• Jeffry Bernstein Honored with Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award in Taxation

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16, 2009 – The California State Bar Tax Section will honor Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP Partner Jeffry Bernstein with the Garvey Award for his lifetime achievement and contributions in the area of tax at its annual November meeting.

    For more than 31 years, Bernstein has specialized in income, estate and property tax matters.  He has lectured extensively on taxation and taught at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Puget Sound School of Law, and in the Master of Laws Taxation Program at Golden Gate University.  He served three years on the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Tax Section and organized the successful annual joint conference of the State Bar Tax Section and Los Angeles County Bar Tax Section, presenting policy and legislative papers to members of the IRS, Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.  Thereafter, he acted as special advisor to the Executive Committee with regard to this joint program.

    “We are so proud of Jeff for receiving this honor and recognition,” Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass Managing Partner Danna Kozerski said.  “The partnership applauds him for his contributions and service in tax law, but even more importantly are Jeff’s clients and their businesses that benefit from his deep involvement in this highly technical specialty. ”

    In his practice, Bernstein represents clients in multifaceted tax issues arising in complex transactions, including real estate development, mergers and acquisitions.  He counsels start-up companies and advises on partnership, LLC and corporate income tax implications, as well as represents individuals on federal and California income tax issues, California sales and property tax considerations, estate and charitable planning, and the effect of transactions on overall family financial planning.  Bernstein has actively represented clients in IRS audits, California FTB and SBE audits, and before the U.S. Tax Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He has successfully litigated property tax appeals resulting in significant valuation reductions for clients such as San Francisco Shopping Centre, Catellus Development Corp., JCDecaux and Costco.

    Bernstein is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the committees on Pass-Through Entities and Partnerships of the American, California and New York State Bar Associations, and a member and former chair of the Western Region Bar Association IRS Liaison Committee.  He has been ranked among The Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years.

    Bernstein earned his J.D. and LL.M. in taxation in 1971 and 1975, respectively, from New York University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the New York University Law Review.  He received in B.A. from Queens College in New York in 1967.

    Categories: News
  • Pam Duffy and Douglas Sands named as Dealmakers of the Year by California Real Estate Journal

    Pamela Duffy and Douglas Sands named as Dealmakers of the Year by California Real Estate Journal for negotiating a redevelopment agreement that will transform the San Francisco’s historic Presidio section into a mixed-use community and national park.

    September 14, 2009
    California Real Estate Journal
    Dealmakers of the Year
    by Greg Kane

    Redevelopment is tricky. Redeveloping portions of a 200-plus-year-old historic U.S. Army base in San Francisco is trickier. Doing so in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression? Even more so.

    Pamela Duffy and Douglas Sands managed to accomplish all three in the past year. The attorneys from San Francisco-based Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP shared the lead on a redevelopment agreement that will transform the city’s historic Presidio section into a mixed-use community and national park.

    The deal between Presidio Trust and Cleveland-based developer Forest City Enterprises involves 42 acres of federal trust land and includes the conversion of a 77-year-old hospital into 154 rental apartments. Duffy and Sands were able to shepherd the deal to closure despite the unique challenges – and opponents – to such activity on historic property.

    “There’s a built-in fight,” Duffy said. “Preserve the environment, preserve the historic buildings, but make enough money to run the place.”

    The attorneys’ challenges to bringing the redevelopment deal together included observing the property’s legal protections, managing the public-private partnership with a stake in the project and achieving financing during the October 2008 stock market collapse. Communication and understanding among all involved parties was an important tool in shepherding the deal to completion, Sands said.

    “It’s essential that you have folks on both ends that understand the challenges they’re facing and help cooperate for a win-win for everyone,” Sands said.

    The deal closed on Halloween 2008, Duffy recalled, and lender Wachovia was in the process of being bought out by Wells Fargo.

    “To hold the deal together took a lot of creativity and cooperation among the parties,” she recalled.

    Duffy points to experience as a major reason why she and Sands were able to help complete the Presidio deal despite multiple obstacles. In today’s economy, with credit markets tightened, standards higher and deals fewer and further between, the attorneys involved with a deal need to be able to understand and anticipate all potential roadblocks so they don’t become a problem down the line.

    “It takes a level of experience and an understanding of the fundamentals that it didn’t take before,” Duffy said. “It used to be, if you had a hammer, you could pound a nail. Now you really need to understand the architecture.”

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    Categories: News