Katie Norian
Litigation



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Biography

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Katie Norian

Litigation

Biography

A. Catherine Norian is an attorney in Liner’s Litigation Group. Katie focuses on compliance with land use laws and regulations at the state and local levels, with particular emphasis on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Katie’s practice emphasizes counsel on entitlement strategies, including the preparation of Environmental Impact Reports and related documents, and project processing before lead agencies in a manner that enables her clients to protect their project approvals should they be challenged in litigation. She has experience in all aspects of major land development, including in planning and implementing all of the steps necessary to guide individual projects and Master Planned Communities from original design to entitlement, as well as subsequent litigation challenges.

Katie has extensive experience defending project approvals against litigation challenges in trial and appellate courts. Her clients include both real estate developers and other private parties, as well as public agencies. She has also defended major property owners' rights under CEQA.

Education

University of California at Los Angeles, School of Law (J.D.)

Stanford University (B.S.)

Speaking Engagements & Publications
  • “The CEQA Guidelines Are Changing Again: This Time Mostly For The Better?” September 2015
  • “The California Supreme Court Issues An Historic Opinion Supporting Affordable Housing Ordinances,” June 2015
  • “So, You Think Your Land Dispute With the State Lands Commission Will Be Heard By A Court? Think Again,” June 2015
  • “Major Changes May Be Coming to Traffic Impacts Analyses Under CEQA,” September 2014
  • “California Coastal Commission Can Impose Substantial Monetary Penalties For Violations of the Coastal Act’s Public Access Requirements,” September 2014
  • “Previously Protected Communications May Become Part of CEQA Records,” Land Use Law Report, September 2013
  • “Watch What You Say... Lead Agency/Applicant Communications Ruled Part of Administrative Record for EIRs,” July 2013
  • “Update: The County of Los Angeles’ Draft Ordinances Governing Hillside Management Areas and Significant Ecological Areas,” February 2013
  • “Is Infill Development Always So Good and Greenfield Development Always So Bad? Or Is Good Planning the Key?” Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 2013
  • “A Review of This Year's CEQA and Other Land Use Legislation,” January 2013
  • “Infill Development Is Getting Easier Under CEQA,” January 2013
  • “Streamlining CEQA Review to Promote AB 32 and SB 375's Goals: The New CEQA Regulations,” January 2013
  • “Is Real CEQA Streamlining Coming for Infill Development?” October 2012
  • “Recent Court Decisions Help to Clarify CEQA Issues,” July 2011
  • “California’s Latest Attempt to Streamline the California Environmental Quality Act,” Paul Hastings, October 4, 2010
  • “California’s Amended CEQA Guidelines Mandate Analysis of GHG Emissions, While Preserving Lead Agencies’ Discretion,” Paul Hastings, February 18, 2010
  • “California Supreme Court Upholds CALFED’s Bay-Delta Program EIS/EIR,” Paul Hastings, June 12, 2008
  • “A Road Map for Water: A Court Finally Clears a CEQA Water Supply Analysis,” Paul Hastings, December 7, 2007
  • “The California Attorney General’s Latest Settlement: ConocoPhillips Company Agrees to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Expanded Refinery,” September 24, 2007
  • “CEQA Warms to Climate Change: Analysis of Greenhouse Gases Now Required,” Paul Hastings, August 28, 2007
Recognition

Southern California Super Lawyers (2013-2017)

Community

American Bar Association Los Angeles County Bar Association California State Bar Building Industry Association of Southern California / Los Angeles-Ventura (2012 - 2014)

