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., 2014)
  • University of Denver (B.S., 2011)

Admissions

  • California
  • Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California

Michelle E. Chester
Associate

Michelle’s practice emphasizes water law, land use, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and is bolstered by an in-depth understanding of administrative law and a technical background in environmental science. She counsels a range of public and private clients in the western United States on state and federal issues, and her practice involves transactional work as well as litigation.

In her prior position with the California Energy Commission (CEC), Michelle represented agency staff in CEQA-equivalent administrative hearings for the licensing of natural gas power plants, which often involved multiple parties and complex issues regarding water resources, air resources, and endangered species. She also provided legal analysis on legislative proposals regarding state energy, water, and natural resource policies.

She brings additional experience from working with the California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.

Outside of her work in environmental law, Michelle often spends time outdoors. She enjoys hiking and running on northern California trails and exploring national parks.

Representative Matters

Assist in representation of the State of Texas in original jurisdiction proceeding before the United States Supreme Court regarding enforcement of the Rio Grande Compact.

Assist in representation of public entities in administrative and state court proceedings related to the proposed California WaterFix project.

Represent landowners and public agencies with respect to the existence and scope of their water rights, including proceedings before the State Water Resources Control Board.

Represented California city in water rights and quiet title litigation.

Negotiated water and sewer line easement agreement for California city.

Represented national manufacturer in rulemaking proceeding before the California Energy Commission.

Insights and Activities

  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Co-Vice Chair, Year in Review: Water Resources Chapter, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association

Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2014)
  • University of Denver (B.S., 2011)

Admissions

  • California
  • Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California