Michael O'Connell

Adjunct Professor


E-mail: moconnellnw@outlook.com 


J.D., University of Denver College of Law, 1977, Editor-in-chief, Denver Law Journal, Order of St. Ives
B.A, Brockport State College, political science, 1969


Water Law


Michael O'Connell is a partner at Stoel Rives LLP. He practices with the firm's Resources Development and Environment group. He focuses his practice on natural resources, environmental, energy, water rights and Indian law matters involving project development. For more than 30 years, Michael has assisted a broad range of clients throughout the West, including public ports, energy producers (wave and tidal hydrokinetic and conventional hydropower, wind, ethanol, oil and gas developers, pipeline owners), forestry, food processing, shopping center and golf course developers, general contractors, industrial, manufacturing, commercial and other private and public clients, including Indian tribes and parties engaged in business or other transactions with Indian tribes.

Michael counsels clients through federal, state and tribal environmental review, project siting and permitting matters involving National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act (stormwater, wastewater and wetlands permits, citizen suits and water quality certifications), coastal zone management, National Historic Preservation Act compliance regarding cultural resources and historic properties (including traditional cultural properties or TCPs), human remains, fossils, and water right acquisitions and transfers. In these areas, Michael also assists clients in transactional due diligence, regulatory compliance and litigation.

In Indian law matters, Michael assists clients on projects (on and outside Indian reservations) that affect tribal interests, including financial transactions, leases and rights of ways over tribal land, taxation and employment issues, negotiating waivers of tribal sovereign immunity and litigation. He also regularly speaks at seminars on environmental, natural resources and Indian law.