Eric L. Garner

Partner

Tel: (213) 787-2561

Location(s)

At a Glance

Eric co-authored “California Water” and “California Water II.”
 
For the past two decades, he has worked extensively on groundwater matters.
 
He was named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal.

Managing Partner Eric Garner practices water rights and supply law at Best Best & Krieger LLP. He works on surface water and groundwater issues throughout California. He represented the lead parties in the Santa Maria and Antelope Valley groundwater adjudications and also was involved in the Mojave Groundwater adjudication. He was involved in drafting the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and testified before the state Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Water on adjudication reform legislation. He has drafted water laws in South Africa, Trinidad and Pakistan and worked with the United Nations Environmental Programme on incorporating environmental issues into water laws, the World Bank on groundwater issues in the Middle East and North Africa and was the first American Chair of the International Bar Association’s Water Law Committee.
 
Eric co-authored “California Water” and “California Water II,” and is an adjunct law professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He was also named a California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine, one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and the Water Law Lawyer of the Year in Los Angeles by Best Lawyers. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
 
Water Resource

  • Eric represented County of Los Angeles Waterworks District No. 40 in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Adjudication Proceedings — the largest groundwater rights case in California history. The trial court judgment includes approximately 70,000 landowners, including two separate classes. The judgment determines who has the right to pump water from the Antelope Valley groundwater basin and establishes a long-term sustainable management plan. The litigation was complex not only because of the number of parties and the size of the area, but due to the fact that the U.S. government, as the largest landowner in the region, was a party to this State Court proceeding under the McCarran Amendment.
  • In City of Santa Maria v. Adam, et al, Eric successfully represented the City of Santa Maria in a large and complex case involving the adjudication of water rights to groundwater, imported water and salvaged water in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. This case was chosen by the State of California as a pilot project for innovative online case management programs, which has since become standard in many jurisdictions.
  • Represents the City of Paso Robles on both surface and groundwater issues, including defending the City’s groundwater rights in a lawsuit brought by landowners
  • Represents the City of Ventura on surface and groundwater issues, including adjudications of both sources 


Law Firm Leadership

Eric has held the managing partner position at BB&K since 2005 and is now serving his seventh term. Elected by the partnership, the managing partner oversees all aspects of the firm’s operations in all offices. Under Eric’s leadership, BB&K has grown substantially and is an industry leader in innovation and diversity, all of which have earned accolades from the legal community and the press. These include:

  • Mergers of three law firms, including the opening of BB&K’s first out-of-state office in Washington, D.C., as well as substantial geographic and practice area expansions. Repeated recognition for workforce diversity, including a No. 1 ranking for minority representation at the equity partner level by American Lawyer Media and No. 1 for Best Law Firm for Women and Minorities among mid-sized U.S. firms by Law360.
  • Integration of technological advances into all aspects of firm operations, from marketing and accounting to client-facing applications and websites.
  • A holistic focus on staff and attorney wellness through firm-sponsored trainings and seminars that focus on mindfulness, work-life balance and health. 


Education

  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D.
  • Earlham College, B.A. with honors

 
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Litigation and Water Law, 2012-2018
  • Southern California Super Lawyers®, Environmental Law, 2012-2019
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Law Leader of the Year Finalist, 2016
  • Super Lawyers Business Edition, Construction, Real Estate and Environmental, 2015
  • Water Law Lawyer of the Year in Los Angeles, Best Lawyers®, 2015
  • Top 100 Lawyers in California, The Daily Journal, 2009, 2015
  • Top 20 Municipal Lawyers, The Daily Journal, 2013
  • California Lawyer of the Year, California Lawyer magazine, 2006

 

Aquifer Management Success
Authored Articles & Publications Feb 28, 2019

Aquifer Management Success

In the Water International Journal, BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Identifies Factors for Groundwater Sustainability

Authored Articles & Publications Dec 9, 2014

City of Angels the City of Water

By Eric Garner and Wendy Wang

Legislature Adopts Historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Legal Alerts Aug 29, 2014

Legislature Adopts Historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Act Imposes Groundwater Management and Reporting Requirements on Local Agencies

California Water II Published by Solano Press Books
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 1, 2008

California Water II Published by Solano Press Books

By Arthur L. Littleworth and Eric L. Garner

  • “Adapting Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Changing Climate,” Water International 2016 (Special Issue)
  • “The Impact of the California Drought on Water Agencies and Treatment Districts,” BBKnowledge, July 1, 2015
  • “Groundwater Legislation: History in the Making or Another Dead End? (Video),” BBKnowledge, Jan. 29, 2015
  • “Dealing in Drought: Development, Legislation and Litigation,” BBKnowledge, Nov. 26, 2014
  • “Eric Garner Provides Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin Adjudication as Case Study to Senate Committee,” BBKnowledge, Nov. 21, 2014
  • “Historic Groundwater Legislation Bills Awaiting Governor Approval,” BBKnowledge, Sept. 8, 2014
  • “Water Bond Only a Part of California’s Water Problem Solution,” BBKnowledge, Aug. 25, 2014
  • “Now is the Time to Fix Groundwater Issues,” Daily Journal, June 10, 2014
  • “A Role for Reasonableness and Physical Solution in Water Law in an Era of Climate Change,” Bloomberg BNA Water Law & Policy Monitor, March 12, 2014
  • “California’s New Basic Human Right to Water Will Frame Future Policy Debates,” Bloomberg BNA Water Law & Policy Monitor, March 28, 2013
  • “Why Californians Should Care About Water Rights,” PublicCEO.com, June 2012
  • “Harnessing The Sun’s Power Can Negatively Impact Another Natural Resource,” North American Clean Energy Magazine, December 2010
  • “Navigating the Desert Terrain and Legal Landscape,” Solar Industry, July 2010
  • “California Water II,” Solano Press, co-author, 2007 edition
  • “California Water,” Solano Press, co-author

 

 
American Lawyer Discusses BB&K Growth Last Year
BB&K In the News Feb 27, 2019

American Lawyer Discusses BB&K Growth Last Year

Firm Expands to Meet Client Demand

Event Feb 2, 2019

The Elephant in the Room: Adjudication Under SGMA

15th Annual California Water Law Symposium

Seven Attorneys on Southern California Super Lawyers List
Press Releases Jan 30, 2019

Seven Attorneys on Southern California Super Lawyers List

2019 Recognition Includes Riverside, Irvine, Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach Attorneys

BB&K In the News Nov 16, 2018

National Society of Black Engineers So. Cal. Chapter Support

The Los Angeles Sentinel Reports on Chapter’s Conference

Event Oct 8, 2018

IBA Annual Conference 2018

International Bar Association

Groundwater Rights Jury Finds in Favor of Public Water Suppliers
Client Successes Oct 1, 2018

Groundwater Rights Jury Finds in Favor of Public Water Suppliers

BB&K Team Successfully Defends City in First-of-its-Kind Trial in California

California Powerhouse: Best Best & Krieger
Press Releases Sep 10, 2018

California Powerhouse: Best Best & Krieger

Law360 Selects Firm to 2018 List

Best Lawyers in America Lists 27 BB&K Attorneys for 2019
Press Releases Aug 21, 2018

Best Lawyers in America Lists 27 BB&K Attorneys for 2019

Representing a Variety of Practice Areas

Midsize Firms and Government Work
BB&K In the News Aug 14, 2018

Midsize Firms and Government Work

Managing Partner Eric Garner Interviewed on BB&K’s Success by ALM’s Mid-Market Report

BB&K Ranks No. 1 on Law360’s Best Firms for Minority Attorneys List
Press Releases Jun 19, 2018

BB&K Ranks No. 1 on Law360’s Best Firms for Minority Attorneys List

Firm Takes No. 2 Slot for Best Firms for Minority Equity Partners

BB&K Receives Top Diversity Recognitions
Press Releases Jun 11, 2018

BB&K Receives Top Diversity Recognitions

Annual ALM and Law360 Rankings Recognize Firm

BB&K Event Apr 24, 2018

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

A BB&K Premier Event

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Videos Apr 24, 2018

Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Bill is Due: Now What? Infrastructure, Pensions and the Environment

Event Apr 17, 2018

Now Comes the Hard Part… Implementing Groundwater Management Under SGMA

UCLA IoES Water Resources Group and UCLA School of Law's Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

The Recorder: SoCal’s Best Best & Krieger Scoops Up Eight-Lawyer Outfit
BB&K In the News Apr 3, 2018

The Recorder: SoCal’s Best Best & Krieger Scoops Up Eight-Lawyer Outfit

Jenkins & Hogin Merger with BB&K

Debating an Environmental Water Right in California
BB&K In the News Mar 22, 2018

