Picture of James C. Waldo

James C. Waldo

Primary Areas of PracticeGeneral civil practice with emphasis on complex negotiations, project permitting and implementation, representation of public and private entities in multi-party negotiations.

J.D., Willamette University School of Law, 1974

B.A., Whitman College, 1970

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Washington State Courts
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

American Bar Association
Member, Environment, Energy and Resources Section

Washington State Bar Association
Member, Environmental and Land Use Law Section
Member, Indian Law Section

Professional History
  • Joined Firm as a Partner in 1980
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, 1976-79
  • Executive Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor, 1974-76
Representative Matters
  • Currently working with Sea Breeze Power Corporation to provide strategic advice and intergovernmental coordination on the underwater, underground Juan de Fuca Cable Project, an energy transmission cable connecting the United States and British Columbia.
  • Currently providing SSA Marine strategic advice on long-term terminal development and federal joint venture legal issues in tribal hunting and fishing rights and environmental permitting.
  • Co-mediated discussions with multiple stakeholders to determine possible solutions to the recharge and management of groundwater resources in the Los Angeles area’s Central and West Coast Basins.
  • Facilitated the Hatchery Scientific Review Group in the Columbia River Basin. In 1999, Congress charged this group with the responsibility for recommending scientifically-based changes to fish hatchery operations and practices in the Puget Sound and Coastal waters of Washington and now in the Columbia River Basin.
  • Advised the local Regional Transportation Investment District on developing and implementing a regional transportation investment plan. Also provide advice on intergovernmental state and local matters.
  • Appointed Water Policy Advisor to Governor Gary Locke regarding water strategy for Washington State from 2001-2004.
  • Mediated the Rate Refinement Process between Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its 27 member agencies and cities.
  • Mediated the "Monterey Agreement" on the California State Water Project.
  • Mediated a resolution of local implementation of the California State Water Project amendments agreed to in Monterey between the Kern County Water Agency and its member units.
  • Managed 1990 State Water Resources Planning Program. Agreement was reached among 175 participants representing a broad range of interests to resolve water resource planning issues through a cooperative process between state and local governments, tribal governments, private business, environmental and recreational advocates, commercial and sports fisherman, and agriculture.
  • Lead negotiator for Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma, Cities of Tacoma, Fife, and Puyallup, and private landowners in negotiating a comprehensive agreement with the Puyallup Tribe resolving land claims and disputes over governmental authority. The $162 million settlement was the second largest settlement of this type in the country. The agreement, approved and funded by the State of Washington, the U.S. Congress, local governments and the private sector, was ratified by the Federal District Court and went into effect in March 1990.
Community Activities
  • University of Washington, Tacoma Advisory Board (2007-Current)
  • Urban Waters, Board of Directors (2005-Current)
  • Ruckelshaus Center for Public Policy (2004-Current)
  • Western Washington University, Trustee (1981-93)
  • Northwest Renewable Resource Center, Chairman (1984-98)
  • Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Program Review Advisory Committee, Board Member (1994)
  • Washington State Energy Strategy Committee, Chairman (1991-93)
Honors, Publications & Presentations
  • Best Lawyers® - Seattle, Energy Law 
  • The Best Lawyers in Washington State, Seattle Business Magazine (2011)
  • Keynote speaker, Washington State Chapter of American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting (2008)
  • Seattle’s Best Lawyers, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine (2007)
  • National Award of Merit, American Water Works Association (2005)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (1999 – 2009, 2015)
  • World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 2nd Edition
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Who's Who in the West
  • Co-author, Mediation and Voluntary Resolution of Land Use and Environmental Conflicts, WASHINGTON BAR ASSOCIATION REAL PROPERTY DESKBOOK, 3rd Edition, Chapter 113 (1997)
  • Whitman College Alumnus of Merit Award (1994)
  • Association of Washington Business, President's Award (1988)
  • Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Outstanding Citizen Award (1987)
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell