FIRM: Nossaman LLP
LAW SCHOOL: Harvard
CLIENTS: City of Ontario, Southern California Edison, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, Upper Los Angeles River Area Watermaster, Apple Valley Ranchos Water Co., City of Santa Monica, Standard Pacific Homes.
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 13
Reason I’m a Lawyer: Reading about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall provided my original inspiration for becoming a lawyer.
Most Challenging Case: I represented four plaintiff water suppliers in an intensely litigated water pollution matter in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was incredibly rewarding to obtain summary judgment establishing the defendants’ liability and thereby winning a major victory for my clients. The case ultimately settled for $100 million.
Worst Career Moment: When I had to spend all night working at the office before a long-planned vacation to Hawaii. I came within minutes of missing my flight.
If I Weren’t an Attorney: There are a lot of teachers and ministers in my family. If I were not an attorney, I would have seriously considered both of those professions.
Bucket List: An African safari in the Serengeti that includes a hot air balloon ride over the savannah.
My Colleagues Don’t Know: I was inducted into the United States Achievement Academy for excellence in percussion instruments.
ELIZABETH WATSON, 54
FIRM: Greenberg Glusker
LAW SCHOOL: USC
CLIENTS: Weisman Art Foundation, Monrovia Nursery, Costco, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, California Dairy Environmental Justice Fund, Bodycote Thermal Processing, Kissel Co.
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 28
Reason I’m a Lawyer: My last semester of Journalism School at Northwestern, I took a First Amendment course and was hooked.
Most Challenging Cases: Spearheading a successful campaign to convince the LAUSD Board of Education to reverse its plans to condemn the Western U.S. headquarters of the Robinsons-May Co. for a school site; quarterbacking the acquisition of more than 50 federally leased properties throughout the U.S. for an East Coast REIT funded by Lehman Bros.
If I Weren’t an Attorney: I would be a journalist, preferably a foreign correspondent.
Bucket List: Mastering the tango with my husband, Jim Brock; learning Italian; experiencing the aurora borealis. An extended around-the-world trip – not as tourists, but as travelers – with my husband.
My Colleagues Don’t Know: I love Indy style driving. Over the years, I’ve talked my way out of more than 20 speeding tickets from Maine to California.
OTHER TOP ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEYS
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Gilchrist & Rutter PC
Latham & Watkins LLP
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