Carmichael Clark on linkedIN

Robert A. Carmichael

Robert Carmichael focuses his practice on land use planning, permitting and zoning, water law and natural resources, municipal law, and real estate.  He regularly represents area property owners, businesses, water and sewer districts, and municipalities on land use, real estate, and environmental issues.  Bob has many years of experience handling permitting issues before local and state governments and in successfully representing clients before the State Growth Management Hearings Board, Shoreline Hearings Board, former Forest Practice Appeals Board, and Pollution Control Hearings Board, and in state courts.  He has often spoken at seminars for other lawyers on these topics.  Bob joined the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office in 1984 where he served as a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in both the criminal and civil divisions, before joining Simonarson, Visser, Zender, & Thurston (a predecessor to Carmichael Clark) in 1992.


  • University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A. in Geography, 1980 (Phi Beta Kappa)


Recognition, Publications, and Presentations

  • “Navigating SEPA in Local Permitting,” Lorman Education Services, June 2013
  • “Project Conditions and Their Legal Limits,” Lorman Education Services, July 2006 and November 2007.
  • “Procedural Pitfalls in Administrative Litigation,” Lorman Education Services July 2006; Washington State Bar Association Environmental and Land Use Section Mid-Year Seminar, Columbia Gorge, June 1999.
  • “Land Use and Growth Management,” Whatcom County Bar Association, Bellingham, October 1998.
  • “Growth Management Act On Trial,” Law Seminars International Conference, Seattle, September 1998.


Representative Cases

  • Lummi Indian Tribe v. Whatcom County, 5 F.3d 1355 (9th Cir. 1993)
  • Wells v. Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, 100 Wn. App. 657, 997 P.2d 405 (2000)
  • In re J.D., 112 Wn.2d 164, 769 P.2d 291 (1989)
  • State v. Stannard, 109 Wn.2d 29, 742 P.2d 1244 (1987)
  • State v. Zwicker, 105 Wn.2d 228, 713 P.2d 1101 (1986)


Professional Memberships

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Environmental and Land Use Law Section, Washington State Bar Association


Bar Admissions

  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Community Activities

  • Bellingham Youth Baseball, Board Secretary
  • Post 7 Legion Baseball, Board Secretary
  • Member, 2013 and 2015 Whatcom County Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials
  • Former Red Raider Diamond Club, Board Secretary
  • Former Whatcom Land Trust Board member
  • Former Youth Baseball Coach
Print Friendly, PDF & Email