Wayne K. Lemieux
P: (805) 495-4770
Wayne Lemieux estimates he has attended more than 5,000 public agency meetings over the past 25 years as agency counsel. Wayne provides transactional advice and litigation services to municipal and county water districts, airport and other special districts, cities, mutual water companies, small businesses, and individuals.
After the retirement of his partner, Ralph Helm in 1988, the firm previously known as Helm & Lemieux, moved to Westlake Village and became the Law Offices of Wayne K. Lemieux. A further name change, to Lemieux & O’Neill, took place in 1995. Before going into private practice, Wayne began his professional career as Los Angeles County Counsel in 1968.
Among the highlights of his career, he counts the negotiation of the landmark contract between the City of Los Angeles and his client, the West Basin Municipal Water District. Under the contract, effluent is diverted from the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant to the West Basin Water Reclamation Plant for further treatment and distribution. This project is the largest water reclamation project in the United States; it reclaims 150,000 acre feet per year of water that otherwise would flow into Santa Monica Bay; and distributes it to parks, oil refineries and other large users.
Wayne has been instrumental in negotiating the compromise of many seemingly intractable issues. For example, the Goleta Water District hired him to resolve a groundwater adjudication that had been pending in the courts for more than sixteen years. Wayne negotiated a settlement in just over sixteen weeks, avoiding a threat to his client to reduce groundwater production by 40% or pay $60 million in damages.
Wayne earned a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, in 1968, after studying at Loyola Marymount and the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received a B.A. in Zoology in 1965.
A member of the State Bar of California since 1969, he is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Public Agency Officials’ Complete Source Book, which Wayne wrote, is in its fifth edition, now entitled Handbook for Public Officials. The Handbook surveys legal and practical problems encountered by local agencies, with special emphasis on water issues. Wayne based the book on his experience representing public agencies, and also on his work as adjunct professor of law at the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he had taught water, environmental, land use, and development law.
Active as a speaker on water related and environmental issues, Wayne has addressed the Southern California Water Utilities Association, the Society of American Foresters, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), including MCLE programs for ACWA attorneys, the American Association of Airport Executives, the California Special Districts Association, the Kern County Special District Association, and the National Association of Environmental Law Societies.
Wayne is an associate member of ACWA. He focuses his pro bono work on the formation of nonprofit, public-benefit corporations.
Wayne, his wife Karen and their five sons, Wayne, Jr., Christopher, James, Nicholas, and Alexander, are all native Southern Californians. Family members enjoy camping and sailing and have been active in youth sports, including high school football, ice hockey, field hockey, baseball, and soccer.