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Thomas Jex is a partner with the firm and serves as the City Attorney for the City of Wildomar, Town Attorney for the Town of Yucca Valley, and provides special counsel for the Jurupa Unified School District.
Tom focuses his practice in the areas of municipal law, local zoning and land use issues, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and the Subdivision Map Act. He frequently represents city councils and planning commissions at their meetings and regularly advises public agencies and staff on a wide variety of municipal law areas, including the Brown Act, conflicts of interest under the Political Reform Act, the Public Records Act, contracts, land use, the Mitigation Fee Act, constitutional issues, and general plan updates. Tom drafts opinions, ordinances, and resolutions as well as other development related agreements.
Tom also has experience providing advice to both public and private clients regarding compliance with CEQA and other environmental regulations. Working with many public agencies, Tom deals with CEQA compliance issues almost on a daily basis. He reviews Environmental Impact Reports, Statements of Overriding Considerations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Negative Declarations for legal adequacy, and counsels clients to ensure CEQA documents and notices are properly prepared. He routinely advises clients on CEQA compliance strategies including CEQA exemptions, the appropriate level of CEQA review along with related risk assessments, responses to comments on CEQA documents, and the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32). Tom has drafted local CEQA Guidelines for several public agencies and provides counsel regarding compliance with the Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP) for public entities within Riverside County.
Tom augments his practice by serving as a member of the Brown Act Committee of the League of California Cities – City Attorney’s Department. He is an adjunct professor for the University of California Riverside Extension where he teaches courses on the Public Records Act and Redevelopment Law. He also frequently lectures for Lorman Educational Services on CEQA and land use issues. Additionally, Tom creates time to provide pro bono legal services and was named the volunteer lawyer of the year for the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association for his volunteer work.
Tom was an executive editor of the Journal of Public Law and a student member of the A. Sherman Christensen American Inn of Court I while attending J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Tom lived for two years in Quito, Ecuador and is proficient in Spanish.
- J.D., cum laude, Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 1999
- B.A., English, California State University, San Bernardino, 1996
- State Bar of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California
- League of California Cities, City Attorney’s Department Nominating Committee, 2014
- League of California Cities, City Attorney's Department Brown Act Committee, 2010-2012
- League of California Cities, Environmental Quality Policy Committee, League Partner Liaison
- Boy Scouts of America, Volunteer Leader
- How to Build and Maintain the Public’s Trust: Practical Ethics and the Law (AB 1234)
- What You See Depends on Where You Sit
- Great! We’ve Been Served! Now What? How Do You As An Agency/Consultant Survive A CEQA Lawsuit
- Transparency Strategies
- Overview of Special District Laws
- Brown Act Essentials
- The Brown Act
- What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meetings
- Brown Act: The Importance of Sticking to Your Agenda
- Brown Act: Avoiding Violations by Responding to Cease and Desist Letters
- Using The “Committee Exception” To Exclude Public Comment At Special Meeting Violates Brown Act
- Access to Private Entity Records is Not Enough to Compel Disclosure Obligations Under CPRA
- Volunteer Lawyer of the Year – Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association, 2005