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Clients

Since its inception, Schroeder Law Offices’ practice has been one of significant representation of clients in transactional and administrative matters as well as state, federal and appellate litigation in matters concerning:

Client Support in drafting, interpreting and applying state and federal statutes and regulations in water rights (adjudications, permitting, extensions, transfers, exchanges, application/transfer protests and cancellation proceedings), groundwater determinations (hydrological connection, limited and critical groundwater areas, aquifer recharge and storage), basin determinations and transfers (intra and inter), drainage opinions and litigation, easement preparation and enforcement (conservation, roads, ditches, pipelines, wells including shared and community wells, and maintenance), wild and scenic rivers regulation, and Indian treaty right interpretation and litigation.

Negotiations with The United States Bureau of Reclamation on Reclamation Act, dam safety, and Warren Act contract negotiations, interpretation and litigation; contract compliance; acquisition, transfer and maintenance of storage and delivery rights; District and service boundaries; adjudications; title transfer; and Endangered Species Act Enforcement.

Domestic and Agricultural Water Organizations to form, organize, and represent various private, governmental (intergovernmental agreements, counties, cities, utilities) and quasi-governments (districts and special districts) on matters involving: water right acquisition, maintenance and protection, extensions, district transfers and application/transfer protests; water right instream leases; water conservation including water management and drought plans; dam or diversion replacement/changes; water quality permitting; and compliance, negotiation, and litigation involving various state and federal laws including Interstate Compacts, the National Environmental Policy Act, cultural, tribal and historic resources, Clean Water Act (wetlands, dredge and fill permitting), and Endangered Species Act.

Mediation, Arbitration, Civil Litigation, and Appeals to recover significant sums for damages to water resources in theories of inverse condemnation, negligence, nuisance, and trespass.

Water Marketing and Transactions requiring completion of water right mapping, appraisals, title work, leases, transfers and sales.

Domestic Clients are in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada. Now, with convenient air travel, high-speed Internet and the increasing use of email the distance is no barrier.

Schroeder Law Offices represents individuals, farmers, ranchers, irrigation and water districts, municipalities and others with water issues. Typical clients are listed below. Click on the links for more details.

Representative Clients

Water Management Organizations and Municipal Clients

Pershing County Water Conservation District
Lovelock, Nevada

Schroeder Law Offices acts as the district attorney for this medium sized water conservation district in North Central Nevada.

Representation includes

  1. Water right interpretation, assignments and transfers;
  2. District inclusions and exclusions;
  3. Setting and enforcing water delivery policy;
  4. Obtaining federal permits for excavation, improvements and repairs;
  5. Negotiating and securing Reclamation contracts including Safety of Dams, Leases and Operation and Maintenance;
  6. Advice concerning Reclamation Water Conservation Plans and associated grants;
  7. Compliance with Public Meeting and Records and Directors’ ethical responsibility laws;
  8. Defending protests against area water use applications and water right transfers;
  9. Federal litigation on access to Indian Reservations;
  10. State litigation on water delivery; and
  11. Transferring title to the Humboldt Project from Reclamation to the District.

See: letter from PCWCD Manager, Bennie Hodges.

East Fork Irrigation District

East Fork Irrigation District, located in Odell, Oregon, is a ORS Chapter 545 organization that appropriates water from the East Fork of the Hood River for use on approximately 9,628 acres.  District water deliveries largely support the fruit growing industry well known in the Hood River Valley.

District challenges during Schroeder Law Offices, PC representation include water rights administration to meet changing crop development, infrastructure development to improve delivery efficiencies, public policy development including drafting bylaws, rules and regulations, support in assessment collection, support in District efforts to restore upstream and downstream passage of juvenile and adult anadromous and resident fish, including threatened steelhead; and limiting the transport of glacial silt from Mt. Hood into the District’s delivery system

See letter from John Buckley, Manager of EFID

EFID Web Site

Silver Lake Irrigation District

Silver Lake Irrigation District is an Oregon special district formed under rules provided by ORS 545.  The irrigation district owns and operates Thompson Reservoir and serves its patrons with irrigation water in the high desert area of Southern Oregon near and around Silver Lake.

During late 2004 and early 2005 the District worked vigorously to comply with the formalities of ORS 545. Schroeder Law Offices, PC, aided the District in this process by drafting District by-laws, rules and regulations and designating registered agents.

