Mitchell M. Tsai

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Environmental Litigation Attorney in Pasadena, CA

Mitchell M. Tsai, Attorney at Law
155 S El Molino Ave, Ste. 104
Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: 855-463-9808
Fax: 626-389-5414
Selected to Rising Stars: 2020 - 2021
Licensed Since: 2011
Practice Areas: Environmental Litigation (40%), Land Use/Zoning (40%), Nonprofit Organizations (20%)
Languages Spoken: English, Chinese-Mandarin
Attorney Profile

Mitchell M. Tsai concentrates his practice on environmental and land use law. As the principal of Mitchell M. Tsai, Attorney At Law, in Pasadena, California, Mr. Tsai represents individuals, businesses and organizations in Pasadena and throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area.  

Over the course of his career, Mr. Tsai has appeared before state and federal courts and participated in various administrative proceedings. He is the author of articles for the Daily Journal and Los Angeles Lawyer magazine and holds licenses to practice law before all California state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Tsai earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in gender studies from the University of Southern California. He received his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. He also earned a certificate in environmental and natural resources.

Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Tsai acquired legal experience by clerking for the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment Now, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and two private attorneys. He also practiced as an associate with a private firm, handling complex land use and environmental matters.

Before embarking on his legal career, Mr. Tsai was a researcher and policy advocate for organizations, including the California League of Conservation Voters, the Fund for the Public Interest, Taiwan Environmental Action Network and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He is a former fellow in the Southern California Leadership Network.

Practice Areas
  • 40%Environmental Litigation
  • 40%Land Use/Zoning
  • 20%Nonprofit Organizations
Focus Areas

Non-profit & Tax-exempt Organizations

Selections

2 Years Rising Stars
  • Rising Stars: 2020 - 2021

About Mitchell M. Tsai

Admitted: 2011, California

Professional Webpage: http://mitchtsailaw.com/

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. 
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • California Supreme Court

Educational Background

  • University of Southern California, B.A. in International Relations with a Minor in Gender Studies, Trojan Debate Squad, 4 year scholarship member for Policy Debate., 2005
  • Lewis & Clark Law School Portland, OR, J.D. & Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources May, 2010, Managing Editor of Environmental Law

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Article concerning the use of Vehicle Miles Traveled over Level of Service as a metric for determining Transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act. , Author, Concerns about a CEQA Reform That Favors Multimodal Transportation, Los Angeles Lawye, 2015
  • Fellowship program providing leadership and communications training to develop leadership skills for first and second generation Americans.  , Southern California Leadership Network, 2013-2014 New American Leaders Fellow, 2014
  • Article discussing the use of Indirect Source Review authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate Port Pollution. , Author, The Ports of Los Angeles And Long Beach Backstop Rule: An Indirect Way For States To Make Polluters Live Up To Their Commitments, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Air Quality Committee Newsletter, 2015
  • Article discussing the use of delegated federal authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate air pollutant transportation sources in Southern California, The Ports of Los Angeles And Long Beach Backstop Rule: An Indirect Way For States To Make Polluters Live Up To Their Commitments, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Air Quality Committee Newsletter, 2015
  • Article discussing case law concerning administrative record preparation under the California Environmental Quality Act. , Author, Til The Well Runs Dry: Administrative Record Preparation Cost Recovery Under The California Environmental Quality Act, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Energy and Natural Resources Litigation Committee Newslette, 2014
  • Mitchell M. Tsai, “CEQA ‘Reform’ Begins To Take Hold” Los Angeles Daily Journal (Aug. 25, 2014)., Author, CEQA ‘Reform’ Begins To Take Hold, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2014
  • Gideon Kracov, Shufan Sung, & Mitchell M. Tsai, “Can Citizen Suits Help China Battle Pollution” Los Angeles Daily Journal (Jan. 8, 2014)., Co-Author, Can Citizen Suits Help China Battle Pollution, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2014
  • Article discussing the State's proposed transition from Level of Service to Vehicle Miles Traveled CEQA transportation analysis., Author, Concerns about a CEQA Reform That Favors Multimodal Transportation, LA Lawyer Magazine, 2015

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Obtained favorable settlement of Arroyo Seco Foundation et al v. County of Los Angeles (LASC Case No. BS152772 / 2DCA Case No. B288034, LASC Case No. BS171826) on behalf of clients Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Audubon Society with the County of Los Angeles regarding the Devil's Gate Dam Sediment Removal Project, a $500 million dam maintenance project. This resulted in increased habitat preservation, reduced air quality impacts and enhanced the environmental and recreational resources at Hahamongna Watershed Park. The settlement received significant media coverage, some of which can be seen at https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2020/07/08/after-lengthy-legal-battle-pasadena-groups-victorious-at-devils-gate-dam/, 2020
  • Obtained favorable settlement in Climate Resolve v. California Department of Transportation (LASC Case No. BS166680) between the California Department of Transportation and Climate Resolve, halting the highway portion of the proposed High Desert Corridor Project. The settlement received significant media coverage, some of which can be seen here https://la.streetsblog.org/2019/10/02/caltrans-settles-environment-lawsuit-cancels-high-desert-freeway-project/, 2019
  • Obtained Writ of Mandate in Lydia Ponce v. City of Los Angeles (LASC Case No. BS169426) halting construction of a proposed warehouse on the former site of the South Central Farm, which at one point was the largest urban farm in the United States. The case received significant media coverage, some of which can be seen here at https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-farm-ruling-20180809-story.html., 2018
  • Obtained Writ of Mandate issued in Arroyo Seco Foundation & Pasadena Audubon Society v. County of Los Angeles (BS152771), et al in favor of clients Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Audubon Society halting the Devil's Gate Dam Sediment Removal Project, a $500 million dam maintenance project that had been set to remove someof the last remaining wetlands habitat in Southern California. The win attracted notable media coverage, which can be seen here at https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/03/23/70136/environmentalists-win-temporary-halt-to-devil-s-ga/, 2017
  • Obtained favorable settlement of SAJE v. City of Los Angeles (LASC Case No. BS166691), a challenge to the City's approval of a $1.2 billion redevelopment project at 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA, known as The Reef / LA Mart that resulted in tripling the amount of affordable housing required for the Project. The settlement received significant media attention, some of which can be seen here at http://www.ladowntownnews.com/development/at-the-reef-mega-project-a-battle-and-resolution/article_613c06b4-b068-11e7-9e04-b798a88b60ee.html, 2017
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Office Location for Mitchell M. Tsai

155 S El Molino Ave
Ste. 104
Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: 855-463-9808

Fax: 626-389-5414

Last Updated: 7/16/2021

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