Damien M. Schiff

Senior Attorney |

Separation of Powers

Damien Schiff is a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. He leads its environmental practice group, a unique initiative that draws broadly from PLF’s expertise and success in property rights and separation of powers litigation. Over the years, Damien has represented hundreds of landowners and property rights advocates to defend their liberties against heavy-handed and unwarranted environmental and land-use regulation. His litigation experience includes Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2012), in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of landowners to challenge Clean Water Act compliance orders issued by the EPA, and Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2023), in which the Supreme Court limited the Clean Water Act’s reach to relatively permanent waters and their immediately adjoining wetlands.

Besides litigation, Damien has written academic articles on a variety of subjects, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, greenhouse gas torts, the duty to rescue, and international water law. He has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Magazine, and The Economist, among other publications.

He obtained his law degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University. While at USD, he was a research assistant for Professor Bernard Siegan, a leading constitutional theorist and advocate for property rights and economic liberty. Immediately prior to joining PLF, Damien clerked for Judge (and former PLF attorney) Victor Wolski of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Damien credits the mentoring and examples of Professor Siegan and Judge Wolski for his decision to pursue a career in liberty-based public interest litigation.

Damien lives in Sacramento with his wife, two young sons, and a one-eyed French bulldog named Rosie. In his offhours he enjoys stamp collecting, Gregorian chant, and martinis—preferably at the same time. 

Damien is a member of the bar only in the state of California and Washington, DC.