Law Offices of Dana Dean

Highly Effective and Skilled California Land Use & Real Estate Attorneys

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Firm Overview

Northern California Lawyers Who Know the Path to Your Success
For over 10 years, the Law Offices of Dana Dean has been dedicated to providing outstanding service to our clients. We strive to help you fully understand your legal issues and develop a plan to resolve them in the most efficient and cost-effective ways available. We get to know you so that we may best serve your needs with personal attention and responsive service. You can count on our professional, diligent staff to be there with you through every step of your legal matter.

We represent clients all over Northern California, including Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus and Yolo counties in all matters related to real estate and land use, with primary focus on real estate litigation, neighbor disputes and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). We serve community groups, smart growth developers and corporations with interests in land use development projects and related approvals, all parties in boundary disputes and easement matters, as well as homeowners, real estate agents and brokers in real estate litigation. Individuals and businesses turn to us for compassionate legal assistance and solid advice.

Our firm is dedicated to high-quality service, client care and providing value. We represent a wide variety clients and client groups at the city and county levels during all stages of development processes, including CEQA processes, and before various state agencies considering applications related to other entitlements. We are experienced and knowledgeable in the intricacies of land use law and can handle even the most complex cases. In addition, although we are well known as effective litigation attorneys who successfully resolve cases in court, we are also skilled negotiators who can help you obtain the most favorable settlement for your legal issue. When you choose our firm, you can expect quality legal service with unsurpassed attention to detail and ultimately satisfying results.

Land Use and Real Estate Lawyers at Your Service
We can assist you with:

-Real estate law litigation. We represent homeowners and small business owners in boundary disputes, easements and other neighboring landowner concerns. We also handle real estate fraud actions involving non-disclosure, misrepresentation or other issues related to commercial and residential sales transactions and mortgage lending.

-Land use and planning. We assist small businesses, landowners and neighborhood groups seeking to navigate the complex and often frustrating world of local land use planning. We represent our clients' interests through design review, the CEQA process and other stages of permitting. Our diverse client base includes all manner of landowners from private homeowners and neighborhood interest groups, to large scale industrial or commercial enterprises. We are known for our balanced mix of interests including representation on "both sides of the aisle." We often represent those who seek to influence decision makers and ensure quality development in their neighborhood or business community. We also often advise and represent landowners, especially large parcel owners, who seek local and state agency approvals for their quality developments.
Main Office

Main Office
283 E. H Street
Benicia  CA  94510

Phone
  • 707-747-5206
Fax
  • 707-747-5209
Real Estate
California Real Estate Law
Northern California Real Estate Attorneys Working for You
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Dana Dean in Benicia know the art of the deal. By assertively applying our extensive knowledge about property rights, real estate issues, finance and business, our attorneys can handle all your real estate matters:
- Real Estate Litigation
- Zoning, land use and building permits
- Boundary and easement disputes
- Property sales transactions
- Homeowners associations issues
- Title disputes
- Condominium law

Transaction Lawyers
From offer to sale, we structure buying, selling and construction transactions to further the goals of our clients. When you retain our firm to transact your real estate deal, we:
- Draft or review your sales contract
- Negotiate real estate agreement
- Review your lending documents
- Analyze your deal and rectify potential problems
- Handle land use, zoning and permitting

Real Estate Litigation
To win at trial, a real estate attorney requires substantial knowledge about property laws and civil litigation as well as an aggressive courtroom demeanor. With years of experience, our attorneys possess the specialized knowledge necessary to bring successful resolution to your matter whether in the courtroom or on the courthouse steps.


Negotiators on Your Side
When it is in your best interest to solve a real estate dispute outside the courtroom, our effective mediators guide negotiations to achieve your goals. By retaining an experienced mediator to negotiate your contracts, you can avoid costly, time-consuming mistakes.

Dana Dean

Since opening her law firm in Benicia, California in 2003, Dana Dean has practiced real estate and land use law, focusing on litigation and land use development. Ms. Dean has successfully concluded dozens of cases involving disputed developments and related land use entitlements, as well as transactional, boundary, easement and other traditional real estate claims. She routinely assists and advises clients in Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Yolo and Los Angeles counties.

Ms. Dean has successfully represented neighborhood groups and project developers alike at city and county levels during all stages of the CEQA process and before various state agencies considering applications related to other entitlements. Ms. Dean has also successfully represented plaintiffs, defendants, buyers, sellers, agents and brokers in real estate litigation matters related breach of contract, fraud, non-disclosure and the like.

