THE FIRM This Arizona team is experienced in handling all environmental matters, with particular expertise in natural resources, water rights and endangered species. It is also noted for its focus on client needs, and for its ability to draw on the resources of other practice areas and out-of-state offices where necessary. Recent highlights include representing the National Association of Home Builders in a high-profile dispute with the federal EPA over the navigability of the Santa Cruz River, and acting for Rosemont Copper on its plans to develop a mine in southern Arizona. The team also advised five major industrial corporations in connection with a prominent lawsuit alleging substantial groundwater contamination of Maricopa County's Roosevelt Irrigation District.
Sources say: "A very bright group of lawyers with deep legal knowledge and a commercial approach that allows clients to make choices." "One of the best water practices in the state."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Water rights specialist Lauren James Caster has been active of late on a number of general adjudications of water rights in the Gila and Little Colorado Rivers. He also represents clients in litigation concerning federal government claims to reserved water rights at Fort Huachuca and in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
Phillip Fargotstein is an expert in environmental and toxic tort litigation, and regularly advises clients on air quality, clean water and climate change issues, One satisfied customer noted that he was "great in making sure we were totally compliant well before the deadlines." Fargotstein was recently involved in a case where an EPA demand for more than $1 million in civil penalties was reduced to $150,000.
Norman James is renowned for his work for clients involved in litigation concerning protected species, and also acted as lead attorney in the Santa Cruz River and Rosemont Copper matters. In his specialist field, he recently supported the Arizona Cattle Growers' Association in mounting challenges to regulations laid down by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and US Forest Service.
Robert Anderson chairs the natural resources and environment practice, and earns praise from peers and clients alike for his "really broad knowledge of environment law." Clients specifically cite his "tremendous in-depth knowledge of water laws and policies," saying it "helps us to see both sides and form strategies." He is also noted as "a very effective communicator," and for his many contacts in the regulatory agencies.
Water rights specialist Maggie Gallogly is singled out by clients for her exhaustive knowledge of policy, her fine eye for technical detail, her practicality and her excellent relationship with the Arizona Department of Water Resources. These qualities mean she is well placed to handle the regular drafting and negotiation of water service and other natural resource agreements, and the obtaining of certificates of assured water supply.