Deborah M. Rosenthal: Lawyer with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Deborah M. Rosenthal


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources
  • Environmental
  • Public Lands
University University of Michigan, B.A., 1972; University of Oklahoma, M.R.C.P., 1978
Law SchoolYale University, J.D., 1981
Admitted1981, Illinois; 1987, California; United States Supreme Court; USDC, Central District of California; California Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Federal Claims; Supreme Court of Illinois; USDC, Northern District of Illinois


•Member, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

•Member, Amicus Curiae Committee, American Planning Association

•Trustee, California Preservation Foundation

•Member, Lambda Alpha International, Orange County Chapter

•Associate Member, Urban Land Institute

•Member, CPF Advocacy Committee

•Advisory Board Member, JFFS Real Estate Council

•Board of Visitors, Division of Regional & City Planning, University of Oklahoma

•Former board member, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County

•Former board member, Hillel Foundation

•Former chair, Planning and Law Division, American Planning Association

•Former board member, Jewish Federation of Orange County

•Past president, Jewish Family Service of Orange County

•Past board member, Jamboree Housing Corporation

•Founding director, Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation

•Site Visitor, Planning Advisory Board


Deborah M. Rosenthal, AICP, is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's Orange County Office.

Areas of Practice

Ms. Rosenthal devotes her practice to land use and environmental law and litigation. She primarily represents landowners in complex permitting programs for large private development projects, requiring coordinated approvals at the local, state, and federal levels. Depending on location, these projects involve EIR preparation, drafting of General and Specific Plans, subdivision approvals, wetland or endangered species permitting, negotiation of development agreements, and water availability.

In addition, Ms. Rosenthal has extensive experience with the Coastal Act, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Williamson Act, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. She frequently works with historic preservation, non-conforming uses, easements and agricultural lands, representing private developers and advocacy groups.


•University of Oklahoma, College of Architecture, Regional and City Planning, Outstanding Alumni (2013)

•Top Rated Lawyer for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources by American Lawyer Media (2013)

•Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by American Lawyer Media (2013)

•Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer (current)

•International Municipal Lawyers Association, Amicus Service Award (2011)

•Southern California Super Lawyer for Land Use and Zoning (2005 through 2014)

•California Preservation Foundation Service Award (2002)

•Jewish Federation of Orange County, Jerusalem Leadership Award (1995)

•Chamber of Commerce, Calabasas, President's Individual Community Service Award for Outstanding (1991)


Documents by this lawyer on

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Unlawful Development Permit Conditions Not Binding On Second Permit Applicant When Original Permit Expires Without Use - Second District Changes Mind On Changed Facts
Deborah M. Rosenthal, November 14, 2014
A major fact correction on rehearing led the Second Appellate District to reverse its earlier ruling in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission (2nd Dist., Div. 6, 10/23/14, B243015 (on rehearing). The court has now held that collateral estoppel does not prevent a landowner from letting a permit...

Collateral Estoppel Bars Copy-Cat Environmental Plaintiff in New Case After Judgment
Deborah M. Rosenthal,Joy Siu, August 4, 2014
The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment denying a petition for writ of mandate to invalidate project approvals for the construction of a large commercial retail center in the City of Rialto (the “City”) to be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The court held that: (1)...

Developer-Prepared Cost Comparisons Can Show Economic Infeasibility Under CEQA
Deborah M. Rosenthal, June 5, 2014
In a precedent-setting decision, the First District Court of Appeal approved the alternatives analysis used to support a massive 35-year landfill expansion in the Suisun Marsh. Challengers argued that more evidence was required to reject a reduced-size, shorter-term alternative on the ground of...

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Office Information

Deborah M. Rosenthal

650 Town Center Drive, 4th Floor
Costa MesaCA 92626


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