Silver Lake Irrigation District manages and maintains Thompson Reservoir. The Irrigation District stores and delivers water from Thompson Reservoir for its patrons and individual farmers and ranchers under private contracts prepared by Schroeder Law Offices. The contracts arose out of private agreements between the District and landowners in the early 1900’s.

Schroeder Law Offices has also provided counsel to the Silver Lake Irrigation District in disputes between individual patrons in matters related to easements and other water disputes.

Summer Lake Irrigation District

Summer Lake Irrigation District retained attorney Cortney Duke for assistance with District matters relating to water rights development.  Specifically, Schroeder Law Offices advised the District on issues related to expanding its storage opportunities. Schroeder Law Offices recommended options to prepare a storage application and to avoid potential protests from third parties. An explanation to the District of the Public Use of Lands Act as it related to the District’s use and operation of Ana Reservoir for future storage applications was also provided and explained.

As a special district client, Summer Lake Irrigation District also received Schroeder Law Offices’ courtesy annual letter outlining special district requirements including an annual meeting, monthly meetings, and the details of district elections.

Cannon View Park, Inc.

Cannon View Park, Inc. Cannon View Park, Inc. (“CVP”) is the owner of a group domestic water system. In 2009, Schroeder Law Offices conducted a review of the corporation’s water rights and provided advice concerning the use of water from springs on neighboring lands.

I appreciate the professionalism, expertise, and personal attention that Schroeder offered. The attorneys and staff were always respectful of my needs and ideas. Schroeder kept in contact with me informing me of new developments in these matters. I value the legal services I received at a reasonable price.

Dick Petrone, President
January 10, 2011

Individual, Farm and Ranch Water Clients

Circle Bar N Ranch

The Reviglio family enjoys its ties to the Nevada Agricultural and Ranching communities in its own farming operations at Circle Bar N Ranch located near Yerington, Nevada, along the Walker River.

Schroeder Law Offices, PC provided representation to the Reviglio family on decreed, storage, and ground water administration, transfer and litigation in the Walker River Basin related to operations of the Walker River Irrigation District and the Walker River Commission as well as in related federal court proceedings involving the Walker River Tribe and Walker Lake.

Warrenton, Oregon, Wetlands Issue

Landowner client owned land in and around Warrenton, Oregon, that he was unable to develop because of its claimed wetland nature. With our assistance and the client’s extensive factual research, we established that the drainage-diking districts in the area were not maintaining the drainage-diking system. It was the failure of the system that was causing the creation of wetlands on client’s property.

We called upon the County to step up and either force the drainage district to reorganize or dissolve so that the drainage district maintenance could be reestablished. The landowner had a possible cause of action against the drainage district and County for a takings on account of failed maintenance.

We achieved resolution after doing a wetlands study with Oregon Division of State Lands and Forestry in conjunction with local government for a land use that provided some of client’s lands to be developed and some to remain wetlands. We also worked with client on an option to establish a wetlands mitigation bank for his land.

Kieth and Georgia Gray

We began our client relationship with Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. in 1994, as individuals within a group of Newlands Project water users in a United States District Court case brought by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (“PLPT”) to cancel Nevada decreed water rights in the Project, known as the Alpine Petition Cases.

SLO protected our interests, during the thirteen years that the case moved through administrative hurdles.  In 2009, SLO worked with us to negotiate a successful settlement agreement with PLPT that resulted in dismissal of the PLPT’s claim against us.

PLPT’s claim alleged that we had abandoned or forfeited our water rights during the years 1984 through 1990.  Because PLPT’s claim of abandonment and non-use was for a period of time that was more than 20 years ago, settlement required Schroeder Law to work with us in navigating through and obtaining old records to prove our water use.  This research culminated in the preparation of an affidavit and supporting settlement packet demonstrating our water use during the alleged period of non-use.  Schroeder Law worked with us as we learned Nevada water law particular to our situation and helped us structure our settlement negotiation for the best possible legal success in addressing the PLPT challenge.

