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.

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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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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is pleased to announce the election of four attorneys to the firm's partnership. The promotions are effective January 1, 2016.

“We are delighted to welcome these outstanding individuals to the Coblentz partnership,” said Alan Gennis, co managing partner. “Our new partners mirror the depth and breadth of our practice areas. These talented lawyers, with wide-ranging experience, have shown a deep commitment to clients and our firm. We look forward to their future contributions as our partners.”

The 2016 new partners are:

Caroline Guibert Chase, Real Estate. Caroline Chase advises commercial and residential developers, predominantly in obtaining the requisite approvals to develop real property, and has significant experience with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other state and local laws affecting development. Having worked as an urban planner in the public and private sectors before attending law school, Caroline has a unique ability to understand and counsel clients on the governmental planning processes and, in particular, the continuing process to change the area plans in the City and County of San Francisco. Caroline received her J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she served as an editor of the Journal of Law and Technology, and received her undergraduate degree in environmental design/urban planning, with honors, from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Lindsay M. Gehman, Business. Lindsay Gehman serves as outside general counsel to a variety of technology companies and advertising and marketing agencies, and advises business teams on diverse and complex corporate and securities law matters, including entity formation, corporate governance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial contract issues, advertising and marketing issues and intellectual property issues. Lindsay earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School, where she received a full academic scholarship, was named to the Dean’s Honor List and served on the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review, and received her undergraduate degree in business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Scott C. Hall, Litigation. Scott Hall's practice focuses on complex civil litigation, including consumer class actions, intellectual property infringement actions, and other commercial litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He has also conducted numerous internal investigations on behalf of audit and special committees in connection with inquiries and proceedings by law enforcement and regulatory agencies. His clients include companies in the financial, electronics, technology, and telecommunications industries. Scott served as a law clerk to the Honorable William W Schwarzer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Scott earned his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as an Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science, cum laude, from Brigham Young University.

Jaime Mannon, Family Wealth. Jaime specializes in estate planning for high net worth families and counsels clients with respect to a variety of tax matters, including income, gift, estate and property taxes.  She also advises clients on a variety of cross-border matters, including structuring gifts made from outside of the U.S., tax planning for beneficiaries of foreign trusts and estate planning for U.S. citizens living abroad. Jaime received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her undergraduate degrees in political science and social welfare, with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley.

View the full press release here.

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Paul Tauber, Peter Wang and Brandi Brown acted as California counsel to AgJunction Inc. in its merger with Novariant, Inc., including obtaining, through the fairness hearing process, a permit from the California Department of Business Oversight. AgJunction Inc. provides innovative hardware and software applications for precision agriculture worldwide. The company is headquartered in Hiawatha, Kansas, with facilities in Silicon Valley; Scottsdale, Arizona; Calgary; Winnipeg; and Queensland, Australia. With the completion of the merger with Novariant, AgJunction gains a preeminent position in automated steering and machine control technologies, differentiated by its broad intellectual property portfolio, which includes more than 140 patents, and its ability to deliver application-specific solutions to precision agriculture customers worldwide.

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Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass is recognized in BTI’s Client Service A-Team 2016, where corporate counsel ranked Coblentz in the top 100 firms nationally for client service excellence. The BTI Client Service A-Team is based solely on direct, unprompted feedback from corporate counsel, where in-depth interviews with more than 300 corporate counsel revealed that Coblentz delivers better client service than nearly 90% of the law firms serving the world’s largest clients.

The independent survey from BTI Consulting Group solicits feedback from leading legal decision makers at large organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue. to determine which law firms top the charts in client service. Firms are scored on 17 client service activities including client loyalty, legal skills, understanding a client’s business and advice on business issues. No submissions, nominations or client names are accepted for the survey.

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Paul Tauber and Peter Wang represented Pure Wafer plc in the sale of its Arizona manufacturing facilities to Wafer Holding Company LLC. Pure Wafer plc is a provider of high quality silicon wafer reclaim services to a blue chip customer base of semiconductor manufacturers and independent foundries from its manufacturing facilities in Swansea, Wales, and Arizona. Following a fire at its Swansea facilities in 2014, Pure Wafer decided to sell its Arizona business to Wafer Holding Company for $16 million.

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Coblentz congratulates Clifford Yin on being honored with a Minority Bar Coalition 2015 Unity Award. Cliff was selected for this award by the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco for his volunteer work with the organization, including his dedication to coaching the Mock Trial Program for the last 20+ years. Cliff was one of 15 recipients honored at a reception on November 18th, 2015, for his dedication to the cause for diversity in the legal profession.

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U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® ranked Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP among its 2016 list of “Best Law Firms.” Coblentz is ranked in 13 different practice areas in both National rankings and Metropolitan San Francisco rankings. The Firm was awarded  six prestigious “Tier 1” rankings in the highly competitive Metropolitan San Francisco law firm category, in the following practice areas: Commercial Litigation, Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation – Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Trusts & Estates Law. Coblentz was also awarded a National “Tier 1” ranking in Land Use & Zoning Law.

Best Lawyers® names firms included in the 2016 “Best Law Firms” list as being recognized for “professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise."

Rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes clients’ and peers’ evaluation of firms based on expertise, professionalism and responsiveness. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Fifteen Coblentz attorneys are recognized by The Best Lawyers in America©, and name partner Pam Duffy was selected as the Best Lawyers® 2016 Real Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year" in San Francisco.

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