For decades, Damien Schiff, a senior attorney for Pacific Legal Foundation, has been a seasoned advocate, championing the rights of landowners and property advocates against overreaching environmental regulations.
American Agri-Women awarded the 2023 Veritas Award to Damien Schiff. AAW presents the award annually to the person or persons who have given public witness to “the pursuit of truth” by the principles enunciated in the AAW Call to Power.
Schiff leads its environmental practice group, a unique initiative that draws broadly from PLF’s expertise and success in property rights and separation of powers litigation.
Over the years, Schiff has represented hundreds of landowners and property rights advocates to defend their liberties against heavy-handed and unwarranted environmental and land-use regulations. His litigation experience includes Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2012, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of landowners to challenge Clean Water Act compliance orders issued by the EPA, and Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2023, in which the Supreme Court limited the Clean Water Act’s reach to relatively permanent waters and their immediately adjoining wetlands.
Besides litigation, Schiff has written academic articles on a variety of subjects, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, greenhouse gas torts, the duty to rescue, and international water law. He has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Magazine, and The Economist, among other publications.
He obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University. While at USD, he was a research assistant for Professor Bernard Siegan, a leading constitutional theorist and advocate for property rights and economic liberty.
Immediately prior to joining PLF, Schiff clerked for Judge (and former PLF attorney) Victor Wolski of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Schiff credits the mentoring and examples of Professor Siegan and Judge Wolski for his decision to pursue a career in liberty-based public interest litigation.