Debating an Environmental Water Right in California

Managing Partner Eric L. Garner Interviewed by the Water Education Foundation

Southern California Super Lawyers 2018
Press Releases Feb 8, 2018

Southern California Super Lawyers 2018

Environmental, Public Agency, Litigation and Bankruptcy Partners Recognized

Water to Grow Marijuana in California’s Desert
BB&K In the News Oct 24, 2017

Water to Grow Marijuana in California’s Desert

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Interviewed by Water Deeply

Midsize Firms Run the Gamut on Diversity – Law360
BB&K In the News Aug 22, 2017

Midsize Firms Run the Gamut on Diversity – Law360

Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses BB&K’s Successful Diversity Strategy

22 BB&K Attorneys  Earn Spot on Best Lawyers in America 2018 List
Press Releases Aug 15, 2017

22 BB&K Attorneys Earn Spot on Best Lawyers in America 2018 List

Two Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

BB&K Ranked No. 1 in United States for Equity Partner Diversity
Press Releases Jun 5, 2017

BB&K Ranked No. 1 in United States for Equity Partner Diversity

Annual ALM Diversity Scorecard Places BB&K at No. 12 Overall

Event May 30, 2017

Identifying Aquifers for Successful Management

IWRA XVIth World Water Congress

Event Apr 6-7, 2017

Water Rights in an Era of “Permanent” Conservation Madness

California Water Policy Conference

Event Mar 14-16, 2017

Local Arrangements to Manage Groundwater Demand and Lessons for WB Operations

World Bank Water Week 2017

Event Mar 9-10, 2017

Successes and Challenges in Groundwater Governance in California

World Bank Water Global Practice Group / Center for Mediterranean Integration

Press Releases Jan 20, 2017

Southern California Super Lawyers 2017

Five BB&K Partners Receive Honor

Eric L. Garner Video Bio
Videos Nov 18, 2016

Eric L. Garner Video Bio

Managing Partner

BB&K’s Reimagining the Cadillac Desert
BB&K In the News Oct 27, 2016

BB&K’s Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Maven’s Notebook Shares Highlights from Water Event

Eric Garner an L.A. Business Journal Leaders in Law Finalist
Press Releases Oct 17, 2016

Eric Garner an L.A. Business Journal Leaders in Law Finalist

BB&K’s Managing Partner Nominated for Law Firm and Water Law Leadership Roles

Using Nature's Technology in Response to Drought
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Using Nature's Technology in Response to Drought

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert: Welcome and Opening Remarks
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert: Welcome and Opening Remarks

BB&K's Eric Garner Kicks Off Event

Modern Urban Living in the Dry Age
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Modern Urban Living in the Dry Age

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Where Will Water Come From?
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Where Will Water Come From?

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Water and Technology
Videos Sep 15, 2016

Water and Technology

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert
BB&K Event Sep 15, 2016

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

BB&K's Inaugural Premier Event

How are Cities Looking at Water
Videos Sep 15, 2016

How are Cities Looking at Water

Reimagining the Cadillac Desert

In Focus: Eric Garner
BB&K In the News Sep 2, 2016

In Focus: Eric Garner

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner, a Board Member of The National Judicial College’s Dividing the Waters Program, is Profiled in The Network Note

How Israel Manages its Water Better than California Does
BB&K In the News Aug 15, 2016

How Israel Manages its Water Better than California Does

Managing Partner Eric Garner Among Authorities Who Share Insights in the Jewish Journal

Press Releases Aug 15, 2016

20 BB&K Attorneys Make Best Lawyers in America 2017 List

Two Named Lawyers of the Year

Water Futures
BB&K In the News Jul 25, 2016

Water Futures

Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses Changing Water Infrastructure with Best Lawyers

Client Successes Jul 14, 2016

Appellate Court Again Sides with BB&K Client in Groundwater Rights Dispute

City of Santa Maria’s Groundwater Rights Upheld

Event Jun 30, 2016

Managing Groundwater in a Time of Increasing Demand and Changing Climate

Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science & Policy

Event Jun 15, 2016

Understanding Local Groundwater Storage Potential

UCLA Water Resource Group

Event May 12, 2016

Groundwater: Legislation in California and Elsewhere; Overdraft; State and Local Management; Legal Treatment of Connection to Surface Water

National Water Law Forum

California Groundwater Regulation Hangs on a Few Words
BB&K In the News May 5, 2016

California Groundwater Regulation Hangs on a Few Words

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses in Circle of Blue Controversy Over the Word “Substantial” in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Event Apr 26, 2016

Groundwater Law Conference

American Groundwater Trust

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Beneficial and Reasonable Use
Videos Apr 21, 2016

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Beneficial and Reasonable Use

