• Coblentz Counsels Donors in $185 Million UCSF Gift

    Coblentz attorneys Philip Feldman and Howard Slavitt 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 Ph.D. 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.

    Categories: News
  • Legal Framework Lacking in the Age of Drones

    Authored by Scott Hall; originally published in the Daily Journal, April 22, 2016

    The Age of Drones is here, but the legal and regulatory framework necessary to fully realize the anticipated benefits of drones continues to lag behind advances in technology. The potential applications for drones, including aerial photography, precision agriculture, emergency response and package delivery – to name just a few – are well known. Less clear are the laws governing drone use, as well as the basic question of who possesses, or should possess, the authority to make laws aimed at drones. While the majority of states have passed or are considering drone-related laws, currently proposed federal legislation, such as the FAA Reauthorization Bill (S.2658), passed by the Senate on April 19, would prohibit states and local governments from enacting or enforcing any law or regulation “relating to the  design, manufacture, testing, licensing, registration, certification, operation, or maintenance” of drones.

    The presumption of all drone-focused legislation, if passed, would significantly restrict the ability of states and local governments to deal with problems in their localities arising from the increasingly popular and widespread use of drones. Those in favor of broad federal preemption argue that strict uniformity is necessary so that drone manufacturers and operators are not confronted with a patchwork of differing state and local laws. But while uniformity is important, the sluggishness with which federal laws and regulations have been, and continue to be, developed may be hindering the advancement of the fledgling drone industry at a critical time for its growth.

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    To continue reading the article, click here.

  • Interior Architecture Award for Coblentz Office Design

    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.

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Ranked Among Nation’s Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is ranked nationally among both the top 25 law firms for female partners and the top 100 firms for female attorneys in two reports released by Law360.

    On Law360’s annual list of “Ceiling Smashers: The Best Law Firms for Female Partners,” Coblentz is ranked 12th, with 39.5% female partnership. Ceiling Smashers identifies the top 25 U.S. law firms that have the highest percentage of female partners out of more than 300 law firms surveyed, and have made strides towards greater gender equality in their partnerships.

    Coblentz is also listed at 38 among Law360’s “100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys,” based on the firm’s female representation at the partner and nonpartner levels and its total number of female attorneys.

    Law360 ranked firms by “examining a variety of factors, including the percentage of partners, both equity and nonequity, who are women; the percentage of associate-level attorneys who are women; and the divide between those two. For the firms that nabbed spots on the list, the number of women at all levels of the firm shows that firm leaders are finding some new ways to open doors and increase diversity.”

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Counsels Eagle Ranch in Conservation Easement Donation

    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.

    Categories: News