Coblentz partners Pam Duffy, Harry O'Brien and Tay Via are listed in the California, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use category of the 2016 Chambers USA guide, published by Chambers & Partners.

Pam Duffy is again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in the top tier, Band 1. Clients described Pam to Chambers as “tenacious and smart" and noted she "handles mega projects," particularly in the healthcare, sports and retail industries. Chambers notes her particular experience in large public and private entity transactions and in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of development requirements and how they affect construction, financing, operation, leasing, and sale of a development project.

Harry O’Brien is also again ranked as a Leading Lawyer in Band 2. Chambers describes Harry as "well versed in the full spectrum of real estate transactions, including obtaining zoning, land use and CEQA approvals." Clients report that he "is outstanding in providing good business counsel." Harry's transactional real estate, commercial development and land use practice emphasizes representing real estate developers in entitlement, finance and construction of large commercial, residential and institutional development projects and public-private partnerships.

Tay Via is listed as one of only two Noted Practitioners in the California category. Tay specializes in large public/private projects and represents real estate companies, nonprofit entities, and other businesses, identifying strategies for navigating the increasingly complex real estate development process.

London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world's leading lawyers and law firms – individual lawyers are ranked (in their practice-areas) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.

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Chambers & Partners, publishers of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, has again awarded Coblentz a Band 1 ranking in the Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use – California category.

According the Chambers, the Coblentz team is known for "a comprehensive real estate offering that maintains a particular strength in obtaining land use, zoning and environmental approvals for development projects," and has an "especially strong presence in the Bay Area."

Chambers quotes clients describing Coblentz as "a very, very strong land use and entitlement firm," and noting "the firm provides superior services."

Partners Pam Duffy and Harry O’Brien are again ranked as leading lawyers in Band 1 and Band 2, respectively, and partner Tay Via is listed as a Noted Practitioner.

London-based Chambers and Partners conducts intensive, continuous research to identify the world's leading lawyers and law firms – those who perform best according to the criteria most valued by clients. The process, which extends over several months, includes written submissions, personal interviews, client feedback, and peer assessment.

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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is ranked nationally by Law360 among the Top 50 Firms for Minority Equity Partners.

The annual list from Law360 places Coblentz 49th among the nation's top firms with the highest percentage of minority equity partners. The top 50 firms represent a mix of small, midsize and large firms alike, indicating that diversity is a reachable goal regardless of firm size.

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Coblentz partner Richard Patch was profiled by Law360 in the Trial Pros Q&A series, which showcases the achievements and professional insights of highly successful trial lawyers. In the Q&A, Richard discusses his experiences as a trial attorney, highlights from his career, how he prepares for trial and advice for new litigators.

Read the Q&A profile here.

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Coblentz attorneys Philip Feldman, Howard Slavitt, Julie Treppa and Alyssa Snyder assisted the donors of a $185 million gift to UC San Francisco to establish the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. The gift is the largest single gift ever made to UCSF, and one of the largest gifts ever made to support the neurosciences in the United States.

According to UCSF, "The gift will provide the lead investment for the construction of a new 270,000-square-foot building at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus that will serve as the Weill Institute for Neurosciences headquarters. The new building will house state-of-the-art research laboratories, as well as clinics for patients with brain and nervous system disorders." An Innovation Fund will also provide support for research projects aimed at finding new treatments for neurological and psychiatric illnesses.

The gift also advances the University’s educational mission, establishing a new Fellows program that will offer financial support to PhD students in the Neuroscience Graduate Program, allowing UCSF to continue its success in attracting the very best young scientists to its doctoral programs.

Read more about the gift to UCSF here, and watch a video overview of the Institute.

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At the 2016 Design Awards ceremony of the American Institute of Architecture San Francisco (AIASF) last week, global architectural firm Gensler was one of two Interior Architecture Merit Award recipients for their design of the new home office of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP.

The Coblentz firm relocated in August 2015 to One Montgomery Tower in the heart of the San Francisco Financial District, a space boasting unobstructed 360 degree views of the City.  Gensler worked with the Coblentz design team and other highly skilled design and construction partners to create what the AIASF jury calls a "stunning space that transcends the typical law firm experience."  The firm’s decision to relocate and build from a blank slate presented an opportunity to carefully examine our use of space. The new design reflects how Coblentz lawyers and staff work now, and anticipates new processes that will evolve in the future.

