MID names Phillip R. McMurray of Los Banos as staff general counsel

Merced Irrigation District said Phillip R. McMurray has been appointed as the staff general counsel.

He’ll begin work at the end of July.

A resident of Los Banos, McMurray brings years of experience providing legal representation for a variety of public agencies and water districts involved in agricultural and water resource issues, MID said in a news release.

The district is comprised of irrigation and drainage operations, electric services, a hydroelectric project and parks and recreation. It maintains 800 miles of canals providing irrigation supplies to 2,200 growers. It serves more than 7,300 residential and business customers. MID also operates recreation facilities on Lake McClure and Lake McSwain, including 600 campsites, six boat launches and several floating marinas.

McMurray’s services will include providing legal guidance needed to protect MID’s resources held in trust for its water users and ratepayers. He’ll also represent the district at administrative law hearings, regulatory law hearings and judicial proceedings.

He received his Juris Doctorate from Sacramento’s Lincoln Law School in 2004 and was admitted to the California State Bar in June of 2005. Since 2006, he has been an associate attorney with Linneman, Burgess, Telles, Van Atta, Vierra, Rathmann, Whitehurst & Keene of Dos Palos. Since 2007 he has served as an adjunct faculty member at Merced College teaching business and law oriented classes.

Among his experience working on Valley water issues is his involvement with the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program, San Joaquin River Restoration Program and the Grassland Bypass Project.

MID’s long-time outside General Counsel Kenneth Robbins will continue to work with MID on water-related matters, including water rights, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sac Joaquin Delta and river issues.