Navi Dhillon

Navi Dhillon

Education

University of San Francisco (B.A., 2005)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 2011)

Bar Admissions

California

Navi Dhillon focuses his practice on complex civil litigation.  He efficiently resolves disputes involving a variety of business concerns, including natural resources, environmental, technology, securities, contract disputes, land use, agriculture, air pollution, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions.  For several years in a row, Mr. Dhillon has been instrumental in securing numerous major victories for clients in controversial matters. In 2017, Law360 recognized Mr. Dhillon as a “Rising Star,” an honor given to only three environmental lawyers under 40 in the United States.

Mr. Dhillon handles all aspects of civil litigation, including filing and responding to complaints, motion practice, depositions, mandamus proceedings, bench and jury trials, and appeals.  He has successfully opposed multiple preliminary injunction motions seeking to block construction of highly controversial projects and secured favorable judgments for clients in a range of cases.

Mr. Dhillon is a go-to lawyer in California for disputes involving all levels of government. He has successfully defended or prosecuted cases involving various municipalities, counties, and state and federal agencies.  Recently, the United States Department of the Interior announced that it was terminating a federal rulemaking process in response to litigation filed by Mr. Dhillon.

He also worked on a significant pro bono matter in an effort to protect an endangered species of salmon in California’s Muir Woods that resulted in what the Daily Journal recognized as a “historic” agreement and ran as a cover story.

Mr. Dhillon’s clients span a diverse range of industries, and include renewable energy companies, railroads, large-scale developers, water districts, wine companies, hospitals, public utilities, national retailers, municipalities, and technology companies. With his clients always top of mind, Mr. Dhillon employs creative and cost-effective litigation strategies to advance their goals.

Outside of his work for the firm, Mr. Dhillon is highly engaged within the legal community. He is an active member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and was selected to be a member of the McFetridge American Inn of Court. In his spare time and for the past several years, he has coached local high school mock trial teams.

Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Dhillon served as a law clerk for more than two years to the Honorable John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court’s Complex Civil Litigation Department. As a law clerk, Mr. Dhillon managed more than a hundred high-stakes, complex civil litigation matters, and worked on more than a dozen trials, including jury trials. While in law school, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and as a law clerk for the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.

Mr. Dhillon graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 2011.

