Thomas Law Group founder Tina Thomas practices law the same way she lives life outside her firm: with relentless drive, unshakable commitment, and intrepidity.
During the past 30 years, Tina’s consistent success on behalf of clients has earned her recognition as one of the State’s leading environmental and land use attorneys. Prior to forming the Thomas Law Group, Tina was a founding partner of Remy, Thomas, Moose & Manley, LLP, serving as managing counsel for 28 years. Tina’s practice at RTMM focused on environmental and entitlement processes, representing developers, governmental agencies, and environmental organizations, alike. At the core of Tina’s efforts is an unwavering commitment to finding solutions that are both economically and environmentally efficient. Amongst other accolades, the Sacramento Bar Association named Tina “Distinguished Attorney” in 2005. Tina’s work extends beyond the traditional role of attorney, shaping not only land use legislation, but also the way it is practiced and understood. Tina was one of the original authors of the Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act, a text that serves as the leading reference on CEQA and an instrumental classroom resource. Additionally, Tina played an extensive role in the passage of California Senate Bill 375, authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg, which encourages smart growth and infill development. A globetrotter, Tina has traveled with her family throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Australia, including extensive cycling tours. But her true passion, evident in her choice of career, lies in serving the Sacramento community. Tina regularly performs pro bono work for a number of local nonprofits. Her greatest triumph has been her work with Loaves and Fishes, an organization that serves homeless populations. When Loaves and Fishes was hit with potentially devastating allegations of permit violations by the City of Sacramento, Tina’s representation resulted in a settlement favorable to the organization. Similarly, Tina’s work with Cottage Housing and Serna Village guarantees that these vital organizations can continue to serve homeless and transitional populations, as well as the Sacramento community at large. Tina also donates her time and resources to WIND Youth Center, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the John Burton Foundation, WEAVE, and Union Gospel Mission. Tina received her J.D. from the University of San Diego in 1979. She is currently admitted to the State Bar of California, California Supreme Court, US Supreme Court, and Sacramento County Bar Association. Tina has been named a Super Lawyer each year since 2005 in Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine.
- J.D., University of San Diego, 1979
- B.A., Stephens College, 1975
Admissions to Courts
- California State Courts
- Supreme Court, State of California
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
Honors & Awards
- 2012 honoree at the Cottage Housing “Beacon of Hope” ceremony.
- “The Power & Influence 100,” Sacramento Magazine, 2008.
- “50 Most Powerful People,” Sacramento Magazine, 2006.
- “Distinguished Attorney – Sacramento Lawyer,” Sacramento County Bar Association, November/December 2005.
- “Downey Allen Justice Award,” Sacramento County Bar Association, April 1999.
- “Women Who Mean Business.” Sacramento Business Journal, September 1998.
- “Lawyers with a Cause,” Sacramento Magazine, October 1987.
- “The Class of ‘85 Best and Brightest,” Sacramento Magazine, 1985.
- Professional Affiliations
- Community Affiliations
- Pro Bono Representation
- Published Cases
- California State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Member.
- Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Member.
- Women Lawyers of Sacramento, Member, 1982-Present.
- Sacramento Food Bank Services, Finance Committee, 1989-Present. The Sacramento Food Bank Services provides not only food and shelter, but reading services to Sacramento’s underprivileged. In addition to raising funds for the maintenance and operation of the Food Bank, Tina handles, on a pro-bono basis, most of the Food Bank’s land use and advocacy work for the establishment of its housing program and reading center. Finally, Tina worked at the Food Bank for three years distributing food on a weekly basis.
- The John Burton Foundation for Children without Homes, Member of the Board of Directors, 2006-Present. The Burton Foundation provides grants to programs throughout California that support homeless children. The Foundation also plays an advocacy role at both the state and local levels.
- Valley Vision, Member of the Board of Directors, 2006-Present. Valley Vision is Sacramento’s premier planning “thinking tank,” which on behalf of certain clients addresses regional planning, transportation, open space.
Pro Bono Representation
- Loaves & Fishes. Tina represented Loaves & Fishes, pro bono, on a complaint filed by the City of Sacramento. Attracting national media attention, the issue settled in July of 1997, in Loaves & Fishes’ favor. Today, Tina continues to represent Loaves & Fishes on a number of planning entitlement issues.
- In addition to the planning and entitlement work Ms. Thomas performs for both Loaves & Fishes and the Sacramento Food Bank, she has provided extensive pro bono legal work for the WIND Youth Center, Francis House, WEAVE, and Cottage Housing.
- Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 452
- Bay Area Citizens v. Association of Bay Area Governments (2016) 248 Cal.App.4th 966
- Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (2015) 62 Cal.4th 204
- Pocket Protectors v. City of Sacramento (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 903
- Riverwatch v. County of San Diego (1999) 76 Cal.App.4th 1428
- Chaparral Greens v. City of Chula Vista (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1134
- Western States Petroleum Association v. Superior Court (1995) 9 Cal.4th 559
- Sacramento County v. Local Agency Formation Commission (1992) 3 Cal.4th 903
- City of Sacramento v. State Water Resources Control Board (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 960
- Oro Fino Gold Mining Corp. v. County of El Dorado (1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 872
- Citizens of Goleta Valley v. Board of Supervisors (1990) 52 Cal.3d 553
- Baily v. County of El Dorado (1985) 162 Cal.App.3d 94
- Environmental Planning and Information Council v. Superior Court (1984) 36 Cal.3d 188
- Environmental Council of Sacramento v. County of Sacramento (1982) 135 Cal.App.3d 428
- Environmental Planning and Information Council v. County of El Dorado (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 350
- Perley v. County of Calaveras (1982) 137 Cal.App.3d 424
- Rural Landowners Association v. City of Lodi (1982) 143 Cal.App.3d 1013
- Sutter Sensible Planning, Inc. v. County of Sutter (1981) 122 Cal.App.3d 813
Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act
Tina is Co-Author of the Guide to CEQA. The first Edition was published in 1987 and the Guide is updated from time to time, most recently the Eleventh Edition, published in 2006. Published by Solano Press, approximately 3,000 copies of the Guide are sold annually. In addition, the Guide is used for teaching purposes at numerous workshops on CEQA.
California Land Use
Co-authored chapters on the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act, 1984.
Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Land Use Forum
- Volume 1, Number 1/Fall 1991 – “CEQA Challenges Face A New Level of Scrutiny”
- Volume 1, Number 2/Winter 1992 – “When Environmental Impacts May Be Regional, Courts Insist On Broad Scope of Analysis in EIRs”
- Volume 1, Number 3/Spring 1992 – “Trial Court Rules That `Extended Summary’ of EIR, Public Notices, and Public Hearing Testimony Must Be Translated Into Spanish for Kings County Project”
- Volume 1, Number 5/Fall 1992 – “Sierra Club v. County of Sonoma Court of Appeal Holds That `Fair Argument’ Standard of Review Applies to Decisions About ‘Second-Tier’ EIRs for Certain Site-Specific Projects”
- Volume 2, Number 1/Winter 1993 – “Court of Appeal Holds That Trial Court Could Have Considered Evidence Outside Administrative Record in an Ordinary Mandamus Proceeding”
- Volume 2, Number 2/Spring 1993 – “In CEQA `Compliance Proceeding,’ Lack of Adversity Between Parties Does Not Compel to Discharge Writ”
- Volume 2, Number 2/Spring 1993 – “In Defense of CEQA”
- Volume 2, Number 3/Summer 1993 – “Court of Appeal Rejects Argument That Potential Social Impacts (Increase in Crime) Are Physical Changes in the Environment Under CEQA”
- Volume 2, Number 4/Fall 1993 – “Federal Courts’ Extraterritorial Application of NEPA”
- Volume 3, Number 1/Winter 1994 – “Legislature Authorizes Master Environmental Impact Reports To Reduce Redundant Environmental Review”
- Volume 3, Number 2/Spring 1994 – “Laurel Heights Improvement Ass’n v Regents of University of California, The Supreme Court Recently Announced Its Rule Defining When Recirculation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report is Required”
- Volume 3, Number 4/Fall 1994 – “State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Must Conform to Provisions of CEQA From Which it Is Not Specifically Exempted”
- Volume 4, Number 2/Spring 1995 – “Evidence From Outside Administrative Record Cannot Be Admitted in CEQA Challenge to Quasi-Legislative Decision”
- Volume 4, Number 4/Fall 1995 – “Absence of Supporting Evidence for Each Initial Study Conclusion in Either Initial Study or Record of Proceedings May Enlarge Scope of Fair Argument on Whether EIR Should Be Prepared in First Instance”
- Volume 5, Number 2/Spring 1996 – “California Policy Seminar Releases Comprehensive Evaluation of CEQA”