Being "green" is one of Farella Braun + Martel's four core values. To meet our green objective, we have adopted formally a firm-wide Environmental Policy committing the firm to sustainability in our business operations. Our program addresses recycling and waste reduction, energy and natural resource conservation, pollution prevention and quantification of our greenhouse gas emissions. We have integrated green efforts into each department - legal and staff - within the firm, which has diverted almost two tons of material from landfills since inception.

FBM was the first major law firm certified as a green business by the San Francisco Green Business Program (2006). We are members of the Bay Area Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) and one of two law firms registered with the California Climate Action Registry. In 2007, FBM won an Acterra Business Environmental Award - the "Susanne Wilson Award for Pollution Prevention/Resource Conservation" in the Medium Company category.

A natural outgrowth of our commitment to a green working and living environment is to provide our clients with the legal resources required to build/redevelop green and stay green. From construction to completion, our lawyers understand the intricacies of the green movement and the laws, regulations and commitments required to accomplish a green commercial, residential or mixed-use development. Our interdisciplinary approach helps clients comply with green requirements, take advantage of appropriate green governmental incentives and optimize long-term economic savings.

Specifically, our environmental, construction, real estate and land use practice groups have completed projects from the pre-planning efforts for green developments to ensuring that the occupancy, switch-on of the cogeneration facility or reuse of the brownfield meet the applicable legal requirements to obtain green certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council and other regional certifying agencies.

Environmental

Our Environmental practice advises businesses, developers and land owners how to use or reuse challenging development opportunity sites. Our green efforts in this field include advice on how the design, use and operation on a site can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate air and water quality impacts, limit solid waste and maximize recycling. 

Land Use

The local, state and federal laws applicable to green development are rapidly changing. We have the experience and professional involvement in the community to guide our clients and get their projects up and running. Once development sites are identified, our Land Use team helps clients navigate the myriad building codes and land use regulations that affect the ability to create a green building or operation. We work with local building departments and planning staffs in this specialized area to enhance our clients' ability to obtain approvals in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Construction

To complete our green team's full service capabilities, our construction attorneys draft and negotiate the construction contracts and help clients ensure that the work that was approved by the local jurisdiction is in fact built according to the contracted methods and with the contracted materials. This can include confirming proper site preparation techniques were used and, where necessary, enforcing applicable contract provisions and protections.

Firm Highlights

News

Judge Finds Grounds to Sue California Insurance Commissioner for Refusing to Investigate Industry Fraud in Recent Wildfire Claims

Lawsuit Alleges Insurance Industry Has Illegally Used Unlicensed Out-of-State Adjusters to Cheat Victims of 2017 and 2018 Wildfires SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2019: A judge is permitting a survivor of the 2017 Tubbs Fire...

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News

Last Major SF Transbay Tower, Affordable Housing at Risk of Delays

Real Estate/Land Use and Development Partner Charles (C.J.) Higley shares his thoughts on why the 546 Howard St. tower project deserves priority for approval. Read the full article here .

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Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

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Publication

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Publication

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

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Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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Event

Identifying and Preparing Expert Witnesses for Trial

How do you identify the key experts you need for trial? Once you have them, what are the best practices for preparing them for trial? How do these practices vary depending on your venue, and...

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Publication

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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News

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

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