Our Attorneys.

Ms. Skapik is a partner with the firm, whose practice areas focus primarily in litigation and organization of complex matters and environmental and land use cases, including matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Multispecies Habitat Conservation Plans, Coastal Commission Act, the Subdivision Map Act, California Planning and Zoning Laws, and Designation and Delineation of Wetlands. Ms. Skapik assists both private entities and public agencies with the preparation and defense of environmental documents prepared in association with CEQA and NEPA, including Environmental Impact Reports, and Environmental Impact Statements.

Ms. Skapik has substantial state and appellate court experience litigating environmental matters involving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). She also is the attorney of record in several published CEQA, ESA, and land use cases, including but not limited to: Health First v. March Joint Powers Authority; Coalition for Honest Environmental Evaluation in Perris ,et al. v. City of Perris; Banning Bench Community of Interest Assoc., Inc. v. City of Banning, et al.; Chino Hills v. MJ Brook; City of Chino Hills v. City of Chino(Wal-Mart RPI); City of Rialto v. City of Colton; City of Colton v. City of Rialto, et al.; Super Pallet Recycling Corp., et al. v. City of Elk Grove, et al.; City of Fresno v. Madera County Board of Supervisors, et al.; Madera County v. City of Fresno; City of Goleta v. Superior Court County of Santa Barbara, et al.; Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River, California Water Impact Network v. City of Santa Clarita, et al. (Riverpark); Las Lomas Land Company (Lomas II) v. City of Santa Clarita; California Water Impact Network v. Newhall County Water District, et al. (CWIN III); California Water Impact Network v. Newhall County Water District, et al.; California Oak Foundation, et al. v. City of Santa Clarita, et al. (consolidated w/Santa Clarita Oak Conservancy v. City of Santa Clarita (Gate King I)); California Water Impact Network v. Newhall County Water District, et al. (Gate King II); Cemex, Inc. v. Los Angeles County, et al.; City of Santa Clarita v. Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, et al.; City of Santa Clarita v. U.S. Dept. of Interior Board of Land Appeals, et al.; City of Santa Clarita v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, et al. (NEPA); Sierra Club, et al. v. City of Desert Hot Springs; Fallbrook Public Utility District v. Rancho California Water District; Befeld v. County of Riverside, et al.; McElhinney, et al. v. Regional Conservation Authority (consolidated w/ Stimmel, et al. v. Regional Conservation Authority, and other matters

Ms. Skapik also has extensive experience with complex products liability cases involving industrial, construction and retail products. Ms. Skapik has litigated complex multi-million dollar toxic tort matters, and has represented Fortune 500 companies in landmark environmental/toxic tort cases, including the Lockheed Litigation, the General Dynamics Litigation, and the Hughes Aircraft Litigation.

Ms. Skapik is admitted to practice in all California Courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Mark C. Allen III
A Partner in the firm has substantial experience in California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and land use litigation. Early in his career, he helped form the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Environmental Section. After that, he became the head of the Environmental Section to the General Counsel Office of the Southern California Edison Company. In that capacity, he personally handled scores of environmental cases, mostly CEQA cases. These included CEQA actions with multiple public and private entities challenging the approval of electric production facilities. These cases established the principles for environmental review for alternative energy facilities in California.

Mr. Allen also was responsible for a major CEQA case involving the City of Los Angeles and the State of California over certain restrictions on the utilities exposing the utilities to over $100 million in costs. The case was settled after a ruling in his client’s favor at the trial level. After leaving SCE, he joined a firm in Long Beach where he was responsible for, among other things, litigating CEQA and land use cases on behalf of private developers and public agencies. Mr. Allen handled scores of such cases including major cases involving the reconstruction of the Port of Long Beach, cases for the Long Beach School District and several residential developers.

Mr. Allen's client base includes local and national real estate developers; property managers; hospitality businesses; schools; churches; multi-employer pension funds and local governments. Mr. Allen is one of a small number of attorneys with experience addressing the particular issues surrounding non-profits and religious institutions. Mr. Allen is recognized for his experience with issues unique to non-profits such as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). Non-profit organizations and religious institutions regularly seek his advice and counsel on environmental problems, zoning issues, building permits and negotiating with government agencies. Mr. Allen has been involved in alternative energy siting and projects for many years.

Mr. Allen also has represented clients regarding some of California's most challenging environmental problems, including the construction of alternative energy sources, nuclear power plant siting and development, lead paint and toxic mold litigation, as well as a multitude of complex construction, environmental and land use issues. For example, on a project in Ventura County, he successfully defended his client at trial in five separate CEQA and land use actions involving the largest development in the county. In all, Mr. Allen has handled well over one hundred CEQA and land use cases in his career.

Mr. Allen has taught CLE courses, and been on panels, on various environmental and land use issues for the Los Angeles County Bar, the State Bar of California, Environmental Section, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Land Use Institute, the Environmental institute and others. He has also taught on environmental issues at the University Of Southern California School Of Public Administration, Southwestern Law School, and has been an adjunct professor teaching environmental and administrative law courses at Trinity Law School.

Mr. Allen received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, and is an honors graduate of Grinnell College. Mr. Allen has been a member of the Environmental Sections of the Los Angeles County Bar and the State Bar for over twenty years and has acted as vice-chair of the Public Law section of the State Bar. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Lawyers Association


E-mail: contact@claremontlandgroup.com