Julia Bond is an experienced trial and appellate court litigator and chairs the firm’s Writs and Appeals Practice Group. Specializing in complex land use and environmental law litigation, she represents clients in matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act and civil rights claims in the land use context, among others. Julia co-authored the “Land Use Litigation” chapter of California Land Use Practice, published by the Continuing Education of the Bar.
Julia represented the City of Rancho Cordova in an important CEQA case in the California Supreme Court relating to the analysis of water supply issues in environmental impact reports (EIRs). In another California Supreme Court case, she defended the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in a Public Records Act violation claim in connection with LAWA’s approval of a major expansion at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Julia has also advised and subsequently defended LAWA in its compliance with CEQA, NEPA, the California Coastal Act, the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and other state and federal regulatory laws for the LAX expansion.
Julia litigates on significant infrastructure projects for large institutional clients statewide. In addition to the LAX expansion, she has defended challenges regarding the BART extension from Fremont to Santa Clara on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; a new Kaiser Hospital on behalf of the City of San Leandro; and multiple campus expansion projects on behalf of the University of California. She has also represented the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Port of Los Angeles in multiple CEQA actions.
Julia is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Central, Southern, and Northern district courts in California; and all California state courts.
- Berkeley Hillside Preservation et al. v. City of Berkeley et al. (2015) 60 Cal.4th 1086
- Berkeley Hillside Preservation et al. v. City of Berkeley et al. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 943
- Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 549
- Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 1437
- Save Westwood Village v. Luskin (2014) 233 Cal.App.4th 135
- Community Water Coalition v. Santa Cruz County Local Agency Formation Commission (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 1317
- Schellinger Brothers v. City of Sebastopol (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 1245
- Las Lomas Land Company, LLC v. City of Los Angeles (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 837
- California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 603
- Vineyard Area Citizens v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412
- Ailanto v. City of Half Moon Bay (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 572
- Michaelis, Montanari & Johnson v. Superior Court (2006) 38 Cal.4th 1065
- City of Brentwood v. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 714
- City of Half Moon Bay v. Superior Court (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 795
- City of Vernon v. Board of Harbor Commissioners of the City of Long Beach (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 677
- 8150 Sunset Project. Meyers Nave is representing the City of Los Angeles in four different CEQA lawsuits brought against the Frank Gehry-designed 8150 Sunset Project, a mixed-use development. Governor Brown designated the project as an Environmental Leadership Development Project, the rules for which require that all legal challenges be expedited by the courts to be resolved 270 days after project approval.
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) – Southern California International Gateway (SCIG). Represent BNSF, North America’s second-largest freight railway, in seven lawsuits (now consolidated) challenging the company’s planned $500 million rail transfer facility on CEQA and other environmental grounds. Critical to BNSF’s national business strategy, the SCIG Project will create a new near-dock rail yard for the loading of shipping containers heading to and from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, the nation’s largest container port.
- Aetna Realty et al. v. City of South San Francisco. Successfully defended the adoption of a general plan update against state and federal claims of regulatory takings and violations of equal protection, state planning and zoning laws, and CEQA. This matter involved a bifurcated trial with writ of mandate proceedings followed by a four-week trial. The trial court ruled in the city’s favor, and the court of appeal affirmed the judgment.
- Benicia Harbor Corporation v. City of Benicia. Successfully defended the EIR prepared by the City of Benicia for construction of an emergency stormwater drainage system against Benicia Harbor District’s petition for writ of mandate. In this CEQA action, the district contended that the EIR failed to adequately analyze water quality impacts associated with stormwater discharge into a marina and to consider project alternatives. The trial court ruled in the city’s favor, and the appellate court affirmed the judgment.
- Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley. Represented Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor-Klein, before the California Supreme Court on a case that Law360 called the “biggest CEQA case” and the Daily Journal described as affecting “how public agencies handle common exemptions from California’s bedrock environmental law.” On March 2, 2015, the Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (S201116), resolving years of uncertainty by holding that there must be “unusual circumstances” in order for an otherwise categorically exempt project to be subject to CEQA. The Court also resolved a divide among Courts of Appeal, holding that an agency’s findings as to unusual circumstances are subject to the substantial evidence standard.
- Bruce D. Kuyper, et al. v. City of Los Angeles. Currently representing the City of Los Angeles in CEQA lawsuit challenging a five-unit townhouse development.
- Saltonstall et. al and Sacramento Coalition for Shared Prosperity v. City of Sacramento. Successfully defended the City of Sacramento in defeating all challenges that two groups brought under CEQA to the EIR for a downtown arena that will serve as the new home for the Sacramento Kings NBA team. The matters included two published appellate court decisions, including the first appellate decision concerning the constitutionality of project-specific CEQA streamlining statutes, setting a valuable precedent for other projects.
- Brenden Theatre Corp. v. City of Modesto, et al. Defended the City of Modesto in a lawsuit brought by a project competitor challenging its CEQA analysis of a downtown redevelopment project. The court ruled in the city’s favor.
- CL Holdings v. City of Antioch. Successfully defended the City of Antioch’s approval of a shopping center redevelopment project against CEQA and Brown Act claims brought by an existing tenant who was the subject of a condemnation action.
- California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova. Represented the City of Rancho Cordova in a lawsuit challenging the approval of a 2,393-unit residential development and commercial project on 530 acres. The lawsuit alleged that the city’s EIR for the project violated CEQA in numerous respects and the State Planning and Zoning Law. The case resulted in a published decision from the court of appeal.
- Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club v. City of Desert Hot Springs. Represented the City of Desert Hot Springs in a lawsuit challenging the approval of a 2,694-unit residential development and commercial project on 1,926 acres. The lawsuit alleged that the city’s EIR for the project violated CEQA in numerous respects and the Subdivision Map Act.
- Community Water Coalition v. Santa Cruz Local Agency Formation Commission. Successfully represented University of California, Santa Cruz, in a lawsuit challenging the university’s ability to apply to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) for water service associated with the future expansion of its North Campus. The trial court sustained the university’s demurrer to the complaint, and the court of appeal upheld the ruling in a published decision.
- Friends of Roeding Park, et al. v. City of Fresno, et al. Successfully represented the City of Fresno against a challenge to the expansion of the Fresno Zoo on multiple state and federal grounds, including violations of CEQA, equal protection and federal grant assurances.
- Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions v. City of Healdsburg. Represented the City of Healdsburg in a CEQA challenge to the adequacy of an EIR for a 130-unit luxury resort facility and residential project.
- Las Lomas Land Company, LLC v. City of Los Angeles. Represented the City of Los Angeles in a CEQA and land use action challenging the city’s decision to reject a large development project in the middle of its EIR review after making a policy decision to not annex the project’s 555-acre unincorporated property into city boundaries. The project’s developer asserted CEQA and civil rights violations, and sought over $100 million in compensatory damages. The city filed a demurrer, which the trial court sustained and the court of appeal affirmed in a published decision.
- Los Angeles World Airports(LAWA) CEQA Litigation. Assisted in the defense of LAWA’s approval of the LAX Master Plan against four consolidated lawsuits alleging CEQA and the California Coastal Act violations.
- Michaelis v. Superior Court (LAWA) and Michaelis, Montanari & Johnson v. Superior Court. Represented LAWA in the California Supreme Court in a significant Public Records Act case to compel LAWA to disclose proposals received in response to an RFP for a property lease at the Van Nuys Airport. The California Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision requiring disclosure of the proposals.
- Munyan v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BS 157876. Successfully defended City of Los Angeles in lawsuit for writ of mandamus in the trial court. Currently representing the City of Los Angeles on appeal.
