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Dean N Alterman

Real estate Attorney at Portland, OR

5.0   6 reviews
  • State Years
    Washington - WA 14 years
    Oregon - OR 34 years
  • Licensed for 14 years
    State WA
    Acquired 2010
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 34 years
    State OR
    Acquired 1989
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Dean

Learn Dean’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Real estate

    35 years, 500 cases

  2. Business

    35 years, 500 cases

  3. Estate planning

    35 years, 50 cases

  4. Land use and zoning

    35 years, 75 cases

In 30 years of law practice, Dean Alterman has advised private businesses and real estate investors across a range that includes buying, selling, and leasing commercial and multi-family real estate, negotiating development agreements, forming condominiums, acquiring and selling businesses, and the other legal matters that come up in the business world. Known for his unusual memory and his mathematical mind, Dean brings to his practice the experience of eight years in real estate sales, two terms on a county planning commission, and a stint as an outside director of a community bank and its holding company.

Dean frequently speaks and writes on real estate and land use topics. In 2015 the American Bar Association published his first book, a primer for aspiring real estate lawyers titled How to Build a Real Estate Law Practice. When not at his desk advising clients, Dean is an active leader in Portland's civic life, with present or past board service on many cultural and educational organizations, including the Portland Japanese Garden and Portland Piano International. Dean earned his A.B. in statistics from Harvard College in 1981. Dean received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in 1989.

Photos and videos


Alterman Law Group PC
805 SW Broadway Ste 1580
Portland, OR, 97205

Real Estate lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Ahmed | January 17, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Real Estate issue
I was looking for a lawyer to help us with real estate and I had important criteria in a lawyer, I was looking for honestly, good lawyer and very responsive, well Dean Alterman has everything what I was looking for, very honest, lots of experience in real estate and very quick in responding to calls or emails. After months of working with him we have achieved our goal! Dean was instrumental and got the job done!! Thank you very much Dean for your help !! If you need help with your business or real estate I recommend you to hire him.
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Posted by anonymous | November 16, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Real estate purchase agreement dispute
I quickly received competent advice on my legal matter. Dean reviewed the documents that I sent over and informed me of my options. He provided advice on what to do next and pointed out that the amount of money in dispute would quickly be exceeded by attorney fees. I appreciated his candor and directness. I found Dean Alterman to be patient, friendly, and kind. Though I was their client only briefly, I appreciated the level of customer service that I received.
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Posted by Ernest | August 11, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best decision I ever made!!!
I've been working in the field of residential real estate for over 2 decades in the Portland tri-county area. I've received lots of advise over the years from various attorneys. All of the advise I've received combined does not come close to the excellent top notch extremely well thought out advise I get from Dean Alterman. Dean has impressed me to such a great degree that I've hired him on retainer at Cooper Realty. Best thing I ever did.
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Posted by Catherine | August 6, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional! Highly Recommend!
Dean was the answer to all my real estate problems. It's rare to be able to say that about a single person, but in my case it's fact. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I was in the process of trying to navigate a sale of a property without agents, and there were several unforeseen obstacles to the completion of this. I am confident Dean was the only reason I successfully negotiated the sale. It was his intelligence and expertise that led to a brilliant and creative solution to the lender's issue with the loan, but it was his humility and grace that sealed the deal. Dean was thoughtful, thorough, and practical in his approach to the issues regarding my property. He was both prompt and available in responding to my questions and emails, and timely in completion of the work. I very much appreciated and respected his advice. I highly recommend Dean without reservation.
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Posted by Marie | September 25, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend
I highly recommend Dean Alterman. I had a bad experience elsewhere (overcharged and given some bad advice) and was referred to Dean by my 1031 exchange company. When I got to Dean my trust was at an all time low but he showed himself to be competent, trustworthy, and empathetic. He worked through some difficult issues with me unraveling my legal predicament, and I felt that he charged me fairly for his time. I wish I had gone to him first. I will liken finding Dean to finding an honest and competent mechanic - he is efficient and will not take advantage of your lack of knowledge or savvy and try to add time to your bill or lead you down a path for his own gain. Dean is an excellent choice for a real estate attorney and I feel fortunate to have found him.
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Posted by Chase | January 31, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good lawyer, good friend
Dean is an exceptionally smart and creative lawyer. As a Commercial Real Estate practitioner, Dean is my "go to" source of legal advice, transactional assistance, and review of financial documents. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of real estate law that translates to a clear understanding of the issues and how to resolve them. Dean can take a complex situation and simplify it saving money for my clients. Dean's creative approach to dealing with legal issues has saved me, my clients, and my family literally thousands of dollars. Full disclosure: Dean is also a longtime personal friend. It is always a pleasure to talk with him whether it is about the law or the myriad of other topics on which he is knowledgeable.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 450-495 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Alterman Law Group PC
  • 2017 - Present
  • Partner
  • Folawn Alterman & Richardson LLP
  • 2009 - 2017
  • Principal
  • Alterman Law Office
  • 2006 - 2009
  • Partner/Shareholder
  • Lane Powell PC
  • 1999 - 2006
  • Director
  • Bank of Vancouver
  • 1992 - 1997
  • Associate / Partner
  • Kell, Alterman & Runstein, L.L.P.
  • 1989 - 1998
View all work experience


