Andrew Sabey is a litigator who specializes in land use and real property disputes.
Andrew helps project applicants, landowners and public agencies resolve disputes arising out of the land use entitlement and permitting process under state and federal laws. He has successfully resolved numerous cases involving California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Planning and Zoning Law, Subdivision Map Act, Development Agreement Law, and related proceedings as well as claims involving property rights, due process, initiative and referenda and water law issues.
Andrew represents clients across a broad spectrum of commercial litigation matters related to real property, property rights, easements, leases, contracts and construction management issues. Regularly appearing in appellate courts throughout California, Andrew has also successfully handled cases before the California Supreme Court, as well as the federal District Courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On behalf of applicant, defeated a CEQA and Water Supply Assessment Law action challenging a 600 acre mixed-use development project.
Represented a master developer in Contra Costa County in enforcing a development agreement against city and redevelopment agency. Case settled favorably after trial court victory.
Following multi-day bench trial, defeated claim of implied dedication of public trails on client’s raw land in Marin County.
California Supreme Court
Friends of Eel River v. No. Coast Rail Auth’y (NWPCo) (2017) 3 Cal. 5th 677, Representing private rail operator in case addressing how federal law preempts application of CEQA to rail operation projects.
California Building Industry Association v. BAAQMD (2015) 62 Cal.4th 369. On behalf of CBIA clarifying that CEQA evaluates impacts of a project on the environment, not the environment’s impacts on a project.
Tomlinson v. Alameda County (2012) 54 Cal.4th 218. Briefed and argued for amicus, and established a duty to exhaust administrative remedies when challenging CEQA categorical exemptions.
California Court of Appeal
California Building Industry Association v. BAAQMD (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 485. On remand from Supreme Court (see cite above) confirming that BAAQMD’s CEQA guidelines exceed statutory authority and must be revised.
Citizens for Sustainable Treasure Island v. San Francisco (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1036. On behalf of affordable housing developer helped defeat challenge to EIR for master plan and new community on Treasure Island.
Picayune Rancheria et al. v. Brown (2014), 229 Cal App 4th 1416, Defeated CEQA suit challenging Governor's decision to allow land to be taken into trust for Indian gaming.
Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. City of Berkeley (2013) 222 Cal.App.4th 768. On behalf of applicant defeated CEQA challenge to mitigated negative declaration for urban infill project.
Wollmer v. City of Berkeley (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1329. On behalf of applicant defended project approvals against Density Bonus Law and CEQA claims.
Tracy First v. City of Tracy (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 912. Defeated a CEQA challenge to regional grocery project approval. Trial court victory affirmed on appeal.
Friends of Lagoon Valley v. City of Vacaville (2007) 154 Cal.App.4th 807. On behalf of an applicant, defeated a challenge to project approvals alleging violation of State Density Bonus laws.
ECOS v. City of Sacramento (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 1018. Defended City in CEQA and California Endangered Species Act challenge to EIR for 17,000 acre habitat conservation plan (HCP). Trial court victory affirmed on appeal.
People v. UPRR (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1228. Defended a manufacturer in an action seeking fines for alleged lime spill. Preemption of state fines affirmed on appeal.
Greystone Homes v. Cake (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 1. Successfully challenged a DIR determination regarding status of project as a public work subject to prevailing wage law.
Feldman v. Bomar 518 F.3d 637 (9th Cir. 2008). Represented The Nature Conservancy in defense of a program to eradicate non-native feral pigs from Santa Cruz Island. Successful summary judgment on NEPA claims affirmed on mootness grounds in the Ninth Circuit.
Natl Wildlife Fed’n v. US Fish & Wildlife Svc. (ND Cal. 2006) On behalf of City defeated federal ESA challenge to Natomas Basin HCP.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. Evans 279 F.Supp.2d 1129 (N.D. Cal. 2003). Represented a coalition of environmental organizations challenging the adequacy of an EIS and related Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act permits evaluating the impacts of widespread deployment of low frequency active sonar by the United States Navy.
