant of land for a power plant.

General

Represented a Big 4 accounting firm in litigation with a bank over alleged accounting malpractice associated with the purchase of another bank.

Assisted in representation of various public agencies in a dispute with the California State Water Resources Control Board on the issue of whether an impost is a tax or a fee and regarding unequal treatment of federal contractors.

Education

  • Stanford School of Law (J.D., 1970)
  • Yale University (B.A., 1967)

Clients

  • Central Arizona Water District
  • State of Texas
  • Westlands Water District