Arthur J. Friedman

Arthur J. Friedman: Attorney with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP


Arthur J. Friedman is a litigation partner in the firm’s San Francisco office.


Arthur’s litigation and consulting practice encompasses complex commercial, real estate, CEQA, land use, public agency and education matters. Arthur was recognized again this year, for the fifth consecutive year, as a Northern California Super Lawyer for environmental and business litigation. Super Lawyers lists the top five percent of attorneys in a state or region who have attained a high level of recognition and professional achievement.

Commercial Litigation :

Arthur’s commercial litigation practice encompasses a broad range of complex contract disputes, including purchase and sale agreements for real property, goods or services, lease agreements, development agreements and insurance coverage/bad faith matters. Earlier this year, he was co-lead counsel in obtaining a multi-million dollar verdict for his client in a breach of contract matter following a one-month trial. He presently represents several large corporations, cities and small businesses in a variety of commercial litigation matters.

Land Use Litigation :

Arthur’s land use litigation practice broadly encompasses disputes under California’s Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), as well as disputes arising under California’s Housing Element and Housing Accountability Laws, Public Records Act, the Brown Act and other statutes.

He currently is representing several housing developers in a high-profile lawsuit pursuing claims against a municipality under California’s Housing Element, Housing Accountability Act and State Density Bonus Law.

In another pending matter, he is representing a state-wide interest group in a lawsuit challenging a municipality’s enactment of a moratorium barring development of all public charter schools in the community.

His land use practice also includes easement and eminent domain disputes. For more than 15 years, Art has represented developers and public agencies in CEQA litigation throughout the state before trial courts and the courts of appeal. Arthur was lead counsel for the Oakland Zoo in defeating CEQA challenges to the Zoo’s plan amendment. He was lead counsel for the City of Sacramento in defeating CEQA challenges to the Sacramento Railyards Specific Plan, which the Daily Journal listed as among the “Top Defense Verdicts.” He presently is defending CEQA litigation challenging various significant and high profile projects throughout Northern and Southern California.

Public Agencies :

Arthur represents several public agencies, including the cities of Sausalito, Los Altos and American Canyon, as well as the Santa Clara County Board of Education in various litigation matters. He also provides consulting, peer reviews and independent investigations for public agencies, including a recent independent investigation for a municipality arising from allegations of various Brown Act violations.

Education :

Arthur represents school boards and statewide interest groups in a variety of litigation matters arising under California’s Charter School Act.

Arthur is a frequent speaker at professional conferences in California and throughout the United States.


•Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2018-2019
•Northern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2011-2018
•Leading Environmental Practices Lawyer, The Recorder, 2012
•Legal 500, 2010


•Analyzing Climate Change Under CEQA in a Climate of Uncertainty
Real Property Law, Vol. 30 , September 1, 2007
•The Use and Misuse of Motions to Stay the Project in CEQA Litigation
May 29, 2007


• Taking and Defending Expert Depositions, PLI Course Handbook Titled Taking and Defending Depositions 2011 .

• Analyzing Climate Change Under CEQA In A Climate Of Uncertainty, Real Property Law Vol. 30 (September 2007).

• The Use and Misuse of Motions to Stay the Project In CEQA Litigation, California Real Estate Journal (May 29, 2007).

• Attention Developers: Your Tentative Map May Be in Jeopardy - Or May Have Expired, California Real Property Journal (Spring 2004).

Media Mentions

•Top Verdicts of 2009 - Clearing the Way for Urban In-Fill
Sacramento Citizens Concerned About the Railyards v. City of Sacramento; Downtown Plaza v. City of Sacramento
Daily Journal , February 3, 2010

Speaking Engagements

• Keep Up With The Latest CEQA Developments, Sheppard Mullin CEQA Breakfast Briefing (September 27, 2012)
• CEQA: Part II, Select Conference on Industry Litigation, Napa, CA (May 21, 2011)
• Taking and Defending Expert Depositions, Practising Law Institute's Taking and Defending Depositions, San Francisco, CA (June 9, 2010)
• Deposition Strategy, Practising Law Institute's Taking and Defending Depositions, San Francisco, CA (June 18, 2009)
• Policy Initiatives in California , Climate Change and Land Use Conference, Tarrytown, NY (May 5, 2008)
• AB 32, presented to American AgCredit, Santa Rosa, CA (2007)
• Climate Change and EIS's, CLE International Conference on Climate Change Law, Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (February 28-29, 2008)
• AB 32, Law Seminars International Conference on Climate Change Impacts On Land Use Planning and Project Approvals, White Plains, NY (May 5-6, 2008)


•CEQA Breakfast Briefing Seminar Series - San Francisco
Streamlining the CEQA Process
May 2, 2013
•CEQA Breakfast Briefing Seminar Series - Orange County
Streamlining the CEQA Process
April 3, 2013
•2012 CEQA Breakfast Briefing - San Francisco
Sheppard Mullin San Francisco Office , November 15, 2012
•2012 CEQA Breakfast Briefing - San Diego
Sheppard Mullin San Diego Office , October 10, 2012

Areas of Practice (4)

  • Litigation
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Real Estate and Land Use
  • Environmental

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
415.774.2985  Phone
415.403.6042  Fax
University Attended:
Yale University, B.A., cum laude, 1989
Law School Attended:
University of Texas, J.D., with honors, 1992
Year of First Admission:
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; 1992, California
Reported Cases:
Published Decisions: May v. City of Milpitas (2013) 217 Cal. App. 4th 1307; Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2012) 210 Cal. App. 4th 1484; Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi (2012) 205 Cal. App. 4th 296; Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2010) 48 Cal. 4th 481; County of Sacramento v. Superior Court (2009) 180 Cal. App. 4th 943; Gilroy Citizens for Responsible Planning vs. City of Gilroy (2006) 140 Cal. App. 4th 911; Preservation Action Council v. City of San Jose (2006) 141 Cal. App. 4th 1336; Bodega Bay Concerned Citizens vs. County of Sonoma (2005) 125 Cal. App. 4th 1061; Anderson First Coalition v. City of Anderson (2005) 130 Cal. App. 4th 1173; Schnall v. Hertz Corporation (2000) 78 Cal. App. 4th 1144; Aerojet-General Corporation v. Transport Indemnity Company(1997) 17 Cal. 4th 38

Peer Reviews

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*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

San Francisco, California

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