Susan Brandt-Hawley

Susan Brandt-Hawley represents public-interest groups in preservation issues statewide, focusing on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She has represented hundreds of public-interest groups in CEQA cases, including appeals that have to date resulted in precedent in over 40 published opinions in the six districts of the California Court of Appeal and 6 cases in the California Supreme Court.

She was the 2018-19 president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She received the 2001 CLAY award (California Lawyer of the Year) in environmental law from California Lawyer magazine and was named to the Daily Journal's first annual list of California's "top women litigators" in 2002 and mulitple subsequent lists. 

Brandt-Hawley frequently speaks on environmental preservation law in educational and professional forums attended by lawyers, judges, students, elected officials, agency commissioners, preservationists, and planners. (See Discourse.)

She and her husband Bill Hawley founded and live at Random Ridge vineyards in Napa County's Mount Veeder appellation, with sons Emile and Zane Hawley. For more about Random Ridge, see and press/photos, below; e.g., "Surf and Turf" 1996 and Daily Journal "Profile: Sonoma Attorney Lives Off the Land at Home and Work," May 2000.        

* Education/Credentials: J.D., UC Davis Law, June 1977, King Hall law review writer and editor 1976-1977; bar admission December 1977; Cuahnahuac Language School, Cuernavaca, Mexico, via Federal Defenders, Inc., San Diego, summer 1977; co-author “Clara Shortridge Foltz, Pioneer in the Law," Hastings Law Journal, 1976; A.B., Philosophy, San Diego State University, 1974, high honors, elected to Phi Beta Kappa; University of Uppsala, Sweden, 1972-1973; Claremont Colleges (Pitzer, Pomona), 1969-1970.
* Public Service/Memberships: Co-faculty, Annual California Judicial Studies Programs, California Environmental Quality Act, 1999-present; California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2008-present, President 2018-19; National Trust for Historic Preservation, Board of Advisors, 1998-2007; Sonoma County Land Trust Board of Trustees, 1995-96; California Preservation Foundation, 1991-present, Board of Trustees, 1991-97, Legal Chair 1995-96; Sonoma County Bar Association Executive Committee 1988-92, President, 1992.
* Awards/Recognition: California Preservation Foundation, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2023; Ongoing Martindale-Hubbell peer and judicial AV-Preeminent rating; ongoing Northern California Super Lawyers since 2010; among 30 "top women litigators" named by the Daily Journal in 2002 and 100 named in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2017; National Trust for Historic Preservation John H. Chafee's Trustee Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy, October 2010:; "Preservationist of the Year," California Preservation Foundation, 2006; "California Lawyer of the Year" (CLAY award), environmental law, California Lawyer magazine, 2001; "Conservationist of the Year," Sierra Club, Mother Lode Chapter, 1997; Daily Journal profiles,1990 and 2000.
Random Ridge

Law Office Opening 1979 California Lawyer "Time Is On Their Side" 1990 Daily Journal "Profile" 1990 Santa Rosa Press Democrat "Environmentalists' Dragon Slayer" 1990 Sonoma County Bar Association Bulletin 1992 "Susan Brandt-Hawley Elected President" Sonoma Independent "Surf and Turf" 1996 Daily Herald Recorder, "Environmental Law Maturing" San Diego Reader "Raising a Bar" 1999 Daily Journal "Profile: Sonoma Attorney Lives Off the Land at Home and Work" 2000 Sonoma Index Tribune "Working for the Past and Future" 2002
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