Casino Litigation (2018)
Represented the City of Richmond in a $750 million dispute involving a highly controversial casino project.  Plaintiffs asserted contract, tort, and constitutional claims.  We secured a favorable judgment; our client paid no money damages and all claims were dismissed with prejudice.  The favorable resolution paves the way for future development at Point Molate, a beautiful site located on the San Francisco Bay.
Berkeley Litigation Involving Monetary Exactions (2017)
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits against Berkeley involving challenges to monetary exactions. Plaintiffs challenged the imposition of millions of dollars of fees based on local ordinances and alleged such fees violated the U.S. Takings Clause, Prop. 218, the Mitigation Fee Act, and the Costa-Hawkins Act. This matter was efficiently resolved in favor of plaintiffs via entry of judgment.
Challenge to Federal Rulemaking (2017)
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States Department of the Interior. The lawsuit revealed that government officials sought to evade FOIA by using private emails, and that such correspondence related to the formal rulemaking process. As a result of the litigation, the United States Department of the Interior announced that it was terminating a multi-year rulemaking process that would have resulted in a regulation restricting public use of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Vineyard Litigation (2017)
Lead counsel for The Wine Group, Inc., and Constellation Brands in a lawsuit involving a 900-acre California vineyard and a claim for $24 million in damages. The contract and tort dispute involved viticulture practices and state-of-the-art mechanized farming practices. We efficiently secured a judgment dismissing all claims with prejudice.
Commuter Shuttle Litigation (2016)
Represented large biotechnology company in successful mandamus action involving a controversial employee commuter shuttle program. Plaintiffs alleged that the program was preempted by general state law and violated CEQA. Our firm was lead defense counsel. Following trial, the Court granted a motion to dismiss the action in its entirety. Mr. Dhillon argued the motion to dismiss on behalf of a group of defendants, which included some of the most prominent technology companies in the world.
Water District – Clean Water Act (2016)
Successfully defended a Clean Water Act action filed in the United States District Court against the Eastern Municipal Water District. California River Watch brought suit asserting a variety of CWA claims based on, among other things, alleged sanitary sewer overflows and effluent exceedances. The Court entered judgment in favor our client, dismissing all claims with prejudice.
Renewable Energy Project – Federal and California Endangered Species Act and CWA (2016)
Successfully represented developer in connection preliminary injunction proceedings in federal and state court initiated by environmental groups seeking to block construction of a utility-scale solar project. In the federal case, plaintiffs challenged a Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act, and a Section 404 Permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act.  In the related state case, plaintiffs asserted claims under California’s Fully Protected Species Law, challenging the issuance of an Incidental Take Permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Adopting arguments advanced by our firm, the federal and state courts denied the preliminary injunction motions.
Rooftop Solar and Net Metering – Nevada Administrative Law (2016)
Represented an organization founded by the leading rooftop solar energy companies in the United States in a lawsuit challenging the decision of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (Commission) to effectively end the state’s “net metering” program. The District Court of Nevada granted our client’s petition in part, vacating the Commission’s orders with respect to existing rooftop solar customers in Nevada. Adopting an argument advanced by our firm, the District Court concluded that the Commission’s orders violated the due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution and notice provisions of Nevada law.
TiO2 Defense Group (2015)
Successfully defended more than 30 companies, including industry-leading cosmetics brands, in a Proposition 65 action in California Superior Court. Plaintiffs alleged exposures to airborne and unbound particles of titanium dioxide, a common ingredient in cosmetic powders and sunscreen, increase the risk of cancer. The Court granted our motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in favor of our clients, which also resolved the action for 70 additional parties. Plaintiff did not appeal.
Wetlands (2015)
Represented San Francisco Public Golf Alliance in an administrative mandamus action in California Superior Court brought by an environmental group seeking to block construction at the historic Sharp Park Golf Course, located in Pacifica, California. Plaintiff challenged the issuance of a permit that authorized limited work in wetlands regulated under the California Coastal Act. We successfully intervened in the action and then opposed a motion for preliminary injunction, along with the San Francisco City Attorney and the California Attorney General. Mr. Dhillon argued at the preliminary injunction hearing and the Court denied the motion. This action was dismissed and the environmental group paid our costs of suit.
Renewable Energy Project – California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (2015)
Successfully defended a CEQA lawsuit brought by environmental groups to block construction of a 247-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility. Employing an aggressive litigation strategy, we filed an early motion for judgment shortly after the lawsuit was filed. The court granted our motion and entered judgment in favor of our client. An appeal is pending.
Federal Project – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (2014)
Successfully blocked construction of a large-scale project proposed by the National Park Service. We brought a lawsuit in the United States District Court against the National Park Service for approving a project without first complying with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. We quickly resolved the action in our client’s favor and the National Park Service agreed not to build the challenged project.
Casino Litigation (2018)
