Welcome to my Avvo page. I'm a solo attorney in private practice. My primary areas of practices are land use and environmental law (especially the California Environmental Quality Act) and elections law, focusing on ballot measure. My primary focus is litigation, although I also represent clients in administrative processes. I primarily represent environmental and community groups. You may send me an e-mail to check whether your legal needs match what I can provide.
As you can tell from my biographical information, I didn't start off intending to be an attorney. I went through college, graduate school and a post-doc intending to do genetics, and spent ten years doing so, first in academia and then as an industrial biotech researcher. After being laid off and facing relocation to the midwest, I decided to switch careers instead.
I had gotten involved in local politics and served a short term on the Emeryville City Council. That got me interested in government, and specifically environmental and land use regulations. It was a short step from there into law school, and thence into my current practice.
My practice is oriented primarily towards representing environmental and community groups as plaintiffs in environmental and land use disputes.
I got into law intending to do environmental law only. However, land use law is so connected with environmental law, especially in urban areas, that one can hardly do one without the other. My electoral law work arose from helping environmental groups first draft, and then qualify ballot measures.
I have also done a few cases involving illegal or improper expenditure of public funds (Code of Civil Procedure Sect. 526a). Such cases are not easy. They involve a lot of discovery and a full-blown bench trial, compared to most of my cases, which are petitions for a writ of mandate. The latter usually don't involve much if any discovery and are briefed and then heard, usually with at most two or three hours of oral argument.
Languages Spoken: Spanish
Licensed since 1990
Hourly ($300-600/hour), Free Consultation (30 minutes), Pro Bono (10%)
I worked with Mr. Flashman as co-counsel in a case brought to derail a referendum petition in the City of Cupertino. Mr. Flashman was highly knowledgeable as to the law and practice issues involved. His legal submissions were of the highest quality, and I found him highly professional throughout.
Bern Steves International Law Attorney
Relationship: Worked together on matter
|Award Name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Top Attorneys in Northern California (environmental litigation)||Superlawyers Magazine||2012|
|AV Peer Review Rating||Martindale-Hubbell||2008|
|Best Public Interest Lawyer||East Bay Express||2007|
|Instructor||University of California, Berkeley Extension||1995 - 1997|
|Director||East Bay Municipal Utility District||1991 - 1994|
|Attorney||Law Offices of Stuart M. Flashman||1990 - Present|
|Legal Intern||Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund||1989 - 1989|
|Senior Research Biologist||Stauffer Chemical Company||1980 - 1986|
|Assistant Professor||North Carolina State University||1977 - 1980|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|Rockridge Community Planning Council||Chair Emeritus||2012 - Present|
|Rockridge Community Planning Council||Chair, Board of Directors||2008 - 2012|
|Rockridge Community Planning Council||Chair, Land Use Committee||2008 - Present|
|Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter||Member, Legal Committee||1998 - Present|
|Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter||Executive Committee||1997 - 1998|
|State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section||Member||1996 - Present|
|Alameda County Bar Association||N/A||1992 - 2006|
|Association of California Water Agencies||Member, Board of Directors||1992 - 1994|
|Hayward Area Planning Association v. Alameda County Transportation Authority et al.||judgment for plaintiff|
|El Sobrante Valley Legal Defense Fund v. City of Richmond et al.||Judgment for petitioner/plaintiff|
|Stow v. Smith et al.||Writ of mandate denied|
|Alameda County Bar Association Bulletin||CAPP Initiatives - Another Perspective||2000|
|New College of California School of Law||Public Interest Law||J.D.||1990|
|Harvard University||Biochemistry||PhD - Doctorate||1976|
|Brown University||Biology||A.B./Sc.M. (cum laude with honors in biology)||1969|
|Advancing Social Justice Through the Law||Can a bunch of Lawyers Help Save the Planet?||2007|
|Does CEQA Need to be Reformed?||What Works in CEQA and What Doesn't||2005|
|Urban Environmental Law||Urban Environmental Law||1998|