- Press Release, Best Lawyers, 8.18.22
- Press Release, Super Lawyers, 8.1.22
- Press Release, Best Lawyers®, 8.19.21
- Press Release, Super Lawyers, 7.7.21
- Press Release, Best Lawyers®, 8.21.20
- Press Release, Super Lawyers, 7.1.20
- Twenty-Nine Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release,
The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.16.19
- Fourteen Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2019 Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Super Lawyers, 7.15.19
- Twenty-Six Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release,
The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.15.18
- Fifteen Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2018 Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Northern California Super Lawyers, 7.13.18
- Twenty-Three Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release, The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.15.17
- Ten Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Northern California Super Lawyers, 7.7.17
- Eleven Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, 7.7.17
- Andrew Sabey Quoted In San Francisco Public Press Article - By Weakening Law, Developers Shift Sea Rise Burden to CitiesNews, San Francisco Public Press, 4.19.17
- News, Daily Journal, 9.20.16
- Eleven Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2016 Northern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Northern California Super Lawyers, 7.8.16
- News, California Planning & Development Report, 12.29.15
- News, Law360, 12.1.15
- News, The Daily Journal, 10.8.15
- News, Daily Journal, 9.24.15
- News, Super Lawyers, 7.7.15
- News, 5.28.15
- News, Law360, 5.4.15
- Press Release, 7.17.14
- News, Daily Journal, 1.14.14
- Press Release, Super Lawyers, 7.1.13
- Twenty-three Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys Are Selected To Be Published In The 2012 Super Lawyers Business EditionPress Release, 9.4.12
- News, Law360.com, 8.10.12
- Eight Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys Are Recognized As 2012 Northern California Super LawyersPress Release, Super Lawyers, 7.6.12
- News, Contra Costa Times, 5.24.12
- News, Los Gatos Patch, 3.26.12
- News, Daily Journal, 1.17.12
- Twenty-three Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys Are Selected To Be Published In The 2011 Super Lawyers Business EditionPress Release, 9.1.11
- News, Daily Journal, 7.12.11
- News, PleasantonWeekly.com, 8.9.10
- Seven Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys Are Recognized As 2010 Northern California Super LawyersPress Release, Super Lawyers, 8.1.10
- Press Release, January 2010
- Press Release, Northern California Super Lawyers, 7.24.09
- Fate of Lagoon Valley Rests in Appeals CourtNews, 08.23.07
- Appeals Court Hears Lagoon Valley DebateNews, 08.23.07
- Seminar, Holland & Knight, San Francisco, CA, 3.9.18
- Conference, Tenaya Lodge, Yosemite, California, 10.22.17
- Conference, Red Lion Hotel, Eureka, CA, 9.15.16
- Seminar, Hilton Concord, Concord, California, 6.10.16
- Conference, Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa, Monterey, California, 5.21.16
- Law Seminars International Presents: 11th Annual Advanced Seminar on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)Seminar, Double Tree Guest Suites Santa Monica Hotel, Santa Monica, California, 9.18.15
- Conference, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, California, 4.24.15
- Conference, Oakland Scottish Rite Center, Oakland, California, 4.9.15
- CBIA's 43rd Select Conference on Industry Litigation11.17.12
- Conference, Concord Hilton, Concord, California, 1.26.12
- Second Court Weighs in on Water Board Powers – This Time Expanding the Scope of Water Board Wetland Permitting AuthorityClient Alert, 1.5.21
- Client Alert, 4.8.20
- Article, Builder and Developer, 6.12.18
- The California Supreme Court Issues Important New Rulings on Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fully Protected Species, and Requirements for California Environmental Quality Act LitigationClient Alert, 11.30.15
- Article, California Planning & Development Report, 10.8.15
- The Decision in Berkeley Hillside: The California Supreme Court Clarifies the Rules for Using Categorical Exemptions Under CEQAClient Alert, 3.2.15
- California Supreme Court Decides CEQA Environmental Review Not Required For Council or Board Adoption of Voter-Sponsored Ballot MeasuresClient Alert, 8.7.14
- Supreme Court Sets Standards for Using Future Environmental Baselines in Environmental Impact ReportsClient Alert, CCN Client Alert, 8.9.13
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 7.25.13
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 4.11.13
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 7.10.12
- California Supreme Court Confirms That Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Required Before Challenging CEQA ExemptionClient Alert, CCN Client Alert, 6.14.12
- Second District Court of Appeal Affirms Agency Discretion to Determine the Baseline for Environmental Impact Review Under CEQAClient Alert, CCN Client Alert, 6.6.12
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 3.22.12
- Client Alert, CCN Quarterly CEQA Case Law Update, February 2012
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 1.13.12
- The Supreme Court Opens The Door To CEQA Suits By Corporations But Finds That Some Projects Are Just Too Small To Have Significant Environmental ImpactsClient Alert, CCN Client Alert, 7.14.11
- Client Alert, CCN Quarterly CEQA Case Law Update, May 2011
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 1.14.11
- Client Alert, CCN Quarterly CEQA Case Law Update, July 2010
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, February 2010
- Client Alert, CCN Client Alert, 9.21.09
Awards & Affiliations
Honors & Recognitions
Best Lawyers, Land Use & Zoning Law, 2018 - 2023
Northern California Super Lawyers, Environmental Litigation, 2006, 2008-2022
BIA Bay Area "Associate of the Year" 2016
East Bay Leadership Council - Executive Committee, Chair of the Board, 2015-2016
Co-Chair, Housing Task Force, 2018-2020
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
J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law, 1992
B.A., St. Lawrence University, 1987