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Brigit Simms Barnes

About me

Prior to graduating from law school, I spent ten years working in the real estate and title insurance industry. From 1975 to 1985, I was employed in the title insurance industry by Transamerica Title Insurance Company, Ticor Title Insurance Company, Pioneer Title Company and Empire Title Company. During my employment with these companies, I held various positions, including Residential and Commercial Escrow Officer, Manager of the Subdivision Department, Trustee Sales Officer and County Escrow Auditor. Between 1978 and 1981, I was licensed as an agent and broker, as well as a residential and commercial appraiser by the State of Oregon.


I obtained my Bachelor of Science cum laude in Political Science from the University of Santa Clara in 1973. In 1985, I graduated with distinction from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. While studying at McGeorge, I received various scholarships and awards, including the American Jurisprudence Awards for Agency, Business Associations and Contracts, and the Corpus Juris Secundum Award for significant legal scholarship. In 1996, I was voted "Member of the Year" by Commercial Women in Real Estate, Sacramento Chapter (CREW Sacramento) for my contributions to education and commercial real estate professionals.


I counsel my clients on relevant aspects of liability avoidance, land use,

entitlement and property rights issues, and regularly conduct seminars and publish educational materials for my title insurance, real estate broker and developer clients. I have developed and teach a three-hour seminar on land use and environmental issues, and impacts of inclusionary housing on modern development projects, both sponsored by CREW Sacramento.


I've also provided articles to Comstocks' Magazine on the adverse impact of conflicting environmental restrictions on business and development in northern California. I have published articles on recent Water Resource Control Board changes in wetlands policy for Northern Builder's Magazine. I've served as one of California Building Industry Association’s (CBIA’s) representatives to Governor Wilson's Wetlands Consensus, an advisory body, drafting proposed wetlands and watershed management legislation for California. I also assist in drafting remediation legislation on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Endangered Species Act (CESA), and regulatory abuse issues for California Business Properties Association.


I have been married forever to Jerry Barnes and we have two children, mostly grown, and seven grandchildren.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Commercial: 35%
  2. Land Use & Zoning: 30%
  3. Estate Planning: 20%
  4. Business: 15%


Payment types:


Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • No photo

    Brigit is especially knowledgeable about the regulatory environment of land use, including CEQA. I have found her counsel in these areas very valuable.


    Kelly Smith Business Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • No photo

    I have been on the opposite side of cases handled by Brigit as well as co-counsel with her on other cases. In all circumstances she handled herself, and the case, with passion and professionalism. She is always willing to dig deep in order to provide her client with the best representation possible.


    Michael Brady Government Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Member of the YearCommercial Women in Real Estate - Sacramento1996
Corpus Juris SecundumMcGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific1985
American Jurisprudence Award for AgencyMcGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific1985
American Jurisprudence Award for Business AssociationsMcGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific1985
American Jurisprudence Award for ContractsMcGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific1985
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerBrigit Barnes & Associates, Inc.1993 - Present
Land Use CounselCity of Colfax2009 - 2014
PartnerBalfrey & Abbott1989 - 1992
AssociateBalfrey & Abbott1985 - 1988
Association namePosition nameDuration
Placer County CABPROChair1996 - 2006
Placer County CABPROMember1996 - 2014
Commercial Real Estate WomenChair1994 - 2000
California Business Properties AssociationMember1993 - Present
California Builders AssociationSelect Conference on Industry Litigation1990 - Present
Loomis Chamber of CommerceMemberN/A
Sacramento County Bar Association, Real Property SectionMemberN/A
El Dorado County and Placer Builders CouncilMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Adamo v. County of Colorado, et alResolved with approval of alternative commercial use.
AVSC v. Curtola, et alSuccessful resolution.
Burke, Burke & Briggs v. Penryn Plaza AssociatesSuccessful recovery.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
McGeorge School of Law, University of the PacificLawJD - Juris Doctor1985
Santa Clara UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1973