Areas of Practice
- Nevada, 1990
- U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- J.D., University of Montana
- Ph.D., Geology, University of Montana
- M.S., Earth Sciences, Montana State University
- B.S., Montana State University
Ms. Harrison joined the law firm in 1990 after graduating first in her law school class at the University of Montana. She became a partner in 1994. Ms. Harrison practices primarily in environmental, energy, and natural resources law, a natural evolution from her former career as a geologist.
“Smart and easy to deal with.”
– Chambers USA 2019
She earned her Ph.D. in geology in 1985 and was published widely in that area, but decided to pursue a legal career to further her commitment to integrating scientific knowledge with public interest. She serves as co-chair of the firm’s energy, environment & natural resources practice.
Environmental & Natural Resources Law
Ms. Harrison regularly assists clients with environmental compliance and permitting matters, environmental due diligence, water law, mining and mineral development, public land law, NEPA compliance, and mine reclamation. She has experience in complex environmental litigation, including the defense of CERCLA and RCRA citizen suits, the representation of clients in state and federal enforcement actions, and the negotiation and drafting of federal and state consent decrees.
Complementing her environmental and natural resources practice, Ms. Harrison also works extensively in energy law, including geothermal leasing, due diligence for complex project financing, negotiation and drafting of power purchase agreements and related documents, facility siting, permitting, and public land law.
Ms. Harrison, together with other attorneys in the firm, recently served as local counsel in connection with the financing and evaluation of the potential acquisition of significant energy projects. Her primary responsibility was the review of environmental compliance, permitting, and property positions. This work included intensive due diligence and the review, negotiation, and preparation of legal opinions for both lenders and developers. Specific projects include refinancing for expansion of a large geothermal facility, project financing for a major transmission line, a 150-megawatt wind farm, a 100-megawatt concentrating solar power plant, PV solar projects, and a 20-megawatt biomass project. She has also represented potential investors in compliance and permitting reviews in evaluation of the possible acquisitions of a major gold mine and commercial-scale renewable energy projects.
Ms. Harrison assists clients in complex commercial transactions, including environmental due diligence, acquisition of water rights, and compliance reviews. She has represented clients in bankruptcy cases, particularly in relation to mining and energy projects and environmental claims.
- Geothermal Resources in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables, Michael B. Gerrard editor, American Bar Association, 2011.
- Disposition of the Mineral Estate on United States Public Lands: A Historical Perspective, 10 Public Land Law Review 131.
- Environmental Due Diligence in Real Property Transactions: Practice Pointers, Nevada Lawyer, Vol. 5, No. 1, January 1997.
- The Historical Development of Nevada Water Law, 5 University of Denver Water Law Review, 148.
- Effective Use of Phase I Environmental Assessments, Nevada Lawyer, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2008.
- Geothermal Resources, Who Owns What?, Nevada Lawyer, Vol. 17, No. 7, July 2009
Awards and Recognition
- The Best Lawyers of America© – Environmental Law
- Chambers USA, Band 2 – Environmental Law
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Geothermal Resources Council
Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and Chair of Education Committee, Reno Philharmonic Association
April 29, 2019 – Chambers USA, one of the leading legal ratings agencies in the United States, has released its 2019 rankings. McDonald Carano again ranks as one of the…
August 20, 2018 – McDonald Carano is pleased to announce new recognition in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Attorneys recognized include: Matthew C. Addison, Partner, Commercial…
May 9, 2018 Las Vegas, NV – Chambers USA, one of the leading legal ratings agencies in the United States, has released its 2018 rankings. McDonald Carano again received high…
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