Christopher W. Mixson is Of Counsel with Kemp Jones, LLP. Chris, licensed in Nevada and Oregon (inactive), has developed a specialty practice focusing on environmental and natural resource law, with a particular emphasis on Indian water law. Chris also has an active appellate practice in the Nevada Supreme Court, Nevada Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Chris has also worked on renewable and solar energy law and policy, including regulatory cases before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and was previously a registered lobbyist with the Nevada Legislature. Chris’s practice involves significant interaction with State and Federal regulatory agencies on behalf of his long-term (multi-decade) clients.
Prior to attending law school, Chris worked in the Natural Resources Department at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and was biological field technician for the U.S. Park Service at the Indiana Dunes National Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.
ENVIRONMENTAL/NATURAL RESOURCE LAW AND LITIGATION
- Represents clients, including Indian Tribes, farmers/ranchers and environmental organizations in water rights disputes before the Nevada Division of Water Resources, the Truckee River Special Hearings Officer, the district courts and Supreme Court of Nevada, the United States District Courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Represents clients in ongoing, multi-year regulatory matters before State and Federal administrative agencies
- Represents clients in renewable energy matters before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the district courts of Nevada, and before the Nevada Legislature
- Represents clients in National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act litigation
- Provides local counsel services for national environmental non-profit organizations and law firms
- Oregon (inactive)
- U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, J.D., 2006
- Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
- University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana, B.A. in Philosophy and Biology, 2000
- Harlaxton College, Grantham, England, Spring 1998
HONORS AND AWARDS
- Selectee, Cornelius Honor Society, chosen by faculty for superior scholarship and leadership
- Environmental Leadership Award, Natural Resources Law Institute
- Pro Bono Project, 100 Hour Club, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, 2020
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- Board Member and Secretary, Environmental and Natural Resources Section, State Bar of Nevada
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, et al. v. U.S. Board of Water Commissioners, et al.,
893 F.3d 578 (9th Cir. 2018): primary drafter of appellate briefing for milestone water rights case setting affirmative precedent allowing changes of former irrigation water rights to instream flow in the Walker River to reverse ecological decline of Walker Lake in Nevada
- Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe v. Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, et al.
(9th Cir. Case No. 16-15507, Sept. 13, 2017): won additional 8,300 acre-feet of water for Native American Tribe based on irrigation district’s historic illegal diversions of water from the Truckee River
- Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe v. Nevada Dept. of Wildlife, 724 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2013): won precedent-setting case against State of Nevada establishing that instream use of water for wetlands purposes is not legally equivalent to using water to irrigate crops
- Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe v. Orr Water Ditch Co., 600 F.3d 1152 (9th Cir. 2010): won precedent-setting case establishing that federal district court has jurisdiction to protect Native American Tribe’s surface water rights from nearby groundwater pumping