Jonathan R. Bass

Partner

Jonathan Bass brings more than 30 years of trial and appellate experience to the firm. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of cases involving securities, antitrust, real estate, eminent domain, bank operations, and general business matters.

Jon is regarded as one of the leading bank operations lawyers in California and has successfully represented banks in dozens of cases at the trial and appellate levels. An expert in Articles III and IV of the Uniform Commercial Code, he has assisted banking clients in defeating claims arising from forgeries, converted negotiable instruments, fiduciary fraud, late return of items, setoffs, employee negligence, and dishonored items.

Jon has broad experience in defending officers and directors, businesses and institutions in securities, antitrust, and other high-stakes litigation.

He also has successfully defended numerous development project approvals against challenge under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as state and local land use laws.

Professional Activities

Jon is a member of the Litigation section of the American Bar Association, Business Law and Litigation sections of the California Bar Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He served as law clerk to Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California from 1977 to 1978.

Education

Jon graduated cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Russian language and literature. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) (1977). At Boalt, he served on the editorial staff of the California Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Notable Representations

  • Defense of a $500 million fraud action arising out of the sale of assets of a health care business
  • Representation of a plaintiff in U.S. District Court in a multimillion dollar securities case
  • Representation of a client who obtained one of the largest eminent domain awards in California history

Honors & Awards

Jon is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation, Litigation-Land Use & Zoning and Litigation-Real Estate. In 2012 he received the "Lawyer of the Year – Real Estate Litigation" award for the San Francisco/Bay Area from Best Lawyers.  He has also been annually listed as a SuperLawyer in Northern California.

Jon was honored by the California Bankers Association with the 2009 Robert Frandzel Award, given annually "for superior and noteworthy legal assistance by an outside counsel to the California banking industry."

Case Studies

Cedar Fair v. City of Santa Clara

The City of Santa Clara and the San Francisco 49ers professional football team agreed on details of the proposed new 49ers stadium in 2011. Cedar Fair argued that the project approval could only occur after the environmental review was complete, and that it therefore violated the principles laid...

San Francisco 49ers

The work we’ve done as lead real estate and corporate counsel for the San Francisco 49ers and its affiliates includes large, complex, and seemingly impossible deals: everything from an ownership reorganization to a major real estate and land use project to advising on complex property and...