Photo of Lee Smith

Lee N. Smith focuses his practice on land and natural resource regulation and development, environmental compliance, water law, and litigation. He is experienced in federal and state water quality, air quality and hazardous materials compliance issues, including environmental due diligence projects for mining and energy projects. He has handled cases before the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the San Joaquin Unified Air Pollution Control District, and local environmental agencies. He has drafted and negotiated environmental provisions for complex agreements and assisted clients on due diligence issues. Lee has also been involved in state court litigation concerning pesticide contamination, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and Prop. 65 litigation, as well as federal litigation involving pesticide registration and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Lee Smith is a partner in our Sacramento and Fresno, California offices.

Practice Areas

  • Water Quality
  • Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Wine and Vineyard Law

Professional Associations

  • Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Issues Committee Counsel
  • Citizen’s Advisory Committee to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District
  • California State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Chair


  • University of Utah College of Law, J.D., 1988, William S. Leary Scholar, 1985-1986
  • Brown University, A.B. environmental studies, 1981

Bar Admissions

  • California

On November 3, 2011, the proposed Avenal Energy Project, a 600-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant proposed in the city of Avenal near Kettleman City in Kings County, California, encountered another legal challenge to providing electricity to the southern San Joaquin Valley. Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice challenged the

At the prompting of the Petitioners, on June 6, 2011, the San Francisco Superior Court delivered an order criticizing the California Air Resources Board for continuing to work on AB 32, Greenhouse Gas regulations, despite the injunction issued in the CEQA case and ordered them to appear to discuss the issue.  However, late last week the Appeals