Overview

About Jennifer

Jen Spaletta is a seasoned water law attorney who offers clients more than two decades of experience. A member of the Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources team, she has extensive experience litigating commercial contract disputes, as well as water, environmental, and constitutional law matters. Her experience also includes handling California Proposition 218 cases. Jennifer has been a lead trial counsel in court and jury trials conducted throughout California and in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C.

During her career, Jen has served as both general and special counsel to various public agencies, including reclamation and irrigation districts, water conservation districts, county water agencies, and local businesses, such as farming operations, industrial manufacturing companies, and food processing companies.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Jennifer was the proprietor of a boutique law firm from 2013 to 2023 and held a partnership with Herum\Crabtree from 1998 to 2013. Additionally, she is a co-owner of Spaletta Vineyards, a walnut and wine grape farming company in San Joaquin Valley.

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Experience

Experience

  • Member of legal team that secured a legal victory for California water districts in administrative proceeding at California State Water Resources Control Board related to 2015 drought curtailments, and in trial court and appellate action for violation of water users’ constitutional due process rights related to water right curtailments.
  • Advised on the DREAM project, a collaboration between the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District, facilitating groundwater banking in San Joaquin Valley.
  • Negotiated a water consumption reduction deal with the State Water Resources Control Board on behalf of local growers, resulting in a voluntary 25% reduction to prevent mandatory curtailments.
  • Member of legal team that secured a legal victory for California farmers in a case related to the Central Valley's Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. The Third District Court of Appeal rejected all arguments brought by environmental groups and supported the California State Water Resources Control Board, the California Farm Bureau, and other stakeholders. Spaletta represented agricultural intervenors/respondents.
  • Trial and appellate counsel for Stockton East Water District in its legal victory for breach of contract against the United States related to the New Melones project on the Stanislaus River.
  • Special counsel to water districts in San Joaquin, Kern, Tulare, and Kings Counties regarding implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
  • Lead counsel for special district in Tulare County in action to enjoin unlawful groundwater appropriation.
  • Special counsel to landowners throughout California to identify and evaluate surface and groundwater water rights for on-site beneficial use or transfer.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Named among Northern California Super Lawyers® (Environmental, Business Litigation, Real Estate) from 2017 to 2023
  • Advisory Council Member for the UC Davis Environmental Law Center

Civic Activities

  • 2019 Agribusiness Person of the Year, Lodi District Chamber of Commerce
  • Prior Board member (2005–2019) and previously served as president (2013–2014) for the Lodi District Grape Growers Association, where she has been actively involved since 2005
  • Past president of the Women's Center of San Joaquin Valley
  • Volunteer youth recreational soccer coach
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