Kurt G. Whitman

Associate

Overview

Kurt is a land use and natural resources associate, who has experience in a variety of land use and zoning, environmental, and public law issues in California and throughout the U.S., including extensive experience in civil and administrative litigation.  His practice encompasses advocacy, transactional, and compliance-oriented matters.

Kurt's previous experience includes practicing as an attorney in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Regulatory Affairs.  He has experience in areas such as product safety, energy development, telecommunications, and education law, and he has served as outside counsel to municipalities, public education institutions, and other government entities.  Overall, Kurt advised and advocated on behalf of diverse commercial and industrial clients in the areas of real estate, manufacturing, construction, energy, agriculture, and education.  Besides his experience with land use issues throughout California, Kurt has practiced in front of the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, Federal Aviation Administration, as well as numerous state and local agencies across the U.S.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Kurt enjoyed a nine-year career as a professional educator in Wisconsin and Arizona.  While at the University of San Diego School of Law, Kurt worked as a legal intern for the San Diego Unified School District; as a research/teaching assistant for the Lawyering Skills (legal writing and oral advocacy) program; and as a judicial extern to the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Representative
Matters

Land Use/Environmental

Assist developers in securing permits, approvals, and entitlements for development projects, including advising on entitlement applications in the context of zoning codes and other local and state laws and regulations

Represent clients in the context of CEQA review and CEQA litigation, including advising on the preparation and review of EIRs and other environmental documents and advising on litigation risk and strategy

Assist clients in securing approvals for the development of coastal projects subject to the California Coastal Act and local coastal programs

Conduct land use and environmental due diligence for real estate and commercial transactions

Draft and advise on land use and environmental provisions in purchase agreements and other transactional documents

Review and advise on Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments in the context of real estate and commercial transactions

Draft and advise on development agreements for residential and commercial development projects

Advise and advocate on behalf of companies on federal and state environmental and regulatory compliance issues, including hazardous waste/materials, environmental permits, solid waste and recycling, e-waste, wastewater, and groundwater (including in the context of NEPA, CERCLA, RCRA, CWA, CAA, and state/local equivalents)

Advise on product safety issues under OSHA and state law

Represented property owner in the context of real estate litigation matter involving conservation easement burdening improvement of property, resulting in city’s agreement to remove easement and allow future development

Advised municipality on Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and related zoning issues in the context of permit applications and threatened/actual litigation

Litigation

Research and draft briefs and motions, and engage in oral argument and negotiations, in the context of civil and administrative litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings

Manage full litigation discovery, including e-discovery

Conduct legal research, advise on strategy and risk, and otherwise assist with litigation, trial, and appeal preparation and strategy

Represent diverse clients in the areas of land use litigation (including CEQA) real estate litigation, construction litigation, general business/commercial litigation, and products liability litigation

Public Law

Served as contracted city attorney for municipalities with respect to public law issues, such as land use and zoning, open meetings, political law, data practices/privacy, records retention, civil rights, records requests, public contracts, and general legal matters

Drafted city ordinances, resolutions, public contracts, and other government documents for municipalities

Other Regulatory

Advised clients on regulatory requirements related to communications transactions and the transfer of FCC licenses in the context of real estate and commercial transactions

Worked with consultants and provided oversight for NEPA reviews for antenna tower construction

Advise public and private educational institutions on education law issues, including civil liability and litigation, federal and state regulatory compliance, educational privacy, accreditation, and constitutional/civil rights matters

Represent energy developers and utilities in front of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the context of administrative litigation and to secure permits and approvals for development and rate modifications

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Publications

“Most Likely Descendants” Regulations Enter Approval Process, 2/1/2017

Emergency Groundwater Management Regulations Now in Effect, Certain to Make an Impact, 7/15/16

The California Environmental Quality Act in 2015 – Summary of New Court Decisions, Statutory Changes and Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments,   2/4/2016 


“Dealing with Special Zoning Issues,” (Author/Presenter) for National Business Institute seminar (Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law), Bloomington, MN (April 8, 2014).

“No Password for You: California Enacts Social Media Privacy Laws Affecting Employers and Postsecondary Educational Institutions” (co-author), 2012

“CFTC and SEC Propose New Identity Theft Red Flags Rules” (co-author), 2012

Contributing author to Chapter 120, “Energy and the Environment,” in David J. Muchow & William A. Mogel, ENERGY LAW & TRANSACTIONS (5th ed. 2012).

Investing in Arts Education to Advance California’s Creative Industry, CAL. ALLIANCE FOR ARTS EDUC. (2011), available at http://www.artsed411.org/files/KurtWhitman_InvestinginArtsEducation%20copy.pdf.

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2016
  • North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association (for significant pro bono contributions), 2012-2014
  • Order of the Coif, University of San Diego School of Law , 2011
  • Honored Educator, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of California (Section Member: Real Property Law, Environmental Law)
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association (Section Member: Real Property)
  • Member, Urban Land Institute

Community Affiliations

  • Premier Member, United States Running Streak Association
  • Youth Baseball Coach, Toluca Baseball

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Education

  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire