Ballmer & Berkman is an AV-rated law Firm with 13 attorneys,
a redevelopment specialist and support staff. Since its inception
in 1963, the Firm has specialized in providing expert & ethical
legal services to redevelopment agencies, municipalities, development
commissions, special districts and other public entities within
and outside the State of California, primarily in the fields of
municipal and redevelopment law. In connection with this practice,
the Firm also provides legal services in related substantive fields
such as construction law, environmental procedures and determinations
(CEQA and NEPA), hazardous waste litigation and remediation, land
use and general real estate development and finance, the negotiation
and drafting of development agreements on behalf of municipalities,
assessment district creation, surety bonds and public works, municipal
bonds, securitization programs, property taxation and assessments,
affordable and market-rate housing, eminent domain, general municipal
and trial and appellate litigation relating to these subjects.
Firm currently represents approximately three dozen public entities,
mostly redevelopment agencies and cities located in California.
A sample of current active clients of the Firm are Community College
District (Los Angeles), Culver City, Huntington Beach, Inglewood,
Los Angeles, Lynwood, Oceanside, Ontario, Oxnard, Palmdale, South
Pasadena and San Diego. The Firm also engages in the representation
of private clients (generally property owners and/or developers)
with redevelopment and related matters in cities that are not clients
of the Firm.
It is the Firm's overriding objective to assist and provide each
of its clients with the level of activism most appropriate and useful
to the client in order for that client to accomplish its myriad
goals and objectives. This is accomplished by drawing upon the diverse
and varied experiences of the attorneys of the Firm.
Kane, Ballmer & Berkman has expertise in matters important to the implementation
of land use and redevelopment plans, including zoning, general and community
plans, subdivision and tentative mapping; the property and sales tax system;
the conceptual and practical aspects of tax increment financing and the
sharing of property tax by law or agreement among public entities; the
methods of obtaining developer advances and payments for governmental purposes;
bond or assessment districts and various other financial alternatives available
for capital outlays; and real estate debt and equity financing and security.
While our Firm does not act as bond counsel, per se, we have acted
as special counsel for many public bodies with direct involvement in formulating
plans and the essential structure and terms for bond issues. In this capacity
we have been responsible for coordinating the issuance of bonds with the
overall objectives of a redevelopment plan. The Firm has assisted agencies
when they issue tax allocation bonds, certificates of participation, lease
revenue bonds, mortgage revenue bonds and Qualified Redevelopment Bonds.
The Firm has special capabilities in construction law both for transactions
and litigation. It also has broad expertise in environmental law
including state and federal hazardous waste/toxic material liability,
slope stability and earth movement, risk programs, and remediation
guidelines. Moreover, the Firm has substantial experience in handling
environmental matters involving the California Environmental Quality
Act which serves to protect the California environment through the
utilization of certain environmental assessment measures.
The Firm's litigation practice coordinates directly with and facilitates
the transactional activities of our clients. In the area of eminent domain,
the Firm has been able to successfully bring its expertise to bear on various
condemnation and calculation issues peculiar to municipal projects. The
same is true for the various land use, municipal and environmental matters
handled by the Firm. In litigation, the Firm takes a flexible and pragmatic
approach to solving clients' problems. The Firm has handled complex and
precedent setting issues at both the trial and appellate levels of advocacy.
its inception in 1963, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman has maintained ongoing
hands-on experience interacting and interfacing with and attending meetings
of city councils, planning commissions and redevelopment boards for all
sizes and types of communities located throughout California. Such experience
includes attendance at meetings involving no controversial issues and meetings
involving participation by hundreds of citizens. In all of these, the individuals
representing the Firm recognize their function is to provide timely advice
and assistance to assure those meetings are effective, so the necessary
public business can be accomplished as the elected and appointed officials
deem appropriate. The Firm always places an emphasis on finding creative,
innovative solutions to use the maximum amount of flexibility the law and
ethics provide to accomplish a community's goals.