For over three decades, Chris Meyer has been a leader in the fields of water law, planning and zoning law, environmental permitting, natural resources law, public road law, and constitutional law.  His clients include Fortune Ten companies, major league energy companies, cities, counties, highway districts, water companies, food producers, mining companies, and land developers.  He has broad experience in transactions involving land use entitlements and water rights.  He also has extensive litigation experience at the administrative, district court, and appellate levels.  He has played a significant role in shaping legislation and is described in the Idaho Yearbook Directory as "centrally located in the world of Idaho public affairs" and "a key figure in Idaho water law."  He is President of the Idaho Environmental Forum, the largest environmental policy group in the state.

Best Lawyers in America named Chris "Lawyer of the Year" in Boise Idaho in 2011 (for natural resources) and again in 2013 (for environmental law).  Chris is also listed among the leading lawyers in Mountain States Super Lawyers, Chambers USA (Band 1 – highest ranking), Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Environment lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in American Law.  He has earned Martindale Hubbell's highest ranking (A-V).

Prior to joining Givens Pursley in 1991, he spent seven years at the University of Colorado School of Law where he taught water law and negotiation while serving as legal counsel to the school's natural resource law clinic.  For four years in the 1980s, he practiced natural resources law with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C.  Chris earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1981.  He earned his A.B. degree from the same school with high honors in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, James B. Angell Scholar, and the Osterweil Prize in Economics.

Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America - four listings: water law, land use & zoning law, natural resources, and environmental law
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers - energy and natural resources
  • Chambers USA - Band 1 highest ranking for natural resources and environment
  • Marquis' Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law
  • Who's Who Legal - Environment, a London-based listing of the top environmental lawyers in the world
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell - highest ranking (AV)
  • Marquis' Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in American Law
  • Idaho Yearbook Directory (2001) Described as a "key figure in Idaho water law" and "centrally located in the world of Idaho public affairs". Listed among top 100 most influential Idahoans
  • Board of Advisors, National Judicial College, "Dividing the Waters" program for judges

Education

  • J.D., University of Michigan, 1981 - cum laude
  • B.S. in Economics, University of Michigan, 1977 - High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Osterweil Prize in Economics, James B. Angell Scholar

Admissions

  • Idaho State Bar
  • Colorado State Bar
  • District of Columbia State Bar
  • U.S. District Court (U.S. District Court, 8th, 9th, 10th Circuits)

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Givens Pursley LLP (1991-present)
  • Counsel, National Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Natural Resources Clinic, Boulder, Colorado (1984-1991) 
  • Associate Professor Adjunct, University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, Colorado (1984-1991)
  • Counsel, National Wildlife Federation, Water Resources Program, Washington, D.C. (1981-1984)

