Real Estate Litigation
The litigation department does a fairly broad range of business litigation, but its primary focus is on disputes involving real estate. It has handled cases in state and federal courts and before arbitrators, mediators and administrative agencies. Its lawyers have tried hundreds of court and jury trials on questions of eminent domain, broker liability, purchase and sale transactions, lender liability, title insurance and escrow liability, anti trust, breach of contract, boundary and easement matters, landlord/tenant and wine industry disputes.
Real Estate Transactions
The firm handles real estate transactions ranging from advising buyers and sellers of single-family residences to the largest commercial property sales in the North Bay. Some of the projects its lawyers have handled include the purchase of the Fountain Grove Ranch, the purchase of the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping center, the sale of Sears Point Raceway and the purchase and refinancing of some of the largest office buildings in Sonoma and Marin Counties. Clients include local and national lenders, developers, brokers and investors.
The firm counsels individuals in planning their estates. It also drafts wills and trusts to put estate plans into effect.
Property Tax Litigation
The firm represents major property owners in disputes before county Assessment Appeals Boards and the State Board of Equalization. It has handled the property tax valuation of oil and gas fields, geothermal properties, apartment houses, shopping centers and office buildings.
The firm’s land use practice is primarily before state and local agencies that regulate zoning, land use, land fills, endangered species protection and anti-pollution programs. Its lawyers have particular expertise in dealing with the counties of Sonoma, Napa and Marin and the cities and towns in the North Bay area. Most of the land use work is done for private individuals and businesses, with occasional work as outside counsel for government agencies.
The firm’s transaction department counsels clients on the use of various entities in their businesses. The firm has formed thousands of entities, including general and limited partnerships, corporations, limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies.
Winery Compliance and Operations