Catherine C. Engberg

Catherine Engberg joined Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger in 2002 after completing a clerkship with the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of California. Ms. Engberg is a partner at the firm. Her practice includes municipal law, CEQA compliance and litigation, local initiatives and referendums, eminent domain, real estate transactions, and general plan and zoning law.

photo by Liza Heider

Ms. Engberg serves as City Attorney to the City of Half Moon Bay, and has served as acting City Attorney to both the City of Orinda and City of Saratoga. She regularly advises clients regarding open meeting laws, conflicts of interest, and public records.

Ms. Engberg has litigation experience in both state and federal court regarding constitutional, CEQA and election law matters. She maintains an active practice before the California Public Utilities Commission, representing environmental organizations on a wide array of ratesetting and permitting proceedings. She has advised several public agencies in connection with updates to their general plans, housing elements and related CEQA documentation. Ms. Engberg routinely represents community groups in administrative proceedings and CEQA litigation over major infrastructure and residential projects.

Ms. Engberg is a member of the firm’s initiative and referendum committee. She has drafted numerous ballot measures on behalf of community groups, including two countywide initiatives to ban fracking. Ms. Engberg recently authored an amicus brief on behalf of the Colorado PTA in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case Kerr v. Hickenlooper, in support of plaintiffs’ challenge the voter-enacted Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

Ms. Engberg represents the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency with respect to right of way acquisition related to the Natomas Levee Improvement Program. She has extensive trial and appellate litigation experience in right of way and eminent domain matters.

Ms. Engberg teaches land use law at Stanford Law School and Berkeley Law. She has published in the Stanford Law Review and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal on topics of ranging from citizen initiatives to legal issues regarding the decommissioning of dams. She has led CEQA, open government, and election law workshops sponsored by the Planning and Conservation League, Sierra Club and Friends of Harbors Beaches and Parks.

Ms. Engberg routinely presents on land use and housing issues. In November 2016, Ms. Engberg presented to the Livable Communities Advisory Team, AARP, on the topic of “CEQA Pros and Cons” and engaged in a discussion of challenges that restrict affordable housing production. In the fall of 2014, Ms. Engberg spoke at the Southern California County Counsels’ Association Meeting on a panel entitled “Fracking: Discussion of Legal Issues Facing Local Governments.”

Ms. Engberg received her law degree, with distinction, from Stanford Law School in 2001 and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1995. Prior to attending law school, she worked as an environmental engineer and is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer. Ms. Engberg has served on the Kensington Municipal Advisory Council, which provides recommendations on planning, design review and land use issues in her local community.

Ms. Engberg is a member of the Bar of the State of California.