Samuel W. (Billy) Plauché | Partner
Billy provides counsel on issues regarding natural resources, land use, and environmental regulations, including matters involving wetlands or hazardous waste, natural resource damage actions, and Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act challenges. He has represented clients on a variety of matters, from national regulatory issues impacting broad–based industry groups to funding agreements for infrastructure projects being developed by public/private partnerships. Billy serves clients in both the public and private sectors, including resource–based organizations such as shellfish growers and terrestrial farmers, states and municipalities, private developers and industrial clients. Billy has a well-earned reputation for being a strategic thinker and consensus builder when coordinating among interested parties, including multiple agencies with jurisdiction over an issue.
Billy’s experience includes serving as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Defense Section. He has appeared before numerous state and federal trial courts and courts of appeal, as well as various Washington State administrative tribunals, including the Growth Management Hearings Board, the Pollution Control Hearings Board, the Shorelines Hearings Board, and numerous local governmental bodies. Billy also represents the State of Louisiana on the Natural Resource Damages arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and served as chair of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damages Trustee Council from 2014-2015. In addition, his practice includes administrative and judicial litigation. Early on in Billy’s career, he clerked for the Honorable Frank J. Polozola, U.S. District Court – Middle District of Louisiana.
Billy lectures extensively on various environmental, land use and administrative law issues, including Natural Resource Damages assessment and litigation, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, Washington State’s Shoreline Management Act and Growth Management Act, and the federal and state Administrative Procedure Acts.
Law Clerk, Honorable Frank J. Polozola, U.S. District Court
Middle District of Louisiana, 1990 – 1991
J.D., Louisiana State University, 1990
Order of the Coif, Louisiana Law Review, 1989 – 1990
Editor in Chief, Volume 50, 1990
B.A., Louisiana State University, 1987
Seattle’s Best Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America, 2010 – 2019
Super Lawyers Magazine, 2010 – 2018
Louisiana State Bar Association
King County Bar Association
Environmental and Land Use Section, Section Member
Washington State Bar Association
Environmental and Land Use Law Section, Member
Solo and Small Practice Section, Member
American Bar Association
Environment, Energy and Resources Section, Member
Federal Bar Association
Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustee Council, Executive Committee Chair
Environmental Law Institute
Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Commission
Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
California Aquaculture Association
U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Publications & Presentations
Shoreline Regulation in Washington State: Marine Shorelines, Rivers and Lakes, Co-Chair, The Seminar Group, Seattle, WA, May 1, 2015.
NRD Litigation: Lessons from Recent Cases, Speaker, Fourth Annual Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Law Seminars International, Washington, DC, March 12 – 13, 2015.
The Gulf Oil Spill: State Law Preemption and Implications for Washington, Speaker, 2014 KCBA Environmental & Land Use Law Section Meeting, Seattle, WA, May 21, 2014.
State Trustees: Current NRD Issues and Trends at the State Level, Speaker, Third Annual Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Law Seminars International, Washington, DC, February 6 – 7, 2014.
Ecosystem Services: Using Public/Private Partnerships to Stimulate Market Development, Speaker, 67th Annual Shellfish Conference and Tradeshow, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) and National Shellfisheries Association (NSA) – Pacific Coast Section, Sunriver, OR, September 30 – October 3, 2013.
Water Quality and Salmon: Pesticides, Fertilizers, Heat and Finding Balance, Speaker, Seminar on Resolving Conflicts Between Agriculture and Fish, Law Seminars International, Yakima, WA, April 15, 2013.
Deepwater Horizon: Assessment Status and Lessons Learned (So Far), Speaker, Conference on Natural Resource Damages, Law Seminars International, Washington, DC, January 26 – 27, 2012.
The Gulf Oil Spill: Implications for the Puget Sound, Speaker, 2011 Environmental and Land Use Law Section Midyear Meeting and Seminar, Union, WA, April 28 – 30, 2011.
Navigating the Regulatory Maze: Regulatory Processes Facing Shellfish Growers,
Speaker, 63rd Annual Shellfish Conference, Pacific Coast Shellfish GrowersAssociation and National Shellfisheries Association – Pacific Coast Section, Chelan, WA, September 29 – October 1, 2009.
Permitting Marine Aquaculture Projects and Nuts and Bolts of Permitting a Marine Shoreline Project, Speaker, Marine Shoreline Development and Permitting, Co-Chair, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, February 4, 2009.
Update on New Permits, Regulations, Legal Issues, Speaker, 62nd Annual Shellfish Conference, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association and National Shellfisheries Association – Pacific Coast Section, Chelan, WA, September – October 3, 2008.
Marine Shoreline Development and Permitting, Co-Chair, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, February 1, 2008.
Law, Science, and Politics: Staying Alive in the Regulatory Labyrinth, Speaker, 61st Annual Membership Meeting and Shellfish Growers Conference, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association/National Shellfisheries Association, Portland, OR, October, 2007.
National Trends in Shellfish Aquaculture Productions, Policy, and Regulation – Planning and Regulatory Tools for Coastal Planners, Speaker, NOAA, Coastal Zone 2007, Portland, OR, July 25, 2007.
Legislation and Regulation for Marine Aquaculture, Speaker, NOAA, National Marine Aquaculture Summit: Aquaculture 2007 – Making It Work for America, Washington D.C., June 26 – 27, 2007.
Marine Aquaculture: A Growing Business, Speaker, Environmental Law Institute, Washington D.C., February 6, 2007.
Corps Permitting for the Shellfish Industry, Speaker, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, October 24 – 25, 2005, and October 25 – 26, 2004.
Urban Growth Area Battles – Déjà vu All Over Again, Speaker, Growth Management in Washington, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, November 15 – 16, 2004.
Growth Management Act Requirements Regarding Siting/Operation of Essential Public Facilities, Speaker, Regulatory Requirements and Permitting of Essential Public Facilities, The Seminar Group, Seattle, WA, November 9, 2004.
Washington Land Use Law, Co-Chair, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, April 15 – 16, 2004.
Agriculture and Clean Water Issues, Speaker, Clean Water and Stormwater Conference, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, March 20 – 21, 2003.
What are the Courts Doing to Define GMA?, Speaker, Washington Land Use Law, Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA, April 22 – 23, 2002 and April 19 – 20, 2001.
Road Map to the Revolution: A Practical Guide to Procedural Issues Before the Growth Management Hearings Boards, Author, 23 Seattle University Law Review 71, 1999.