The beachfront resort City of Santa Monica (population approx. 90,000) is minutes north of the firm. Santa Monica is also home to many celebrities and is experiencing an influx of high tech companies. Attractions include the Santa Monica Pier, built in 1909 and renovated by a firm client in the 1990s, the Palisades overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Ocean Avenue with its fine restaurants and Main Street with its eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Santa Monica also is the home of The Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. The Third Street Promenade originated in the 60s and has been redeveloped several times. The Promenade hosts the largest and oldest organic farmer’s market on Wednesday and Saturday. Santa Monica Place was designed by Frank Gehry and Gruen Associates. First opened in 1980, it was redesigned in 2010 to include a massive dining deck, a Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s.
The past 20 years has seen the redevelopment of Ocean Avenue with a series of high end hotels and restaurants that have dramatically increased the employment and tax base of Santa Monica.
The many years of expertise of the Firm in the area of construction litigation make it a great contributor to the past, present and future of Santa Monica. The Firm handled, and ultimately resolved, major, multi-party litigation involving the construction of Shutters Hotel in the mid 90s. That litigation involved arbitration, a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court, and complex bankruptcy actions. The Firm also represented the construction manager who redeveloped the Santa Monica Pier, revitalizing it from its run-down seedy atmosphere into the family-friendly venue that exists today. The Firm’s representation of the Shutters’ matter resulted in a published Ninth Circuit opinion making new law to the effect that the fees of a construction manager are entitled to priority in bankruptcy. The Firm has also represented sellers, buyers and realtors involved in Santa Monica real estate, and has represented parties with land use problems in Santa Monica including disputes with homeowners’ associations and the City.
Ten minutes from the Firm is Santa Monica College, first opened in 1929, and now, serving over 30,000 students in more than 90 fields of study. Santa Monica College boasts the largest international student enrollment of any junior college in the US, with approximately 3,000 students from more than 100 countries.
The Firm is skilled in many aspects of education law, including employment, charter school litigation, age, sex and race discrimination, and other matters, having represented students, teachers and administrators in many capacities over the years. The Firm has successfully contested the late and retaliatory transfer of a principal from a large high school to a middle school, and has settled varied claims by six teachers against the LAUSD. The Firm also contested, through a writ proceeding, the conversion of Birmingham High School to a charter school. The writ proceeding raised so many important issues concerning the method by which the charter conversion had been achieved, the finances of the charter school, and its leadership, that the LAUSD is investigating revoking the charter and the charter corporation has changed leadership.