Edward C. Dygert

Senior Counsel


Ed represents public and private entities during the land use entitlement process for all types of real estate developments throughout California. He appears in state, federal, and appellate courts on matters involving land use and direct or inverse condemnation. Ed has been recognized by his peers by election to the distinguished legal association of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Prior to joining the firm, Ed served as a Senior Assistant City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office where he was Managing Assistant of the Real Property Environment Division. He was responsible for real property development matters and environmental issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) including compliance and litigation for the City of Los Angeles.

Land Use Representation

In the area of land use, Ed is involved in multi-family, retail, large distribution warehouse projects, and residential developments. His clients look to Ed for his guidance and strategy through the land use entitlement process with the preparation of general and specific plans, zoning ordinances, zoning variances, conditional use permits, and development agreements as well as CEQA compliance requirements. When the projects are along the Pacific Ocean, he handles matters before the California Coastal Commission.

Ed works with clients and consultants in developing strategies to meet the clients' entitlement objectives. This includes developing a "record" of evidence that will be presented to the planning commission, city council, board of supervisors or other approving entity. Because litigation is all too often part of the entitlement process, Ed can anticipate and handle litigation issues throughout the entitlement process. Addressing those issues during the entitlement process can be critical in obtaining a favorable outcome of any litigation.

Eminent Domain Litigation

Ed's litigation experience involves the complex California eminent domain law. His clients seek his counsel when a public entity is taking property for a public project. He has tried many eminent domain actions for public and private clients involving complex valuation issues including compensation for property taken, damages to the property remaining after the taking, and loss of goodwill.

He also prosecutes and defends inverse condemnation actions when his clients seek compensation for the taking or damaging of private property by public entities. Ed prosecutes inverse condemnation actions seeking compensation for loss of business goodwill where a business was forced to close or relocate because of a public project.


Representative Land Use Projects

Multi-Family Development. Represented multi-family developer in the entitlement of a 884 multi-family residential unit development located in the cities of Anaheim and Orange. Because the project was located on the border of two cities, the entitlement process required development permits from both cities and included a General Plan Amendment, Specific Plans, cooperation agreements to coordinate the delivery of municipal services as well as an EIR acceptable to both cities.

Distribution Warehouse Project. Represented large retail company in connection with the development of a 3,360,000 square foot distribution warehouse in the city of Rialto. The firm represented the distribution warehouse developer during the property acquisition and entitlement process, including the preparation of an EIR for the project and defending that EIR when it was challenged. The lawsuit was settled on favorable terms for our client.

Whittwood Town Center. Represented the developer in the drafting and negotiation of an Owner Participation Agreement (OPA) for redevelopment of a 66 acre shopping center in the City of Whittier. The OPA included financial assistance to the project based on an increase in sales tax revenue generated by the redeveloped project.

The HUB Retail Center. Represented the developer of an approximately 30 acre site in the City of San Bernardino in the entitlement of 300,000 square feet of retail space which included a Sam's Club store. The representation included the drafting and negotiation of a Disposition and Development Agreement for the development and acquisition of the site, obtaining the required development entitlements, as well as representation in the preparation of an EIR.

First National Bank Building Residential Development. Represented the developer in the redevelopment of a historic office building in San Diego into housing. The representation included the negotiation and drafting of a Disposition and Development Agreement that provided for the acquisition of the building as well as its redevelopment.

Representative Eminent Domain Matters

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California v. Campus Crusade for Christ, Inc., County of San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. SCV35498. Represented the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California through trial and appeal to the California Supreme Court in this extremely complex eminent domain matter involving the acquisition of property for the Inland Feeder project.

People of the State of California v. June H. Schanbacher-Lindquis, San Mateo County Superior Court, Case Numbers CIV 452016 and CIV 452018. Represented the owner of property located on the east side of SR 1 in San Mateo County. The property was sought by the State for a new alignment of SR 1 through the "Devil's Slide" area. The initial offer by the State was $1,022,900. The matter ultimately settled for $3,018,000.

County of Riverside v. Morita, Riverside County Superior Court, Case No. RIC 398757. In this matter, the County of Riverside sought property for a park. The County's initial offer for the full take was $1.3 million. The matter ultimately settled shortly before trial for $3 million.

City of Lake Forest v. Buchheim Properties I, et al., Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 04CC06207. Represented the ground lessee of property sought by the City of Lake Forest for a highway improvement project. The primary issue addressed in this matter was the allocation of the just compensation between the lessor and lessee. The initial settlement offer was $30,000 and the final settlement was for $929,403.

San Gabriel Redevelopment Agency v. Liu, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC 325199. Represented the owner of a shopping center sought by the Redevelopment Agency for redevelopment. The initial offer by the Agency was $3.9 million. The matter settled shortly before trial for $4.45 million.

City of Los Angeles v. Chen, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC 301998. In this matter the City of Los Angeles filed an eminent domain action to acquire property for a fire station. The City's initial offer was $3.15 million and was settled prior to trial for $4.2 million.

People of the State of California v. BBC Properties, County of San Bernardino Superior Court, Case NO. SCVSS 104541. In this matter, Caltrans initiated this eminent domain action to acquire property to widen the 210 Freeway near Rialto. The Caltrans appraiser valued the property at $72,500 and the matter settled shortly before trial for $1,620,000.

City of Oakland v. Oakland Raiders. Represented the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission in this very different eminent domain action brought by the City of Oakland to force the Raiders to return to Oakland from Los Angeles. The representation included trial and three hearings before the Court of Appeal and ultimately resulted in the decision of the Court of Appeal in City of Oakland v. Oakland Raiders,174 Cal .App. 3d 414 (1985), upholding the trial court's decision barring the City of Oakland from acquiring the Raiders since the action violated the commerce clause of the United States Constitution because the Raiders were a business engaged in interstate commerce.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

The Benefits And Risks Of Development Agreements, League of California Cities’ Planners Institute 2009, 3/27/2009

Awards &

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California, Real Property Section
  • State Bar of California, Zoning Land Use Subsection of the Real Property Section, Former Co-Chair
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., California State University, Fullerton, 1970