Insights
Firm News

Farella Represents Marin County Bicycle Coalition in Successful Pro Bono Appeal to Permit Bicycle Access to Existing Trail Network

January 29, 2020 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, January 29, 2020: With assistance from Farella Braun + Martel, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) participated as amicus curiae in a successful appeal of a lawsuit challenging the Marin County Open Space District’s approval of MCBC’s proposal to open the Bob Middagh Trail in Mill Valley, Calif. to bicycle use. In a significant CEQA decision, the California Court of Appeal held on Jan. 24 that the “social effects” of bike use on trails falls outside the scope of the CEQA review. According to the court, government agencies deciding whether to provide bicycle access to existing trails are not required to analyze social effects such as perceived user conflict with hikers as part of the environmental effects analysis under CEQA.

Farella Partner David Lazerwitz represented MCBC pro bono as amicus curiae in the appeal, filing an appellate brief addressing the important CEQA issues raised in the case. “The trial court’s ‘social concerns’ ruling represented a significant expansion of the type of environmental effects analyzed pursuant to CEQA and could have vastly complicated the process for agencies to increase bike access to existing trails,” said Lazerwitz. “The Court of Appeal decision reversed the trial court’s ruling while maintaining the focus of projects like this on potential effects to the natural environment under CEQA, which the court held the county properly analyzed in this instance.”

The case represents a significant victory for MCBC because it establishes precedent as the first bicycle-access trail approval occurring under the county’s 2014 Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) which, among other things, established a process for increasing bicycle access to the county’s large-scale trail network. Founded in 1998, MCBC promotes safe bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation and expanding Marin's network of bike lanes, pathways, bridges, tunnels and trails.

The case is Community Venture Partners v. Marin County Open Space District, Appeal No. A154867 (California Court of Appeal, First District).

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain offices in the Napa Valley that are focused on the wine industry.

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433 / [email protected]

Firm Highlights

Publication

SEC Expands Definition of “Accredited Investor” – Here Are 5 Key Takeaways

The SEC recently adopted amendments to Rule 501(a) of Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 that expand the definition of “accredited investor” by adding new categories of eligibility based on professional knowledge...

Read More
Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is a proud underwriter of the North Bay Business Journal's 2020 North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference series. This live virtual event will explore new opportunities and challenges to the medical...

Read More
News

Year-End Planning After The Election: What Financial Advisors & Tax Pros Are Telling Clients About Future Tax Changes

Lauren Galbraith was quoted in the Forbes article "Year-End Planning After The Election: What Financial Advisors & Tax Pros Are Telling Clients About Future Tax Changes." Read the full article, here .

Read More
Event

Antitrust and Technology: Perspectives from In-House Competition Counsel

Chris Wheeler will moderate a panel in the discussion on "Antitrust and Technology: Perspectives from In-House Competition Counsel." As the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital revolution, attention in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere has...

Read More
Publication

Privacy During Bankruptcy Proceedings: Why It Matters

During these particularly trying times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes have been concerned about the future. As a result, considering potential liquidation or restructuring through bankruptcy is inevitably starting to...

Read More
Event

Antitrust and Technology: Perspectives From In-House Competition Counsel

Chris Wheeler is the moderator for the Association of Corporate Counsel San Francisco Bay Area Chapter program "Antitrust and Technology: Perspectives from In-House Competition Counsel." Overview: As the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital...

Read More
Publication

Electric Fence: Protecting Proprietary Rights in Collected Energy Data

Like companies in other industries, a growing number of modern energy-related companies are focusing their efforts on data collection and analysis. For example, Enphase – an energy technology company – regularly tracks data about how...

Read More
Publication

SB 67 Moves California’s Cannabis Appellations Program Forward

In February of 2020, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) issued its first iteration of the Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP) , which set forth proposed regulations for licensed cannabis cultivators to establish...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

SAN FRANCISCO, November 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel earned national and regional rankings across a number of practice areas in the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® release of the “Best...

Read More
News

Farella’s Aviva Gilbert Honored With WWCDA Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award

SAN FRANCISCO, November 19, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that Aviva J. Gilbert will be honored by the Women's White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA) with its Catherine...

Read More