Scott K. Kuney | Water Law 2019-03-21T14:43:46+00:00


Partner | Water Law


Partner | Water Law

Scott is a partner in the Water Law and Special Districts Department where he specializes in the areas of surface and groundwater rights, eminent domain litigation, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA) matters.  Scott is a second generation water law attorney who appreciates the importance of hard work, practical business sense and a commitment to serving the needs of his clients. He is dedicated to providing clear and direct legal advice to his clients so that they can resolve their legal matters in a practical, timely and cost-efficient manner.

Over the past 33 years, Scott has been responsible for numerous water law and litigation projects in federal and state courts. At the federal level, Scott has handled litigation concerning the 1982 Reclamation Reform Act, Central Valley Project contract renewals, NEPA, ESA and water rights resulting in a comprehensive settlement agreement for the San Joaquin River. State matters have included the representation of major public utility companies in eminent domain right-of-way acquisitions, as well as providing legal services to water agencies regarding project water supplies, water right disputes and conservation storage in Isabella Reservoir. Scott has represented clients in both the Santa Maria Basin and Antelope Valley Basin groundwater adjudications.

Scott was lead trial counsel for the plaintiff in the case of North Kern Water Storage District v. Kern Delta Water District (2007) 147 Cal.App. 4th 555, a case involving two multiple month trials concerning pre-1914 appropriative water rights. A final judgment in favor of his client was entered declaring a partial forfeiture of water rights.

Scott K. Kuney attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he received a bachelor’s degree in combined social science in 1979. A year earlier he was awarded an Economic History Fellowship/Honors Scholarship to attend the University of Birmingham, England.  In 1983, Scott earned his Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific and was admitted to practice in state and federal Courts, before the California Supreme Court and all other California courts, as well as in Federal District Court.

Scott spends his personal time surrounded by friends and family, particularly his wife, daughters, and their dog. Scott enjoys distance cycling, both locally and throughout California, and has successfully completed numerous century rides including the 2008 Seattle to Portland 200 mile bike tour.


  • B.A., Combined Social Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1979
  • J.D., McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, 1983


  • California Supreme Court, all other state courts, 1983
  • United States District Court, Central District of California, 1983
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, 1983
  • United States Court of Federal Claims, 1995

Business & Professional Associations:

  • Association of California Water Agencies, Legal Affairs Committee (2012-present)
  • Session Elder, Chairman Christian Education Committee First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield (2008-2012)
  • Kern County Bar Association (1983-present)
  • American Bar Association, Natural Resources Section (1983-present)
  • Director, Friends of Mercy Foundation (2007-2008

Honors, Awards & Achievements:

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV
  • Economic History Fellowship/Honors Scholarship, University of Birmingham, England (1977-1978)
  • Honors Board National Moot Court Competition Team, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1982-1983)
  • Young Wooldridge, LLP, Co-Managing Partner (2000-Present)
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