• Rise & Shine 2017: Presented by Coblentz and the American Association of Advertising Agencies

    Rise & Shine 2017

    Presented by Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass and the American Association of Advertising Agencies

    Thursday, October 26, 2017  |  8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass and the American Association of Advertising Agencies / 4A’s are hosting our 8th annual morning program, featuring speakers representing both traditional and new media, including the president of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the founders of a pioneering influencer marketing agency, the founder of a social responsibility strategy firm, and the new president of the 4A’s, as well as a short film on one of San Francisco’s most influential advertising executives, Howard Gossage.

    View the full program here.

    Categories: Events
  • Coblentz Expands Wine Country Practice with Addition of Prominent Napa Valley Attorney Scott Greenwood-Meinert

    San Francisco (October 23, 2017) – San Francisco-based law firm Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is pleased to announce that Scott Greenwood-Meinert has joined the firm as a partner, resident in the Napa office. Scott joins Coblentz from Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty P.C.

    Scott’s practice is in perfect alignment with the Firm’s growing wine country practice. He focuses on real estate, land use and business transactions with an emphasis on the wine industry. His work for wine industry clients encompasses winery conditional use permitting, water law, leasing, financing, title issues, succession planning, and environmental and conservation issues under CEQA and related laws. He also has extensive experience in a wide array of water issues beyond the wine industry, including water rights, transfers, supplies, and environmental and regulatory compliance.

    Scott has been practicing in Napa Valley since 2006. He is a frequent speaker on issues of interest to the wine industry, including co-chairing the upcoming Business of Wine seminar scheduled to be held in Napa on November 16, 2017.

    “Scott is highly regarded in the Valley. His depth of experience in complex real estate transactions, finance, development, leasing and joint ventures is truly impressive. It is the perfect complement to our existing real estate and wine industry practices” said Brandi Brown, head of Coblentz’s Wine Country Practice. “Scott will be a tremendous asset to our clients and we are very pleased to welcome him to the firm.”

    “I am excited to join such a talented and well-respected group of lawyers, including fellow wine industry counsel Brandi Brown,” Greenwood-Meinert said.

    Coblentz’s full-service Napa office serves the needs of clients across the spectrum including wineries, the food and beverage industry, real estate development and hospitality/resort companies, and family wealth clients. Coblentz’s Napa office is located on the Riverfront at 700 Main Street, Suite 210 in Napa CA 94559. Tel. 707-603-2722.

    About Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP
    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is a premier provider of innovative, results-oriented legal services, specializing in real estate, litigation, business, intellectual property, employment, tax and family wealth. Law360 named Coblentz a California Powerhouse firm in 2017. The National Law Journal named Coblentz to its 2016 Midsize Hot List, the fourth year the firm has made this prestigious nation-wide list. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Coblentz as one of the nation’s top law firms in the Best Law Firm list, with national rankings in 13 practice areas and six prestigious “Tier 1” rankings in the highly competitive San Francisco law firm category. For more information: www.coblentzlaw.com.

    Categories: News
  • Governor Brown Signs Major Housing Package Into Law

    On September 29, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law a 15-bill housing package.  A few of the key components, including approval streamlining, are summarized below.  The housing package did not include AB 915, which would have authorized the City and County of San Francisco to impose local inclusionary requirements on bonus units created under the State Density Bonus Law. San Francisco adopted legislation in August that imposes inclusionary housing requirements on bonus units in the form of a fee, and the Legislature’s failure to pass AB 915 creates uncertainty about its enforceability.

    Multi-Family Housing Approval Streamlining

    SB 35 creates a temporary (until January 1, 2026) streamlined, ministerial (i.e., no CEQA) approval process for certain housing projects in localities that fall short on regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) production goals or fail to provide certain annual housing production reports.  To qualify, a project must be a multifamily “infill” development that is consistent with “objective zoning and design review standards.”  Our prior SB 35 post contains more information about other eligibility criteria, including compliance with prevailing wage requirements.  SB 35 now also includes workforce requirements that will be phased in over time.

    SB 35 creates targeted streamlining based on the type of RHNA shortfall:

    • If the shortfall is for households earning 120% or more of Area Median Income (AMI), a project providing 10% of units affordable to households earning below 80% AMI may be eligible for streamlining, unless a higher inclusionary percentage applies in that locality.
    • If the shortfall is for households earning below 80% AMI, then a project providing 50% of units affordable to households earning below 80% AMI may be eligible for streamlining, unless a higher inclusionary percentage applies in that locality.

    State Density Bonus Law projects are treated differently under SB 35. As explained in our prior post, that law provides for additional density and other concessions, incentives or waivers of development standards for certain housing projects with on-site affordable housing units. When application of the State Density Bonus Law results in an inconsistency with “objective zoning and design review standards,” that inconsistency is excused for purposes of applying SB 35. For example, if rear yard requirements are waived for a density bonus project, the project would be deemed consistent with that requirement for purposes of SB 35.

