Stan is consistently recognized as one of California's leading land use and entitlement lawyers, as well as a leader in the field of lawyer professional responsibility and ethics. Stan has a full service land use and real estate development practice that includes representing clients in connection with project acquisition, entitlement strategy, transactional issues, project processing and advocacy, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance, and litigation. He has represented clients in cities and counties throughout California, and is widely known for his work in the California coastal zone.

Best Lawyers® has listed Stan in the fields of Land Use & Zoning law and Land Use & Zoning Litigation since 2007. Best Lawyers® named Stan its 2021 Los Angeles Lawyer of the Year in the field of Land Use and Zoning Law. Stan has also been listed in Southern California Super Lawyers since 2008 and Legal 500 (2018).

Full Service Land Use And Entitlement Practice

Stan’s practice focuses on creating and executing strategies to entitle and develop real estate. With over 35 years of experience as both a transactional land use lawyer and as a land use litigator, Stan offers practical advice on a broad range of issues extending across the entire spectrum of the process – from project acquisition and project planning to entitlement processing, post approval condition compliance, and litigation. Stan has handled a wide range of projects, including residential, industrial, distribution, office, retail, agricultural, mixed-use, and hospitality developments. His work encompasses California planning and zoning law, CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, historic preservation, exactions and dedications, takings, due process, and many other land use issues.

Stan regularly represents clients before cities, counties, and federal, state, and local public agencies in the land use entitlement process. Whether working with public officials and advocating for clients in public hearings or advising clients discretely behind the scenes, Stan assists clients in positioning projects for approval and in reducing the potential litigation risks that frequently accompany the California land use and entitlement process.

California Coastal Practice

Stan has an extensive practice before the California Coastal Commission and in California’s coastal jurisdictions. Stan’s coastal practice extends the length of the California coastal zone. He regularly represents clients before the Coastal Commission and has developed successful working relationships with commissioners and staff at all levels. He has successfully litigated cases with the Coastal Commission. Stan also has considerable experience handling the interplay between the California Coastal Act and local land use regulation, including the unique CEQA issues that arise in these settings.

Stan is a frequent lecturer on issues involving the Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission. He has co-chaired an annual Coastal Act conference involving Coastal Commission staff and local coastal planners from around the state. He is also a featured speaker in policy forums on the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Act. He has been qualified as an expert witness in cases involving the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Act.

Industry Involvement

Stan is at the forefront of legislative issues affecting the residential and commercial real estate industry. He has been an active member of the California Business Properties Association (CBPA) since 1990 and has worked with the California Building Industry Association for many years. Stan chaired CBPA’s board of directors and has chaired its legislative policy committee for over 25 years. He has drafted a number of bills that have been enacted into law. Stan also served on the Uniform Law Commission committee that drafted the Commission’s Uniform Public Expression Protection Act, which is a model anti-SLAPP statute.

Legal Ethics

Stan has been active in the field of legal ethics for over 30 years. From 2001 until 2010 Stan served on the State Bar’s First Commission for the Revision of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, a 13-member body appointed by the State Bar in consultation with the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to revise and update the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Prior to that appointment, Stan served six years on the California State Bar’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct during which time he served as the committee’s chair. Stan is a longstanding member and a former chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics. He is the co-author and editor of a treatise on lawyer conflicts of interest and is a frequent lecturer, consultant and expert witness on the subject.


  • Represented a landowner in lawsuit against the County of Santa Barbara concerning improper actions under the Brown Act.

  • Represented a landowner in CEQA/Planning and Zoning lawsuit brought to challenge entitlements for residential development on the coast of Santa Barbara.

  • Successfully resolved Coastal Commission generated appeal of project in Mendocino County, in which the Commission agreed to withdraw the appeal subject to minor modifications of the County approval.

  • Representation of client in connection with redevelopment of residence on Torrance bluffs involving issues regarding the location of the bluff edge setback and application of the Coastal Commission’s 50% rule to determine when renovations constitute new develop.

  • Representation of client in renewal of Coastal Commission approval to maintain revetment to protect mobile home park in San Mateo County and response to Coastal Commission contentions regarding redevelopment of the site under the Coastal Commission’s regulations.

  • Successfully negotiated settlement of public access enforcement proceeding involving condominium property in the City of Malibu.

  • Successfully negotiated a settlement of public access enforcement proceeding regarding property located in the City of Malibu resulting in an agreement with significant benefits to the client and one of lowest penalties the Coastal Commission has accepted since obtaining authority to unilaterally impose penalties.

  • Obtained unanimous Coastal Commission approval of a coastal development permit to allow restoration of a failed coastal bluff. Worked with the client’s geotechnical engineer to develop a bluff protection approach that would be consistent with the Coastal Commission’s sea level rise guidance that generally does not allow for bluff protection.

  • Representation of lodging project in San Mateo County involving application of Coastal Commission’s affordable lodging standards.

  • Successfully represented client before the Coastal Commission in permit revocation proceeding.

  • Lead counsel before the Coastal Commission on applications in which the Commission first applied "unity of ownership" theory. Represented client in subsequent legal proceedings and in repositioning of project for follow up review by the Commission.

  • Successfully obtained Coastal Commission finding that an appeal of a coastal development permit of a residential subdivision in Half Moon Bay did not raise a substantial issue over staff recommendation to the contrary.

  • Obtained coastal development permits for a variety of private landowners for residential and commercial projects from the Coastal Commission.

  • Obtained Coastal Commission approval of coastal development permit that relieved the client of onerous conditions previously imposed by the Commission in prior enforcement proceedings.

