Ryan M.F. Baron



Tel: (949) 263-6568


At a Glance

Ryan provides strategic counsel on energy and environmental law matters. 
He represents clients in front of federal and state agencies and advises on infrastructure development.
As former senior in-house counsel, Ryan understands the business of government and industry and the need to navigate clients through complex matters with revenue-focused and creative approaches.

Ryan Baron offers strategic counsel to clients throughout California and the U.S. on utilities regulation, administrative law, environmental law and public agency governance matters. His practice spans regulatory, transactional and business issues in the areas of energy, gas, water quality, air quality, wastewater, solid waste and climate change. He also has extensive experience with project development, entitlement and permitting matters, particularly with respect to large-scale infrastructure.  
Energy, Gas & Utilities
Ryan represents clients on utility matters before a number of federal and state agencies as well as on utility transactional, business and governance matters. He represents a number of California community choice aggregators, commonly known as CCAs, and communities exploring CCA on all aspects of formation. This includes governance, implementation, regulatory and procurement matters. Ryan advises clients on forming electric municipal owned utilities and acquiring utility assets, including recent efforts in Colorado. He negotiates regularly with utility companies and advises on utility rules and tariffs. Ryan’s previous experience includes advising on telecommunications regulations and projects.
Environmental Law
Ryan has extensive experience under the Clean Water Act, including stormwater regulation, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance, total maximum daily loads and trading and offset programs. He also advises clients on air quality and climate change regulations, such as air permits and California’s cap-and-trade program. He previously served as counsel to a large landfill system, and has experience in landfill, solid waste and recycling regulations. He appears regularly before federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, the California state and regional water boards, the California Air Resources Board, CalRecycle and air quality management districts.
Project Development & Permitting
Ryan counsels clients on all aspects of the development of utility and large-scale infrastructure projects with significant experience in contracts and negotiation, including power purchase agreements, financial agreements, municipal cooperative agreements and real estate contracts. He has experience with the development of alternative energy projects, such as waste-to-energy, solar, fuel cell, wind, renewable natural gas and battery storage, as well as with the development of flood control and water facilities, transportation corridors and master-planned developments. Ryan’s experience includes funding and finance to real estate and entitlements to procurement and public-private partnerships, where he represents public agencies, land developers, renewable energy developers, an investment fund and start-up technology companies. Ryan has advised on billions of dollars in projects and development.
Government Service
Ryan is a former senior in-house counsel to the County of Orange, one of the largest counties in the nation. In a 70-attorney office, he oversaw the public works and regulatory team and managed outside counsel. Ryan was lead counsel to several large county agencies, including the county public works, flood control district, planning and landfill departments, and was counsel to several joint powers agencies and regional entities. In addition to energy and environmental law work, he advised on open meetings and public records, conflicts of interest, construction, real estate, land use and procurement.
Prior to government service, Ryan practiced in Washington, D.C. with Kellogg, Huber Hansen, Todd Evans & Figel, PLLC working on behalf of Fortune 100 companies on regulatory litigation and federal enforcement actions. During law school, Ryan was a law clerk and junior lobbyist for the global government relations office of an international telecommunications company and was a legal intern in the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission and for FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani. Ryan was editor-in-chief of Catholic University’s communications law journal and a graduate of the school’s Institute for Communications Law Studies (now the Institute of Law & Technology).
Ryan was an adjunct professor at Whittier Law School, where he taught Administrative Law and Energy Law. He has guest lectured at the University of Southern California School of Law, Chapman University School of Law and in the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine.

  • The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., Washington, D.C.
  • San Diego State University, B.A. communication, with distinction


  • California

Memberships & Community Involvement

  • California Lawyer’s Association Board of Representatives, vice chair, 2020-2021
  • ​California’s Lawyers Foundation, Treasurer, Board of Directors
  • Sustain SoCal, Chair, Board of Directors
  • California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA); Co-Chair, Policy & Permitting Subcommittee
  • National Municipal Stormwater Alliance (NMSA)
  • California Community Choice Association (CalCCA)
Legal Alerts Jan 13, 2020

New Environmental and Telecommunications Laws

Part 3: California Laws Impacting Public Agencies for 2020

Legal Alerts Oct 28, 2019

Gov. Newsom Pledges $75 Million in Funds for State and Local Governments to Mitigate Power Shutoff Impacts

City Proposals for Funding Due Nov. 4

Legal Alerts Jan 14, 2019

CPUC Proceedings of Note: PG&E Restructuring, Undergrounding and Wildfire Mitigation

Public Agencies Will Be Impacted by Various Actions

Legal Alerts Jan 09, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part I

2019 Brings Changes to Election, Revenue, Conflict of Interest, Property and Public Safety Laws… and More

Legal Alerts Dec 12, 2018

Proposed Federal Clean Water Rule Impacts Cities and Residents

Comments Being Sought

Authored Articles & Publications Jul 27, 2018

Rise in CCAs in Cities Reshaping California Electric Business

Ryan Baron Weighs the Community Choice Aggregation Question for Cities in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Dec 04, 2017

CPUC Reopens TOU Grandfathering Grace Period Eligibility

Public Agencies Must Submit Application by Dec. 31

Legal Alerts Jan 18, 2017

Waters of the U.S. Rule to Go to Supreme Court

Nation’s High Court Agreed to Hear Challenges to Controversial Rule

Authored Articles & Publications Jan 17, 2017

Is Tax Law the Most Efficient Way to Promote Sustainable Energy?

Ryan Baron, Of Counsel, Answers in Tax Notes

Legal Alerts Oct 05, 2016

Four New California Cap and Trade Bills Fund Programs

$900 Million in Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016-17

  • “Riverside County Issues RFP for Broadband Infrastructure,” BBKnowledge, April 5, 2017
  • A Critique of the International Cybercrime Treaty,” The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Technology Policy, 2002

Contact Ryan M.F. Baron

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