Our goal is to end the stranglehold that big corporations, the wealthy, and the powerful have on our government, our legal institutions, and our economy. We file lawsuits that have the potential to make big changes in the way these systems operate, that force government agencies and officials to be honest, fair, and transparent, and that give voice to those too often cut out of the discussion. We fight the fights that must be fought and we do it because we must.
Litigation is just one tool of many in effecting change or accomplishing a goal. A successful lawsuit might stop a massive development project in sensitive habitat. It could force a state agency to take another look at a project's environmental impacts. It can secure access to public records. And it can change the way courts and agencies interpret the law. Even lawsuits that don't "win" can still be successful, achieving worthwhile goals. A losing lawsuit can still shine daylight on an agency's backroom deals or bring much-needed attention to an issue, for example.
Sometimes what might look like a limited success can blossom into something better, like when a public agency ultimately does the right thing. At the same time, a court victory does not always equal a win; forcing an agency to correct a technical error in an environmental review might not result in any greater protection for a species. Lasting success is usually found outside the courtroom, in the political and social campaigns that hopefully are being waged alongside the lawsuit.
Adam Keats is a 1997 graduate of UC Davis School of Law. He is licensed to practice in California and Massachusetts, along with the federal courts in both states and the District of Columbia. In 2019 he was awarded a Delta Advocate Award by Restore the Delta, and in 2016 was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine and the Daily Journal.
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