• Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP Names Three Attorneys to Partnership

    San Francisco, CA January 1, 2020 – Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP is pleased to announce the election of Mark L. Hejinian, Robert B. Hodil, and Hons Yung to the firm’s partnership. These promotions are effective January 1, 2020.

    “We are delighted to welcome these three exceptionally talented lawyers to the partnership,” said Sara Finigan, Co-Managing Partner of the firm. “Each of these partners embodies the values that distinguish Coblentz—exemplary client service, legal excellence, and a commitment to the firm and the community.”

    The 2020 new partners are:

    Mark L. Hejinian, Litigation.
    Mark Hejinian focuses his practice on commercial litigation matters, ranging from consumer class action defense to intellectual property disputes to regional business disputes. He counsels clients in various businesses, including in the telecom, pharmaceutical, financial, and insurance industries. He also represents clients in white collar criminal investigations, and is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Government Enforcement group. Mark is active in the firm’s pro bono efforts and a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. He was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Award (2014, 2013) by the San Francisco Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Program, and received the Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Services award for public service in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, he clerked for the Honorable Jan E. DuBois of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mark also clerked for the Honorable Judith Bartnoff of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Before attending law school, Mark was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Guyana, South America. Mark earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center. He earned his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Puget Sound.


    Robert B. Hodil, Real Estate.
    Robert Hodil focuses on land use entitlements and real estate development. He represents commercial and residential developers, hospitals, sports teams, and nonprofit entities in the process of acquiring and obtaining approvals to develop real property, and also represents a city in its review of a development proposal. Rob has experience with the California Environmental Quality Act, state and local planning and zoning laws and regulations, the California Subdivision Map Act, the California ballot initiative process, and other local, state, and federal laws affecting the development of real property. Rob is a member of the California State Bar and the Bar Association of San Francisco. Rob earned his J.D. from the University of California College of Law, San Francisco, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. He earned his B.A. from Brown University.


    Hons Yung, Family Wealth.
    Hons Yung counsels high-net-worth individuals, families, and closely held businesses with respect to tax, estate, and succession planning. He tailors advanced planning techniques to minimize estate, gift, income, and property taxes, and he is adept at presenting complex concepts clearly and concisely. Hons also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and probate administrations, including assistance with federal estate and gift tax returns and the resolution of tax controversies with the IRS and state and local taxing authorities. Prior to joining Coblentz, Hons was an estate planning associate at Haas & Najarian, LLP, and began his legal career as a court clerk in the Probate Department of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. Hons is a member of the State Bar of California. Hons earned his J.D. and LL.M. (Taxation) from Golden Gate University School of Law. He earned his B.A. in English, with a minor in Legal Studies, from the University of San Francisco.



    Categories: News
  • Pamela Duffy Honored as Lambda Alpha Member of the Year

    San Francisco, CA – December 31, 2019 – Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP partner Pamela Duffy was chosen as the “Member of the Year” by the Golden Gate Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics society. The award honors members who have advanced the field of land economics through their achievements and service to their profession, community, and chapter.

    Pam was chosen for the honor, in part, for her generosity of spirit and active community engagement, noting her service on the Board of Directors of the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Natural & Social Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles. She is also noted for being a gifted teacher and mentor, serving as a mentor to young lawyers at the firm and serving as a visiting lecturer at many law schools, universities, and professional organizations. The honor celebrates Pam as a legend in the industry and the go-to expert in the areas of commercial real estate, land use, and development.

    “Pam’s imprint on San Francisco’s built environment is indelible and as impressive as the projects that she’s helped bring to life. From Yerba Buena and Mission Bay, to the Giants development of Oracle Park, the 49ers move to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and the Exploratorium’s relocation to Piers 15-17, she has guided some of the most iconic public/private developments in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Matt Bove, Chair of Coblentz’s Real Estate Practice. “She’s a rare mix of skilled counselor, tireless advocate, patient teacher and jovial friend. We are thrilled to celebrate this incredible accomplishment with her.”

    Pam has acted as lead counsel for numerous major development projects, including one of the largest rebuilding projects in San Francisco history, the $2.5 billion Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center, which includes five campuses and two new hospitals spread across the city. She is currently the lead counsel for the LA Clippers’ new 18,000-20,000 seat state-of-the-art basketball arena, event center, training facility, and associated community facilities and programs in Inglewood, California. Pam is unusually skilled at helping clients find elegant solutions to the challenges that arise in the development of complex public/private projects.

    Lambda Alpha International is an honorary land economics society founded in 1930 to help promote and support the study of land economics. Membership in the society is a “Who’s Who in Land Economics,” as members have distinguished themselves in the many disciplines and activities related to the use and re-use of land.

    Categories: News
  • Major Increase to Jobs Housing Linkage Fee Takes Effect

    Effective December 16, costs for many office and laboratory projects in San Francisco are now higher. As we previously reported, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the more than doubling of the Citywide Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (JHLF) for such projects in November. The Mayor declined to veto the ordinance but instead returned it unsigned, expressing concern in an accompanying letter that the JHLF increase “must be done in a way that takes into account economic analysis, financial feasibility, and the different impacts experienced by our small businesses.” See our November and September blog posts for more information about the JHLF increase and the related nexus analysis and feasibility assessment.

  • SB 330 Seeks to Speed Up Housing Production

    The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (Senate Bill No. 330; Senator Skinner) goes into effect on January 1, 2020 and expires on January 1, 2025. It aims to address the statewide housing crisis by limiting the number of public hearings for new housing developments and reducing the timeline for permit review, placing limits on permit processing, limiting fees and exactions, and making it more difficult for local jurisdictions to deny or modify housing projects. To summarize, the Act:

    1. Provides more certainty for housing developers by prohibiting local agencies from:
    • Requiring compliance with an ordinance, policy or standard adopted after a “preliminary application” is submitted, except under limited circumstances, such as where compliance is necessary to avoid or substantially lessen an otherwise significant impact under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
    • Imposing or enforcing design standards established on or after January 1, 2020, unless they qualify as objective (as defined in the Act).
    • Imposing new or increased development impact fees, unless an automatic annual adjustment based on an independently published cost index referenced in the legislation establishing the fee.
    1. Prohibits caps, moratoriums and density reductions by disallowing agencies from:
    • Reducing permitted housing density to below that allowed on January 1, 2018.
    • Imposing moratoriums (or similar restrictions) on new housing development unless the Department of Housing and Community Development agrees that it is necessary to protect against an imminent public health and safety threat.
    • Limiting the total number of housing units in a local jurisdiction, unless approved by the voters prior to 2005 for a “predominantly agricultural county.”
    1. Shortens the approval process
    • No more than five public hearings may be held on a housing project (if it complies with applicable objective general plan and zoning standards) and the overall timeframe for review and approval (or disapproval) under the Permit Streamlining Act is reduced.

    The Act adds and amends various California Government Code sections, including the Permit Streamlining Act (Cal. Gov’t Code Section 65920 et. seq.) and the Housing Accountability Act (Cal. Gov’t Code Section 65589.5 et. seq.). It applies to “housing developments,” which include mixed-use projects with two-thirds or more of the square footage dedicated to residential use. Protection is limited under the Act. The vesting protections lapse if construction is not commenced within two and a half years from the date of final project approval (which period would be stayed during litigation) and/or the residential square footage or number of units is increased by 20 percent or more after the preliminary application is submitted, exclusive of any increase resulting from a density bonus. See the full text of the Act for additional provisions not summarized here (e.g., relocation assistance requirements).