• Steve Lanctot and Aaron Foxworthy Highlighted for America’s Cup Work

    Steve Lanctot and Aaron Foxworthy are highlighted in a Daily Journal article by Joshua Sebold for their work with Team Luna Rossa in America’s Cup.

    “Like every other multimillion-dollar sporting event, the America’s Cup has featured some compelling behind-the-scenes legal work . . . In a complicated legal matter in July, the regatta director Iain Murray proposed 37 last-minute rule changes after the practice-run crash that killed a team member of Sweden’s Artemis Racing. Murray included these rule changes with the Cup’s event permit application to the U.S. Coast Guard, and argued that a compliance with laws provision in the Protocol Governing the 34th America’s Cup required that all Competitors abide by the rule changes if incorporated into the Coast Guard’s permit. Emirates Team New Zealand (represented by Jones Day) and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge (represented by Coblentz’s Stephen T. Lanctot and Aaron J. Foxworthy together with the team’s General Counsel), successfully challenged the rule changes. They argued that the Protocol (created for each America’s Cup to govern the event and implement the Cup’s founding document—the 1857 Deed of Gift) only permitted such rule changes by consensus of all Competitors. Furthermore, no other provision of the Protocol permitted a rule change in this manner. The America’s Cup Jury, five sailing experts from the International Sailing Federation, had the final say in America’s Cup disputes. The Jury agreed with the Italian and Kiwi arguments, and additionally found that the Coast Guard had its own authority to intervene if it thought safety was an issue at the event; the rules in question would not affect the Coast Guard’s authority under the Permit, thus were not required to be incorporated therein.

    In addition to the successful rules challenge, Coblentz represented Luna Rossa on a variety of matters as the team’s counsel for this year’s competition.

    Categories: News
  • Jim Mitchell Speaks on Panel at Fidelity Charitable Advisor Leadership Forum

    Family Wealth partner Jim Mitchell spoke on a panel of experts at the Fidelity Charitable Advisor Leadership Forum discussion titled Complex Assets as Charitable Gifts: An Overlooked Tax Strategy for UHNW Clients.  The discussion explored the growing trend of contributing complex assets, such as private equity assets, privately-held C-and S-corp stock, limited partnership interests, and certain restricted stock, to public charities.

    Categories: Events
  • Coblentz client highlighted in “S.F. developer, parks alliance present park to city as gift”

    Bill Hutton and Misti Schmidt advised the developer, Emerald Fund, in “an innovative arrangement” that will convert the land at 333 Harrison St. into San Francisco’s newest park, Emerald Park. “The agreement, approved Tuesday night between the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the developers of Rincon Green Apartments, creates a conservation easement that bars future development on the site and requires that the owners keep and maintain the land as a public park.” Bill and Misti drafted and negotiated the conservation easement for Emerald Fund, leading to the opening of Emerald Park at no cost to the city or the people of San Francisco. “This is a smart, very special gift to the city,” said Mayor Ed Lee.

    Click here for the full article.

    Categories: News
  • Real Estate Alert: New San Francisco CEQA Procedures

    After months of negotiations, the City and County of San Francisco (“City”) Board of Supervisors recently approved an ordinance amending local CEQA procedures, which are codified in Chapter 31 of the City Administrative Code. The ordinance is expected to be operative this month. This alert summarizes the main changes.

    Categories: Publications
  • U.S. Corporate Counsel Rank Coblentz in the Top 10% for Class Action Defense

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Sept. 13, 2013 – Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass’ Litigation Group has been rated in the top 10 percent of all U.S. law firms for class actions. The ranking was featured in the recently released Litigation Outlook 2014 report by BTI Consulting Group, which annually provides in-depth analysis of the litigation market. BTI draws on direct feedback from interviews with corporate counsel at the world’s largest companies.

    Coblentz has extensive experience defending class actions, including landmark cases representing cable giant Cox and Charter Communication and direct broadcast satellite leader DISH Network. Its litigators have also handled unfair business practice, real estate and environmental cases with notable client representations, such as Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, San Francisco 49ers and other Fortune 500 companies.

    “Our Litigation Practice provides comparable skills and experience to large, international law firms, yet we provide focused client service and a creative approach to each case at a better value,” said name partner and cable, satellite and telecommunications litigation veteran, Richard Patch.

    In addition to its Litigation Outlook 2014 ranking, Coblentz has also been named a ‘Go-To’ Law Firm for Litigation by Corporate Counsel magazine and Partner Jessica Grant was named to the Daily Journal’s Top 100 list for litigation.

    Categories: News
  • Julie Greer Highlighted in “Nina Simone’s Ex Has No Right To Recordings, Judge Hears”

    Sony Music Entertainment attorney Julie Greer is highlighted in the Law360 article “Nina Simone’s Ex Has No Right To Recordings, Judge Hears” by Beth Winegarner.

    “Sony [Music Entertainment], the estate of jazz singer Nina Simone and the late singer’s former lawyer urged a California federal judge Wednesday to force Simone’s ex-husband to hand over 52 of Simone’s master recordings so the parties can determine who owns the rights to them.” Sony Music Entertainment, attorney Steven Brown and the estate told Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins that “they all agree that her late ex-husband and former manager Andrew Stroud has no legal right to the recordings in his possession. . . . . Sony additionally asked the court to enforce an $18,000 sanction Stroud hasn’t yet paid.”

    “In all cases we’re asking for a determination that the Stroud parties have no rights in the Nina Simone recordings,’ said Sony’s attorney Julia Greer of Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP. However, she asked Judge Cousins to hold off on declaring who owns the recordings until after the parties can inspect them and determine when they were recorded, which will help determine who owns them under various contracts.”

    Sony Music Entertainment is represented by Coblentz lawyers Julie Greer and Kathleen McConnell.

    Categories: News
  • Partner J. Gregg Miller, Jr. Joins Coblentz’s Real Estate Team

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4, 2013 – Coblentz welcomes Real Estate and Land Use Partner J. Gregg Miller, Jr. Gregg joins the firm from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where he was a partner. Prior to Pillsbury, he practiced at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

    Miller brings nearly 15 years of experience representing clients on a broad array of real estate transactions, including multi-property portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, complex land use matters, leasing and secured lending. Some of the notable projects Miller has worked on include the sale of the iconic John Hancock Center, the mortgage loan on the Presidio Landmark Apartments, a 100,000-square-foot lease in one of San Francisco’s marquee office buildings and the entitlements for an expansion of the San Francisco Columbarium, a designated historic landmark.

    “Gregg adds tremendous depth to our firm and shares a like-minded focus on delivering superior client service,” said Coblentz Partner Harry O’Brien, a real estate and land use law veteran. “He also fits well into our ‘next generation’ team of leaders, both at the firm and in the industry. He will be working on some of our high profile projects, and I know that both our clients and his clients will benefit from our combined expertise and capabilities.”

    Click here to read the full press release.

    Categories: News