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

Areas

Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2010)
    Certificate in Environmental Law (Valedictorian, Order of the Coif, Traynor Honor Society, Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award)
  • California State University Sacramento (M.B.A., 2011)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. in Business Administration, Finance, 2006)

Admissions

  • California
  • United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts for California

Louinda V. Lacey
Of Counsel
LinkedIn Bio

Louinda Lacey blends her experience in appeals, civil litigation, regulatory enforcement defense, and lobbying to counsel and represent public agencies and private sector clients in a diverse range of matters pertaining to, among other things, environmental and land use/real estate concerns, local government requirements, product and hazardous waste laws and regulations, contracts, and torts.

Drawing on her tenure as lead appellate court attorney to Hon. Ronald B. Robie at the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, Louinda’s approach is grounded in the clarity that a trial and an appeal are inherently different and require distinct perspectives and strategies. Her appellate practice is focused on helping clients and other trial attorneys assess risk, present a sound record and arguments that are preserved for appeal, and draft persuasive briefs. She represents clients before federal and state appellate and trial courts. She is particularly well-versed in statutory and contract interpretation, a passion of hers.

Louinda’s work on environmental and water law matters encompasses the Clean Water Act (CWA), Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Porter-Cologne), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal and state Endangered Species Acts (ESA), and Habitat Conservation Plans. She has a deep understanding of and has counseled clients regarding the acquisition, management, and implementation of water rights. She further has substantial experience in and significant familiarity with product regulations, including the Safer Consumer Products regulations, labeling and registration requirements, weights and measures requirements, and hazardous waste laws. She defends clients against administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions brought by administrative agencies, including the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and local air quality control districts, state and regional water quality control boards, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and the Department of Pesticide Regulation, among others. She also advises clients regarding reporting, use, maintenance, and purchase requirements under CARB’s mobile vehicles and equipment regulations and orders, and compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

Louinda graduated Valedictorian of her law school class and received the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement award while working full time in real estate development for a Top 10 builder and simultaneously pursuing her MBA. She earned her MBA the year following her graduation from law school. After practicing and clerking at Sacramento-area environmental and real estate law firms, including Somach Simmons & Dunn, she launched her own firm dedicated to appeals, writs, and civil litigation. As a Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, she further lobbied the Legislature, Governor’s Office, and administrative agencies on proposed legislation and regulations pertaining to environmental policy, housing and land use, and product regulation. She joined Hon. Ronald B. Robie’s chambers at the Third District Court of Appeal in 2017.

Louinda was born and raised in South Africa and spent a year in Japan as a Rotary exchange student. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, and spending time with her fiancé and young son. A self-proclaimed “foodie,” she enjoys seeking out unique restaurants. She further enjoys broadening her education, firmly agreeing with Nelson Mandela – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” One of her most cherished possessions is Nelson Mandela’s book, “Long Walk To Freedom,” which he autographed for her when she met him in 2000.

Representative Matters

Appeals

Draft civil appellate briefs and writs for clients and trial/appellate practitioners.

Co-counsel in drafting and filing amicus brief in the California Supreme Court regarding tort liability.

Assist trial and appellate practitioners in strategizing regarding and preparing appellate briefs in appeals in California appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Review and analyze appeals as assigned by Hon. Ronald B. Robie in the Third District Court of Appeal and in pro tempore cases in the California Supreme Court; draft opinions in civil and criminal matters per direction by Hon. Ronald B. Robie and for his review, edit, and comment; draft dissents and concurrences to other chambers’ opinions per direction by Hon. Ronald B. Robie for his review, edit, and comment; and advise Hon. Ronald B. Robie on evaluation of other chambers’ and California Supreme Court draft opinions as requested based on research and evaluation of the briefs, records, and research. Supervise externs to provide guidance, direction, and feedback.

Litigation

Represent public and private clients in environmental litigation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Rural County Representatives of California (RCRA), Porter-Cologne, and the Hazardous Substances Account Act.

Defend clients in real property litigation involving deeds of trust, modification and subordination agreements, and purchase and sale agreements.

Defend residential and commercial general contractors and real estate developers in various construction defect cases, including Senate Bill 800 et seq. claims. Secured dismissal for subcontractor in pipeline and soil movement case in which the State of California was the cross-complainant.

Defend general contractors and real estate developers against mechanics’ liens and stop notice claims. Secured release of improper mechanics’ liens filed by a financial institution.

Defend clients in landlord-tenant and predatory lending cases.

Draft brief in federal court that secured a favorable ruling upholding a counterclaim against the DTSC under CERCLA for mismanaging cleanup efforts at a remediation site.

Defend clients in CWA citizen suits.

Represent clients in CEQA appeal of mining expansion project approval, securing a settlement.

Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Counseling

Counsel clients regarding application of CWA and Porter-Cologne provisions to various water bodies, and permit requirements relating thereto.

Counsel client regarding environmental assessments needed for Habitat Conservation Plan.

Counsel clients regarding the acquisition, use, and disposition of water rights.

Perform chain of title review and draft water rights opinions.

Counsel clients regarding water diversion restrictions and regulations, and California reporting requirements.

Counsel clients regarding the application of and potential liability under CERCLA, Hazardous Substances Account Act, RCRA, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Counsel clients regarding compliance requirements under CEQA, NEPA, the federal and state ESA, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and assist clients with project approvals.

Counsel clients regarding reporting, use, maintenance, and purchase requirements under CARB’s mobile vehicles and equipment regulations and orders.

Counsel client regarding the requirements for removing an underground storage tank.

Counsel retail clients regarding the application of weights and measures laws, and counsel retail and industry clients regarding compliance with California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law.

Counsel clients regarding federal and state product labeling requirements and regulations, including federal pesticide labeling and registration requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Counsel clients regarding compliance with the DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products regulations.

Administrative Enforcement Defense

Defend clients against governmental enforcement actions brought by administrative agencies, including CARB, local air quality control districts, California Environmental Protection Agency, DTSC, state and regional water quality control boards, and the Department of Pesticide Regulation, among others.

Local Government

Advise local agencies regarding compliance with Public Records Act requests, Proposition 218, Proposition 26, the Brown Act, and statutory and local Charter amendment procedures.

Serve as General Counsel for a levee district.

General

Advise clients regarding contractual provisions, obligations, and requirements.

Secure federal and state tax exemptions on behalf of non-profit organizations.

Draft investment policy for a non-profit organization.

Advise clients regarding and draft provisions relating to easements (including conservation easements), access agreements, deed restrictions, disclosures, leases, and purchase and sale agreements.

Draft public works construction contracts, and private prime and subcontract agreements.

Draft defense and indemnity agreements for various public and private sector clients.

Advise clients regarding landlord-tenant laws.

Advise clients regarding subordination and modification agreements.

Advise clients regarding application of California’s anti-deficiency statutes.

Counsel public agencies regarding bid procedures.

Insights and Activities

  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2014-2016; ineligible for selection from 2017)
  • Co-authored article with Hon. Ronald B. Robie: Introduction to Agriculture Issue, 52 U.Pac.L.Rev. 489
  • California Women Lawyers, District 2 Governor (2016-2017), Legislative Committee Chair (2017)
  • Operation Protect and Defend, Board member (2023-present), Volunteer (2017-present)
  • Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition, Volunteer Scoring Justice (2018-present)

Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2010)
    Certificate in Environmental Law (Valedictorian, Order of the Coif, Traynor Honor Society, Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award)
  • California State University Sacramento (M.B.A., 2011)
  • California State University Sacramento (B.S. in Business Administration, Finance, 2006)

Admissions

  • California
  • United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts for California