In 2007, having completed training through the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, Dana began taking mediation assignments from the Solano County Superior Court, with a focus on mediating real estate and other contract disputes. Since then, she has obtained advanced mediation training in local government and land use dispute resolution. With her substantial experience in representing all types of parties in real estate and land use disputes, Ms. Dean brings an experienced, unique perspective to resolving real estate and community land use disputes with empathy and efficiency.

Dana Dean also has a long history of community involvement, with particular focus on health issues and a current focus on children's health and well-being. Having previously served on the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Ms. Dean now serves on the Solano County Board of Education as Trustee for Area 3. In addition, she was recently reappointed to a second four-year term as Commissioner for First Five Solano.


Practice areas
-Real estate litigation
-Zoning, planning and land use
-California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
-Boundary disputes
-Easements
-Quiet title
-Real estate fraud
-Real property acquisitions
-Real property development
-Environmental dispute resolution
-Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
-Environmental litigation
-Brownfields redevelopment
-Real estate mediation
-Adverse possession
-Land acquisitions
-Mixed-use development
-Waterfront development

Admitted
-California and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2003
-U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2007

Education
-John F. Kennedy University, J.D., magna cum laude, 2002

Relevant Work Experience
-Law Offices of Dana Dean, Managing Principal, 2003 Present
-Office of the Attorney General, State of California, Department of Justice, Land and Natural Resource Sections, Extern, 2002
-U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Regional Counsel, Law Clerk, 2002
-Solano County District Attorney, CLS Intern, 2000-2001

Associations & Memberships
-Solano County Bar Association (Member)
-Contra Costa County Bar Association (Member, Real Estate Section)
-Los Angeles County Bar Association (Member)
-American Bar Association (Member, Sections: Environmental; Energy; Resources; Real Property; Litigation)
-State Bar of California (member, sections on: Real Estate Property; Litigation)
-American Trial Lawyers Association
-Consumer Attorneys of California

Boards, Commissions & Elected positions
-Solano County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3, 2013- Present
-Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Trustee, 2008-2013
-City of Benicia, Sky Valley Open Space Committee, Member, 2004-2007
-Affordable Housing Affiliation, Board Member, 2005-2008
-Valero Community Advisory Panel, Member, 2003-2007
-Good Neighbor Steering Committee, Spokesperson, 2003-2013
-Joe Henderson PTG, Board Member, 2000-2004
-Solano County Democratic Central Committee, Member, Vice-chair, Parliamentarian, 2004- Present
California Democratic Party Finance Committee, Member, 2011- Present

Awards
-Recipient, Witkin Award for Academic Excellence (Am Jur), Real Property, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Remedies, Business Associations, 2000, 2001, 2002.
-Paul Harris Fellow

Publications
-Author, "The Residual Exception to the Hearsay Rule: Desperate Last Resort or Forgotten Ninth Circuit Gem-" 1 JFKU Volume 10 (2004).
Education
  • John F. Kennedy University
    Juris Doctorate

Amber Kemble

Of Counsel

Admitted
-California, 2002

Education
-Northwestern School of Law, J.D.
Education
  • Northwestern School of Law
    Juris Doctorate

Venus Viloria Berdan

Venus Viloria Berdan has been an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Dana Dean since 2007. Since that time, Ms. Berdan has been involved in a variety of real estate matters and cases for the firm, including in the areas of real estate litigation, land use law, and real estate transactions. Examples of real estate litigation cases that Ms. Berdan has been involved with include cases dealing with easement and boundary issues, fraud committed by real estate brokers, breach of a construction project contract, and the validity and enforceability of CC&Rs.

Prior to coming to the Law Offices of Dana Dean, Ms. Berdan worked in the areas of general civil litigation, immigration law, and bankruptcy law.

Practice Areas
-Real estate litigation
-Zoning, planning, and land use
-California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
-Easements
-Real estate contracts
-Boundary disputes

Admitted
-California, 2000

Education
-University of California at Los Angeles, J.D.
-University of California at Los Angeles, B.A. in Psychology with Specialization in Asian American Studies

Associations & Memberships
-State Bar of California, (Member of Real Estate Property section)

Relevant Work Experience
-Law Offices of Dana Dean, Associate Attorney (2007- Present)
-Law Offices of Rodel E. Rodis/ Angeles Law, Contract Attorney (2000-2007) / Law Clerk (1997-2000)
-San Francisco County Superior Court, Family Law Division, Summer Law Clerk (1995)
Education
  • University of California at Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate
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