Video Series

Press Releases Mar 24, 2016

Law360 Ranks BB&K Among Largest 400 Law Firms

Firm Moves up the Annual List with 183 Attorneys

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Prescriptive Rights
Videos Feb 24, 2016

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Prescriptive Rights

Video Series

Water Rights with Eric Garner: California Groundwater Rights
Videos Feb 2, 2016

Water Rights with Eric Garner: California Groundwater Rights

Video Series

Press Releases Jan 22, 2016

2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine Recognizes Six BB&K Partners

Honored Attorneys Represent Municipal Law, Environmental & Natural Resources and Litigation Services

Client Successes Jan 21, 2016

Antelope Valley Groundwater Adjudication Settles

BB&K Successfully Represents Lead Party in the Largest Groundwater Pumping Rights Case in California History

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Appropriative Rights to Surface Water
Videos Jan 6, 2016

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Appropriative Rights to Surface Water

Video Series

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Riparian Water Rights
Videos Dec 8, 2015

Water Rights with Eric Garner: Riparian Water Rights

Video Series

Event Oct 29-30, 2015

Groundwater Regulation in California

Law Seminars International

Event Oct 29, 2015

The Next Wave Series: Who Owns Water?

UCLA Hammer Museum Lecture Series

Event Oct 14, 2015

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: One Year Later

ACWA's 2015 Regulatory Summit

Event Sep 17, 2015

The Science and Law of Water in California

Law Seminars International

Eric Garner Named One of the Top 100 Lawyers in California
Press Releases Sep 9, 2015

Eric Garner Named One of the Top 100 Lawyers in California

BB&K’s Managing Partner is Recognized on the Daily Journal’s Annual List for His Work in Water Law

Water Law, Conservation and Drought
BB&K In the News Aug 28, 2015

Water Law, Conservation and Drought

BB&K Managing Eric Partner Discusses the Water Crisis on KCAA: Water Zone

Press Releases Aug 17, 2015

19 BB&K Attorneys Included on the 2016 Best Lawyers in America List

Partner Iris Yang and Of Counsel Joseph Coomes Selected as Lawyers of the Year

Regulators Say First Water Case Aided by Detailed Records
BB&K In the News Jul 23, 2015

Regulators Say First Water Case Aided by Detailed Records

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discussed Water Rights Prosecutions With the Associated Press

Event Jul 14, 2015

2015 Summer Conference

Appraisal Institute

The Flood of Water Rights Lawsuits Begins
BB&K In the News Jul 2, 2015

The Flood of Water Rights Lawsuits Begins

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Is Among the Guests on KCRW's Which Way, L.A.? With Warren Olney to Discuss Water Rights

Lawsuits Over California Water Rights Are a Fight a Century in the Making
BB&K In the News Jun 29, 2015

Lawsuits Over California Water Rights Are a Fight a Century in the Making

BB&K Partner Eric Garner Interviewed by the Los Angeles Times on Water Rights Amidst California's Drought

Event Jun 12, 2015

The Administrative & Public Environmental Law Conference

The State Bar of California Public and Environmental Law Sections

Event May 26, 2015

Adapting Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Changing Climate

International Water Resource Association World Water Congress XV

At Water Technology Summit Innovation Trumps All in Battle Against California Drought
BB&K In the News May 15, 2015

At Water Technology Summit Innovation Trumps All in Battle Against California Drought

BB&K's Eric Garner Discussed Innovation in Water Conservation as Reported by Breitbart

Event May 15, 2015

California’s Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulation

The Seminar Group

Event May 14, 2015

Global Perspectives on Water and Society

Water Technology Hub

5 Ways California Water Restrictions are Affecting Real Estate
BB&K In the News May 12, 2015

5 Ways California Water Restrictions are Affecting Real Estate

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses in Law360 Interview Some Ways Developers Will Need to Comply With Drought Restrictions

Drought Puts State’s Byzantine Water Rights System into Stark Relief
BB&K In the News Apr 22, 2015

Drought Puts State’s Byzantine Water Rights System into Stark Relief

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses With the Daily Journal California Water Rights in the Wake of New Drought-Related Regulations

DIVISIONS GO DEEP: Tribe fights to control flush aquifer that water agencies deny depleting and fouling
BB&K In the News Mar 31, 2015

DIVISIONS GO DEEP: Tribe fights to control flush aquifer that water agencies deny depleting and fouling

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses Water Supply Disputes and Drought With the L.A. Times

ACWA Legislative Symposium Looks at Groundwater, Prop. 218
BB&K In the News Mar 20, 2015

ACWA Legislative Symposium Looks at Groundwater, Prop. 218

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Moderated a Panel Discussion on Key Water Issues Being Addressed by California Lawmakers

Event Mar 19, 2015

Sustainable Groundwater Management: What the Hell Just Happened?

