E. Clement Shute, Jr.

E. Clement Shute Jr. is a founding partner of Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. Now retired from the firm, he serves on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board. Prior to founding the firm he was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Consumer Protection Section of the California Attorney General’s Office. In that capacity, he was counsel to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and legal advisor to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and managed 22 lawyers. In 2015 he was recognized by the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California with the second annual Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Environmental Law.

photo by Liza Heider

Mr. Shute represented the Town of Tiburon in the landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court upholding open space zoning against claims of inverse condemnation (Agins v. Town of Tiburon, 447 U.S. 255 (1980)). Mr. Shute's practice continued to emphasize this area, the most recent and significant case being Tahoe Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302 (2002), where owners of property in the Lake Tahoe Basin claimed that a moratorium intended to provide the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency with time to prepare a plan for the lake was a compensable taking. The United States Supreme Court upheld the moratorium and did not require the payment of compensation.

Mr. Shute worked extensively with the California Environmental Quality Act. He participated in the early court cases which provided a broad interpretation of the statute and has been involved in advising and litigating CEQA claims since. Most recently he participated in a committee of lawyers advising the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research on how to draft guidelines for dealing with climate change in environmental documents. He is also an expert on General Plans. He was legal advisor to the County of Marin which updated its plan in 2007 and has received many awards for its forward looking policies dealing with wetlands, compact urban grown and climate change. Mr. Shute also developed special expertise in airport expansion issues, wetland regulation, solid waste regulation, and issues affecting San Francisco Bay and Lake Tahoe.

Mr. Shute received his JD from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1964 and is a member of the bar of the State of California, the United States Supreme Court, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and several Federal District Courts. He has been named a California Super Lawyer for several years, including 2008. Mr. Shute has received the Peter Behr Award for lifetime achievement in protecting the environment from the Marin Conservation League. He is a member of the California Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land and is an adjunct professor at Boalt Hall school of Law and Hastings College of the Law.