Damien M. Schiff
Principal Attorney, National Litigation Center
Clean Water Act
Endangered Species Act
Mr. Schiff is a Principal Attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation. At PLF, Mr. Schiff has worked on a number of cases pertaining to the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Mr. Schiff was lead attorney in Sackett v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, in which the United States Supreme Court held that landowners may obtain judicial review of compliance orders issued by EPA under the Clean Water Act. He was lead attorney in Great Northwest, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, PLF’s successful challenge in the District of Alaska to the Corps’ assertion of Clean Water Act jurisdiction over wetlands in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was also lead attorney in Barnum Timber Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that landowners have a right to challenge environmental regulations that reduce their property values.
Mr. Schiff also has been involved in a number of cases under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). He was lead attorney in PLF’s successful legal challenge to force the government to make good on its promise to remove the bald eagle from the list of threatened species under the ESA, a promise that was five years overdue. He also was lead attorney in PLF’s challenge to the listing of the California tiger salamander, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Hatchery Listing Policy, and the critical habitat designation of 15 vernal pool species in California and Oregon, among other cases.
Publications / Achievements
Mr. Schiff has appeared on television and radio programs and in newspapers throughout the country. He has appeared on National Public Radio, The Lehrer News Hour, and Lou Dobbs Tonight. He also has appeared on the Andy Caldwell, Inga Barks, Larry Elder, Peter Schiff, and Bill Wattenberg radio programs. He has been quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, Economist, New York Times, Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Washington Post, and Washington Times, among other publications.
Mr. Schiff’s legal writing includes Rollin’, Rollin’ Rollin’ on the River: A Story of Drought, Treaty Interpretation, and Other Rio Grande Problems, published in volume 14 of the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review; Samaritans: Good, Bad, and Ugly: A Comparative Law Analysis, published in volume 11 of the Roger Williams University Law Review; Purposivism and the “Reasonable Legislator”: A Review Essay of Justice Stephen Breyer’s Active Liberty, published in volume 33 of the William Mitchell Law Review; Nothing New Under the Sun: The Minimalism of Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court’s Recent Environmental Law Jurisprudence, published in volume 15 of the Missouri Environmental Law and Policy Review; The Distinct Population Segment Provision of the Endangered Species Act and the Lack Thereof in the California Endangered Species Act, published in volume 30 of the Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law (co-authored with Joshua P. Thompson); and Divisive Diversity at the University of Texas: An Opportunity for the Supreme Court to Overturn Its Flawed Decision in Grutter, published in volume 15 of the Texas Review of Law and Politics (co-authored with Joshua P. Thompson).
Mr. Schiff obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University. He is a former law clerk to the Honorable Victor J. Wolski, United States Court of Federal Claims.