California Water Policy Conference

Event Mar 12, 2015

Water Issues: 2015 Edition

USC Gould School of Law 2015 Real Estate Law and Business Forum

ACWA Legislative Symposium Focuses on Groundwater Adjudication, Prop. 218 Changes
BB&K In the News Mar 4, 2015

ACWA Legislative Symposium Focuses on Groundwater Adjudication, Prop. 218 Changes

Managing Partner Eric Garner Moderated Panel Discussion on Key Water Issues

Event Mar 4, 2015

To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question!

Association of California Water Agencies

Event Mar 2, 2015

Groundwater Regulation and Management in California

Law Seminars International

Press Releases Jan 22, 2015

Five BB&K Attorneys Named to the 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers List

A Diverse Selection of Attorneys Represented on the Prestigious List

Drought Spurs New Court Rulings, Legislation Governing State Water Rights
BB&K In the News Dec 30, 2014

Drought Spurs New Court Rulings, Legislation Governing State Water Rights

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Discusses the Past and Future of Water in California in the Daily Journal

Event Dec 2, 2014

Moment of Truth: One State, One Water Future

Moment of Truth: One State, One Water Future

Event Dec 2, 2014

ACWA 2014 Fall Conference & Exhibition

Association of California of Water Agencies

Event Oct 30, 2014

Dealing in Drought: Development, Legislation and Litigation

The Seminar Group

Event Oct 20, 2014

The Business of Water and Environmental Lessons from Nuclear Disasters

International Bar Association

Event Oct 7, 2014

Hydrology and the Law

Law Seminars International

Event Oct 2-3, 2014

A Summary of California Water Rights Systems and a Primer for Public Water Agency Directors

2014 Water 101 Workshop – Water Education Foundation

BB&K Partner Eric Garner Named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Water Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Los Angeles
Press Releases Sep 26, 2014

BB&K Partner Eric Garner Named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Water Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Los Angeles

In Best Lawyers Magazine, Garner Is Featured among the City's Most Prestigious Lawyers, Who Were Selected by Their Peers

Press Releases Aug 19, 2014

Thirteen BB&K Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 List

The Included Attorneys Practice in BB&K Offices throughout California

Presentations

  • Panel Speaker, 15th Annual California Water Law Symposium, UC Hastings College of the Law, Feb. 2, 2019
  • “The Future of Water Supplies in Africa:  Addressing the Water Scarcity, Ground Water Pollution, and Sanitation Challenges”, IBA African Regional Environmental Law Conference, Nov. 29, 2018
  • “All Hands on Deck! Collaborative Approaches to Water Sustainability and Resiliency,” Coro 2016 Innovate x Water Conference, Nov. 15, 2016
  • “Climate Change Impacts on Water Demands and Development,” moderator, 2017 National Water Law Forum, Sept. 8, 2017
  • “Constraints and Successes for Groundwater Governance and Enforcement in California,” World Bank Water Global Practice: Groundwater Law and Challenges in Enforcement: Experiences from California and Development Perspectives, June 2, 2016
  • “Drought in California - Disaster and Opportunity,” 2015 Dr. Bruce J. Nelson ’74 Distinguished Speaker Series - Water, Oct. 22, 2015
  • “Adapting Water Laws to a World of Water Scarcity,” United Nations Environment for Development, Nov. 26, 2014
  • “Lessons from the Santa Maria Groundwater Adjudication,” ACWA 2013 Spring Conference & Exhibition Rethinking California Water, May 9, 2013
  • “An Overview of California’s Water Law and Trends in Water Pricing,” Investing in California’s Water, The Seminar Group, Feb. 5, 2013
     

Additional News

  • “California’s New Groundwater Law Seeks to Guide Planning Without Adjudication,” Bloomberg BNA, Dec. 11, 2014
  • “In Response to Drought, California Takes Historic Step to Regulate Groundwater,” Daily Journal, Sept. 22, 2014
  • “Water Shortage Threatens Global Security,” IBA Global Insight, Aug. 3, 2014
  • “California Powerhouse: Best Best & Krieger,” Law360, July 7, 2014
  • “U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Challenge to Santa Maria Groundwater Plan,” BB&K Press Release, Oct. 14, 2013