Litigation

  • County of Shoshone v. United States, 2014 WL 5488241 (9th Cir., Oct. 31, 2014) (road law). A&B Irrigation Dist. v. State, 157 Idaho 385, 336 P3d 792 (2014) (Burdick, C.J.) (water rights—single fill rule—Basin-wide Issue No. 17)
  • In the Matter of Certified Question of Law – White Cloud v. Valley County, 156 Idaho 77, 320 P.3d 1236 (2014) (J. Jones, J.) (defended county in action involving impact fees – White Cloud development)
  • Hehr v. City of McCall, 155 Idaho 92, 305 P.3d 536 (2013) (Burdick, C.J.) (defended city in action involving impact fees – the Greystone Village case)
  • Alpine Village Co. v. City of McCall, Case No. CV-2010-519-C (Idaho, Fourth Judicial Dist., December 16, 2011) (successfully defended city in action involving alleged illegal impact fees) (now on appeal as Idaho Supreme Court Docket No. 39580-2012)
  • Sopatyk v. Lemhi County, 151 Idaho 809, 264 P.3d 916 (2011) (upholding county's validation of Anderson Creek Road as a public road)
  • Mann v. Peters, Case No. CV-2011-57 (Idaho, Fifth Judicial Dist., Aug. 11, 2011) (upholding right to develop an "accessory dwelling unit" on property)
  • Hehr v. City of McCall, Case No. CV-2010-276-C (Idaho, Fourth Judicial Dist., June 6, 2011) (successfully defended city in action involving alleged illegal impact fees – the Greystone Village case) (now on appeal as Idaho Supreme Court Docket No. 39535-2012)
  • Buckskin Properties, Inc. v. Valley County, Case No. CV-2009-554-C (Idaho, Fourth Judicial Dist., Jan. 7, 2011 and Apr11, 2011) (successfully defended county in action involving alleged illegal impact fees  - "The Meadows" case) (now on appeal as Idaho Supreme Court Docket No. 38830-2011)
  • American Independence Mines and Minerals Co. v. USDA, 733 F. Supp. 2d 1241 (D. Idaho 2010) (NEPA, standing, and road law issues)
  • In Re SRBA, Case No. 39576, Subcase Nos. 29-00271 et al. (Idaho, Fifth Judicial Dist., Nov. 9, 2009 and April 12,2010), aff'd, City of Pocatello v. Idaho, 152 Idaho 830, 275 P.3d 845 (2012) (upholding position of amici curiae regarding alternative points of diversion in City of Pocatello municipal water rights litigation)
  • In Re SRBA, Case No. 39576, Subcase Nos. 63-02779 et al. (Idaho, Fifth Judicial Dist., June 3, 2009), Subcase Nos. 63-02449 et al. (Fifth Judicial Dist., May 20, 2009) (secured partial decrees for each of the City of Nampa's water rights)
  • Galli v. Idaho County, 146 Idaho 155, 191 P.3d 233 (2008) (amicus brief in public access case)
  • Cove Springs Development, Inc. v. Blaine County, Case No. CV2008-22 (Idaho, Fifth Judicial Dist., June 3, 2008) (declaring unlawful and unconstitutional various exaction and comprehensive plan ordinance provisions)
  • Schaefer v. City of Sun Valley, Case No. CV-06-882 (Idaho, Fifth Judicial Dist. July 3, 2007) (declaring unconstitutional Sun Valley's affordable housing fee)
  • American Falls Reservoir Dist. No. 2 v. Idaho Dep't of Water Resources, 143 Idaho 862, 154 P.3d 433 (2007) (conjunctive management of ground and surface water)
  • Chisholm v. Idaho Department of Water Resources, 142 Idaho 159, 125 P.3d 515 (2005) (water rights—local public interest)
  • Davisco Foods Int'l, Inc. v. Gooding County, 141 Idaho 784, 118 P.3d 116 (2005) (land use)
  • Colorado Water Conservation Bd. v. City of Central, 125 P.3d 424 (Colo. 2005) (article by Christopher Meyer cited by court)
  • Farrell v. Board of County Comm'rs of Lemhi County, 138 Idaho 378, 64 P.3d 304 (2002) (public road access—theIndian Creek Road case)
  • Potlatch Corp. v. United States, 134 Idaho 916, 12 P.3d 1260 (2000) (wilderness water rights)
  • State v. Hagerman Water Right Owners, Inc., 130 Idaho 727, 947 P.2d 400 (1997) (partial forfeiture water rights case)
  • Fremont-Madison Irrigation Dist. v. Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, Inc., 129 Idaho 454, 926 P.2d 1301 (1996) (interpretation of water right amnesty statute)
  • State, ex rel. Higginson v. United States, 128 Idaho 246, 912 P.2d 614 (1995) (constitutionality of SRBA amendments –water law)
  • Nebraska v. Rural Electrification Administration, 23 F.3d 1336 (8th Cir. 1994), aff'g, 1993 WL 662353 (D. Neb 1993) (scope of environmental trust's authority to litigate)
  • Sierra Club v. Yeutter, 991 F.2d 1405 (10th Cir. 1990) (federal reserved water rights – amicus brief)
  • State v. Morros, 766 P.2d 263 (Nev. 1988) (instream flows recognized under state law)
  • Catherland Reclamation Dist. v. Lower Platte North Natural Resources Dist., 433 N.W.2d 161 (Neb. 1988) (water rights and state endangered species act)
  • Hitchcock and Red Willow Irrigation Dist. v. Lower Platte North Natural Resources Dist., 410 N.W.2d 101 (Neb. 1987) (right to build water project)
  • Tulalip Tribes of Washington v. FERC, 732 F.2d 1451 (9th Cir. 1985) (hydropower licensing)
  • Escondido Mutual Water Co. v. La Jolla Band of Mission Indians, 466 U.S. 765 (1984) (mitigation for hydroelectric developments on public lands)
  • National Wildlife Fed'n v. Marsh, 568 F. Supp. 985 (D.D.C. 1983) (administrative law under NEPA)
  • Sporhase v. Nebraska ex rel. Douglas, 458 U.S. 941 (1982) (ban on water export in violation of commerce clause) (brief available at 1982 WL 608572)

