George Washington University, JD

Ohio State University, BA

William C. Paris, III


WILLIAM C. PARIS, III co-founded O’Laughlin & Paris LLP with Tim O’Laughlin in 1997.


Mr. Paris represents public and private clients in all manner of complex water issues, including water rights adjudications, changes to water rights, water transfers, public trust issues and water use reporting. He routinely counsels clients on the nature, extent and limitations of the exercise of their water rights, and the effect that CEQA, NEPA, ESA and other governmental processes and requirements will have on proposed or existing activities. Mr. Paris acts as general and special counsel to a variety of public agencies, including irrigation districts, water districts, reclamation districts and community services districts, and provides advice regarding open meeting laws and public records, contracts, real property, and rates and charges under Propositions 218 and 26.


Mr. Paris’ practice includes all phases of civil litigation in both state and federal courts, as well as before a variety of administrative agencies including the State Water Resources Control Board and the Central Valley Flood Control Board. He has authored several appellate briefs for clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Third and Fifth District Court of Appeal, and the State Water Resources Control Board.


Mr. Paris earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the Ohio State University in 1990. He graduated cum laude, with Distinction in History, and with Honors in the Liberal Arts. In 1991, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Paris obtained his Juris Doctor from the George Washington University in 1993. He is a member of the California State Bar, Real Property Law section, and the Butte County Bar Association.

In addition to the State Bar of California, Mr. Paris is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


Mr. Paris presented at the DC Educational Fellowship Program, California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, in 2004.


  • Provide on-going general counsel services to the Hamilton City Community Services District in Hamilton City, California.

  • Provide ongoing general counsel services to Reclamation District #2140 in Hamilton City, California.

  • Represent numerous private water right holders and irrigation districts regarding in basin and out of basin water transfers.

  • Coordinate efforts to obtain comprehensive flood protection and ecosystem restoration for the Hamilton City area. The project was one of only two new construction starts in the nation recommended for funding in the President’s budget for FY 2012.

  • Represent landowners in challenges to the nature, extent and use of their historic water rights.

  • Represent and advise landowners and irrigation districts on the nature, extent and use of their water rights as defined in various stream adjudications.

  • Drafted Water Code section 21377.5 regarding the location of certain public meetings.

  • Co-counsel for irrigation district in several CEQA challenges to water transfers which were successfully defended in superior court.

  • Represent irrigation districts in lawsuit in federal district court, and subsequent appeal in the Ninth Circuit, concerning the propriety of listing Central Valley steelhead as a threatened species.

  • Co-counsel in State Water Resources Control Board adjudication, upheld on appeal, finding certain in-delta water users were illegally diverting water.

  • Defend irrigation district in challenge to its water rights confirmed by decree.


  • In re Consolidated Salmonid Cases (E.D.Cal.2011) 791 F.Supp.2d 802

  • Phelps v. State Water Resources Control Board (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 89

  • Central Delta Water Agency v. Bureau of Reclamation (9th Cir. 2006) 452 F.3d 1021

  • State Water Control Board Cases (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 674