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January 9, 2020  |  Written by Somach Simmons & Dunn

Firm News: Andy Hitchings Named Managing Shareholder & Rich Deitchman Promoted to Shareholder Status

We are pleased to name Andy Hitchings as the firm’s next managing shareholder, succeeding Tess Dunham. In addition, the firm has promoted Rich Deitchman to shareholder status, effective January 1, 2020.

“I’m excited to assume this management role for our firm and look forward to collaborating with our next generation of dynamic and innovative leaders, exemplified by Rich,” said Andy. “Tess has aptly and admirably steered the course of our firm and nurtured its culture since 2016. In this new decade, we will continue our commitment to the professional and personal development of all employees, while also looking toward future talent to build upon a foundation of excellence in western water law, and related practice areas, in order to best serve our clients.”

Licensed in both Oregon and California, Rich focuses his practice on water rights and natural resources litigation. With a master’s degree in hydrology, Rich works effectively with experts, such as environmental engineers and agricultural economists, to pinpoint scientific and economic factors that affect water cases. His experience spans water rights issues that impact Oregon, California, Texas, and New Mexico, including the ongoing Klamath Basin Adjudication in Oregon and the pending Texas v. New Mexico & Colorado litigation in the United States Supreme Court. Based in the firm’s Sacramento office, Rich earned his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School.

With nearly three decades of working on California’s most complex water rights, water supply, and water quality issues, Andy also has developed substantial experience in state and federal court litigation, public agency law, CEQA/NEPA, and the Endangered Species Act. He has played an integral role in the renewal, implementation, and defense of Sacramento River Settlement Contracts. Andy has also focused on confirming water rights for recycled water projects and negotiating and implementing water transfer agreements. One of Andy’s key career achievements was briefing and arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court in 2001 and obtaining a unanimous ruling in his client’s favor. He serves on the Legal Affairs Committee for the Association of California Water Agencies.

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