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Merissa Moeller

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Click to Email: mmoeller@martenlaw.com

Merissa Moeller brings multi-faceted experience with environmental and land use matters, from her work for state and regional natural resources agencies, the private sector, and the courts. Those diverse experiences help Merissa to place complex legal issues in a real-world context to deliver practical solutions for clients.

Merissa’s water and land use practice has included regulatory and permitting work on behalf of municipal water utilities, irrigation districts, wineries, the timber industry, and renewable energy facilities. She has advised clients on permitting for major infrastructure projects, water rights, and water quality permitting and certifications. As a litigator, she represents clients in state and federal disputes over water, endangered species, and other natural resources.

Merissa is committed to helping clients navigate the laws and competing values that govern our use of natural resources and the environment. She discovered her passion for her work while growing up in the high desert of southern Idaho in a family of water scientists.

Before joining Marten Law, Merissa was an environmental attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. During law school, she worked on behalf of Oregon’s natural resource agencies with the Oregon Department of Justice. Merissa also served as a judicial clerk at the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals for the Honorable Lynn Nakamoto and Honorable Roger DeHoog, where she drafted published judicial opinions.

Representative Experience

Permitting and Counseling

  • Represented major hydroelectric project in state 401 certification process to resolve state water quality concerns related to endangered salmonids, as part of federal relicensing process.
  • Counseled timber company to achieve long-term water supply planning and water quality management goals.
  • Counseled municipal water suppliers on issues arising out of state water law.
  • Represented renewable energy clients before Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to obtain state siting permits.

Litigation and Enforcement

  • Represented municipal water supplier in citizen suit involving Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Represented irrigation district in state water rights adjudication.
  • Defended industrial discharger against threatened Clean Water Act citizen suit.
  • Defended industrial dischargers in state enforcement proceedings, successfully negotiating penalty reductions and settlements.
  • Represented clients in appellate proceedings before Ninth Circuit, Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, and Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals

Transactional

  • Conducted water, environmental, and land use due diligence to mitigate risk in large-scale corporate and real estate transactions, including winery and other agricultural deals.

Professional History

  • Marten Law PLLC, Portland, OR (2018-present)
  • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Portland, OR (2017-2018)
  • Judicial Clerk to Hon. Lynn Nakamoto, Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals (2015-2017)
  • Judicial Clerk to Hon. Roger DeHoog, Oregon Court of Appeals (2016)
  • Legal Extern, Columbia River Gorge Commission, White Salmon, WA (2015)
  • Law Clerk, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Portland, OR (2014-2015)
  • Law Clerk, Oregon Department of Justice, Natural Resources Section, Portland, OR (2013-2014)

Education

  • J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, cum laude
    • Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
    • Managing Editor, Environmental Law Review
    • Teaching Fellow, Legal Analysis and Writing Department
  • B.A., International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound, magna cum laude
    • Honors in International Political Economy
    • Minor in Environmental Policy & Decision Making

Admitted to Practice

  • State Bar of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Presentations

  • “Water Law 101: An Overview of Water Rights in Oregon,” 27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Nov. 8-9, 2018, Portland, OR

Publications

  • “POTUS Undoes WOTUS, on to SCOTUS,” E-Outlook, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section, Oregon State Bar, May 2017
  • “Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area,” Washington State Bar Association, Real Property Deskbook, January 1, 2016
  • “Pacific Northwest Moving Ahead with Climate Change Policy?” Power Magazine, January 2015

Professional and Community Activities

  • Environmental and Natural Resources Section; Real Estate and Land Use Section – Oregon State Bar Association
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, 2016-present
  • Women in the Environment
  • Oregon Water Resources Congress

Community Involvement

  • Law Student Mentor, Lewis & Clark Law School, 2017-present
  • Mazamas Mountaineering Club, Portland, OR