Reuben & Junius, LLP Sponsors Green Building Conference at UC Hastings

Reuben & Junius, LLP is pleased to invite you to Constructing Green Building’s Legal Foundation: Regulatory Approaches and Practical Solutions for a Sustainable Future, a conference to be held at UC Hastings College of Law on Wednesday, September 23 from 8 – 11 am. The conference has been organized by Reuben & Junius attorney Stephen R. Miller and is sponsored by the firm.

What are the legal implications of green building’s rapid rise?

Almost overnight, green building has gone from a fringe movement to the center of the development world. Nationally, 14% of U.S. cities with populations of more than 50,000 have green building programs, and the number of counties with green building programs has grown nearly fourfold since 2003. In California, at least 18 local governments have implemented green building ordinances in addition to State green building guidelines. This change has good reason: the Air Resources Board estimates that 22% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions are from buildings, and thus reducing the State’s carbon footprint will rely heavily on changing the way buildings are built, as well as how they are operated. The development community is showing a clear interest in rising to the challenge, with over 101,000 persons worldwide certified as LEED Accredited Professionals and almost 15,000 in California alone.

But what are the legal implications of this rapid rise of green building regulations? How does green building fit into California’s other environmental laws? And what are the risks for those in the development community who are forging ahead in new directions? This conference seeks to sort through these questions in a meaningful and practical way useful to attorneys, but also architects, contractors, designers, and all others in the development and regulatory communities.

The first one-hour panel will focus on questions of how green building relates to other environmental laws and goals. Key issues here may include the use of third-party rating systems (such as LEED and GreenPoints) by local governments; whether green building plays a role in the California Environmental Quality Act; preemption and non-delegation issues with regard to federal and state statutes; and how green building regulations will relate to California’s global warming mandates, such as AB32, and existing energy regulations in Title 24.

The second one-hour panel will focus on how developers, architects, and contractors integrate the changing realities of green building into the development and ownership process. This includes allocation and mitigation of risk, as well as allocating the costs of green building in contracting, leasing, and other aspects of the development cycle.

MCLE credits available

The event is free and open to all. Two MCLE credits will be provided for attorneys. Please let us know you will attend by responding to “”, and also noting whether you will request MCLE credit.

Conference schedule

8:00 – 8:15 – Breakfast / registration
8:15 – 8:30 – Introductory remarks
8:30 – 9:30 – Panel 1 – Regulatory Approaches to Green Building
9:30 – 9:45 – Break
9:45 – 10:45 – Panel 2 – Real World Legal Issues of Green Building
10:45 – 11:00 – Concluding remarks

When and Where

Wednesday, September 23
8 to 11 am
UC Hastings Law
Alumni Reception Center
200 McAllister Street

Panel Speakers

Regulatory Approaches to Green Building

Verne Ball, Bingham McCutchen. Mr. Ball is an associate with Bingham McCutchen. He advises clients on matters related to land use, environmental compliance and litigation.

Thomas A. Enslow, Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo. Mr. Enslow is a 1995 graduate of U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). His practice focuses primarily on California Building Standards Law, the California Environmental Quality Act and government agency law. Mr. Enslow’s clients include IAPMO (publisher of the Uniform Plumbing Code, the Uniform Mechanical Code and the forthcoming Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code), the Coalition for Safe Building Materials, the California State Pipe Trades Council, Sierra Club California, the Consumers Federation of California and the Grassland Water District. Mr. Enslow was one of the lead attorneys for Amici Curiae in the case Plastic Pipe and Fittings Assn. v. California Building Standards Commission (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 1390, in which the Court held that CEQA applies to the approval of building standards regulations that may impact the environment.

Sandra Goldberg, California Attorney General’s Office. Ms. Goldberg is a 1988 graduate of UCLA School of Law. She worked at the California Attorney General’s Office, Environment Section, for 9 years, handling hazardous waste penalty cases, Superfund litigation and other environmental matters. She then worked as Staff Counsel for the California Coastal Commission for 6 years. In 2006, Ms. Goldberg returned to the Attorney General’s Office, Environment Section, where she now works on climate change, renewable energy, and hazardous waste matters.

Moderator: Stephen R. Miller, LEED AP, Reuben & Junius. Mr. Miller is a 2006 graduate of UC Hastings College of Law, and also holds a Master in City Planning from UC Berkeley. He practices environmental and land use law, and regularly advises clients on green building matters. He recently published an article, “Enforcement of Local Green Building Ordinances Integrating Third-Party Rating Systems” in the California Real Property Law Journal (July 2009).

Real World Legal Issues of Green Building

Nicholas Merrell, LEED AP, Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald. Mr. Merrell is a 2005 graduate of George Washington University Law School. He represents general contractors, designers, sureties, and owners on a wide variety of disputes, such as terminations for default, preparation of delay and disruption claims, fraudulent billing cases, advising government contractors on ethics compliance programs, licensure issues for both contractors and engineers, claims under prompt payment statutes and labor compliance disputes, as well as green building issues.

Aleka Skouras Eisentraut, LEED AP, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean. Ms. Eisentraut is a real estate and business attorney whose practice includes transactional and land use matters with a focus on green leasing, LEED certification and climate change policy. She recently completed the CEB Green Leasing chapter (co-authored with her colleagues Dan Myers and Gregg Ankenman), was a green leasing panelist at the State Bar Conference, has served as a judge for the San Francisco Business Times Green Business Awards for the past 2 years, and is a frequent speaker and author on green leasing and climate change.

Mark Goodman, Solo Practioner. Mr. Goodman is a Certified Green Building Professional and green building legal consultant. He spent 14 years working in the construction industry before becoming an attorney whose practice areas have included construction defect litigation and the representation of construction service providers and homeowners. He has taught construction law and is presently an adjunct professor teaching environmental law and regulation primarily related to green building.

Kevin Rose, Reuben & Junius. Mr. Rose is the managing partner of Reuben & Junius, LLP. Kevin has practiced real estate law for 14 years, and specializes in transactional matters. He has represented many commercial property owners, as well as tenants, in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.