Represented the City of Richmond in a $750 million dispute involving a highly controversial casino project.  Plaintiffs asserted contract, tort, and constitutional claims.  We secured a favorable judgment; our client paid no money damages and all claims were dismissed with prejudice.  The favorable resolution paves the way for future development at Point Molate, a beautiful site located on the San Francisco Bay.
Berkeley Litigation Involving Monetary Exactions (2017)
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in multiple lawsuits against Berkeley involving challenges to monetary exactions. Plaintiffs challenged the imposition of millions of dollars of fees based on local ordinances and alleged such fees violated the U.S. Takings Clause, Prop. 218, the Mitigation Fee Act, and the Costa-Hawkins Act. This matter was efficiently resolved in favor of plaintiffs via entry of judgment.
Challenge to Federal Rulemaking (2017)
Lead counsel for plaintiffs in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States Department of the Interior. The lawsuit revealed that government officials sought to evade FOIA by using private emails, and that such correspondence related to the formal rulemaking process. As a result of the litigation, the United States Department of the Interior announced that it was terminating a multi-year rulemaking process that would have resulted in a regulation restricting public use of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Vineyard Litigation (2017)
Lead counsel for The Wine Group, Inc., and Constellation Brands in a lawsuit involving a 900-acre California vineyard and a claim for $24 million in damages. The contract and tort dispute involved viticulture practices and state-of-the-art mechanized farming practices. We efficiently secured a judgment dismissing all claims with prejudice.
Commuter Shuttle Litigation (2016)
Represented large biotechnology company in successful mandamus action involving a controversial employee commuter shuttle program. Plaintiffs alleged that the program was preempted by general state law and violated CEQA. Our firm was lead defense counsel. Following trial, the Court granted a motion to dismiss the action in its entirety. Mr. Dhillon argued the motion to dismiss on behalf of a group of defendants, which included some of the most prominent technology companies in the world.
Water District – Clean Water Act (2016)
Successfully defended a Clean Water Act action filed in the United States District Court against the Eastern Municipal Water District. California River Watch brought suit asserting a variety of CWA claims based on, among other things, alleged sanitary sewer overflows and effluent exceedances. The Court entered judgment in favor our client, dismissing all claims with prejudice.
Renewable Energy Project – Federal and California Endangered Species Act and CWA (2016)
Successfully represented developer in connection preliminary injunction proceedings in federal and state court initiated by environmental groups seeking to block construction of a utility-scale solar project. In the federal case, plaintiffs challenged a Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act, and a Section 404 Permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act.  In the related state case, plaintiffs asserted claims under California’s Fully Protected Species Law, challenging the issuance of an Incidental Take Permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Adopting arguments advanced by our firm, the federal and state courts denied the preliminary injunction motions.
Rooftop Solar and Net Metering – Nevada Administrative Law (2016)
Represented an organization founded by the leading rooftop solar energy companies in the United States in a lawsuit challenging the decision of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (Commission) to effectively end the state’s “net metering” program. The District Court of Nevada granted our client’s petition in part, vacating the Commission’s orders with respect to existing rooftop solar customers in Nevada. Adopting an argument advanced by our firm, the District Court concluded that the Commission’s orders violated the due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution and notice provisions of Nevada law.
TiO2 Defense Group (2015)
Successfully defended more than 30 companies, including industry-leading cosmetics brands, in a Proposition 65 action in California Superior Court. Plaintiffs alleged exposures to airborne and unbound particles of titanium dioxide, a common ingredient in cosmetic powders and sunscreen, increase the risk of cancer. The Court granted our motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in favor of our clients, which also resolved the action for 70 additional parties. Plaintiff did not appeal.
Wetlands (2015)
Represented San Francisco Public Golf Alliance in an administrative mandamus action in California Superior Court brought by an environmental group seeking to block construction at the historic Sharp Park Golf Course, located in Pacifica, California. Plaintiff challenged the issuance of a permit that authorized limited work in wetlands regulated under the California Coastal Act. We successfully intervened in the action and then opposed a motion for preliminary injunction, along with the San Francisco City Attorney and the California Attorney General. Mr. Dhillon argued at the preliminary injunction hearing and the Court denied the motion. This action was dismissed and the environmental group paid our costs of suit.
Renewable Energy Project – California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (2015)
Successfully defended a CEQA lawsuit brought by environmental groups to block construction of a 247-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility. Employing an aggressive litigation strategy, we filed an early motion for judgment shortly after the lawsuit was filed. The court granted our motion and entered judgment in favor of our client. An appeal is pending.
Federal Project – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (2014)
Successfully blocked construction of a large-scale project proposed by the National Park Service. We brought a lawsuit in the United States District Court against the National Park Service for approving a project without first complying with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. We quickly resolved the action in our client’s favor and the National Park Service agreed not to build the challenged project.

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