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Ali Tehrani focuses on land use and environmental law, with an emphasis on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Coastal Act. He helps private developers and public agencies entitle projects in compliance with environmental and land use laws; advises public agencies on all matters of CEQA compliance; and defends project approvals in court.

CEQA Compliance
Ali advises public agencies on all matters of CEQA compliance. Specifically, Ali has:

  • Analyzed hundreds of proposed projects to determine whether the project can be found exempt from CEQA, or whether a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration or environmental impact report (EIR) would best ensure a proposed project’s compliance with CEQA. Where a proposed project is not exempt from CEQA, Ali has extensive experience reviewing CEQA documents and fortifying them against potential legal challenge. 
  • Drafted and reviewed the local CEQA guidelines for over fifty public agencies to ensure these public agencies have processes in place to ensure compliance with CEQA. Ali has additionally helped public agencies develop thresholds of significance to assess whether a proposed project may have a potentially significant effect on the environment.
  • Drafted and reviewed hundreds of staff reports, resolutions and ordinances to ensure CEQA compliance.
  • Provided trainings to public agencies to help staff better understand the complexities of CEQA.

Project Entitlement
Ali helps private developers and public agencies navigate CEQA, NEPA, the Coastal Act and related land use laws to efficiently entitle a wide array of projects. He has helped developers entitle large-scale commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use developments across California.

Ali also helps public agencies entitle infrastructure projects with wide-ranging regional implications, including commuter rail, airport and water projects. In addition, Ali has counseled public agencies in drafting ordinances and policies that could potentially impact the environment, to ensure such public agency action complies with all relevant environmental laws.

Environmental Litigation
Ali has an established track record of successfully defending project approvals from lawsuits alleging CEQA and Coastal Act violations, at both the trial court and appellate court level.

In his free time, Ali enjoys visiting national parks, making and eating pizza and spending time with his family.

Thought Leadership


  • California Association of Environmental Professionals Advanced CEQA Workshop, Feb. 9, 2024
  • “CEQA and Eminent Domain: A Case Study Discussion of the Relationship Between the CEQA and Eminent Domain Processes,” California Eminent Domain Institute CLE International Conference, March 16, 2023
  • “CEQA Update for Right of Way Professionals,” International Right of Way Association Chapter 57 Membership Luncheon, Feb. 1, 2023
  • “HRAs and GHGs—Analyzing the CEQA Alphabet,” Argent Communications Group California Land Use Law, Policy and Planning Virtual Annual Conference, Dec. 7, 2022

Education & Admissions

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
University of California, Irvine
B.A., magna cum laude
Bar Admissions



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