Practice Area Details

Land Use Entitlement and Litigation

Land Use Entitlement and Litigation

The Theodora Oringher Land Use Entitlement and Litigation Group successfully represents clients in the areas of entitlement, development, and utilization of land and natural resources. We do this by emphasizing:


  • Integrity. The client comes first. Our clients’ needs are met by experienced lawyers with specialized expertise and business-sensitive insight. We do not train new land use lawyers at our clients’ expense. If there is any aspect of an engagement which can be better handled by another firm, we will propose bringing that firm onto the project team.
  • Business Decisions. The entitlement process is not an esoteric legal exercise. It is a real-world business challenge requiring thoughtful, strategic decisions. Our clients deserve not just our technical expertise, but also practical analysis and insight. We facilitate our clients’ strategic decisions by providing advice which accommodates both regulatory compliance and their critical business objectives.

Strategic Guidance

  • Perspective. Navigating a project through California’s complex maze of regulation is not for the faint of heart. Successful entitlement requires the right project team, an understanding of "what works and what doesn’t," and the development of a "big picture" plan with appropriate fallback strategies. Because of our attorneys’ experience in the roles of developer, developer’s counsel, agency counsel, and regulator, we offer our clients a valuable perspective which better positions their projects for success.
  • Experience. We have handled due diligence, entitlement, and litigation for commercial, residential, entertainment, hospitality, resort, health care, investment, and other properties for many of California’s most prominent real estate developers. We have experience throughout all of the counties of Southern California, as well as in some Northern California communities. While no two clients and no two projects are the same, advice derived from decades of experience leads to informed and creative entitlement strategies.
  • Expertise. Our expertise covers virtually all aspects of the entitlement process, including the California Coastal Act, the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), development agreements, natural resource issues, California Planning Law, and the Subdivision Map Act.


  • The Right Litigator. Our CEQA entitlement lawyers also are our CEQA litigators, bringing critical insight to both the entitlement and litigation processes. Thoughtfully anticipating potential litigation issues during the entitlement process creates a roadmap for future litigation success. In the same way, clearly understanding CEQA and the entitlement process allows the CEQA litigator to better shape the courtroom discussion to the client’s advantage. If the CEQA litigator knows little about CEQA beyond the narrow facts of the case, that litigator has limited expertise to rely upon in influencing the judge’s decision. Many of our competitors use litigators - often outstanding business litigators – to handle CEQA cases. We attribute our considerable success in winning and favorably resolving CEQA cases to our more focused approach.