Mr. Masuda graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (A.B., 1969) and from the University of California, Davis School of Law (J.D., 1972). He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1972. He was also admitted to the Idaho State Bar in 1973 but he is not currently an active member of that Bar. Mr. Masuda completed formal mediation training from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law.
Since 1973, Mr. Masuda has primarily advised and represented governmental and public agencies – first as an Army JAGC attorney (1973-1976) with emphasis on government contracts, administrative, and environmental (NEPA) law, and then in private practice as general counsel and special water counsel to public agencies. He served as part-time City Attorney of the City of Livingston, his hometown, from 1977 to 1984.
He is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Association of California Water Agencies and of the Legal Advisory Working Group of the California Special Districts Association.
He has advised public agencies on the full gamut of public law matters. He has worked on surface water and groundwater rights, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation, recycled water, contractual water rights, the integration of surface water and groundwater resources through conjunctive use and water banking, water transfers, recycled water, Urban Water Management Plans, Water Supply Assessments, balancing multiple uses and demands on river systems, FERC hydropower issues, and major riparian habitat restoration and salmon spawning gravel restoration projects, CEQA/NEPA, preparation of ordinances and resolutions, Brown Act, Public Records Act, conflicts of interest, rules and regulations, government contracts, improvement districts, Proposition 218 water and sewer rates and assessments, and Proposition 26.
Mr. Masuda has negotiated and drafted complex transactional and settlement agreements for public agencies. He has served as the issuer’s counsel in numerous public agency and joint powers agency financings involving general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, notes, and certificates of participation.
He farmed almonds part-time for some 25 years. As a farmer, he had actual experience in the conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water since he irrigated with both a private well and with surface water.