Lucas Quass is an associate in the Environment, Land & Resources Practice of Latham & Watkins. He focuses his practice on environmental matters involving land use, development, and water resources.

Mr. Quass practices environmental law, with an emphasis on California land use, water law and policy, major infrastructure improvements, and state court writ of mandamus and similar litigation. He provides advice to lenders, private developers, corporations, government entities, and nonprofit organizations regarding water rights in groundwater and surface water systems and environmental matters related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, local planning, zoning, and historic preservation laws and California’s Prop 65. Mr. Quass currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.

Mr. Quass is also active in the firm’s pro bono program. He represents the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a nonprofit organization in Laguna Beach, California, dedicated to the rescue, medical treatment, and rehabilitation of marine mammals stranded along the Orange County coastline, with obtaining land-use approvals for the development of its campus expansion project. 

During law school, Mr. Quass was a law clerk at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. He was also the executive senior editor of the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, as well as a USC Law and Mental Health Scholar at the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, and he was a recipient of the Edward & Eleanor Shattuck Award for Outstanding Service to the USC Law Center. 

Mr. Quass’ experience includes the following: 

  • Representation of a large multi-residential property owner in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin Adjudication 
  • Representation of development projects in the California Coastal Zone
  • Defended multiple challenges to development projects on CEQA and other grounds before California trial and appellate courts 
  • Water rights and environmental due diligence for real estate finance companies, public agencies, and agricultural operations involving the purchase, sale, and lease of real property 
  • Prepared water rights opinions and assesments for multi-million dollar real property transactions 
  • Advised clients at all levels of the product distribution chain concerning Prop 65, including warning requirements, reformulation, preemptive sampling, and defense of litigation concerning alleged violations of Prop 65’s warning requirements. 

Thought Leadership

Mr. Quass has taught several courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including Persuasive Advocacy. Mr. Quass has also authored many articles and client alerts on new developments in land use, water resources, and environmental law.

  • “California Response to COVID-19: What Hotel Owners Need to Know,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2020)
  • “California Appeals Court: Which Conflicting Limitations Period Applies to CEQA Claim,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2019)
  • “California Supreme Court: CEQA Requires Study of Potential Impacts to ESHA,” LW Client Alert (2017) 
  • “California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law,” LW Clean Energy Law Report (2015) 
  • “EPA and Army Corps Issue Final Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction,” LW Client Alert (2015) 
  • “Governor Brown Orders California’s First Mandatory Water Restrictions,” LW Clean Energy Law Report (2015) 
  • “Legislature Approves $1 Billion Drought Relief Legislation; Governor Brown Expected to Sign,” LW Clean Energy Law Report (2015) 
  • Co-author, “Mitigate Early and Often: Four Public Agency Strategies for Streamlining Projects,” PublicCEO, (Mar. 4, 2014) 
  • Co-author, “Fate of $7.5B Water Bond Up to Voters,” Daily Journal, (Nov. 3, 2014) 
  • Co-author, “California’s Human Right to Water Law Will Frame Future Policy Debates,” Bloomberg BNA’ s Water Law Policy & Monitor, (Mar. 2013) 
  • “Extraterritorial Jurisdiction: Extending the Reach of US Human Trafficking Law when Nations are Unable or Unwilling to Prosecute,” 2 Int’l J. Public L. & Pol’y 17 (2012) 
  • “Proxy Marriages & the Military Widow Penalty: Excluding Alien Widows of Fallen Soldiers,” 20 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 501 (2011) 
  • “Federal Efforts to Achieve Mental Health Parity: A Step in the Right Direction, But Discrimination Remains,” 4 Leg. & Pol’y Br. 35 (2011)

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, University of Southern California, 2011
    Order of the Coif
  • BA, University of California, Davis, 2005