David McCray’s practice focuses on major project and infrastructure development, including environmental reviews, permitting and approvals from a wide range of federal and state natural resources agencies, and litigation defense of project decisions and policies. He counsels clients on regulatory matters and litigation regarding issues such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), climate change, water, wetlands, project mitigation, and mobile source air toxics and related health impacts.
In 2015, Governor Brown appointed Mr. McCray to a four-year term as a justice on the California Courts-Martial Appellate Panel where he is responsible for hearing criminal appeals involving California Guard and Reserve personnel.
Mr. McCray served as Assistant Chief Counsel at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) from 2007-2014. Prior to joining Caltrans, Mr. McCray served with the U.S. Air Force for 21 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. McCray held positions such as the Chief of the Environmental & Tort Litigation Branch, the Base Staff Judge Advocate at Beale Air Force Base, California, and the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri where he also managed the environmental law program. While with the Air Force, Mr. McCray also served for two years as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Environmental & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
As Caltrans Assistant Chief Counsel, Mr. McCray was the Department's senior environmental attorney. He assisted leadership on the highest priority legislative and regulatory issues. He led a team of six attorneys and five paralegals in litigating for, and providing advice to, the Governor’s office, the California State Transportation Agency, and Caltrans' senior executives and staff involving complex environmental, Native American and real estate development issues on multi-million dollar transportation projects.
Recent examples of Mr. McCray’s experience include:
Mr. McCray recently spoke on a panel about autonomous vehicles at the July 2016 National Bar Association Annual Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served on panels about the NEPA Assignment Program at the July 2016 Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science (TRB) workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah and at the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Previously, he served as California's representative on TRB’s Environmental Law Committee and as a panel member of TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program where he was a key participant in reviewing and directing research. Mr. McCray volunteers time to organize and participate on panels at California law schools where he discusses the importance of diversity in the practice of environmental law.
He is a founding member and former president of Lincoln Parks, a non-profit dedicated to building community parks.