Leslie Z. Walker

Ms. Walker is an associate attorney in firm’s public agency and litigation practice groups where she represents and defends clients, including cities, counties, special districts, developers and agricultural land owners in matters relating to land use entitlements, planning and zoning law, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other environmental statutes and regulations.

Legal Experience

In practice since 2007, Ms. Walker has considerable experience representing clients across a broad spectrum of land use and environmental matters, including managing numerous litigation disputes on matters involving CEQA and planning and zoning law.  Her specific experience and areas of practice include:

  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA litigation
  • Land use and entitlements
  • Planning and zoning
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and NEPA litigation
  • Subdivision Map Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Williamson Act
  • Voting Rights Act
  • State and federal laws related to climate change and greenhouse gas emission
  • Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)
  • Validation actions
  • Unlawful detainers

Before joining KMTG, Ms. Walker was an associate attorney at a Sacramento land use and real estate firm and represented both public and private clients in land use, environmental and real estate matters.  She was a frequent contributor to the firm’s annual land use conferences, presenting updates on the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Walker worked for five years at the San Diego Association of Governments conducting demographic research for a variety of environmental and planning programs, including general plans and housing elements.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Ms. Walker is an active presenter on CEQA and land use matters and closely follows the development of CEQA guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions and other state and federal laws related to climate change.  Examples of her presentations and publications include:

  • Instructor, “Effective and Defensible Climate Action Plans,” U.C. Davis, 2011
  • Presenter, “The State of the CAP: The Evolving Role of the Climate Action Plan in California,” American Planning Association, Sacramento Valley Chapter, 2011
  • Contributing Author, California Planning and Development Report
  • Co-author, “In CEQA Litigation, When is an Agency Required to Include Internal Agency Emails in the Record of Proceedings,” California Public Law Journal, Fall 2010
  • Presenter, “Climate Change Considerations for Grape-Growers,” Abbott & Kindermann Winery and Vineyards Seminar, 2010
  • Presenter, “Impact Fees for Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Association of Environmental Professionals, 2009
  • Author, “Warming Up to Global Climate Change,” California Public Law Journal, Summer 2008

Her other professional activities and affiliations include:

  • 2013 Northern California Rising Star
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association, Real Property and Environmental Law Sections (Past President of the Real Property Section)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • Secretary, American Planning Association, Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • 2008 Graduate of the Building Industry Association’s Leadership Program, Building Universal Industry Leadership & Development (BUILD)

Admitted to Practice

  • All California State Courts
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Academic Background

J.D. University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 2006

  • President, Environmental Law Club
  • Recipient, Witkin Award for Legal Research and Writing
  • Clerkship, California Commission on State Mandates
  • Clerkship, U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division
  • Internship, Office of Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins

B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning, University of California, San Diego, 1997