Entries by Matthew Witteman

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) was signed into law on September 16, 2014. (California Water Code Section 10720 et seq.). SMGA is intended to regulate California’s groundwater, something which has been up to the Act’s passage largely unregulated. The need for groundwater management has grown over the years, spiked by years of drought and […]

Federal Law re Agricultural Production

Federal laws and regulations are the base of the pyramid of laws and regulations impacting agriculture in California. The federal government passes legislation, issues regulations, and establishes and supports policies that impact the agricultural and food processing industry on national issues, typically interstate in nature. Many of the laws and regulations that are passed at […]

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Agency (“SGMA”) essentially requires localities to set up Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (“GSA’s”) and Groundwater Sustainability Plans (“GSP’s”) for high and moderate priority basins, some in critical overdraft. If localities do not do so adequately, or in a timely manner, the State can step in. Areas of particularly acute overdraft include the […]

Groundwater and Surface Water Rights

Rights to surface and underground water in California can be placed in four categories: pueblo rights (arising out of the establishment of pueblos such as Los Angeles while California was still part of Mexico), riparian or overlying (attaching to the land adjacent to a surface river or stream (riparian), or underlying land (attached to the […]

California Laws re Agricultural Production

California takes the laboring oar in passing, implementing, and enforcing laws and regulations relating to the agricultural and food processing industries. California sometimes implements or enforces federal standards. The California Department of Food and Agricultural, as well as the California Department of Public Health and other agencies implement and enforce state law. Not infrequently, district, […]

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act “(“SGMA”), states that “[n]othing in this part, or in any groundwater management plan adopted pursuant to this part, determines or alters surface water rights or groundwater rights under common law or any provision of law that determines or grants surface water rights.” (Cal. Water Code § 10720.5(b)) The meaning of […]

Riparian Rights

Riparian rights are rights to the waters of rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of water that arise by virtue of, and attach to the real property that abuts such courses or bodies of water. The rights attach to the real property in question and cannot be alienated from the real property. The rights similarly […]

Appeal

Appeal After a judgment is entered, either side may appeal. Generally, reviewing courts will construe the evidence and procedures at trial in such a way as to uphold a trial court determination. Reversals can occur, however, where a “miscarriage of justice” or prejudicial legal error can be shown. An appeal normally takes about one year […]

Verdict After Trial

Verdict After Trial Once a verdict is returned, a winning party will have a judgment in his or her favor. The prevailing party may also seek costs from the losing party. These can sometimes be substantial. This should be considered in litigation decisions along the way.

Trials

A trial, should your claim come to this, is a process whereby either a judge (if the jury is waived), or a jury of people from around the area in which the court is situated, decide your case. A trial can last from one day to many weeks or even months. It requires a substantial […]