- State Bar of California
- Groundwater Resources Association of California
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- Riverside County Farm Bureau
- California Bar Association, Real Property Law Section
- Orange County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
- Women in Mining, California Chapter
Michele A. Staples has been practicing since 1989 as a land use and water resources attorney advising and representing agricultural businesses, developers, landowners, water suppliers, and aggregate project developers in processing and defending entitlements, subdivision mapping, environmental compliance, impact mitigation, environmental permitting, water rights, water quality, endangered species, and habitat conservation plan proceedings. Ms. Staples is a Shareholder and a member of the Firm's Land Use Development and Environmental Services Groups.
Ms. Staples has successfully represented clients in land use, water supply and environmental matters including securing land use entitlements for large, mixed use specific plans, revamping development projects to respond to changing market conditions, representing both public agencies and private well owners in implementing the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, protecting land and water resources from adverse impacts of nearby projects, securing and protecting private and public water rights, and resolving high-profile disputes involving land use, water resources, and endangered species.
She also has extensive California Environmental Quality Act experience, most notably defending the Orange County Water District in CEQA proceedings challenging its North Basin Groundwater Protection Project and resolving CEQA disputes on behalf of developers and agricultural businesses.
Ms. Staples serves as an Adjunct Professor of Water Law at Chapman University School of Law. She has authored numerous articles published in legal and trade journals, and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the California Water Law & Policy Reporter.
Ms. Staples also regularly writes and lectures on emerging water law, endangered species, land use and environmental compliance issues in professional journals and at continuing legal education conferences and professional organization meetings.