Peter Prows counsels public agencies, private clients, and sovereigns on all manner of water, land use, and environmental issues, from neighbor disputes and development-permit issues to national-profile bet-the-company federal litigation. He is experienced in California’s water rights and quality laws, the Clean Water Act and wetlands regulation, the Coastal Act, CEQA and NEPA, the public trust doctrine, real property, and the law of the sea. He litigates in state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the California and U.S. Supreme Courts, while also counseling clients on compliance matters to avoid disputes and help projects proceed. Mr. Prows also defends clients in environmental enforcement matters, whether administrative, civil, or criminal. Representative matters include:
Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. Jewell. Won an injunction from the Ninth Circuit keeping historic family oyster farm, which the federal and state governments wanted shut down, in business for an extra nearly 2 1/2 years. Organized amicus and other material litigation support from a national coalition of sustainable food advocates, environmentalists, scientists, historians, community members, and affected employees.
Duarte Nursery, Inc. v. United States. With some 600 jobs at risk, settled high-profile federal Clean Water Act enforcement action against wheat farmer for tiny fraction of government’s demand. Organized national coalition of farming interests to support defense. Discussed prosecution with federal elected representatives and staffs; opposition to prosecution became a talking point for federal officials interested in regulatory reform.
American Farm Bureau and California Farm Bureau (various matters). Filed U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs, at both certiorari and merits stages, on Due Process concerns with the Clean Water Act. Those concerns were picked up by Justice Kennedy in his concurrence in one of these cases, Hawkes v. United States.
The Republic of Palau. Represented Palau in United Nations negotiations over destructive fishing practices in the high seas, the security and resource implications of climate change, and the extended continental shelf.
Bay Island Club v. California Coastal Commission. Complete win in Court of Appeal for client challenging a public-access condition in a coastal development permit.
Mark Pasternak d/b/a Devil’s Gulch Ranch (various matters). Successfully tried, through judgment, neighbor dispute over client’s historic farm road. Successfully challenged Marin County decision to restrict client’s use permit for agriculturally related activities on property. Successfully co-defended client in misdemeanor Fish & Game Code charge, resulting in complete dismissal of charge on the day of trial.
Prior to coming to Briscoe Ivester & Bazel in 2008, Mr. Prows clerked for Judge Charles N. Brower of 20 Essex Street Chambers, London, in his private international arbitration practice, and for Judge Abdul G. Koroma of Sierra Leone at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
The Clean Water Act’s geographic scope has demanded much attention recently, with high profile efforts...