On June 25, 2013, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that a landowner could challenge a project denial based on a government’s unconstitutional demands for either money or property and that, to satisfy constitutional requirements, there must be an “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” between the government’s demands and the impacts of the development. Download the PDF: LAW ALERT U.S. SUPREME COURT HEIGHTENS CONSTITUTIONAL SCRUTINY OF PROJECT DENIALS BASED ON DEMANDS FOR MONEY

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Our clients need their problems solved quickly and effectively, their projects completed, and future troubles prevented — all
within budget. Our attorneys in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego, CA deliver these essentials.

Cost Effectiveness

We understand that minimizing costs without sacrificing quality is crucial to all clients, particularly public agencies and nonprofit organizations. We are sensitive to client budgets and we strive to deliver value reflecting if not exceeding client expectations. In meeting client needs, we match the variety of expertise and resources in our firm with the objective of our tasks. We emphasize close attention to matters and strong communication with clients.

Shared Values

We are mission-driven. Like our clients, we understand that every project affects real people with real needs. We never view client work as “just another deal to get done.”

Comprehensive Services

Clients rely on us for a wide array of their affordable housing, redevelopment, public agency and corporate and organizational needs. Very few firms in our field offer our level of bench strength, breadth of experience, and focused expertise. Since our experience and services cover all phases of client projects, we are able to work with clients for the life cycle of projects or to focus on particular aspects.

Talent, Experience and Perspective

Our attorneys are some of the most talented and knowledgeable in the industry, and offer the unique combination of their legal experience and having held positions as city attorneys, city planners, redevelopment agency staff, HUD counsel, and CPAs. They bring a rich set of relationships from their experience and a deep understanding of the public approval and development process to client work.

Optimal Financing and Use of Tax Planning

It is challenging to finance redevelopment and affordable housing projects. Success requires the creative layering and use of funding resources, each of which may have differing requirements. We help our clients successfully structure transactions to conform to financing provisions as well as to obtain favorable property and income tax treatment and maximize access to tax credits.

Our Clients and Projects

Goldfarb & Lipman represents a diverse client base. We work with newly-formed small community-based nonprofits and experienced for-profit and large regional nonprofits serving urban, rural, coastal, and inland areas. Our public agencies are from the nation’s largest cities and the State’s smaller towns and rural counties. We have assisted our clients on many types of projects of various size and scope.
A small representation includes:

Tenacity and Creativity

Many projects require tenacity, perseverance, and creativity to complete. Our attorneys roll up their sleeves and find a way to help our clients get their projects done.

Our Credentials

We are one of the leading affordable housing and redevelopment law firms in California. Since the firm’s inception in 1971, we have partnered with our clients to develop innovative strategies to adapt to the ever-changing landscape while providing a comprehensive range of standard legal services. Our attorneys are some of the most knowledgeable in the field. Through prior experience as city attorneys, city planners, redevelopment agency staff, HUD counsel, CPAs, and architects, we bring to our clients a deeper understanding of the intersection of the law and their work.

Our Clients

We serve a diverse clientele of large and small organizations in urban, rural, and suburban areas across California, including:

California Public Agencies

Cities. Counties. Redevelopment Agencies. Councils. Commissions. Public Housing Authorities. Special Districts.

California Affordable Housing Developers

Nonprofit Organizations. Large Corporations. Small Community-Based Development and Social Service Organizations. Cooperatives. Mobile Home Park Owners and Tenants. Experienced, with thousands of units. Newly formed, embarking on their first forays into housing.

Nonprofit and For-Profit Corporations

We serve single and multipurpose nonprofit and for-profit corporations of varying size and structure on real estate, tax-exemption, organizational, management, and employment matters.



Our Practice

We represent clients across California through our offices in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. The core of our practice is real estate law, with special strengths in affordable housing and redevelopment. Supporting practice areas of land use, tax, and nonprofit and for-profit corporate and employment law round out and enhance our ability to provide comprehensive and great service to our clients.

Our Focus

We help our clients complete projects on time and on budget, with minimal risk or exposure.

Our Motivation

We share our clients’ passion and commitment toward their work.

Our Services

The strength of our Oakland, California-based law firm lies in our ability to serve our clients on either discrete tasks or comprehensively.We can step in at one particular stage or guide our clients through the spectrum of services, from conception and feasibility to planning and design; from formation, tax structuring, financing and syndication through construction, rent-up, and continuing operations.

Our Diversity

Diversity is a core value at Goldfarb & Lipman, one that we celebrate and cultivate. The variety of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives our attorneys and staff bring to the firm produces a creative and dynamic legal team and promotes a commitment to our clients and the populations they serve. The majority of our partners are women and one-third of our partners come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Our attorneys are active in a range of community and professional organizations reflecting a diversity of viewpoints. We are members and hold board positions in organizations such as the Charles Houston Bar Association, San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association, Black Woman Lawyers of Northern California, Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce, Chinatown Community Development Center, and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. One of our attorneys currently serves as the President of the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association.