Greenfire Law, PC

Practice Areas

Greenfire Law attorneys litigate to protect environmental rights on behalf of nonprofit organizations, communities, and workers.

Environmental Law

Environmental Law

The firm’s environmental practice includes litigation and counseling on environmental, climate change, and natural resource management.

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Our attorneys have a strong understanding of major environmental statues and regulatory programs and exemplary litigation experience bringing environmental enforcement actions on behalf of citizens, including in the areas of state and federal environmental law in all media, climate change, natural resource management, and environmental policy. The firm’s depth of knowledge with complex environmental laws includes working with the National Environmental Policy Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, California Coastal Act, and California’s Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act), among others.

Land Use Law

Land Use Law

Land use and zoning law is the regulation of the use and development of public and private real estate.

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Zoning is the most common form of land-use regulation, used by municipalities to control local property development. Other legal issues pertaining to land use include easements, trespassing, and eminent domain. Our firm helps individuals and citizen groups navigate the complex statutory and local regulatory schemes involved when local governments consider development projects in their jurisdictions. We have counseled clients in local cannabis regulation and control, securing permits for the construction of accessory dwelling units, ensuring a developer’s compliance with local affordable housing requirements, and objecting to development projects that fail to comply with state and local law..

Animal Law

Animal Law

Simply defined, animal law is the combination of statutory and case law that relates to or has an impact on nonhuman animals.

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Our attorneys have a strong understanding of the timelines the goverment musIt encompasses companion animals and wildlife as well as animals used in entertainment, research, or raised for food. Animal law permeates and affects most traditional areas of the law—including tort, food safety, consumer protection, contract, constitutional, family, environmental, administrative, and criminal law. In practice, our attorneys work diligently to identify opportunities to advance the interests of animals in the law through policy or litigation using myriad statutory and common law schemes, including the Endangered Species Act, Administrative Procedures Act, public nuisance law, and the public trust doctrine.

Public Records & Open Government

Public Records & Open Government

All 50 states and the federal government have public records laws which allow members of the public to obtain documents and other public records from state and local government bodies.

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The firm’s public records practice includes counseling clients through the records request process, with advice on crafting targeted requests, seeking fee waivers, filing and prosecuting administrative appeals, and litigation when necessary.

Telecommunications Law

Telecommunications Law

Telecommunications law pertains to the systems of electronic communications and broadcasting across the United States.

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This area is heavily regulated by federal law and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We represent citizens and non-profit groups interested in strengthening local control over telecommunications regulation. Through litigation and legislative assistance, we ensure public participation to the maximum extent possible under federal law when local governments are forced to deploy small cell wireless technology, known as 5G or Fifth Generation wireless infrastructure, in their cities and counties.

Employment Law

Employment Law

California employers are bound to comply with the California Labor Code, one of the most pro-worker employment laws in the country.

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Greenfire Law represents employees who have been mistreated by their employers. Our attorneys handle both individual lawsuits and class actions against large and small employers who have violated the Labor Code and California’s anti-discrimination, harassment, and retaliation laws.

The Labor Code provides various protections for employees in the workplace to ensure workers are treated fairly and compensated properly. When an employer fails to comply with the Labor Code, aggrieved employees can sue for damages. Examples of protections afforded to employees under the Labor Code include the right to minimum wage, overtime compensation, meal and rest periods, and the proper classification as employees versus independent contractors. Our attorneys represent employees in lawsuits against employers who have violated the Labor Code and help employees recover damages including unpaid balance of overtime compensation withheld from employees, back pay and back wages, and penalties provided for by the Labor Code.

California also has several laws that protect employees against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Our lawyers help employees who have been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation navigate exhaustion of administrative remedies and pursue litigation when necessary.

Attorneys

At Greenfire Law, PC, you reach a team of skilled lawyers whose educational and professional backgrounds make us uniquely qualified to provide strategic legal counsel at an affordable rate.

Rachel S. Doughty, Founder and Shareholder

Rachel S. Doughty is a shareholder with Greenfire Law and its founder. She practices environmental and land use law.

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Rachel S. Doughty

Rachel’s practice includes advising clients and litigating under public land management and environmental statutes and California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act. She also helps clients gain access to information using FOIA and California’s Public Records Act and assists with legislative and regulatory drafting from time to time.

Before Greenfire Law, Rachel worked at Paul Hastings, LLP, Gary Davis and Associates, and Wild Law. She earned her law degree from University of Virginia and also has an M.S. in Natural Resources (with a minor concentration in biogeochemistry) from Cornell University, and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Tennessee. Prior to law school, she was a fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Wetlands Division.

In addition to her work as a litigator, Rachel is a prolific public speaker and policy advocate in the areas of plastic pollution reduction and forest management.

