From litigation to land use regulations, administrative hearings to contract law, we are the premier San Francisco firm to effectively address your legal needs and efficiently solve your legal problems.
Our experienced attorneys have advised and counseled clients in complicated real estate transactions, navigating complex environmental (CEQA) reviews, and resolving disputes over land use, zoning, and property entitlement issues. As litigators, we have also represented owners, public entities, developers, landlords, tenants, and commercial retailers in disputes surrounding the use of their land and property.
Litigation and Disputes
MER has represented clients in litigation on nearly every type of land use and real property dispute. We have deep experience in environmental law, and have defended a prominent San Francisco public/private project from a CEQA lawsuit that threatened the development of new soccer fields. We also regularly represent property owners in lawsuits and regulatory disputes relating to the use of their land, such as disputes over easements and boundaries, requests for zoning variances, and inverse condemnation claims against municipalities threatening the viability of property. We have helped large commercial landlords in San Francisco handle lease violations and eviction actions against non-paying and non-compliant tenants. And we have drafted amicus and appellate briefs on behalf of organizations responding to environmental and CEQA challenges.
Real Estate Purchasing, Leasing, and Use
We help our clients navigate difficult real estate deals, helping them to avoid legal pitfalls and minimize future expenses at the outset. Our attorneys have experience negotiating the purchase of real property, including restaurants, automobile dealerships, historic buildings, residential condominium projects, research facilities, and wineries. We have negotiated leases, easements, and access and license rights for commercial retail properties and residential units. And we have been instrumental in negotiating and securing financing and tax credits for major municipal projects, from historic renovations, to major league ballparks.
Administrative Hearings and Permitting
We regularly represent homeowners, businesses, and public interest groups in proceedings involving local municipal hearings and planning commission reviews. We assist developers in obtaining use permits, entitlements, variances, lot line adjustments, certificates of legal nonconformity and zoning and general plan amendments. We also work with neighborhood groups as well as builders to hash out agreements relating to the use of their property. In 2015, we represented the University of California, San Francisco, in negotiations with the Golden State Warriors over the construction of their new stadium in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, helping UCSF secure commitments from the Warriors for additional traffic controls and event limits to ensure easy and safe access to the hospital.
Planning, Negotiation, and Analysis Expertise
For projects that require extensive negotiation and detailed analysis, MER is proud to offer the services of Deborah Holley, a land use and environmental planning consultant with over 20 years of experience. Deborah deals regularly with planning staff and government regulators in San Francisco and across the Bay Area—most of whom would prefer to speak to one of their own than with another lawyer—and works closely with MER’s attorneys and clients to obtain permits, address municipal and community concerns, and prepare environmental impact reports, achieving results at very reasonable billing rates.