Selmi, Daniel P.

Daniel P. Selmi, Professor of Law, Fritz B. Burns Chair in Real Property

Professor of Law
Fritz B. Burns Chair in Real Property

Courses Taught

  • Environmental Law
  • Land Use Regulation
  • Torts
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Natural Resources Law Seminar
  • Administrative Law



  • BA, Santa Clara University
  • JD, magna cum laude, Santa Clara University
  • MPA, Harvard University 


Professor Selmi specializes in Land Use Law, Environmental Law, and Appellate Advocacy.  He also taught Torts and Natural Resources Law.  Professor Selmi held the Fritz B. Burns Chair in Real Property Law and was a full-time member of the faculty from 1983-2021.  He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Loyola from 1990 to 1993.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Selmi was a deputy attorney general in the Office of the California Attorney General from 1976 to 1983, first serving in the Environmental Law Section and then in the Natural Resources Law Section. From 1975 to 1976, he was judicial law clerk to the late Manuel L. Real, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.  During the 1993-94 academic year, Professor Selmi was a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C.  During 1979 and 1980 he taught as an adjunct at Loyola and also taught classes during 1979 as an adjunct lecturer at the University of California Irvine. During the 2014-15 academic year, he was the inaugural David Sive Visiting Scholar at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School, New York City.

Professor Selmi is co-author of the casebook Land Use Regulation: Cases and Materials, now in its fifth edition, and co-author of the two-volume treatise, State Environmental Law. He is co-editor of the most comprehensive treatise on California environmental and land use law, the six-volume California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice.  The second edition of his most recent book, Principles of Appellate Advocacy, is forthcoming.  His 2011 article, “The Contract Transformation in Land Use Regulation,” published in the Stanford Law Review, was voted by peers in the field as one of the “top 10” land use and environmental law articles of the year and republished in the Land Use and Environmental Law Review.

Professor Selmi is a former chair of the California State Bar Committee (now Section) on Environmental Law and has been a panelist on numerous occasions at the Section's Annual Conference at Yosemite. He has also been a panelist at both the Annual California Land Use Law and Planning Conference and the “Super-Symposium on Environmental Law” held annually by the Section on Environmental Law of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  He was a panelist at the First and Second Annual “Little NEPA” Conferences, sponsored by the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources. He has been a lecturer at the “Western Environmental Boot Camp,” sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, which educates new practitioners in the field of environmental law.  He also served the reporter to the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee for the Central District of California.  From 2016-2021, he was a member of the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Santa Ana Region.

Professor Selmi has extensive appellate experience. Over his career he has argued 39 cases involving environmental and land use law in the state and federal appellate courts, including four in the California Supreme Court, and he has briefed over 50 cases in those areas. In 2013, he received a CLAY Award  (“California Attorney of the Year”) in the field of Environmental Law from California Lawyer Magazine for his work on American Coatings Ass’n v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, 54 Cal. 4th 446 (2012), a case which he argued in the California Supreme Court. In 2008, he was elected to membership in the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.  The Academy, the oldest lawyers' organization in the country dedicated solely to the practice of appellate law, admits members only by election "after rigorous scrutiny of their skill in appellate practice."  In addition, he has served as an expert witness in several land use and environmental law cases, and currently is a court-appointed special master in litigation.

Public Service

  • Member (and former Chair), California State Bar Section on Environmental Law
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association Section on Environmental Law
  • Former Chair, Editorial Board, Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine (magazine of the Los Angeles County Bar Association)
  • Former Chair, The Committee on the Public and the Profession, Los Angeles County Bar Association

Selected Scholarship

  • Book, Dawn at Mineral King: The Sierra Club, The Disney Company, and the Rise of Environmental Law (forthcoming May 2022, University of Chicago Press)
  • Co-Author (with Rebecca Delfino) Principles of Appellate Advocacy (2nd ed. 2021, Wolters Kluwer Pub.)
  • Co-Author (with Michael Berger), Chapter, The Substantive Elements of Section 115, in Combating Climate Change with Section 115 of The Clean Air Act (2020, Edward Elgar Pub.)
  • 2021 Annual Update to State Environmental Law (West) (two-volume treatise updated annually)
  • Co-Author, Land Use Regulation: Cases and Materials (5th 2017) (with Teacher’s Manual).
  • Article, Federal Implementation Plans and the Path to Clean Power, 28 Georgetown Envtl. L. Rev. 637 (2016).
  • Article, Takings and Extortion, 68 Florida L. Rev. 323 (2016) (reprinted in 2017 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook).
  • Article, Negotiations in the Aftermath of Koontz, 75 Maryland L. Rev. 743 (2016) (reprinted in 2018 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook).
  • Essay, Federal Implementation Plans and the Clean Power Plan, found at
  • Article, The Contract Transformation in Land Use Regulation,” 63 Stanford L. Rev. 591 (2011).
  • Short Article, “The Year in Review: Ten Environmental and Land Use Cases From 2010,” California Environmental Law Reporter (Feb. 2011) (latest in Professor Selmi's series of “Year in Review” articles published annually since 1991)
  • Article, “Themes in the Evolution of the State Environmental Policy Acts,” 38 Urban Lawyer 947 (2006)