Wayne Lemieux brings more than 47 years of experience including representing public entities in many of the seminal water cases in Southern California. Lemieux estimates he has attended more than 8,000 public agency meetings over the past 47 years as agency counsel. He provides transactional advice and litigation services to municipal and county water districts, airport and other special districts, cities, mutual water companies, small businesses, and individuals.
Among the highlights of his career, Lemieux counts the negotiation of the landmark contract between the City of Los Angeles and his client, the West Basin Municipal Water District. Under the contract, effluent is diverted from the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant to the West Basin Water Reclamation Plant for further treatment and distribution. This project is the largest water reclamation project in the United States; it reclaims 150,000 acre feet per year of water that otherwise would flow into Santa Monica Bay; and distributes it to parks, oil refineries and other large users.
Lemieux has been instrumental in negotiating the compromise of many seemingly intractable issues. For example, the Goleta Water District hired him to resolve a groundwater adjudication that had been pending in the courts for more than sixteen years. He negotiated a settlement in just over sixteen weeks, avoiding a threat to his client to reduce groundwater production by 40% or pay $60 million in damages.
Active as a speaker on water related and environmental issues, Lemieux has addressed the Southern California Water Utilities Association, the Society of American Foresters, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), including MCLE programs for ACWA attorneys, the American Association of Airport Executives, the California Special Districts Association, the Kern County Special District Association, and the National Association of Environmental Law Societies.
Speaking & Publications
Public Agency Officials’ Complete Source Book went through five editions, now entitled Handbook for Public Officials. The Handbook surveys legal and practical problems encountered by local agencies, with special emphasis on water issues. Wayne based the book on his experience representing public agencies, and also on his work as adjunct professor of law at the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he had taught water, environmental, land use, and development law.