rwgJames L. Markman
James L. MarkmanShareholderOrange County







James L. Markman is a shareholder in the Public Law Department and Water Rights and Water Law Practice Group at Richards, Watson & Gershon with more than 40 years of experience representing local public agencies. Mr. Markman is the Chair of the Water Rights and Water Law Practice Group and serves on the Firm's Management Committee.

Mr. Markman specializes in Water Rights and Water Law, Litigation, Public Agency and Municipal Law Litigation, Public Agency and Municipal Law and Redevelopment.

Mr. Markman is General Counsel for the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District and Special Counsel for the Nipomo Community Services District, and the City of Palmdale in reference to groundwater basin management and adjudication issues. Mr. Markman practiced in the area of redevelopment for over 40 years, serving as General Counsel to Brea, Buena Park, La Mirada, Rancho Cucamonga, and Whittier Redevelopment Agencies. He now represents the Successor Agencies to each of those Redevelopment Agencies as they proceed to comply with AB X1 26. He also represents the Cities of Brea, La Mirada and Rancho Cucamonga as City Attorney.

Mr. Markman has been involved in virtually every significant groundwater adjudication which has occurred commencing in 1969, including the Chino Basin, Cummings Basin, Mojave River Basin, Six Basins, Upper San Gabriel and the ongoing Santa Maria and Antelope Valley adjudications.

Mr. Markman was a principal trial counsel and represented numerous public agencies in the Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court in the successful second effort to adjudicate and bring management to the water resources of the Mojave River Basin. He now represents public agencies involved in active water negotiations and related matters in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Mr. Markman personally represented numerous California Regional Water Quality Control Boards and, in that capacity, instituted the first four civil suits brought under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, which cases were related to the pollution of Monterey Bay.

Mr. Markman served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California from 1968 through 1970, where he specialized in water rights and pollution matters. While with the Attorney General's office, he also solely handled 53 cases in the appellate courts of this State, including three before the California Supreme Court.

Mr. Markman is an active member of the Association of California Water Agencies ("ACWA"). He regularly attends ACWA meetings, conferences and seminars where he has been a frequent seminar speaker on a variety of water law and water rights issues.


A.B., Dartmouth College, 1965
J.D., Cornell University, 1968

Practice Areas

Climate Change
Public Agency and Municipal Law Litigation
Public Agency and Municipal Law
Water Rights and Water Law