Associate

Amy Higuera


Thomas Law Group associate has successfully represented numerous clients in achieving favorable results in environmental law and land use entitlement matters.


Amy adds to Thomas Law Group’s depth of experience with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), among many other federal and state laws that define the complex and changing body of California land use law. Specifically, her practice includes representation and litigation involving CEQA, the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Government Reorganization Act of 2000 (LAFCo Act), the Subdivision Map Act, the Williamson Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the federal Endangered Species Act and the federal Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting. Most recently with the San Francisco office of Buchalter Nemer, Amy also has experience representing real estate developers with the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate, including due diligence title and zoning compliance review, as well as drafting and negotiating commercial leases. Prior to joining Buchalter Nemer, Amy was an associate at Remy, Thomas, Moose & Manley. Amy has been invited to speak at the California Civil Engineering and Surveying Land Use Law Seminar and has served on the Editorial Board of the California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter. She is also a member of the California State Bar Environmental Law Section and in 2009 was accredited as a LEED Green Associate. As a result of her representation, the City of Santa Cruz successfully defended its approval of a master plan for natural resource protection and an accessible trail system in the Arana Gulch open space area. Her successful defense in the case was reflected in an opinion published by the California Sixth District Court of Appeal. In Sacramento, she has also helped guide Sutter Hospital through obtaining EIR certification and land use entitlements for a 40-acre medical campus in Elk Grove, and represented the developers of the Township 9 project in Sacramento in securing EIR certification for a master-planned, transit-oriented, mixed-use infill development. Amy traces her earliest interest in land use planning to hearing her father,as the owner of local radio stations, report on planning commission and board of supervisor hearings in California and Nevada.She developed a passion for advocacy prior to law school through her work helping people with developmental disabilities overcome barriers to employment. Amy was awarded a law degree, with distinction, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2004, where she was a member of the McGeorge Law Review staff and earned a certificate in Governmental Affairs. She received her B.A. in English at the University of California, Davis in 1996.

Education

  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law,With Distinction, 2004
  • Certificate in Governmental Affairs, 2004
  • B.A., English, University of California, Davis, 1996

Admissions to Courts

  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Honors & Awards

  • Dean’s Scholarship Award, McGeorge School of Law
  • Honors at Entrance, McGeorge School of Law
  • Dean’s Honor Roll, McGeorge School of Law
  • Traynor Honor Society McGeorge School of Law
  • Dean’s Honor List, University of California, Davis

Professional Affiliations

  • California State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Member
  • LEED Green Associate, accreditation earned 2009
  • Urban Land Institute, San Francisco, Member
  • Commercial Real Estate Women, San Francisco, Member

Publications

  • Co-author, “New Guidelines for Analyzing Air Quality Impacts Could Thwart Bay Area Infill Development,” Points & Authorities, Summer 2010; reprinted in Environmental Leader, September 30, 2010
  • “Examining the Importance of the California Supreme Court’s Decision in Save Tara v. City of West Hollywood,” California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter, April 2009
  • Contributor, “A Little Help From One’s Friends: Summary of Rules of Court and Procedural Considerations Relating to Amicus Participation,”

  • League of California Cities, 2003 Edition
  • “Health and Welfare Chapter 1017: Providing a New System for Treating the Mentally Ill,” 34 McGeorge Law Review 485, Winter 2003

Presentations

  • “California Civil Engineering and Surveying Land Law,” Half Moon Seminars, Sacramento, California




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