Jim Arnone has extensive experience helping clients navigate complex state and federal environmental laws related to transformative development projects as well as litigation over the legal obligations of local, state, and federal governmental bodies.

He has particular experience in the following areas:

  • Compliance with state and federal environmental laws
  • Infrastructure, energy, and real estate development projects
  • Litigation over the legal obligations of local, state, and federal governmental bodies

Mr. Arnone is a frequent author and lecturer on environmental, climate change, and real estate law. He co-authored a global climate change chapter in an ABA-published Environmental Litigation book, co-edited the Water Quality section of the California Municipal Law Handbook, and authored various articles and Client Alerts on new developments in land use and environmental law. Most recently, Mr. Arnone was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 50 Development Lawyers.

Mr. Arnone has served the firm in several management roles, including having served as Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Global Co-Chair of the Environmental Litigation Practice Group, and Deputy Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office. Mr. Arnone also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Law School, where he taught Environmental Law for 25 years. Mr. Arnone also serves on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where he serves as Chair of its Environmental Policy Committee. Mr. Arnone speaks in many venues on environmental and real estate development topics, including CEQA, land use, global climate change, and various environmental laws. Mr. Arnone co-chaired a day-long CEQA symposium annually for 17 years, convening highly distinguished faculties from government, consulting firms, and the legal community. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section, during which he chaired several committees.

Mr. Arnone has extensive courtroom experience, both in the trial courts and in the appellate courts. He has advised numerous clients on the implications of current and pending global climate change rules. Mr. Arnone also frequently advises clients on and litigates matters involving the enforcement of governmental duties, including environmental laws, open meeting and public records laws, charter school laws, and initiative and referendum laws.

Mr. Arnone has often advised clients and litigated controversies involving a wide range of environmental and land use laws, including:

  • Air quality laws, water quality laws, water supply laws
  • California Coastal Act
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • California’s “Unfair Competition Law”
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Historic preservation laws
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • “Proposition 65”
  • State and local land use laws

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1990
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles, 1987
General Recognition Thumbnail
March 26, 2018 Recognition

2018 CLAY Awards: Net Zero Newhall

A Latham environmental team advising the Newhall Ranch community is honored as Attorneys of the Year for innovative work in advancing one of the largest master-planned communities ever proposed in California.