  • Successfully represented a client in one of the few cases in which a court has overturned a Coastal Commission cease and desist order. Negotiated a settlement with the Coastal Commission that absolved the client of the violations after the trial court decision.

  • Resolved complex public access issues over multiple properties in Malibu. Assisted a client in working with Cal Trans to privatize public right-of-way and directing public use away from client's property. Successfully defended litigation challenging Cal Trans' action.

  • Successfully challenged Coastal Commission permit condition requiring client to record a public conservation easement on undeveloped portions of the client's land and worked with commissioners and staff to approve the client's project without the condition.

  • Obtained Santa Barbara County approval of one of the most complex and contested projects on the California coast including development agreements, plan amendments, rezonings, Williamson Act contract termination, and multiple lot entitlements encompassing over 3,000 acres of land. The approvals and EIR were upheld in court.

  • Obtained Los Angeles County approval of a 75 lot residential subdivision in unincorporated Santa Clarita. Assisted client in overcoming issues that had delayed the processing of the application for several years.

  • Assisted a client in planning development of a major distribution facility in Los Angeles County, including working with the city to commence CEQA work while the project was being designed in order to shorten the entitlement process and reduce issues by incorporating mitigation into project design.

  • Obtained city approval of mixed-use civic center project involving complex CEQA and resource issues. Project approvals were upheld in court.

  • Obtained approval of variance to construct roadway and related improvements in connection with residential project after successful litigation challenging city's prior denial of the variance. Worked with city council members, city attorney, and staff following court judgment to obtain approval.

  • Assisted client in developing onsite waste treatment facility in Los Angeles County as part of approved tentative map, including obtaining Regional Water Quality Control Board approval and negotiation of operating agreements.

  • Obtained City of Los Angeles approval of multi-family residential project involving potential historic preservation designation. Successfully opposed the proposed historic designation and obtained city council approval of the project.

  • Assisted client in Coastal Conservancy funded sale of land to city as part of entitlement process for reuse of industrial facility on California north coast, including all negotiations and documentation of the multi-party transaction.

  • Obtained multiple Los Angeles County approvals for residential development in the Santa Monica Mountains over vigorous opposition. Project approvals upheld in court.

  • Assisted public agency client in approval of amphitheater project at large public venue in Northern California, including assisting client in completing EIR, conducting public hearings, and building record in support of approval.

  • Successfully defended litigation challenging client subdivision approval based on allegations that the tentative map had expired.

  • Assisted various clients in obtaining conditional use permits, site plan review approvals, and other discretionary approval for various projects in numerous cities in Southern California.

  • Representation of Imperial Irrigation District in CEQA litigation with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and other water agencies related to drought conservation commitments related to the Colorado River.

  • Representation of national carrier/distribution company to develop distribution support facilities in San Bernardino County.

  • Obtained Los Angeles County approval of permits for residential development in the Santa Monica Mountains over project opposition based on CEQA.

  • Represented the Imperial Irrigation District in complex negotiations with California Secretary for Natural Resources and multiple state agencies to facilitate State participation in conservation projects to address issues associated with recession of the Salton Sea.



Speaking Engagements


Awards & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers, Land Use & Zoning and Litigation – Land Use & Zoning, 2007-2024

Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2021 

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2006; 2008-2022

​Recommended Attorney, Real Estate – Land Use/Zoning, Legal 500 USA, 2018

Professional Affiliations

California Business Properties Association

  • Board of Directors, 1996 - present
  • Chair, 2000 – 2002
  • Vice-chair, 1998 –2000
  • Legislative/Legal Committee, member, 1990 - present
  • Chair, 1997 – 2000; 2002 - present
  • Vice-chair, 1994 – 1997
  • Membership Committee, chair, 1996 - 1997

Uniform Law Commission

  • Member, Study Committee on an Anti-SLAPP Act, 2018 - 2020

California Building Industry Association

  • Invited Member, Select Conference on Industry Litigation, 1991 - present

Los Angeles County Bar Association

  • Member, Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics, 1988 - present
    Chair, 1991-1992.
  • Member, Committee on Evaluation of Professional Standards, 1991 - 2002
  • Advisor, Los Angeles County Bar Association on legal ethics issues, 1993 - 1998

National Association of Industrial Office Properties, SoCal Chapter

  • Member, Board of Directors, 2000 - 2013
  • Secretary, 2000
  • Treasurer, 2003
  • Programming and Education Liaison, 2001 - 2002

National Association of Industrial Office Properties, Greater Los Angeles Chapter

  • Member, Board of Directors, 1995 - 1999
  • Member Public Affairs Committee, 1995 - 1999
  • Chair, 1996 - 1999

State Bar of California

  • Member, first Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, July 2001- 2014
  • Member, Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, October, 1992 - 1998
  • Vice-chair, 1995-1996
  • Chair, 1996-1997
  • Special advisor, 1997-1998
  • Member, Ethics Subcommittee, Standing Committee on ADR, October 1997 - 2000

Adjunct Professor, University of La Verne College of Law, 2014 (professional responsibility)

Guest Lecturer, University of Southern California Law Center 1990 – 2003, 2009 - 2012

  • (lecturing on real estate purchase and sale litigation and legal ethics for advanced real estate course taught by Professor George Lefcoe and lecture on lawyer conflicts of interest for LLM program legal ethics class taught by Professor James I. Ham)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Supreme Court


J.D., Northwestern University Law School, 1982

B.A., University of Southern California, 1979

at Cox Castle

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