Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection
Mark Twain

Micheline Nadeau Fairbank

Micheline Fairbank is an engaged and results driven Of Counsel attorney with broad experience involving the management and resolution of controversial and complex matters who practices in our Business Litigation and Natural Resources practice groups from our Reno, NV office. With many years of experience handling a broad spectrum of civil matters, including extensive trial and appellate experience and a practice focused on water and natural resource law, Micheline most recently served as a Deputy Administrator for the Nevada Division of Water Resources. In this capacity, Micheline worked with the Nevada State Engineer in administering Title 48 of the Nevada Revised Statutes in the management of water rights and the Silver State’s water resources.

Micheline also represented the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection in handling a variety of permitting and compliance matters involving hazardous waste disposal and management, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), mine reclamation, the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and related state environmental laws.

Micheline also has experience handling legislative matters and has extensive practice experience before the Nevada State District Courts, Federal District Courts in Nevada and California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Opportunity and Employment Commission, and state administrative agencies.

Born and raised in Northern Nevada, Micheline is known for finding unique solutions to challenging problems. She has the rare ability to work outside of the box – or inside the constraints of the box depending on the matter – and she takes great pride in discovering resolutions in a timely, economic and efficient manner. Conscientious and efficient, finding success that is meritorious for her clients is Micheline’s ultimate goal.

Outside of work, Micheline is married to an avid runner and reformed ultra-marathoner, so she supports this insanity by being active in local running organizations, including operating the Tunnel Creek Aid Station at the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs. Along with her family, she also enjoys exploring the backcountry, camping, hunting and fishing, and gardening.


  • B.A., cum laude, Western Colorado University
  • J.D., Willamette University College of Law


Experienced, forward-thinking advocates who go beyond the expected for clients in dispute prevention and resolution.

We are the forward-thinking natural resources, energy and environmental law team that innovates to ensure industry and businesses successfully navigate the ever-changing regulatory climate.

Representative Cases

  • Coachella Valley Water District v. Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, United States Supreme Court Case Nos. 17-40, -42.
  • United States v. United States Board of Water Commissioners, 893 F3d 578 (9th Cir. 2018)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Western States Water Council Executive Committee, 2019-2023
  • Western States Water Council, Legal Committee, 2019-2023
  • Western States Water Council, Non-Tribal Federal Water Needs Subcommittee, 2018-Present
  • Western Regional Partnership, Water Security Committee, 2019-2023
  • Nevada Supreme Court Commission to Study the Adjudication of Water Law Cases, 2021-2023
  • Board of Directors, Walker Basin Conservancy, 2023-present
  • Conference of Western Attorneys General, Western Attorney General Legal Action Committee, July 2014-April 2018

Articles and Presentations


  • California
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • United States District Court, District of Nevada
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court, Central District of California
  • United States District Court, Southern District of California
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court