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

Areas

Education

  • University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., Environmental Law, 2018)
  • Bucknell University (B.A., History, minor in Political Science, 2014)

Admissions

  • California

J. Palmer Hilton
Associate
LinkedIn Bio

Palmer represents public and private clients in water rights litigation matters. He was previously a Summer Associate in the firm’s Sacramento office.

Before joining Somach Simmons & Dunn, Palmer researched regulations and proposed solutions for coastal and aquaculture issues while serving as a fellow for the North Carolina Coastal Resources Law Planning and Policy Center, and worked on eminent domain cases as an intern with the Colorado River Commission within the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.

Beyond the workplace, Palmer is an avid outdoorsman, having completed the Wind River Wilderness Mountaineering NOLS course. When he is not skiing or camping, he takes his well-earned survival skills indoors for a friendly game of poker or watching televised UNC Tar Heels basketball games.

Representative Matters

Represented a California water district in litigation regarding irrigation canal easement and other land use issues.

Represented a state in the United States Supreme Court regarding water rights issues.

Advised a water authority on policy and legislative matters.

Represented an Oregon water association in an Endangered Species Act matter.

Insights and Activities

  • Contributing author, Legal Tides, Coast Watch, and North Carolina’s Blue Economy publications
  • Staff member, North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology

Recent Articles

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Remands Walker River Decree Public Trust Claims for Determination of Alternative Remedies

On January 28, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) issued a decision addressing issues related to the extent to which the public trust doctrine may be used ... Read More

California Supreme Court Holds Public Agencies May Not Categorically Classify Groundwater Well Permit Approvals as Ministerial

On August 27, 2020, the California Supreme Court clarified the scope of decisions that require environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In Protecting Our Water and Environmental ... Read More

United States Environmental Protection Agency Announces Final Rule Revising Section 401 of the Clean Water Act

On June 1, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule revising license and permit issuance rules under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  ... Read More

Baley v. United States: Water Users in the Klamath Project Petition the U.S. Supreme Court for Certiorari

On March 13, 2020, water users in the Klamath Reclamation Project (Project) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Baley, et ... Read More

Five Things for California Water Agencies to Know About COVID-19

Somach Simmons & Dunn intends to provide periodic updates regarding the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on operations for water agencies.  This first alert provides a summary of ... Read More

Education

  • University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., Environmental Law, 2018)
  • Bucknell University (B.A., History, minor in Political Science, 2014)

Admissions

  • California