Scott is co-chair of the firm’s Natural Resources Department. An experienced litigator, Scott's legal practice now emphasizes negotiation and strategic planning for clients seeking to secure new water supplies and assisting them in meeting their objectives for reliability and sustainability. Scott serves as special water counsel to investor-owned utilities, private equity groups, private corporations, special districts, cities and large landowners.
Scott has nearly 30 years' experience representing clients in complex water matters, predominantly in the Western United States. He has conducted transactional counseling, negotiated and drafted proposed legislation, and represented clients in groundwater litigation and stream adjudication. He has also handled water resource and water quality cases before the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Public Utilities Commission and state and federal courts.
Among his more significant recent water transactions, in 2007 Scott acted as facilitator, negotiator and draftsman of a complex set of court approved agreements that will effectuate a novel groundwater management strategy in the Southern California Inland Empire. The agreements will allow for the harvesting of 400,000 acre-feet of groundwater and 10 mgd of expanded desalting capacity to dramatically curtail outflow to the Santa Ana River. In 2005 Scott completed negotiations for an agreement for the joint use of the Upper American River Project (UARP) for the benefit of El Dorado County, an area of origin community at the headwaters of the American River. Through the Quantification Settlement Agreement, in 2003 he capped nearly a decade of effort by negotiating agreements for transfer of 277,000 acre-feet per year for the San Diego County Water Authority, the largest water transfer in United States history.
Scott has been active in numerous water adjudication and litigation matters and he has a working knowledge of every adjudicated groundwater basin in California, including the Chino Basin, the San Fernando Basin, the Six Basins, the Seaside Basin, the Santa Paula Basin, the Central and West Coast Basins, the Mojave Basin, the Goleta Basin, and the Sacramento Basin.
An accomplished author and public speaker, Scott is frequently called upon to present at national water and environmental conferences. He is the author of a two-volume treatise titled California Water Law and Policy. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pepperdine School of Law (1996-2002), a visiting lecturer at the University of Western Australia and at various universities in the People's Republic of China. In addition, Scott has been appointed to water management boards and called upon repeatedly to serve as an expert witness in water law and the professional standard of care for water lawyers.
Scott is CEO and General Counsel for Cadiz Inc., a publicly traded company. While maintaining his shareholder position at Brownstein, Scott serves as Cadiz's lead liaison with customer agencies and oversees the company's environmental and resource management efforts.