Michael J. Gelardi

 Michael J. Gelardi

Practice Emphasis
Land Use
Water Rights
Environmental Law

J.D., University of Washington School of Law (2008)
B.A., Political Science, Environmental Studies, Macalester College (2002)

Licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington

Michael advises on real estate transactions, water rights, and agricultural business and property issues. He also has a range of land use and environmental regulatory experience, including legislative and policy matters, as well as permitting and appeals.

Before joining Hershner Hunter in October 2016, Michael spent eight years at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he handled complex land and water management projects, and was part of a nationally-recognized food and beverage law team.

Legal Services

  • Real estate agreements and property dispute resolution
  • Land use permitting and appeals
  • Water rights
  • Environmental compliance and permitting, conservation agreements and property remediation
  • Crop supply agreements and dispute resolution
  • Cannabis regulation and business development

Representative Experience

Land use and natural resources counsel for Oregon Winegrowers Association Advised wine industry trade association on legislative and policy matters including land use, water resources and pesticide use.

Agricultural goods contract breach* Represented distributor in Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) proceeding against purchaser who breached sales agreements. Obtained favorable settlement. (U.S. Dept. of Ag., 2015)

Klipsun Vineyards water rights Successfully renegotiated water right permit with Washington Department of Ecology to facilitate sale, expansion and replanting of Red Mountain AVA vineyard. 

Del Rio Vineyards v. Jackson County Successfully resolved land use conflict between neighboring agricultural and industrial operations in southern Oregon. Prevailed before Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals twice. 263 Or App 406; LUBA No. 2014-054; LUBA 2015-104

Cannabis Business Development Represent southern Oregon cannabis business in conversion of historic timber mill to cannabis production facility, including business agreements, property management, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission licensing

In the Matter of Waverly Marina Association, OAH Case No. 1403630* Successfully challenged Oregon Department of State Lands permitting decisions before an administrative law judge.

Clean Water Act settlement
Negotiated favorable settlement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on behalf of fuel distributor for accidental diesel spill in waterway

Center for Environmental Law and Policy v. Department of Ecology* Represented utility in defending water rights related to hydropower production at existing dam. Prevailed before Washington Court of Appeals, Thurston County Superior Court and Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board. 194 Wash App 1054

Agricultural Business Sale*
Assisted family farming enterprise with water rights and other property issues in sale of diversified Willamette Valley farming operations.

Friends of Yamhill County v. Yamhill County* Represented winery in defending conditional use permitting process for winery facilities and activities on farmland. Prevailed before Oregon Court of Appeals, Land Use Board of Appeals, Land Conservation and Development Commission, and Yamhill County Board of Commissioners. 255 Or App 636 (2013)

Wind Energy Development*
Served as local development counsel for one of the world’s largest wind energy projects, located in eastern Oregon. Assisted with siting, electric transmission and interconnection, environmental and other regulatory matters.

Portland Harbor Superfund Site*
Represented multinational corporation regarding allocation of liability for remediation of the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

Freedman v. Lane County, LUBA No. 2011-055* Represented farm business owner and other neighbors seeking to protect local water quality through land use proceedings. Prevailed before Land Use Board of Appeals and Lane County Hearings Official.

*Denotes experience completed at prior law firm  

Additional experience

Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2008-2016, Portland
Legal Extern, Hon. John C. Coughenour, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle
Legal Extern, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, Seattle  

Professional and Community Activities 

Executive Committee, Agricultural Law Section, Oregon State Bar
Board of Directors, Portland Fruit Tree Project, 2010-2014
Pro bono legal counsel to agricultural land conservation organizations  

Professional Recognition

Selected to “Oregon Rising Stars,” Thomson Reuters, 2013-2017
Selected to “Up and Coming Lawyers” in Oregon, Daily Journal of Commerce, 2012

See Michael’s News, Presentations and Publications

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