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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.

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.

Scott Emblidge

Managing Partner

Kris Cox


Deborah Holley

Planning Consultant