Practice Areas & Industries: Duane Morris LLP


Western Region Real Estate Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Practicing real estate law in the Western United States requires specific knowledge that comes from working with some of the nation's most complex laws governing land. The coastal areas, valleys, mountains and deserts of the Western states are blanketed with a myriad of federal, state and local rules and regulations controlling real property.

The real estate lawyers in our San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas offices represent owners, investment managers, developers, investors, lenders, servicers and receivers in California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Utah, and throughout the Western United States on their most significant and complex projects.

Not only do we assist developers with regulations in the West, we also help them with the sophisticated tax and ERISA issues of their investor partners. In addition, we represent receivers in commercial real estate workouts and foreclosures to stabilize assets and manage properties in California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.

Our full range of services include:


  • Joint Ventures, Investment Management Capital Deployment
  • Acquisitions and Dispositions
  • Commercial, Office, Retail, Industrial and Ground Leases
  • Hospitality
  • Operating and Management Agreements
  • Title Insurance
  • Easements and Licenses


  • Purchase, Construction and Permanent Loans
  • Senior and Mezzanine Loans
  • Borrower or Lender

Land Use/Environmental/Energy/Water

  • General Plans, Community Plans and Specific Plans
  • Zoning, Subdivision and Use Permits
  • Annexation and Special Districts
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Water Boards, Coastal Commission
  • Environmental Review (CEQA / NEPA) and Historic Preservation
  • Climate Change, Global Warming and Air Quality
  • Water Supply, Water Quality, and Discharge Permits
  • Traditional and Renewable Energy Facilities Siting and Permitting
  • Energy Transmission Lines and Substations
  • Co-development of Renewable Energy Facilities with Residential or Commercial Developments
  • Biology, Endangered Species and Critical Habitats
  • Traffic and Infrastructure
  • Vested Rights and Development Agreements
  • Exactions, Dedications, Taxes and Fees
  • Affordable Housing
  • Redevelopment and Reuse

Common Interest Development

  • Planning and Structuring of Master Planned Communities, Condominiums, Mixed Uses and Other Subdivisions
  • Incorporation of Land Use Entitlements, Conditions of Approval and Affordable Requirements into Planning and Structuring
  • Hotel, Retail, Industrial and Office Business Parks and Centers
  • Governing Documents for Communities and Subdivisions (CC&Rs, Easements, Deeds, Rules and Regulations and Architectural Guidelines)
  • Owners Association Formation and Governance
  • California Department of Real Estate, RESPA and Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act
  • FNMA, FHA and VA


  • Financing
  • Contracts
  • Project Management
  • Mechanic's Liens
  • Litigation


  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Finance
  • Land Use and Entitlement
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Eminent Domain
  • Water Rights, Water Quality and Water Supply
  • Dedications and Exactions
  • Vested Rights
  • Insurance
  • Environmental Regulation


  • Workout of Challenged Loans for Lenders, Borrowers, Landlords and Tenants
  • Asset Protection and Management
  • Foreclosures
  • Receiverships
  • Bankruptcy