Experience

  • Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP
  • Gary A. Davis & Associates
  • Wild Law
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia
  • M.S., Cornell University, Natural Resources
  • B.S., University of Tennessee, Biochemistry

Activities & Affiliations

  • City of Berkeley Zero Waste Commission
  • Sylvia Mendez School, Green Team Lead

Bar Admissions

  • State of California
  • State of North Carolina (Inactive)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court Washington, D.C.

Jessica L. Blome, Shareholder

Jessica L. Blome is a shareholder with Greenfire Law. She practices in the areas of animal, environmental, open government, and land use law.

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Jessica L. Blome

Jessica represents clients in citizen suit enforcement, climate change, and strategic impact litigation. Her practice includes litigating and advising under NEPA, CEQA, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, FOIA, the California Public Records Act, and the Brown Act. Jessica represents citizen groups and individual plaintiffs in local, state, and federal tribunals in California and across the country.

Before Greenfire Law, Jessica worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Missouri Attorney General’s Agriculture & Environment Division, Senior Staff Attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Deputy Director of the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

For the Missouri Attorney General, Jessica represented the Missouri Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture in civil environmental, animal welfare, and food safety litigation. She served as counsel to the Missouri Natural Resources Trustee, leading negotiations on behalf of Missouri for multi-million-dollar restoration projects on public lands contaminated by heavy metals mining. She also prosecuted violations of the state Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Clean Air Act. Her most notable cases involved an unpermitted organic composting operation located next to a sensitive geologic area, a collapsed wastewater treatment impoundment, and a landfill located in a residential area suffering from a “subsurface smoldering event,” or underground landfill fire.

Jessica left Missouri for Sonoma County, California in 2013 to accept a position as a Senior Staff Attorney with the non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund. There, she represented citizen plaintiffs and non-profit groups in strategic impact litigation on behalf of domestic animals and wildlife. She led a team of litigators to victory against a roadside zoo in Iowa, securing the first-ever successful citizen prosecution of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act against the owner of captive-held endangered species. Jessica also led a coalition of non-profit groups in the first-ever lawsuit striking down a federal contract with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services because it violated CEQA.

In 2016, Jessica became the Deputy Director of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, where she was responsible for the investigation and enforcement of the City’s campaign finance, government ethics, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws.

Jessica joined Greenfire Law in March 2018. She now represents public interest clients in environmental and animal welfare litigation. In 2019, she served as lead counsel in an Iowa state-court nuisance action that permanently shut down a roadside zoo. She is litigating an action against the City of Livermore for failing to adequately assess whether the City should use environmental mitigation funds to conserve sensitive alkaline wetland habitat, rather than develop it.

Experience

  • San Francisco Ethics Commission
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Missouri Attorney General’s Office

Education

  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law
  • B.A., University of Northern Iowa, Communications & Ethics

Activities & Affiliations

  • Missouri Bar, Environmental & Energy Law Committee
  • California Bar Association, Public Law Group
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • City of Berkeley Campaign Finance Commission
  • City of Berkeley Open Government Commission
  • Rosa Parks Elementary School Read-a-Thon Committee

Awards & Recognition

  • Missouri Up & Coming Lawyer Award
  • Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation Special Recognition
  • Missouri Attorney General’s Litigate Like a Champion Award
  • Missouri Attorney General’s Award for Extraordinary Contribution
  • Missouri Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Client Service

Bar Admissions

  • State of California
  • State of Missouri
  • Supreme Court of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Jessica A. Taylor, Senior Associate

Jessica A. Taylor is a senior associate with Greenfire Law. She practices in areas of environmental, land use, and employment law.

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Jessica A. Taylor

Jessica’s practice includes litigating and representing clients with claims under the National Environmental Policy Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the California Public Records Act, the Federal Employment and Housing Act, and the California Whistleblower Protection Act.

Before joining Greenfire Law, Jessica worked as an attorney focusing on employment law with O’Brien Law, P.C., and for Beasley Allen where she represented plaintiffs from across the country in multi-district litigations against pharmaceutical companies.

For Beasley Allen, Jessica worked on several multi-district litigation matters taking on major pharmaceutical companies on behalf of individuals left severely injured and disabled from unwarned risks associated with prescription drugs and over-the-counter products. She represented hundreds of men in multi-district litigation related to injuries sustained when taking hormone replacement therapy and won a verdict of over $140 million in damages for one of her Bellwether trial clients. She also assisted with nationwide lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder.

In 2019, Jessica joined O’Brien Law, P.C. to help build a new plaintiff-side employment law practice. She represented individuals who suffered workplace harassment, gender and disability discrimination, retaliation, and other egregious forms of workplace mistreatment. She litigated individual lawsuits and class actions under the Federal Employment and Housing Act, the California Whistleblower Protection Act, and the California Labor Code against large employers who grossly mistreated their employees.