    Affordable Housing Funding

    SB 2 creates a permanent source of funding for affordable housing and is projected to generate as much as $250 million per year by imposing a $75 fee on recorded documents for many real estate transactions. SB 3 places a housing bond onto the ballot in November 2018, which, if passed by California voters, would authorize the issuance of $4 billion in housing bonds, some of which would be earmarked for veterans.

    Inclusionary Housing Requirement “Fixes”

    AB 1505 authorizes localities to require on-site inclusionary affordable housing units in rental projects, superseding the Court of Appeal’s 2009 decision in Palmer/Sixth Street Properties, L.P. v. City of Los Angeles, which determined that such requirements were invalid under the Costa-Hawkins Act as an impermissible form of rent control.

    AB 1505 also gives the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) the authority to intervene if a new local inclusionary housing ordinance requires more than 15% of rental units to be affordable to low-income households in localities that fall short on the production of above moderate-income (120% AMI) units.  HCD may require an economic feasibility study to establish that the inclusionary ordinance does not “unduly constrain” housing production.  It may reduce the inclusionary requirement to 15% if the economic feasibility study is inadequate for one or more specified reasons (e.g., if it was not prepared by a qualified entity).

  • Action Required to Maintain DMCA Safe Harbor Protection

    Parties that operate websites may enjoy immunity from copyright liability for the infringing posts of their users under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). The DMCA offers a “safe harbor” from copyright infringement liability for Internet service providers where the provider establishes and publicizes in its website Terms of Use, a process for responding to claims of copyright infringement.

    As part of the DMCA immunity process, service providers must designate and register with the U.S. Copyright Office, an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement. The U.S. Copyright Office has implemented a new online agent designation system, and all previously paper-filed agent designations will expire on December 31, 2017. Companies that wish to continue to enjoy DMCA safe harbor protections must re-register by filing a new agent designation electronically via the Copyright Office’s new DMCA web portal.

    You can register (or re-register) your Agent to Receive Notice of claimed copyright infringements on the U.S. Copyright Office website, at the following link: https://www.copyright.gov/dmca-directory/. You will first need to create a DMCA Designated Agent Registration Account that will be used to log into the system, and then follow the prompts to register your agent information. There is a government fee of $6.00 for up to 10 domains. Registration is good for 3 years, from the date an agent designation is first made, or when it is amended or updated.

    Please note also that accurate contact information for your designated DMCA agent must be available on your website, and is often included as part of a Terms of Service disclosure.

    For further information on DMCA guidance, assistance in registering or re-registering your DMCA agent designation, or to review your website’s current legal disclosures contact Karen Frank at kfrank@coblentzlaw.com.

    Categories: Publications
  • Benchmark Litigation Names Coblentz a Recommended Firm in California

    Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass was recognized by Benchmark Litigation on its 2018 list of “Recommended Firms” in California, as a result of Benchmark’s extensive interviews with the nation’s leading private practice litigators and in-house counsel.

    In its analysis, Benchmark notes the firm’s continued growth and roughly 40% litigators, while a peer noted that “They are a small firm with big clients. They handle nationwide litigation for DISH Networks. [They are] Certainly a force to be reckoned with.”

    Several Coblentz partners are listed as Local Litigation Stars by Benchmark: Richard Patch is listed for Antitrust, Class Action, and General Commercial litigation; Jon Bass is listed for Antitrust, Appellate, and General Commercial litigation; and Tim Crudo is listed for the White Collar Crime category. Of Tim Crudo, a peer notes that “Coblentz is now officially a player in the white-collar game.” Cliff Yin is also listed as a Future Star in the Business & Commercial, Labor & Employment, and Real Estate litigation categories.

    Categories: News
  • Coblentz Named a California Powerhouse by Law360

    Coblentz is one of only six firms named to the Law360 California Powerhouse list in 2017. Law360 notes that “The Golden State is a global hub for innovators, serving as headquarters for companies on the cutting edge of sectors like technology, life sciences, media and entertainment, and private equity and venture capitalism, but the firms that shined brightest in 2017 were both creative and resilient, handling legal challenges for so-called disruptors as well as for the more staid, established companies, landing them among Law360’s 2017 California Powerhouses.”

    In an interview with managing partners Danna Kozerski, Jeff Knowles, and Alan Gennis, the publication notes that “When California sports teams with championship arena dreams need legal advice on how to knock it out of the park on their new park, they know to call Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP,” mentioning the firm’s real estate, litigation and corporate work for major sports franchises the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Clippers.

    Also noted is Coblentz’s rich history in the music industry, with comments on the firm’s work for Sony Music Entertainment and history representing legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, as well as the firm’s expansion into Wine Country with our 2016 opening of a new major office in Napa Valley with a focus on wine, food, beverage, real estate development and hospitality. Law360 writes that “Coblentz’s future looks Californian.”

    Read the featured article here.

    Categories: News