New York University School of Law, e-LL.M
Loyola Law School, LL.M.
Columbia University School of Law, J.D.
Occidental College, magna cum laude
Law Office of Hannah Bentley/Hannah Bentley APC
Morrison & Foerster, 1987-1991
Ms. Bentley has approximately 25 years of experience litigating in state and federal court on environmental, constitutional, real estate damage, and state and local tax issues.
With another sole practitioner litigating on behalf of Greenpeace, local environmental groups, and several Indian tribes, Ms. Bentley won a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the federal Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service barring a radioactive waste dump that had been proposed for Ward Valley in the Mojave Desert on the ground that the dump would adversely modify or destroy critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise, which had yet to be designated under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. The case resulted in the designation of critical habitat for the species in the Mojave Desert.
Ms. Bentley has brought close to 30 cases under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), most resulting in settlements benefiting petitioners, and she has also represented prevailing agency respondents in litigation.
And she has drafted amicus curiae briefs for the winning side in the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of state statutes regulating environmental advertising and tobacco distribution.
Ms. Bentley drafted an appellate brief leading to the reversal of a trial court judgment when the trial court failed to grant damages to the plaintiff by ignoring the collateral source rule.
Ms. Bentley also brought and settled an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) case on behalf of an open heart surgery patient whose insurance companies tried to deny her coverage.
Awards and Honors
• Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Columbia Law School
• 2012 Women of Distinction Honoree, California 25th Senatorial District: Recognized by State Senator Roderick Wright and City of Hawthorne for pro bono activities on behalf of local community.
Presentations and Publications
• State Bar of California Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite, Panelist, CLE Presentation, federal Clean Air Act issues.
• Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Law Week CLE Presentation, April 2009 – CLE presentation, S.B. 375 and A.B. 32.
• Association of California Water Agencies, Fall Meeting 2007, Indian Wells, CLE Panel Presentation (speaker, moderator and organizer).
• California Redevelopment Association, Legal Issues Symposium, Anaheim, August 2008, “Climate Change and Redevelopment: Why Increased Financial Incentives and Reduced CEQA Burdens Are Necessary Under A.B. 32” – CLE Panel Presentation (speaker and organizer).
• “Local Governments Key to Cancun Climate Talks,” Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 25, No. 2 (ABA) “Waxman-Markey to the Senate: What Happens in California If It Passes?” California Environmental Law Reporter (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender), Aug. 2009
• “State and Regional Climate Change Initiatives, the Dormant Commerce Clause, and Preemption,” Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter (Argent Communications), July 2008
• “Federal Climate Bill Must Preserve Early Action Incentives,” Guest Commentary, Carbon Market North America, July 2008
• Author, between 2003-2005, of Chapters in Matthew Bender Practice Guides including California Contract Litigation, Chapter 18, “Asserting or Defending Claim That Contract is Illegal, Contrary to Public Policy, or Unenforceable,” and California Debt Collection and Enforcement of Judgments, Chapter 4, “Fraudulent Conveyances”
American Bar Association
State Bar of California Environmental Law Section