Representations
  • Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project: Lead trial counsel representing the owners of the City National Bank Office Towers and Plaza located in downtown Los Angeles challenging the EIR in state court under CEQA and co-trial counsel challenging the EIS in federal court under NEPA for this 1.9 mile subway project proposed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
  • Lennar/Heritage Fields: A 4,600-acre Master Planned Community located on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station now located in Irvine, California. Katie provided CEQA compliance advice through assistance in the preparation of Supplemental Environmental Impact Reports and other documents, and assistance with project processing before the city of Irvine, resulting in project approvals. She also successfully defended a CEQA lawsuit filed to challenge a project approval, which settled following a successful demurrer.
  • Entrada Office Building: A twelve-story office project proposed by CRP Centinela, LP in Culver City, California. Katie provided CEQA compliance advice through assistance in the preparation of the project's Environmental Impact Report. She also successfully defended the project approvals, including a height exception, in litigation brought by neighbors, which resulted in an unpublished decision issued by the Second District Court of Appeal.
  • Candlestick Point/Hunters Point Shipyard Phase II: The redevelopment of the Candlestick Point and Hunters Point Shipyard areas of southeastern San Francisco with residential, commercial, retail, research and development and mixed uses, and an area set aside for a new professional football stadium. Katie's services for this project included CEQA compliance advice and assistance in planning and permitting activities. She also participated in the successful defense and, following a trial that upheld the project entitlements, the settlement of the CEQA litigation.
  • The Newhall Land and Farming Company/West Creek and West Hills: An approximately 960-acre Master Planned Community located in the Santa Clarita Valley in unincorporated Los Angeles County, including approximately 2,500 residential units and 180,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving commercial uses, together with recreational facilities, open space, community facilities and a school.
    • Entitlement: Katie's services included CEQA compliance through assistance in the preparation of an addition to the Environmental Impact Report, and assistance with project processing before the County of Los Angeles resulting in project approval.
    • Litigation: Katie successfully defended the CEQA lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the project approvals, achieving success before both the trial court and the Second District Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal issued a published opinion, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment v. County of Los Angeles (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 149, upholding the sufficiency of the project’s revised Environmental Impact Report. This was the first published California Court of Appeal decision to uphold a Water Resources (supplies/demand) section in an Environmental Impact Report, and the first published decision following the California Supreme Court’s landmark opinion in Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412.
  • The Newhall Land and Farming Company/River Village: An approximately 700-acre master planned community located in the City of Santa Clarita, California, including approximately 1,000 residential units, a small commercial component, recreational facilities, open space, and community facilities.
    • Entitlement: Katie's entitlement services included CEQA compliance advice through assistance in the preparation of an extensive Environmental Impact Report, and assistance with project processing before the City, which resulted in project approval.
    • Litigation: Katie successfully defended the CEQA lawsuit filed by multiple parties to challenge the project approvals, achieving success before both the trial court and the Second District Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal issued an unpublished opinion upholding the sufficiency of the Environmental Impact Report's Water Resources (supplies/demand) section under Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412, and its Biological Resources section.
  • The Newhall Land and Farming Company/Entrada: An approximately 500-acre site located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. 1,640 residential units, 750,000 square feet of commercial retail uses, parks, and associated infrastructure. Katie's services included CEQA compliance.
  • The Newhall Land and Farming Company/Auto Mall: An approximately 14-acre site located in the City of Santa Clarita. Katie assisted the client in revising the project entitlements to permit development of a portion of an auto mall, including CEQA compliance. She successfully defended the project approvals through the trial and a settlement reached during appellate court proceedings.
  • Tejon Ranch Company/Tejon Industrial Complex East: An approximately 11,000-acre industrial park located in unincorporated southern Kern County, including 15 million square feet of commercial and industrial development.
    • Entitlement: Katie's services included CEQA compliance through the preparation of an addition to the Environmental Impact Report, and assistance with project processing before the County of Kern resulting in project approval.
    • Litigation: Katie successfully defended the CEQA lawsuit filed by multiple parties challenging the project approvals, ultimately achieving success before both the trial court and the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which issued an unpublished opinion upholding the sufficiency of the project’s revised Environmental Impact Report.
  • Centennial Founders, LLC/Centennial: A “new town” to be located in the western portion of the Antelope Valley in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, including approximately 23,000 residential units and 15 million square feet of retail, office, commercial and industrial development, together with all necessary schools, service facilities, utilities and infrastructure on approximately 11,600 acres. Katie's services included CEQA compliance advice through assistance in the preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report.
  • Vista Canyon Ranch, LLC/Vista Canyon Ranch: An approximately 200-acre master planned community located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, including 1,200 residential units and 650,000 square feet of commercial/mixed use development. Katie services included CEQA compliance advice and assistance with the proposed annexation and development agreement.
  • Marina Two Holding Partnership: Successful defense of an approved residential project in the Marina del Rey area of unincorporated Los Angeles County. Katie successfully defended the project through the trial court, resulting in settlements of several challenge favorable to the client, including one settlement reached following a successful trial while the case was on appeal before the Second District Court of Appeal.
  • Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority: Representation of the client in multiple litigation matters and in providing CEQA compliance advice involving the client’s property in Malibu, California.
  • Gregg’s Artistic Homes: Successful challenge to the City of Glendale’s refusal to process timely a hillside residential project, resulting in an extremely favorable settlement for the client.