Real Estate, Joint Ventures, Project Finance
Prior to forming Stice & Block LLP, Marc spent more than fifteen years as in-house counsel for a regional homebuilder, serving as the company’s Vice President and General Counsel. In this capacity, Marc played an integral role in the company’s planning, land acquisition, development and construction activities. This experience allows Marc to bring a uniquely business-oriented approach to his clients’ matters. Marc’s practice involves all aspects of the real estate development process, from the initial acquisition of the project property through delivery and warranty of the finished product, including Acquisition/Disposition, Entity Formation, Project Finance, Land Use and Permitting, Sales, Risk Management and Warranty and Workout and Restructuring.
Acquisition/Disposition: The purchase and sale of all types of real property, including, single units, unimproved parcels, entitled or improved lots and improved property such as office building and commercial centers;
Entity Formation: The structure, formation and operation of joint venture and project entities, including limited liability companies, partnerships and incentive development management agreements;
Financing: The structure, negotiation and documentation of all forms of secured and unsecured debt financings for all types of commercial real estate, including acquisition and development loans, permanent and bridge loans, construction loans, conduit loans, ground lease financing, and mezzanine financing;
Land Use and Permitting: Acquisition of land-use entitlements, including discretionary approvals such as CEQA review, General Plan and zoning amendments and tentative maps from local agencies and regulatory permits from regional, state and federal agencies;
Sales: Structure of homeowner association documents, acquisition of public reports from the Department of Real Estate and the preparation and issuance of sales documents; Risk Management and Warranty: Structure of project insurance policies, including Owner Controlled (Wrap) policies and preparation of warranty documents and dispute resolution; and Workout and Restructuring: Development and implementation of work-outs, restructuring and foreclosure relating to real estate investments of all types, including the enforcement of remedies under related agreements.
Marc graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1993 and received his law degree from Pepperdine University with honors in 1996.
Stuart I. Block
Environmental Law, Redevelopment, Urban Infill
Stuart’s practice focuses on environmental law, particularly brownfields and urban redevelopment. He represents developers, land owners, manufacturers, municipalities, trade groups and high technology companies in the context of real estate due diligence, property acquisition, remediation, redevelopment, project permitting and environmental litigation, including cost recovery under state and federal law. Prior to forming Stice & Block LLP, Stuart spent more than 20 years at two of California’s most respected environmental and real estate specialty firms.
Stuart has served as an elected member of the Executive Committees of both the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is a past Chair
of the Barristers Committee on Environment and Real Estate Law and currently serves on the Government Affairs Committee of the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area. In addition, Stuart was appointed by the Director of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and currently serves as a member of DTSC’s Brownfield Revitalization Advisory Group.
Stuart graduated from the UCLA School of Law (J.D. 1992), where he served as Articles Editor of the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. He received a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University with honors in 1989. Stuart also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Harry Hupp of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Stuart was an associate then a partner with Beveridge & Diamond LLP from 1992 to 2000 and a partner with Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP from 2000 to 2013.
Stuart’s published articles include: “Environmental Issues in Retail Leasing,” Retail Leasing (2007), California Continuing Education of the Bar; “Environmental hazards: it’s buyer beware or pay a hefty price later – 10 steps you can take to protect yourself in a deal,” East Bay Business Times, Nov. 2005; The Polanco Act: Unlocking Property Value in Urban Areas, Builder Digest, Dec 2000; The Legal Framework for Brownfield Redevelopments in California: A Practical Guide for Sellers and Other Potentially Responsible Parties, California Environmental Law & Remediation Reporter, June 1999, with J. Hernandez and E. Lake.
Stuart has been elected a Northern California Super Lawyer every year from 2007 through 2015.
Real Estate, Commercial Transactions
Matthew Berrien provides clients knowledgeable representation and practical advice in real estate and business matters.
In practice since 1998, Matt advises and represents companies and individuals in a wide array of real estate and business transactions. He represents sellers and purchasers in the acquisition and sale of commercial property, developers securing land use entitlements, lenders and borrowers structuring financing transactions, and landlords and tenants negotiating office, industrial and retail leases. He also assists companies and individuals forming and operating business entities and joint ventures.
Mr. Berrien is admitted to practice in California and Colorado. He is a member of the Real Property Law and Business Law sections of the State Bar of California, and has lectured at legal education seminars on office, industrial and retail leasing. He received his law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
David C. Smith
Land Use, Natural Resources, Regulatory Counseling
David Smith represents individual land development and conservation companies as well as the industry at large in a broad array of land use, entitlement and regulatory contexts. His areas of legal expertise include land use and entitlement laws and regulations at all jurisdictional levels, especially climate change (e.g., SB 375 and AB 32), water supply (SB 211 and SB 610), the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and California’s Planning and Zoning law.
In addition to his job responsibilities, Mr. Smith has published many articles on issues of concern for development and conservation interests, including Endangered Species Act compliance and policy,
water supply, storm water quality and regulation, and anti-growth litigation. Mr. Smith has also lectured throughout the nation, including the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, UCLA, the University of Southern California, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center.
Mr. Smith received his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1988, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from Pepperdine University in 1995. Additionally, Mr. Smith served as a judicial extern for the California Supreme Court.
Mr. Smith resides in Southern California with his wife and three children.
Nicole M. Martin
Environmental, Land Use
Nicole M. Martin is an associate at Stice & Block LLP. Nicole advises clients in connection with environmental and land use issues in real estate acquisition, development and management. Nicole also represents clients in regulatory enforcement actions and private litigation under federal, state and local environmental and land use laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law.
Before becoming an attorney, Nicole spent approximately two years as an environmental consultant and more than three years as a project manager for a San Francisco-based non-profit organization, where she negotiated and secured countywide permits and approvals from federal, state, and local regulatory agencies for voluntary restoration projects on private lands. Prior to joining Stice & Block, Nicole was an associate with Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp.
Nicole’s published articles include: “Ruling Complicated Use of CEQA’s Categorical Exemptions,” Daily Journal (March 2015), with Donald Sobelman, “Federal Preemption May Be The Key For Calif. Railroads,” Law360 (Nov. 2014), with Donald Sobelman,“Beach Access Case Nowhere Near Done,” Daily Journal (Oct. 2014), with John Barg, “Best Practices for Maintaining Corporate Separateness,” Corporate Counsel (June 2014), with Steven Lewis, “SB 743: Tinkering with CEQA For the Future,” Daily Journal (Jan. 2014), with Donald Sobelman, and “A Powerful New Tool for Brownfield Cleanup,” Daily Journal (Oct. 2013), with Chris Jensen.
Kathy has spent more than 15 years working as a real estate paralegal, both in-house and with outside counsel. Her work includes extensive experience with real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of all types of real property, including unimproved parcels, entitled and improved lots and fully developed property.
Kathy obtained her B.S. and Paralegal Certificate from San Francisco State University and is a Notary Public.