  • Lewis & Clark Northwestern Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1989
  • Harvard College
  • AB
  • 1981

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Patel v. City of Portland
  • The city hearings officer affirmed the staff decision approving our client's project, and LUBA affirmed the hearings officer's decision.
  • MacKenzie v. City of Portland
  • The Land Use Board of Appeals affirmed the city's decision approving the Portland Japanese Garden's expansion on all points, relying in part on our pro bono work for the Japanese Garden.
  • L'Heureux v. City of Portland
  • LUBA agreed with the client's principal arguments and remanded the case to the city
View all legal cases


  • Oregon State Bar
  • Member
  • 1989 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Brokers and Brokerage Committee
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Vice-Chair, Commercial Real Estate Transactions Group
  • 2018 - 2019
  • Portland Piano International
  • President
  • 2015 - 2017
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Diversity Committee
  • 2013 - 2019
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Chair, Design And Construction Committee
  • 2012 - 2016
  • Japanese Garden Society of Oregon
  • President
  • 2011 - 2013
  • Natural Areas Program Performance Oversight Committee, Metro (regional government)
  • Member
  • 2009 - 2020
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Chair, Purchase & Sale Committee
  • 2008 - 2012
  • Oregon State Bar, Business Law Section
  • Executive Committee
  • 2007 - 2010
  • Oregon State Bar, Real Estate & Land Use Section
  • Executive Committee
  • 2003 - 2006
  • The Catlin Gabel School
  • Trustee
  • 1989 - 1992
  • Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center
  • Trustee
  • 1985 - 2005
  • Multnomah County Planning Commission
  • Chairman
  • 1984 - 1986
  • Multnomah County Planning Commission
  • Member
  • 1983 - 1991
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • French


  • Buildernews Magazine
  • Developer's Guide to Community Ownership
  • 2005
  • Portland Business Journal
  • Guess What Your Spam Filter Just Bought for You
  • 2004
  • Buildernews Magazine
  • Words into Land: Writing Sale Agreements that land you the dirt
  • 2004
  • Real Estate Today
  • Zone in on the Land Use Process
  • 1991
  • Probate & Property magazine (ABA)
  • Representing Your Client Before a Planning Commission
  • 1988
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Real Estate and Land Use Fall Forum
  • Drafting Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
  • 2014
  • 2011 Spring Symposia
  • Giving Back the Keys: Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure
  • 2011
  • Real Estate and Land Use 2009: Looking Forward to New Opportunities
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • 2009
  • Essential Issues for LLCs and other Limited Liability Entities
  • Maintaining and Managing an LLC
  • 2008
  • Real Property, Trusts & Estates / Taxation Section 2007 Joint Meeting
  • Current issues in brokers and brokerage
  • 2007
  • Real Estate and Land Use Section Annual Meeting
  • Homeowners Associations
  • 2002
  • Oregon Law Institute - real estate seminar
  • Representing Clients in Real Estate Transactions
  • 2002
  • Real Estate Issues in Oregon
  • "Drafting the Sale Agreement" and "How to be Taxed: Choosing the Ownership Structure"
  • 2000
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (3)
Endorse Dean
Real estate Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer. If you're looking for the lawyer who's the smartest guy in the room, look no further. Dean Alterman is your guy. He has sharp legal insights, is an eloquent speaker, and an excellent attorney. What's more, he's a real gentleman too."

Avvo Contributions

1 Legal Answers 0 Legal Guides
Portland Real estate Lawyer Dean N Alterman
Dean N Alterman
Real estate Attorney
Portland, OR
Licensed for 34 years