Dave Stix

I own and operate a farm and ranch within the Newlands Project in Lyon County, Nevada. I am a longtime client of Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. I first contacted Laura Schroeder in the early 1990s upon the recommendation of an Oregon Cattlemen’s Association contact to secure legal representation in a water rights transfer matter. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe had protested my intra-farm water right transfer application on the basis of abandonment, forfeiture, and lack of perfection. With Schroeder Law Offices’ help, I was able to combat the Tribe’s allegations and ultimately prevail before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2007.

Over the course of the litigation, Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. worked to develop an evidentiary record that supported my intra-farm transfer. The transfer, along with several other similar transfers, wound its way back and forth from the Nevada State Engineer’s office to the Nevada Federal District Court, and finally on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Over the course of the litigation, Schroeder Law Offices helped to develop and present evidence in several administrative hearings before the State Engineer to demonstrate that my water rights were not subject to forfeiture or abandonment. In addition, the case proceeded to the appellate court several times. The attorneys at Schroeder Law Offices developed legal arguments to help set favorable precedent for forfeiture and abandonment law in Nevada. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit issued a favorable ruling and I was able to keep my water rights and continue farming.

Throughout the process Laura Schroeder has provided the advice necessary to allow me to make informed decisions. Laura and her team has always provided excellent legal representation and personal attention. She has been a great resource for information about water rights in Nevada and the western United States, and has assisted me with a number of other water right related issues.

Dorothy Dodson

Laura Schroeder and Therese Ure helped me protect water rights challenged by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (“PLPT”) in the Federal District Court of Nevada.

View on Dodson Property, Fallon, NV

View of Dodson Property, Fallon, NV

The challenge presented by PLPT involved the Tribe claiming that we had abandoned or forfeited our water rights between the years 1984 and 1990. The team from Schroeder Law Offices, PC, helped me to gather records proving our water use during this time. The records pointed to mapping errors that aided me in achieving settlement. Schroeder helped me finally settle the claim which resulted in my retirement of the water rights from an additional portion of land, being less than a quarter of an acre of water rights.

Laura and Therese helped me throughout the negotiation process and filed necessary documents to remove me from the court case. My property is no longer burdened by the law suit!

I appreciate the professionalism, expertise, and personal attention that Schroeder Law Offices offered. The attorneys and staff were always respectful of my needs and ideas. They kept in contact with me informing me of new developments in this matter. I value the legal services I received at a reasonable price.

Dorothy Dodson
May 31, 2010

Dan and Julie Wolf

We own and operate our family farm and ranch in Churchill County, Nevada. We first contacted Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. in the early 1990s to obtain legal representation on a water rights transfer matter within the Newlands Project. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe had protested our intra-farm water right transfer application on the basis of abandonment, forfeiture, and lack of perfection. With Schroeder Law Office’s help, we were able to combat the Tribe’s allegations and ultimately prevail before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2007.

Over the course of the litigation, we worked with Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. to develop an evidentiary record that supported our transfer. The transfer, along with several other similar transfers, wound its way back and forth from the Nevada State Engineer’s office to the Nevada Federal District Court, and finally on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the course of the litigation, Schroeder Law Offices helped us to develop and present evidence in several administrative hearings before the State Engineer to demonstrate that our water rights were not subject to forfeiture or abandonment. In addition, the case proceeded to the appellate court several times. With the help of the attorneys at Schroeder Law Offices, we developed legal arguments to help set favorable precedent for forfeiture and abandonment law in Nevada. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit issued a favorable ruling and we were able to keep our water rights and continue farming.

Throughout the process Laura Schroeder has provided the advice necessary to allow us to make informed decisions. She taught our family about water rights in Nevada and the western United States. Because of Laura Schroeder’s continued assistance, advice, and education, our daughter is now interested in pursuing a career in law to protect agricultural interests.

Dan Wolf
December 11, 2009

Peggy A. Hughes

We began our client relationship with Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. in 1994, as members of a group of Fallon, Nevada subdivision members. Schroeder Law Offices represented us in a United States District Court case regarding the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s (PLPT) attempts to cancel Nevada decreed water rights, known as the Alpine Petition Case.

View of Hughes Property

Back Yard of Hughes Residence, Fallon, NV

Schroeder Law worked to protect our, and other Fallon area residents’ interests, during the thirteen years that the case moved through administrative hurdles. In 2009, Schroeder Law worked with us to negotiate a successful settlement agreement with PLPT, which resulted in dismissal of the PLPT’s claim against us.