Experience

  • Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.
  • O’Brien Law, P.C.

Education

  • J.D., Washington & Lee University, School of Law
  • M.A., New York University, Political Science & Psychology

Bar Admission

  • State of California
  • State of Alabama (Inactive)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Christian R. Bucey, Associate

Christian R. Bucey is an associate with Greenfire Law. His work focuses on environmental, land use, and animal law.

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Christian R. Bucey

Christian’s current projects include assisting clients with claims under the California Public Records Act, local nuisance ordinances, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Before joining Greenfire Law, Christian worked as a Conduct Coordinator at the University of California, Berkeley adjudicating student and organizational misconduct cases including those involving physical abuse, harassment, and alcohol & other drugs.

During law school, Christian earned the Wanda Nash Award from the State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law Section for excellence in animal law scholarship and practice and served as a panelist on the State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law Section special program: “20th Anniversary: Past, Present & Future.” Christian was a semifinalist in the Moot Court competition at the National Animal Law Competitions at Harvard Law School and Overall Champion of the Burton D. Wechsler National First Amendment Moot Court Competition at American University Washington College of Law.

Christian clerked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund where he worked on both state and federal animal law matters by drafting petitions for rulemaking, investigating violations of federal law regarding the transportation of animals, and enforcing animal cruelty through civil causes of action.

Experience

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund

Education

  • J.D., Michigan State University College of Law
  • B.B.A., Ohio University, Management & Strategic Leadership/Business Pre-Law
  • B.S.Sp.S., Ohio University, Sports Management

Bar Admission

  • State of California (PLL)

Ariel Strauss, Of-Counsel

Ariel Strauss is an experienced public law and real estate attorney. Ariel represents community groups and individuals in connection with land use entitlements, California Public Utility Commission regulatory proceedings, and wireless facility siting and policy issues.

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Ariel Strauss

Ariel previously assisted owners, operators, and lenders navigate HUD regulations and close over $500m in affordable, elderly, Section 8, and multifamily real estate transactions. Ariel also served as assistant general and special counsel to several cities and districts in the areas of municipal law, real estate, zoning and public contracting. In 2014, Ariel clerked for Justice Uzi Vogelman of the Supreme Court of Israel and during law school externed for Judge Kim M. Wardlaw of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Experience

  • Small Business Utility Advocates
  • Levy, Levy & Levy, P.C.
  • Justice Uzi Vogelman, Supreme Court of Israel
  • Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson, P.L.C.
  • Integrated Recovery Network
  • Los Angeles City Attorney, Airports Division
  • Los Angeles County Counsel, Real Property Division
  • Judge Kim M. Wardlaw, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Education

  • J.D., UCLA School of Law
  • M.A., UCLA School of Public Affairs, Urban Planning
  • B.A., Brandeis University

Bar Admission

  • State of California
  • State of New York
  • State of Washington


About Us

Greenfire Law was created to provide the highest quality legal representation to assist our clients in advancing matters of important public policy. The firm’s lawyers hail from prominent national law firms, government agencies, and respected advocacy groups, combining decades of top-level litigation and transactional experience with an unwavering dedication to the firm’s clients and to advancing their causes.

Our ethic of respecting the wisdom and mystery of the natural world is the driving force behind Greenfire Law’s work. The great Aldo Leopold, upon turning away from his job as a trapper for the federal government, once observed:

We reached the old wolf in time to watch  a fierce green fire  dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.

— Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Greenfire in the News

"Wildlife advocacy groups are suing to stop the Wisconsin wolf hunt."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Contra Costa County sued over controversial open-space housing plan."
The Mercury News

"Appeals court sides with judge who ordered animals rescued from Cricket Hollow Zoo."
Des Moines Register

"Court Rejects USDA’s Attempt to Kill Lawsuit Challenging Weakened Pig-Slaughter Rules."
The Center for Biological Diversity

"Cannabis in Mendocino County: Planning Commission hears from the public."
The Willits News

"Groundbreaking Court Case Argues U.S. Climate Denial Policy Violates Americans’ Right to Be Free."
EcoWatch

"Lawsuit: Housing project in Livermore threatens salamanders, other endangered species."
East Bay Times

"Settlement Ends Nestlé’s Expired 'Zombie' Permit to Siphon Water From San Bernardino National Forest."
The Center for Biological Diversity

"It's taken seven years, but California is finally cleaning up microbead pollution."
The Guardian

Featured Clients

Greenfire Law, PC
2001 Addison St., Suite 300
Berkeley CA 94704

510.900.9502
administrative@greenfirelaw.com