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



  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California

Alyson E. Ackerman
LinkedIn Bio

Alyson Ackerman advocates for clients in diverse sectors including public water service providers, land conservation districts, developers, private water users, agribusinesses, and food processors. She counsels her public and private clients in a myriad of practice areas such as water rights, administrative law, air quality, and environmental litigation.  

Alyson works closely with her clients to investigate, develop, perfect, and defend water rights portfolios as well as represent their interests to local irrigation districts, the State Water Resources Control Board, and, where appropriate, trial and appellate courts.  Alyson also assists in providing outside general counsel services to the firm’s special district clients, practicing administrative law and employment law to counsel on various land use and public employment issues.

Alyson’s air quality practice is growing and currently involves helping public agency clients attain compliance with and regulatory relief from state and local air quality standards for stationary and mobile sources, as well as negotiating settlement in enforcement actions.

Alyson champions the firm’s Northern California membership in the Environmental Law Network (ELN) – a group of more than 250 environmental attorneys who collaborate, cultivate, and share resources to create local representation both nationally and internationally. Among other activities, Alyson presents important legal developments in the environmental law sector to ELN.

Prior to joining Somach Simmons & Dunn, Alyson worked for a boutique environmental compliance and litigation law firm where she helped clients seek recovery of cleanup costs associated with contaminated land, amend air permit limits, and determine compliance with Clean Water Act requirements. She assisted clients in enforcement actions with both state and federal entities to evaluate the appropriateness of proposed civil penalties, successfully advocating for reduced penalties in numerous instances.

Outside of work, she is most likely to be found at her favorite locally-owned independent bookstore – Face in a Book – or outside taking in nature with her German Shepherd. She is an avid hiker, having successfully completed a 36-mile thru-hike in Yellowstone National Park, lead climbed some of the Sierra Pacific’s most challenging rock faces, and enjoys deepening her yoga practice and baking.

Insights and Activities

  • Presenter, Status of Clean Water Act’s Waters of the United States Rule, Environmental Law Network, February 2019
  • Co-author of pro-bono amicus brief filed in Court of Appeal, Fourth California Appellate District, April 2019
  • Contributor, ACWA Appellate Case Summaries, since 2018
  • Co-Author, Learning from West, Texas:  Proposed Amendments to Clean Air Act’s Accidental Release Prevention Risk Management Program, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, March 2016
  • Co-Author, IDEM’s New Non-Rule Policy Documents for “Contained-in Determinations” and Uncontaminated Soil, Indiana Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, April 2015
  • Associate Member, Association of California Water Agencies
  • Selected for inclusion, Northern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2020-present

Recent Articles

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta Water Districts to Receive Appellate Attorneys’ Fees as Private Attorneys’ General after Successfully Prosecuting the State Water Resources Control Board’s Curtailment Overreach in 2015

On April 4, 2023, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ordered the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) to reimburse a group of California irrigation districts and water agencies ... Read More

New Year, New California Public Records Act Organization and Codification

Effective January 1, 2023, the California Public Records Act (CPRA) has a new location within the Government Code, complete with relabeled organizational headings that improve navigating the statute. The Legislature ... Read More

Court of Appeal Determines That the State Water Resources Control Board Exceeded Its Authority in 2015 When It Ordered Curtailment Among Valid Pre-1914 Water Right Holders Based on Insufficient Water to Serve Their Priorities

Yesterday the Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District agreed with Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Walsh (Ret.) that the State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Board) curtailment ... Read More

Water Users Legally Obligated to Rein in Certain Outdoor Water Uses

Despite the exceptionally heavy rain events in October and December 2021, California is still experiencing severe drought conditions. In response to these statewide dry conditions, and Governor Newsom’s October 2021 ... Read More

Federal Funding to Bolster Current and Emerging Water Infrastructure of the West

The recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Act) may help ease varied water concerns across the country, especially in the West in regard to its supply issues. The Act ... Read More


  • Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law (J.D. Cum Laude, 2015)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. Cum Laude, 2010)


  • California