PLPT’s claim alleged that we had abandoned or forfeited our water rights during the years 1984 through 1990. Because PLPT’ s claim of abandonment and non-use was for a period of time that was more than 20 years ago, settlement required Schroeder Law to work with us in navigating through and obtaining old records to prove our water use. This research culminated in the preparation of an affidavit and supporting settlement packet demonstrating our water uses during the alleged period of non-use. Schroeder Law educated us on Nevada water law throughout this process and helped us structure our settlement negotiation for the best possible legal success in addressing the PLPT challenge.

We appreciate the professionalism, expertise, and personal attention that Schroeder Law offered to us. The attorneys and staff were always respectful of our needs and ideas. Schroeder Law kept us informed of the status of our matter, and was always willing to addreaddress any special concerns. We value the legal services we received at a reasonable price.

Peggy A. Hughes
August 7, 2009

Finegan Farms, Inc.

We first contacted Schroeder Law offices in November, 2011, concerning our property in Cornelius, Oregon. Cornelius has been home to the Finegan family since 1950. We grow sweet corn, green beans, wheat, read and crimson clover, grass seed and nursery stock.

We contacted Schroeder Law Offices about correspondence from the Bureau of Reclamation concerning our property and land designation under the Reclamation Reform Act (“RRA”). In 2001 our landholdings, which are included within the boundaries of the Tualatin valley Irrigation District, had changed slightly but in a way that was significant to the RRA. We asked for help in responding to the Bureau of Reclamation and advice on the RRA.

Laura Schroeder and Cortney Duke of Schroeder Law offices immediately explained the basic structure and rules of the RRA to us over the phone. After a detailed review of our landholdings Laura and Cortney gave us a detailed written explanation of the most important provisions including acreage entitlement limitations, land attribution rules, and reporting requirements. Laura and Cortney also explained how the RRA limitations and rules applied to our landholdings and — most importantly — offered advice and plans on how to manage our landholdings within the confines of the RRA in a way that was most advantageous to our continued operation and growth.

At Finegan Farms

SLO Team with the Finegans at Finegan Farms

As part of our representation, Laura and Cortney helped us complete the reporting forms for the Bureau of Reclamation and communicated with Bureau and District staff to help us avoid unfavorable designations related to our land. They also worked with our other consultant to develop a plan to manage our landholdings going forward.

Throughout the process Laura and Cortney were always available to answer our questions. We found that questions were promptly answered and legal options were always promptly and clearly communicated to us. We appreciate the professionalism and expertise of the entire legal and support staff at Schroeder law Offices.

Jennifer Finegan
July 13, 2013

Andy and Susie Hermreck

We first engaged Schroeder Law Offices in 2009, after buying our ranch in Paulina, Oregon, seeking assistance with a due diligence review of the water rights appurtenant to the ranch.

After a site visit of our ranch, Cortney Duke obtained a copy of each of our water right files from the Oregon Water Resources Department (“OWRD”) and conducted a thorough review of our files. She prepared a written water right opinion and gave us detailed information on the terms, limits and conditions of each of our water rights. Most importantly, Cortney also provided us important information on the due diligence activities needed for each of our unperfected water rights to secure and protect our important property interests going into the future.

Cortney further assisted us by providing both legal and practical assistance and expertise in dealings with OWRD to protect our property interests. Over the four years of representation, She helped us with various filings and administrative processes at OWRD, including updating the ownership of our water rights, assisting us in complying with the conditions of our water rights, and completing and filing applications for regulatory action, such as extensions of time, as necessary. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Schroeder Law Offices as water issues may develop on our property.

In addition, Cortney explained to us the unique opportunity and benefits of forming an irrigation district on our ranch. Cortney provided us with all the practical details and drafts of the necessary documents to form an irrigation district. Though we ultimately decided to postpone forming an irrigation district, the advice and guidance Cortney gave us throughout the process was valuable to us and helped us make plans related to our water needs.

Cortney and all the attorneys and staff at Schroeder were professional and courteous to us at all times. Our questions were promptly answered and our legal options were always clearly communicated to us. We appreciate the expert advice and service we received from the entire Schroeder Law Offices team!

