Colin L. Pearce is an experienced trial lawyer as well as an environmental, water, energy and regulatory attorney, with an emphasis on representation of public entities, including cities, water districts and utility districts. He has extensive experience representing public entities, private entities and individuals in a wide range of matters from administrative proceedings to lengthy jury trials of complex water disputes. Mr. Pearce has significant experience in all aspects of litigation and in handling administrative proceedings and appeals. He has recently focused on environmental and water litigation and litigation involving public entities, but he has substantial experience litigating a broad range of cases, including complex business disputes. He has extensive experience with state and federal appeals, including handling the appeal of complex water right matters, CEQA cases, civil rights actions and business-related matters.
Mr. Pearce also has represented private and public entities and individuals in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission involving energy, including energy deregulation and rates as well as railroad crossings and transfers of public utility assets. He has also handled matters before the California State Water Resources Control Board and various regional water quality control boards. He has negotiated settlements with Regional Water Quality Control Board and other regulatory agencies as well as complicated settlements involving water diversion and use, water contamination and CEQA. He has extensive experience in matters involving a broad range of federal and state environmental statutes and regulations, including CEQA, CERCLA, NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, California's Proposition 65, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, RCRA, as well as related regulations. He has substantial experience in water-related matters and California and Western water law, including legal issues surrounding surface water, appropriative rights, riparian rights, groundwater, and issues involving the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. He has handled cases and disputes involving water rights, groundwater and surface water contamination, water transfers, water supply requirements, water rates, groundwater pumping, water banking, waste discharge orders, water right applications, irrigation, stream flow requirements, water right permits and recycled water. He has prepared and filed water rights applications, petitions and appeals before the California State Water Resources Control Board and defended actions brought by the Board and has extensive experience handling water-related matters with and before various regional water quality boards. He has handled a significant number of CEQA actions and has taken several CEQA cases to trial. Mr. Pearce advises clients on energy-related matters and has appeared before the California Public Utilities Commission on matters involving a wide range of energy matters and disputes.
Mr. Pearce has extensive and in-depth experience with a broad range of public law issues on behalf of and involving public entities. He has tried cases in federal and state court on behalf of public entities in matters involving condemnation, water rights, construction, excessive force, water rates, water transfers, municipal code enforcement, zoning, Proposition 218 claims and public contracts. He has also handled a number of energy and regulatory matters on behalf of public entities in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, the California State Water Resources Control Board, various regional water quality control boards and other regulatory agencies. He has advised and represented public entities in a number of diverse disputes and proceedings, including matters involving CEQA, energy issues, land use, water quality, water supply and planning, water transfers, development, elections, civil rights claims, police defense, personnel matters, government finance (including Propositions 13 and 218), water rates, groundwater pumping, groundwater contamination, water supply assessments, storm water runoff, zoning, employment discrimination allegations, Brown Act compliance and claims, railroad crossings, contracts, leases and construction disputes. He has represented private companies in a wide range of commercial and business disputes, including actions involving trademarks, premises liability, commercial leases, construction, products liability, franchise agreements, professional negligence and liability, wrongful death, securities broker's claims, slip and fall, and other types of personal injuries.
Mr. Pearce has significant experience with construction matters, including on behalf of and against public entities, including work on SCADA systems, water pipelines, sewer pipelines, contracting requirements and bidding. He has substantial experience handling matters involving real property, including real estate disputes, land use issues, property damage claims, sales of residential and commercial property, commercial lease disputes, unlawful detainer actions, underground storage tanks and land use planning. He has represented private landowners in the prosecution and defense of multiple actions involving easements, boundaries, development, wells and environmental matters.
A member of The State Bar of California, Mr. Pearce is a 1988 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
• Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2001-present
- Associate, 1999-2000
• Hatch and Parent, Santa Barbara, California
- Associate, Senior Associate, 1990-1999
• Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, Los Angeles, California
- Associate, 1989-1990
Civic and Charitable Activities
• Volunteer, Transition House, Santa Barbara, California
Selected Speaking Engagements
• Speaker, Case Studies: Meeting Water Challenges for Energy Projects, Law Seminars International's The Water/Energy Nexus in California Program, San Diego, California, June 20, 2011
• Guest Speaker, Environmental Legal Forum, radio station KFNX in Phoenix, Arizona, November 15, 2000