Navi Dhillon

Navi Dhillon

Associate

San Francisco, (415) 268-6769

Education

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

Bar Admissions

California

Navi Dhillon is a litigator and land use lawyer in the firm’s Environment and Energy Group in San Francisco.

Mr. Dhillon focuses on complex civil litigation involving natural resources and land use matters and has represented a variety of business concerns, including renewable energy companies, railroads, large-scale developers, water districts, wine companies, hospitals, public utilities, national retailers, municipalities, and technology companies. In addition to matters arising under general commercial law, he efficiently solves challenging issues for clients relating to environmental laws such as:

  • Federal Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • Federal Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • California Endangered Species Act (CESA)
  • Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop. 65)
  • California Coastal Act

Mr. Dhillon is an accomplished litigator. He has experience in all aspects of civil litigation, including mandamus proceedings, bench and jury trials, and appeals. He employs creative and cost-efficient litigation strategies to advance client goals and is a skilled negotiator. Mr. Dhillon has successfully opposed multiple preliminary injunction motions seeking to block construction of projects and secured favorable judgments for his clients, including a recent multimillion-dollar attorney’s fee award.

Before joining the firm, 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 100 complex civil litigation matters involving high-stakes litigation 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.

Mr. Dhillon is an active member of the local bar association. He is a member of the McFetridge American Inn of Court and, for several years, has coached local high school mock trial teams.

Representative Matters

Commuter Shuttle Litigation
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 (CWA)
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 – California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
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.
Rooftop Solar and Net Metering – Nevada Administrative Law 
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.
Renewable Energy Project – Federal and California Endangered Species Act and CWA
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.
Wetlands – California Coastal Act
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.
Federal Project – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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.
Land Use Development Agreement
Successfully defended a breach of contract action in the United States District Court against a local municipality. Plaintiffs alleged the local municipality breached a casino development agreement and were seeking more than $750 million in damages. After securing judgment in favor of our client, we moved for fees and costs and were awarded more than $2 million. An appeal is pending.
National Retailer: Industrial and Commercial Products
Successfully represented national retailer in a Proposition 65 action in California Superior Court involving industrial and commercial products alleged to contain lead and DEHP. The Court granted our motion for summary judgment.
TiO2 Defense Group
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.
Commuter Shuttle Litigation
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 (CWA)
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 – California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
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.
Rooftop Solar and Net Metering – Nevada Administrative Law 
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.
Renewable Energy Project – Federal and California Endangered Species Act and CWA
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.
Wetlands – California Coastal Act
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.
Federal Project – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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.
Land Use Development Agreement
Successfully defended a breach of contract action in the United States District Court against a local municipality. Plaintiffs alleged the local municipality breached a casino development agreement and were seeking more than $750 million in damages. After securing judgment in favor of our client, we moved for fees and costs and were awarded more than $2 million. An appeal is pending.
National Retailer: Industrial and Commercial Products
Successfully represented national retailer in a Proposition 65 action in California Superior Court involving industrial and commercial products alleged to contain lead and DEHP. The Court granted our motion for summary judgment.
TiO2 Defense Group
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.

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