Sandi has over 30 years of experience in litigating and counseling clients in environmental, natural resources, land use and other real-estate related matters, primarily handling compliance and litigation under the federal Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Sandi has handled all phases of litigation, including state and federal court trials and appeals, largely relating to contaminated soil, sediments, groundwater, and surface waters. She represents various companies with compliance and litigation addressing industrial storm water permitting requirements, vapor intrusion issues, and environmental insurance coverage matters. Her clients include major ports, commercial, industrial, and retail real estate owners and developers, agricultural mills, and a major telecommunications company.
Prior to joining Allen Matkins in 2007, Sandi was the Managing Partner of the California Offices of Stoel Rives (2001-2006). She began her legal career with Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy in 1981 and was its Managing Shareholder from 1996 until the merger with Stoel Rives in 2001.
Sandi has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America (2009-2013); Chambers USA (2013), Super Lawyers Northern California in Environmental Litigation (2004-2013); Top Rated Lawyers-AV® Preeminent™ Guide to Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources Law (2012); Martindale-Hubbell® A-V Preeminent; Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™-AV Preeminent; San Francisco Business Times Best Lawyers in the Bay Area (2009-2012); San Francisco Magazine's San Francisco’s Top Attorneys (2010-2012), Top 100 Attorneys (2012) and Top 50 Women Attorneys (2012-2013); The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers 2013; Who’s Who in American Law; Who's Who of Emerging Leaders of America.
Sandi has enjoyed serving as a U.C. Hastings alumni mentor for many years. Her community involvement also included serving as coach for the Menlo School National Mock Trial Team (2002-2008); Chair of the Crocker Middle School Site Council, Hillsborough, CA (1999-2001); trustee of The Carey School, San Mateo, CA (1995-1998), President of the Carey School Parents Association (1994-1995); and AYSO Soccer Coach, Burlingame, CA (1990-1997).
Sandi is a graduate of UCLA, and received her J.D. from UC Hastings in 1981. While at Hastings, Sandi served as the Associate Research Editor for COMM/ENT Law Journal (1980-81) and as the Teaching Assistant for Criminal Law (1979-80). Sandi lives in Hillsborough with her husband of 30 years, Paul Nichols (UC Hastings '82), and has two grown sons.