Legislation

  • Highway Funding Amendments of 2014 (road law), H.B. 619, 2014 Idaho Sess. Laws ch. 214, codified at Idaho Code §§ 40-709, 40-709APublic Access Amendments of 2013 (road law), H.B. 321, 2013 Idaho Sess. Laws ch. 239, codified at Idaho Code §§ 40-114, 40-202, 40-203, 40?208, 40?2312
  • Exemption from water rights for land application of municipal effluent, 2012 Idaho Sess. Laws ch. 218, codified at Idaho Code §§ 42-201(8), 42-221(P)
  • Local Public Interest Amendments (water rights), 2003 Idaho Sess. Laws ch. 298, codified at Idaho Code § 42-202B(3), 42-203A(5), 42-222(1), 42-240(5), 42-1763
  • Idaho Municipal Water Rights Act, 1996 Idaho Sess. Laws ch. 297, codified at Idaho Code § 42-202(2), 42-202B, 42-217("4."), 42-219(1) & (2), 42-222(1), 42-223(2), 43-335, 43-338))
  • Idaho Administrative Procedure Act, logical outgrowth rule, Idaho Code § 67-5227
  •  Allen, Meyer, Nelson & Lee, Idaho Land Use Planning Handbook, Givens Pursley (2013)
  • Fereday, Meyer & Creamer, Water Law Handbook:  The Acquisition, Use, Transfer, Administration, and Management of Water Rights in Idaho, Givens Pursley (2013)
  • Meyer, Road Law Handbook:  Road Creation and Abandonment Law in Idaho, Givens Pursley (2013). Meyer, Ethics Handbook:  Ethical Considerations for the Client and Lawyer in Idaho, Givens Pursley (2013). Meyer, Planning for Future Needs Under the Municipal Water Rights Act of 1996, Association of Idaho Cities Conference on Municipal Issues (2011)
  • Meyer, Municipal Water Rights and the Growing Communities Doctrine, The Water Report at 1 (Mar. 15, 2010). Meyer, "Development, Codification, and Application of the Growing Communities Doctrine in Idaho," presented at American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 28th Annual Water Law Conference:  Whose Spigot Is It? (Feb. 18-19, 2010
  • Meyer, An Introduction to the Law of Interstate Water Allocation: From Compacts to Common Sense, Law Seminars International (2009)
  • Meyer, Interstate Water Allocation, The Water Report (Aug. 15, 2007)
  • Meyer, Idaho Chapter Author for Brownfields Law and Practice, Matthew Bender & Co., Inc. (2004) (named Best Law Book of the Year by the American Association of Publishers)
  • Meyer, A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property (Idaho Chapter), American Bar Association (2002)
  • Meyer, The Federal Reserved Water Rights Doctrine in a Skeptical Age, 39 American Law Institute – American Bar Assn. 219 (2001)
  • Meyer, All I Really Need To Know About Legal Ethics I Learned in Law School, 43 The Advocate (Idaho Bar Assn.) 15 (2000)
  • Allen, Himberger, Honhorst & Meyer, Land Use Law in Idaho, National Business Institute (1999). Meyer, Aquifer Storage and Recovery in Idaho, University of Idaho (1999)
  • Meyer, Complying with Environmental and Special Use Regulations, in LAND USE LAW IN IDAHO, National Business Institute (1999)
  • Meyer, Municipal Water Rights in Idaho:  The Growing Communities Doctrine and Its Recent Codification, Northwest Water Law & Policy Project (1996)
  • Meyer, Small Handles on Big Projects:  The Federalization of Private Undertakings, 41 Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute 5-1 (1995)
  • Meyer, Instream Flows:  Integrating New Uses and New Players into the Prior Appropriation System, in INSTREAM FLOW PROTECTION IN THE WEST, Natural Resource Law Center (1993)
  • Meyer, Water Conservation:  Looks Can Deceive, in RIVER VOICES (1993)
  • Meyer, Instream Flows:  Coming of Age in America, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE WESTERN REGIONAL INSTREAM FLOW CONFERENCE (1989).
  • Meyer, Western Water Law:  The New Frontier, in AUDUBON WILDLIFE REPORT (1989)
  • Meyer, New Developments in Water Rights on Public Lands:  Federal Rights and State Interests, paper presented at conference sponsored by the Natural Resource Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law, Water as a Public Resource:  Emerging Rights and Obligations (1987)
  • Meyer, Navigating the Wetlands Jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, 9 Resource L. Notes 3, Natural Resources Law Center (1986)
  • Meyer, Two papers published in Winning Strategies for Rivers:  Proceedings of the Tenth Annual National Conference on Rivers, American Rivers Conservation Council (1985)
  • Osann, Campbell, Meyer, & Allemang, Shortchanging the Treasury:  The Failure of the Department of the Interior to Comply with the Inspector General's Audit Recommendations to Recover the Costs of Federal Water Projects, National Wildlife Federation (1984)
  • Anderson, Campbell & Meyer, Solving the Water Crisis, V 7 Policy Report 9, the Cato Institute (1983)
  • Meyer, Sporhase v. Nebraska:  A Spur to Better Water Resource Management, 1 Envtl. Forum 28, Environmental Law Institute (1983).
  • Burwell & Meyer, A Citizen's Guide to Clean Air and Transportation:  Implications for Urban Revitalization, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1980)
  • Meyer, The Effects of Labor Organization on the Functional Distribution of Income in Manufacturing Industries in the United States for the Years 1948 through 1972, Senior Honors Thesis, University of Michigan (1978)