Amy Hoyt


Tel: (951) 826-8303


At a Glance

Amy has more than 25 years’ experience successfully litigating CEQA actions, land use cases and other writs.

She is certified as an Appellate Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Specialization.

Amy helps clients comply with CEQA and other environmental laws.

For more than 25 years, Amy Hoyt has achieved victories in trial and appellate courts for cities, counties and special districts in environmental and public law litigation matters. Amy is a Certified Appellate Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has extensive experience successfully litigating cases involving the myriad of issues facing public agencies, including matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and other state and federal environmental laws, planning and zoning law, regulatory takings and writs challenging administrative and legislative decisions. Complementing her work in the courtroom, Amy counsels public agencies and developers on compliance with CEQA, NEPA and other environmental laws.
Successful Litigator
Amy successfully litigates actions raising claims under a variety of environmental laws, including CEQA and NEPA. With respect to CEQA, she has defeated challenges to statutory exemptions, negative declarations, addenda and environmental impact reports on a variety of projects, including:

  • a proposed NFL stadium,
  • adoption of initiative and bond measures,
  • railroad grade separation projects,
  • national retailer “superstore” projects and
  • public agency land use documents such as regional plans, general plans and specific plans. 

She has also defeated planning and land use challenges to project approvals, including general plan inconsistency claims and attacks on the validity of general plans, specific plans and municipal ordinances. In additional to her experience in environmental and land use litigation, Amy successfully represents public agencies in writ actions challenging administrative and legislative decisions.
Certified Appellate Specialist
As a Certified Appellate Specialist, Amy has broad experience before the California Supreme Court, California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Notable victories include:

  • La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association. of Hollywood v. City of Los Angeles — Represented the lead agency in a CEQA challenge to the City’s adoption of revised zoning ordinance that allowed construction of superstore. The Court of Appeal upheld the City’s action. (2018)
  • CREED-21 v. City of Wildomar — Represented the lead agency in a CEQA challenge to superstore construction. The Court of Appeal upheld terminating sanctions issued based on the petitioner’s flagrant violation of discovery. (2017)
  • Garau v. Torrance Unified School District Represented School District in appeal challenging the trial court’s award of attorneys’ fees to the District under Code of Civil Procedure section 1038 based on plaintiff’s frivolous tort claims. The Court of Appeal upheld the award of $644,000 in attorneys’ fees to the District. (2017))
  • Bridges v. City of Wildomar — Represented  the City in a challenge to its  election procedures. The Court of Appeal upheld the City’s procedures. (2015)
  • Rancho de Calistoga v. City of Calistoga — Represented the City in a challenge to its rent control ordinance. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ordinance. (2015)
  • Guggenheim v. City of Goleta — Successfully petitioned for en banc review in a rent control challenge. The Court of Appeal upheld the City’s rent control ordinance. (2010)
  • City of Goleta v. Superior Court — Represented the City in California Supreme Court in a challenge to newly incorporated City’s land use authority. The Court upheld the City’s action. (2002) 


  • Loyola of Los Angeles, J.D., cum laude
  • Loyola Marymount University, B.A., history, cum laude


  • California
Legal Alerts Jan 11, 2021

Bringing a Case to Arbitration Should be Easier Following Recent Ninth Circuit Decision

Court Raises the Bar on Appeals Following Voluntary Dismissal

  • Quarterly Environmental Law Update, California State Bar Environmental Law Section, contributing author, 2016 to present
  • Finance and Economic Development Chapter, California Municipal Law Handbook, editor, 2016-2017
  • “Big Changes on Horizon for Traffic Impact Analysis Under CEQA,” Northern News, October 2014
  • “Sue Now, Pay Later – A New Standard for Challenging Taxes?” Public Law Update, November 2009

Contact Amy Hoyt

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