- Preserve San Leandro Mobility v. City of San Leandro. Represented the City of San Leandro in a CEQA action challenging the adequacy of an EIR for a new Kaiser Hospital/Medical Center and mixed-use retail development project. At issue were project-splitting; the baseline for traffic impacts under Sunnyvale; the adequacy of analysis and mitigation for traffic, noise, and wastewater impacts; and the alternatives considered. The case settled prior to trial.
- San Mateo Land Exchange v. City of Half Moon Bay. Successfully defended the City of Half Moon Bay against CEQA, takings and Coastal Act violation claims regarding its approval of a specific plan and other entitlements for a 207-acre development. The city prevailed in both the trial court and the court of appeal.
- Save Valley Village v. City of Los Angeles. Successfully represented the City of Los Angeles in CEQA lawsuit challenging mitigated negative declaration involving demolition of a former residence of Marilyn Monroe.
- Save Westwood Village v. Regents of the University of California (Luskin and UCLA Foundation). Obtained a crucial victory for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), when the Superior Court judge rejected all CEQA claims filed by a local community group to stop the construction of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center—one of UCLA’s highest profile campus projects. Also convinced the court to dismiss the project’s primary donors from the case, arguing that this was retaliation for exercising their free speech rights. The Regents initially hired Meyers Nave to help bulletproof the project’s EIR against potential subsequent challenges.
- Schellinger Brothers v. City of Sebastopol. Successfully defended the City of Sebastopol in a developer’s CEQA challenge. The developer sought to require the City to certify an EIR before it completed environmental review because the process exceeded one year. This decision clarifies lead agencies’ rights and responsibilities to complete adequate environmental review despite exceeding CEQA’s direction to complete an EIR within a year.
- Valley Advocates v. City of Atwater. Successfully defended the City of Atwater’s approval of an EIR for a 6-million-gallon-a-day wastewater treatment plant, which will significantly improve the city’s wastewater treatment capabilities. A local resident and advocacy group challenged the city. The court held that the petitioners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and to show a CEQA violation and any inconsistency with the city’s general plan.
- Vineyard Citizens v. City of Rancho Cordova. Represented the City of Rancho Cordova in one of the leading CEQA cases on water supply analysis, setting a precedent for projects throughout the state. Prior to the city’s incorporation, the County of Sacramento approved a community plan for a large, mixed-use development of approximately 20,000 new dwellings on 6,000 rural acres. This landmark decision was the California Supreme Court’s resolution of CEQA issues relating to how EIRs must analyze water supplies for long-range development projects under CEQA.
- Walton CWCA Wrigley Creek 13, LLC v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Successfully defended the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in a CEQA action challenging the adequacy of a supplemental EIR for the BART Silicon Valley Project, which extends the BART system from Fremont to Santa Clara. Issues in the case include alleged improper pre-commitment to the project under Save Tara and adequacy of environmental review relating to traffic and parking impacts. The case also challenged VTA’s compliance with the California Public Records Act, and sought to compel production of emails relevant to the settlement of the CEQA action.
- Westside Association v. City of Healdsburg. Represented the City of Healdsburg in three consolidated CEQA lawsuits challenging an EIR for proposed improvement of the city’s wastewater treatment facilities and ponds. The trial court ruled in the city’s favor.
Honors and Awards
- Southern California Super Lawyers list: Environmental Litigation, Land Use/Zoning and Appellate, Super Lawyers Magazine (2018-2020)
- Top Women Attorneys in Northern California list, Super Lawyers Magazine (2015)
- Northern California Super Lawyers list: Environmental Litigation, Land Use/Zoning and Appellate, Super Lawyers Magazine (2008-2012, 2015-2019)
Presentations and Publications
- Presenter, “CEQA Update,” Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, 2007
- Author, “Land Use Litigation” chapter, California Land Use Practice (CEB 2006)
- Presenter, “Legally Defensible Environmental Review,” Lorman Education Services
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, Environmental Law Section, California Lawyers Association
- University of California at Los AngelesJD, 1993
- Smith CollegeBA, cum laude, 1989