Susan M. Hermreck
April 2, 2013

Dave and Sue Elder

We first contacted Schroeder Law Offices, P.C. in May, 2008, about a ground water application for our property in Lake County, Oregon. We had recently received a proposed denial of our application from OWRD, the Oregon Water Resources Department. We needed advice and assistance in securing a ground water permit for our property.

Laura Schroeder and Cortney Duke explained OWRD’s ground water application processing rules. They explained why the application of OWRD’s rules had led to the proposed denial. They recommended we work with a hydrogeologist to rebut OWRD’s proposed findings. We worked with a licensed hydrogeologist and incurred no legal fees during this time.

Crooked Creek Diversion Facility

Crooked Creek Diversion Facility, Lake County, Oregon

In 2009, after the hydrogeologist prepared and submitted two site specific ground water reports to OWRD, the Department issued a proposed final order again proposing to deny our application. We again contacted Laura and Cortney for their assistance. They immediately filed a protest legally challenging OWRD’s proposed final order and proposed findings for denying our application. After our protest was filed and over the course of the next two years, Laura and Cortney worked with OWRD staff and our hydrogeologist to challenge OWRD’s proposed findings, developing options for resolving OWRD’s issues with our permit.

Among other things, Laura and Cortney met with OWRD staff in settlement discussions and negotiated with OWRD staff on amending our application to avoid OWRD’s negative findings. As part of these efforts, Cortney prepared and gave us a detailed review of the other water rights appurtenant to our property and provided options on how those rights could be used to secure the approval of our application. Recently, and as a direct result of the initial efforts and assistance provided by Laura and Cortney, our application was approved by OWRD.

Throughout the process, Laura and Cortney were always available to us to answer our questions as they arose. We found that our questions were promptly answered and our legal options were always promptly and clearly communicated to us. We appreciate the professionalism and expertise of the entire legal and support staff at Schroeder Law Offices.

Dave Elder
November 20, 2012

Dusti Ensenarro

I contacted Therese Ure to confirm the validity of the water rights and uses on my two business properties so that I could plan development.

Therese first gave me a comprehensive analysis of all water rights related to my properties. Her analysis was clear, understandable and it gave me actionable next steps to protect my water rights and keep each right in good standing with the State Engineer’s office. Having Therese verify the validity of my water rights gave me what I need to continue future planning for my business.

Next, Therese undertook complex chain of title research for both my properties. She completed the Reports of Conveyance required to allow the State Engineer to confirm my ownership of the appurtenant water rights. Given the commercial nature of my properties, Therese’s research included determinations of business entities’ names, fictitious “doing business as” names, and the relationship of the business owners to the common name of the commercial store on my property.

View of Star Point Trading Post and RV Park

Throughout this process, Therese communicated directly explaining the progression of the project. She worked with the State Engineer’s office to protect the standing of my water rights while the project was completed. Because of Therese’s hard work, I will now receive notice of and be able to address any actions that the State Engineer may take on my water rights. This provides me with great peace of mind as I develop my business.

I again contacted Schroeder Law Offices when I needed help transferring my property interests from a dissolved trust. Therese researched the trust which involved both Nevada and California law, determined the steps and prepared the documents to update ownership of my water rights a second time, including preparing and filing deeds and additional Reports of Conveyance. Therese and Schroeder Law Offices communicated the process and progress of this project along the way. With the completion of this work, my water rights are all in my name!

Dusti Ensenarro
Star Point Trading Post & RV Park

Other Clients

Esch LLC — Diane Esch

We began our relationship with Schroeder Law Offices in April 2009 in completing our due diligence to sell our family farm. For four generations, we operated our 36 acre farm in conjunction with our neighbors. Our neighbors tilled acres owned by us under lease and used water from a registered ground water well on our property.

In preparation for conveying marketable title, Schroeder Law Offices assisted us by performing an accounting of the water rights and appurtenances to our property, negotiating agreeable termination terms of the prior lease, and advising a mutual consultant in the necessary tasks relative to the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Throughout the process Laura Schroeder and her team made us a part of the solution.  We appreciate the professionalism, education, expertise, and personal attention that Schroeder Law Offices offered to us.  The attorneys and staff were respectful of our needs related to our situation.  Schroeder Law kept us informed of the status of our matter, and was always willing to address any special concerns. We value the legal services we received at a reasonable price.

 

 

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