Heather Welles

Associate

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Heather Welles represents clients in complex litigation and transactions and provides regulatory and strategic advice, with a particular focus on water, land use, and public policy issues. Heather works with a variety of clients, including private firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to joining O’Melveny, Heather completed two federal appellate clerkships, most recently for the Honorable David S. Tatel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and previously for the Honorable William A. Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of California

Education

  • University of California at Berkeley, J.D.: Thelen Marrin Prize for Academic Excellence (best academic record in graduating class); Order of the Coif; Editor in Chief, Ecology Law Quarterly; Landis Prize (most accomplished research paper in water or local government law); American Jurisprudence Awards for best exam in Constitutional Law, Contracts, Water Law, and Land Use Law
  • University of California at San Diego, B.A., Political Science 

Professional Activities

Clerkships

  • Honorable David S. Tatel, US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • Honorable William A. Fletcher, US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Publications

  • “Toward a Management Doctrine for Texas Groundwater,” Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 40 (2013)
  • “What’s a Smelt Worth?: The Endangered Species Act and the Commerce Clause in the Bay-Delta,” Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 39 (2012)
  • “Will the Wilderness Act Be Diluted in Drakes Estero?” Ecology Law Quarterly Currents (Aug. 26, 2012) (co-authored with Nell Green Nylen, Elisabeth Long, Mary Loum, Dan Carlin, Brynn Cook, and Sage Adams)
  • Representing a public agency in federal court on matters of first impression involving reserved water rights.
  • Successfully challenging a local initiative impacting mineral rights and water use, including co-authoring trial briefing and presenting argument in a regulatory takings bench trial and collateral administrative proceedings.
  • Advising on water rights and legislative and regulatory issues affecting water supply in multiple contexts, including disputes, business strategy, and project development.
  • Representing a nonprofit organization in connection with high-profile negotiations over water quality in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta system.
  • Advising a government agency and nonprofit organization on constitutional, statutory, and regulatory issues related to immigration.