Samuel Lee Lofland

Shareholder

emailslofland@rcalaw.com
phone602.440.4899
fax602.257.6999
Legal Secretary: Lisa Gefroh
emaillgefroh@rcalaw.com

Biography

Mr. Lofland joined the firm immediately after he graduated from the Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he received his J.D. and an Indian Legal Certificate.

He works with clients of all sizes, ranging from individuals to industry leaders in renewable and conventional energy, independent power producers, public power, infrastructure, water development, and mining.

Litigation Experience
Mr. Lofland has appeared before and participated in proceedings involving administrative agencies in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and federal agencies. He has also actively litigated in State Court, both at the trial court and appellate court levels, and in Federal Court at both the District Court and Circuit Court levels. In connection with litigation, he handles client needs at all stages, including pre-litigation risk-assessment, investigation, and strategy development, through targeted discovery development and implementation, dispositive motion practice, and trial. His litigation practice is comprised of three different areas: (1) Water Rights and Resources Litigation; (2) Energy, Natural Resources, and Mining Litigation; and (3) General Commercial Litigation.

Water Rights and Resources Litigation. Mr. Lofland has worked with a wide range of clients, including individual landowners, special taxation districts, counties, stakeholders involved in stream adjudications, commercial developers, and independent power producers in connection with litigation involving water rights and resources. His practice includes from quantifying, acquiring, and defending client’s water rights and resources under applicable state law. His practice also involves interpreting and protecting clients’ water rights and resources under applicable federal law, including issues involving Federal Reclamation Law, the Warren Act, the “Law of the River,” and Indian water rights issues. Some of his representative experience includes:

  • Actively opposing transfers of Colorado River entitlements.
  • Participating in stream adjudications.
  • Well-sharing disputes and litigation.
  • Federal litigation involving the interpretation of water rights under State and Federal law.
  • Well-lease and use agreement disputes and accompanying litigation.
  • Defense of issuance of rights-of-way for water infrastructure in front of both the Interior Board of Land Appeals and Federal District Court.
  • Representing commercial developers against litigation claiming that their construction activities have interfered with adjacent landowners access to irrigation water.

Energy, Natural Resources, and Mining Litigation. Mr. Lofland works with mining companies, independent power producers, and special taxation districts in connection with his practice involving Energy, Natural Resources, and Mining Litigation. With respect to energy and natural resource development, his experience has included interpreting and applying state and federal law related to acquisition of resources and property (rights-of-way) in connection with litigation in both administrative appeals and actions in front of State and Federal Courts (both the trial court and appellate court levels). Some of his representative experience includes:

  • Securing and successfully defending the issuance of a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility in Arizona for the first interstate “merchant” transmission line. This effort has included:
    • A multi-week hearing process in front of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.
    • An appeal to Superior Court in Arizona.
    • An appeal to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
  • Participating on behalf of interveners and successfully defending an administrative appeal of the allocation process for Hoover Power in Arizona.
  • Representing mining companies in litigation involving ownership of certain mining claims (both lode claims and millsites).

Commercial Litigation. Mr. Lofland works with individuals, small to large businesses, financial institutions, and special taxation districts in connection with addressing general commercial, or business, litigation needs. His work includes contract disputes, torts (including personal injury), business disputes/dissolutions, loan enforcement, and judgment/debt collection actions. His experience has ranged from successfully defending financial institutions against lawsuit alleging bad-faith lending and RESPA/TILA violations, to providing support to general litigation matters involving breach of contract cases. 

Regulatory Compliance
Mr. Lofland provides businesses with comprehensive legal support to ensure compliance with the various regulatory requirements imposed by local, state, and federal agencies. As part of this practice, Mr. Lofland works with businesses to navigate ever-changing regulatory regimes and to avoid the cost of non-compliance. His representative experience includes helping clients and their teams across multiple industries to develop government regulations and legislation, participating in rulemaking proceedings and appeals, and representing clients in litigation/negotiations in response to compliance actions pursued by governmental agencies and watch-dog groups. 

