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Joey Meldrum is a partner at Monchamp Meldrum LLP.  Ms. Meldrum advises clients on environmental, land use and natural resources law, including due diligence, permitting, regulatory compliance, and litigation. Joey’s practice focuses on brownfields redevelopment, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and litigation, land use entitlements, land use and environmental due diligence, environmental compliance, and permitting for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Joey’s legal practice is informed by over a decade of experience working as a licensed civil engineer and geologist on development projects in California. She draws on this experience to help clients navigate both the technical and legal aspects of the CEQA and related permitting processes. Her particular expertise in groundwater and soil chemistry means that Joey is fluent in the complex language of environmental clean-ups and brownfields development. She has worked on projects involving chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbon compounds, MTBE and other oxygenates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs, PFAS, various pesticides, and metals.

While an engineer, Joey led multidisciplinary teams on high-profile litigation cases and insurance claims. Her expertise in groundwater and soil chemistry was applied to contaminated sites, as well as to failure analysis of water distribution systems, boilers, oil and gas pipelines, foundations, and underground storage tanks. Joey also has extensive experience with soil/structure interactions, including expansive soils, corrosion, water intrusion, landslides, and loss of foundation support related to adjacent construction. Joey is fluent with green building practices and has been a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional since 2002.

Prior to forming Monchamp Meldrum LLP, Joey was an associate at Holland & Knight. She also worked at the California Coastal Commission and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), and thus knows the regulatory process inside and out.

Joey is currently an adjunct professor of Land Use Regulations Law at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco.

Published Cases

  • Tsakopoulos Investments, LLC v. County of Sacramento (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 280
  • The Claremont Canyon Conservancy v. Regents of the University of California (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 474
  • McCorkle Eastside Neighborhood Group v. City of St. Helena (2018) 31 Cal.App.5th 80
  • Covina Residents for Responsible Development v. City of Covina (2018) 21 Cal.App.5th 712
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2024
  • Thurston Society
  • Thomas Trapp Scholarship for Environmental Law
  • Witkin Awards for Excellence (top of class) in
    • Land Use Regulation
    • Property
    • California Water Resources
    • Federal and Interstate Water Resources
    • Negotiation and Mediation: Process and Practice
    • American Indian Law
    • Mediation
    • Legal Writing and Research

Licenses and Memberships

  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • American Bar Association – Environment, Energy and Resources Law
  • Civil Engineer, California, #C63479
  • Professional Geologist, California, #7798
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP)


  • University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, J.D. Magna Cum Laude
  • Queen’s University, Kingston Canada, Masters of Science in Engineering (Geological Engineering)
  • Queen’s University, Kingston Canada, Bachelors of Science in Engineering (Geological/Environmental Engineering)

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All State Courts in California

Select Publications

  • Design Review of By-Right Development Does Not Trigger CEQA Review
    Lexology,  January 2019
  • Fourth District Rejects City’s Retroactive CEQA Baseline but Holds that Error did not Violate Constitutional Rights
    Lexology,  October 2018
  • California Court of Appeal Invalidates EIR for Failure to Identify a Project
    Lexology,  November 2017
  • Court Upholds San Francisco’s CEQA Exemption for Telegraph Hill Project
    JDSupra, October 2017
  • California Supreme Court Rejects Attorney General’s Challenge to SANDAG’s Transportation Plan Lexology,  July 2017
  • Reliance on 1998 EIR Under CEQA Upheld Based on Substantial Evidence
    Lexology, December 2016
  • California Supreme Court Invalidates “New Project” Test
    JDSupra, September 2016
  • CEQA Judicial Outcomes: Fifteen Years of Reported California Appellate and Supreme Court Decisions
    Holland & Knight Alert, May 2015 (coauthor)
  • Nonresidential Building Energy Benchmarking is Here
    Daily Journal, May 2014
  • Reservation and Quantification of Indian Groundwater Rights in California
    Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, Volume 19 Number 2, Summer 2013
  • Floor Level Surveys and Their Use in Geotechnical Investigations: Case Studies
    Proceedings, 5th ASCE Forensic Engineering Congress, 2009
  • The role of trees in debris flow initiation
    Proceedings, AEG Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2006
  • Effect of cyclic wetting and drying on soil chemistry and corrosivity
    Proceedings, AEG Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, 2005
  • Understanding soil corrosion
    Proceedings, AEG Annual Meeting, Dearborn, MI, 2004
  • Failure analysis of a sewer pipeline confirms link between regulatory changes and resultant biochemical impact on pipe materials
    ASCE International Conference on Pipeline Engineering and Construction, 2004
  • Investigation of structural damage in a corrosive environment
    Proceedings, 5th International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, New York, NY, 2004
  • Oxidation of mine tailings from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, at subzero temperatures
    Canadian Geotechnical Journal 2001; 38(5), 2001
  • Investigations of the soil-structure kind
    Proceedings, Forensic Engineering Second Congress, Puerto Rico, 2000
  • Estimating the quantities of water contributions to a landslide in the Santa Cruz Mountains
    Proceedings, AEG Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, 1999
  • Laboratory determination of sulphide oxidation potential in permafrost using tailings from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
    Proceedings, Sudbury ’99 Mining in the Environment, Sudbury, ON, 1999
  • The effect of sub-zero temperatures and pore water salinity on sulphide oxidation of tailings from Rankin Inlet, NWT
    Proceedings, GAC/MAC Annual Meeting, Quebec City, QC, 1998
  • Acid mine drainage potential of tailings in permafrost at Rankin Inlet, NWT
    Proceedings, ANSUS Conference, Vancouver, BC, 1997
  • Composite geotechnical logs for a deep borehole at Richmond City Hall
    Geological Survey of Canada Open File 3356, 1996 (coauthor)

Select Presentations

  • CEQA Case Law Update
    AEP/APA North Bay Chapter, October 25, 2018
  • Regulating California’s Thirst for Groundwater
    Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment, September 14, 2016
  • Economics of Hydraulic Fracturing: Boom, Bust, or Business as Usual
    Hydraulic Fracturing in California Conference, August 12, 2014
  • Challenges with going green
    Claims Conference of Northern California, Sacramento, CA, 2009
  • Construction failure investigations: an engineer’s point of view
    National Association of Women in Construction meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2009
  • Construction sites in the urban environment: Damages to adjacent structures
    Published presentation, Lorman Education Services, San Francisco, CA, 2007
  • Seismic and slab building damage—Catastrophic and non-catastrophic
    Association for Facilities Engineering, Menlo Park, CA, 2005
  • Women in engineering
    Stanford Society of Women Engineers, Stanford University, CA, 2005

Also goes by: Jo Leckie, Joey Leckie, Joanna Leckie