Neal P. Maguire

Managing Partner

California’s constantly-evolving land-use and environmental law landscape requires the litigation and natural resources expertise of a lawyer like Neal Maguire. Maguire leads Ferguson Case Orr Paterson’s environmental and natural resources practice group. A partner with the firm, he is also a member of our real estate and land use practice group.

As environmental impact reports become increasingly sophisticated and the matters developers and other land-holders must consider regarding natural resources more complicated, Neal brings his depth of knowledge about water rights, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and state and local land use laws together with years of litigation experience.

He has successfully represented developers, public agencies and community groups in some of Southern California’s largest, highest-profile, and most complex land use cases in the past decade. His clients have included the City of Los Angeles and the Autry Center, as well as hospital centers, water management agencies, housing developers and telecommunications companies.

A graduate of the University of California, San Diego and the University of Chicago Law School, Neal came to Ferguson Case Orr Paterson after working for many years with two of the nation’s largest law firms: Alston & Bird, and Latham & Watkins. His leadership in environmental law has been recognized by local media, and he has been recognized in the “40 under 40” listings of top young professionals by both the San Fernando Business Journal and the Pacific Coast Business Times. He also was a founding member of the Ventura County Bar Association’s natural resources section.

Representative Experience

  • Counseled Community Memorial Health System regarding the preparation of an environmental impact report for its expansion of its hospital in Ventura, CA.
  • Successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, Second District, which held in Central Basin Municipal Water District v. Water Replenishment District of Southern California (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 943, that a public water agency is exempt from the provisions of CEQA when it acts pursuant to a water rights judgment. Neal also successfully represented the Water Replenishment District in Water Replenishment District of Southern California v. City of Cerritos (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 1450, which held that a municipal water pumper must pay a water replenishment assessment while the pumper pursues a refund of the assessment under Proposition 218.
  • Represented property owners in the North Ranch Community of Thousand Oaks regarding a proposed subdivision and residential development project.
  • Successfully represented the Autry National Center of the American West in litigation challenging, under CEQA and the Ralph M. Brown Act, the approval of the Autry Museum’s proposed renovation. (Highland Park Heritage Trust v. City of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. of Appeal, Second District, 2014); Walnum v. City of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. of Appeal, Second District, 2013).
  • Successfully defended against CEQA and other litigation challenges to the City of Los Angeles’s environmental review of the first and second phases of one of the largest mixed-use developments in Los Angeles. (Ballona Wetlands Land Trust v. City of Los Angeles (2011) 201 Cal. App. 4th 455; Environmentalism Through Inspiration And Non-Violent Action v. City Of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. of Appeal, Second District, 2010).
  • Represented a large commercial shopping center developer in connection with land use entitlements for several projects throughout Southern California.
  • Represented the developer of a desalination facility in CEQA litigation and, after successfully handling the litigation in Orange County Superior Court, negotiated a settlement precluding an appeal.
  • Processed land use entitlements throughout Southern California for a national wireless telecommunications company and pursued litigation on behalf of the company concerning land use entitlements for its facilities.
  • Represented private water company in successful litigation upholding a public agency’s acquisition of the water company. (SCOPE v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2016) 1 Cal. App.5th 1084.)

Practice Groups

Bar and Professional

  • California State Bar, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of California
  • 40 under 40, Pacific Coast Business Times, 2015
  • 40 under 40, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, 2012
  • Ventura County Bar Association, Natural Resources Section (Founding Member)


  • J.D., Universtiy of Chicago, School of Law
  • B.A., University of California, San Diego

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