Environmental Permitting, Compliance and Due Diligence
Mr. Lofland helps his clients acquire, maintain and defend federal, state, and local environmental permits involving air quality, water quality, and land use. His experience includes preparing and reviewing permit applications; negotiating permit terms with regulators; advocating on behalf of clients in permitting and enforcement proceedings; providing policy and compliance advice with respect to the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”), migratory bird issues, air quality, water quality, and advising on legislative and regulatory processes affecting environmental regulatory developments in the Southwest. Some recent examples of work include:

  • Securing a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility from the Arizona Corporation Commission for a multi-state electrical transmission project.
  • Providing support and helping ensure compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws with a multi-state electrical transmission project. This culminated in the issuance of a Record of Decision from the BLM on January 23, 2015.
  • Securing air quality permits for coal mining operations.
  • Providing support and helping ensure compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws with a 300+ mile water pipeline.
  • Securing determinations from EPA and state agencies regarding discrete provisions and applicability of regulations under the Clean Air Act.
  • Providing support and helping ensure compliance with NEPA and other environmental laws with a land exchange between a private landowner and the BLM.
  • Working with technical experts and consultants in the development of reports and opinions regarding client issues and project proposals in order to integrate legal requirements and technical findings and opinions.
  • Providing legal opinions and environmental due diligence review in business and real property transactions for real estate lenders, sellers, and prospective purchasers.

Federal Indian Law
Mr. Lofland is an enrolled tribal member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, and he dedicated a significant portion of his law school studies to understanding the unique issues associated with Federal Indian Law. In connection with his environmental law and litigation work, he has worked on several issues involving Federal Indian Law. Some examples include:

  • Providing support in negotiating settlements between private developers and Indian Tribes, including efforts to have the settlement approved by Congress.
  • Representing clients in Tribal court in general commercial matters.
  • Drafting protocols and client advisories for non-tribal business operations in “Indian Country.”
  • Providing support in land transfers of restricted and trust land.

Legal Concierge Services
Individuals, start-ups and small/medium-sized businesses often require legal support for their business operations, but are reticent to engage the services of a law firm. Mr. Lofland works with clients like these to provide whatever support they require, working within each clients’ budgetary goals, to help meet their legal needs within their respective industry spaces. In general, Mr. Lofland will provide services and support typically associated with a “general counsel,” which includes helping identify the best corporate structure, negotiating and drafting contracts tailored to the business, and providing general advice to ensure compliance with the regulatory and legal regimes facing each particular client.

Outside of the Firm
Mr. Lofland regularly provides pro bono services, volunteering with organizations like the Florence Immigrant Refugee Rights Project and the U.S. District Court of Arizona’s pro bono program.

He is originally from a small rural town, Scappoose, Oregon. Before going to law school, he spent a year working at Villanova Preparatory School as a residential life supervisor and substitute teacher. He attended Stanford University where he was a Division One wrestler and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with Departmental Honors. He enjoys martial arts, wrestling and spending time with his family.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "Without a Paddle: Navigating the Murky Waters of the Clean Water Act's Definition of 'Waters of the U.S.'," U.S. Society for Irrigation and Drainage Professionals' Water Management Conference, Co-Presenter, December 2014
  • "Use of 'Representative Data' in the Wake of Sierra Club v. E.P.A., 705 F.3d 458 (D.C. Cir. 2013)," Seventeenth Annual Energy, Utility & Environment Conference, February 2014
  • "Recent Happenings Regarding the Exceptional Event Rule," Sixteenth Annual Energy, Utility & Environment Conference, 2013
  • "Contracts II," Arizona Summit Law School (formerly Phoenix School of Law), Adjunct Professor, Spring Semester of the 2012-2013 Academic Year
  • "Myth of the Indian Wars," Arizona State University, Guest Lecturer, Fall 2010
  • "Protecting the Untouchable," Arizona State University Southwest Graduate English Symposium, 2008
  • "Who is an 'Indian'," Arizona State University Southwest Graduate English Symposium, 2008

Memberships

  • Phoenix Ivy Council, Past Board Member
  • Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, Member
Ranking Arizona
Profile Information

Offices

Solutions

Education

  • Arizona State University, J.D., cum laude, 2008, degree conferred with an Indian Legal Certificate
  • Stanford University, B.A., with Honors, 2004

Admissions

  • Arizona, 2008
  • Colorado, 2015
  • Nevada, 2010
  • Oregon, 2015
  • U.S. District Court of Arizona, 2009
  • U.S. District Court of Nevada, 2011

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