AIASF award judges commented on various design details that led to the decision to award special recognition to the Coblentz project. "The planning, shared light peaks, and central circulation all work very well. The design choice of a high contrast palette was bold and refreshing and yanked the traditional law firm out of the past. The project dances a clever line between the dynamic and the tranquil, with its fully realized lighting acting as its principal unifying design element. This could so easily have been clumsy, but here it is quite beautiful."

The AIASF Design Awards recognize outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Bay Area individuals and organizations, serving to inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice in the region.

View photos and additional award information here.

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Bill Hutton and Misti Schmidt advised property owner Eagle Ranch, LLC in its donation of a conservation easement of over 3,255 acres of pristine ranch land to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, the Conservancy’s largest conservation easement gift in history. The conservation easement limits future development on the site, preserving the property as a working cattle ranch. Representatives of Eagle Ranch and the Land Conservancy were presented with certificates of appreciation and recognition from Senator Bill Monning, Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Bill and Misti negotiated and finalized the conservation easement for Eagle Ranch, LLC, leading to the donation of the easement at no cost to the Conservancy.

Click here to read more.

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San Francisco-based law firm Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP announced today that it has opened offices in Napa and St. Helena, California.

Prominent Napa Valley attorney Chuck Meibeyer has joined the Firm as a partner. Chuck has been practicing real estate, land use, and wine law in the Napa Valley since 1983, and with his own firm, the Meibeyer Law Group, since 1989. Apart from his law practice, Chuck has long been actively involved in the civic life of Napa County. Chuck has served as President (and board member) of the Napa County Mental Health Association, the Napa Valley Unified Education Foundation, the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees, the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce, the St. Helena Rotary Club and the St. Helena Rotary Foundation.

Coblentz partner Brandi Brown, the head of the Firm's wine industry group,  said, "The Firm got to the point where we felt that having a headquarters in the Valley would be valuable to our clients in the region. Wineries, of course, but also our food and beverage industry clients more generally, as well as  real estate development and hospitality/resort companies, and family wealth clients. We've been serving clients in the Valley for years and decided that it was time to become a resident. Having Chuck join the Firm at the same time that we're settling in to our new office in Napa is very exciting. Chuck is a trusted advisor to his many clients in Napa Valley, and his practice is a natural fit with ours."

"I am thrilled to join Coblentz. I've had my own firm for decades, and had not been looking to join a larger firm, but the opportunity to expand my practice, and to provide my clients with access to Coblentz's breadth and sophistication was very attractive to me," said Meibeyer.

Coblentz’s Napa office is located at 700 Main Street, Suite 210 in Napa, CA  94559. Tel – 707-603-2722.

The St. Helena office is located at 1236 Spring Street, St. Helena, CA 94574. Tel – 707-963-7703.

View the full press release here.

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Paul Tauber is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy GTMO Task Force. On February 24, 2016, the Task Force published a report calling on the United States to fairly and transparently expedite the Guantánamo trials by putting federal judges in charge.

In presenting a plan to close GTMO, President Obama lamented that the military cases being tried there "have resulted in years of litigation without a resolution." Justice would be swifter and surer, he suggested, if detainees could be prosecuted in federal courts.

The GTMO Task Force recognized that trying detainees on U.S. soil is enormously contentious. Their report argues that the United States could achieve a similar result - and avoid a political impasse - by simply bringing federal judges to Guantánamo.

In 2013, the Pacific Council was granted official NGO observer status at the Military Commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO), joining a group of organizations, including the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and Amnesty International, that have the privilege of sending a representative to observe proceedings at GTMO.

Paul traveled to GTMO in February 2016 as a civilian observer on behalf of the Pacific Council to observe a week of hearings in the US v. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He also observed a week of pretrial hearings in February 2015. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, and stands trial along with four others. Since 2013, the Pacific Council has sent 17 members to the Guantánamo proceedings as official nongovernmental observers; together, they have spent nearly 100 days on the island.

Paul’s GTMO assignment follows the lead of the late William (Bill) Coblentz, who was also appointed as an observer by the American Bar Association in 1989 when he traveled to Singapore on behalf of the ABA to observe the trials of four Singaporean lawyers accused of conspiring to undermine the government.

Read the Task Force's report here.

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Paul Tauber and Howard Lasky counseled V5 Systems, Inc. in the closing of a $7 million Series A financing round. V5 is a leader in innovating wireless, on edge, intelligent security and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) computing solutions. The round was officially closed with funds received from Foxlink Group, a multi-billion dollar Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer. Foxlink will be V5’s strategic global manufacturer. V5 will leverage the new funds to execute a global product rollout, incorporate new sensors onto its existing edge based security platform and further develop its Industrial IoT wireless computing platform.

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