Marc Stice

Marc Stice

Partner
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. Read More >>

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. Further, Marc’s experience in managing the legal affairs of a business allows him to deliver services in a cost-effective and results-oriented manner.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: 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 Block

Stuart I. Block

Partner
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. Read More >>

Stuart I. Block is a founding partner of Stice & Block LLP. Stuart’s practice focuses on environmental law, particularly brownfields and urban redevelopment. 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 represents developers, manufacturers, municipalities, property owners, 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. Stuart also has extensive experience representing clients in connection with California’s Proposition 65. Stuart is active in legislative efforts to facilitate urban redevelopment and was intimately involved in the drafting and approval of the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act (California Health & Safety Code § 25395.60 et seq.)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.


Matthew Berrien

Matthew Berrien

Partner
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. Read More >>

Mr. Berrien’s experience includes the acquisition of vacant land, residential lots, retail centers, office and industrial buildings, agricultural property and former military base property. He has negotiated office, industrial, retail, billboard and cell tower lease transactions within and outside California, representing individuals and companies, both public and private. He left private practice in 2007 to become the assistant general counsel of a land development and home building company in Northern California with mixed-use, in-fill, and large suburban residential development projects within the San Francisco bay area and Sacramento valley. As assistant general counsel, Mr. Berrien was responsible for land use matters, purchase and sale transactions, construction contracting, financing transactions, and office, retail and residential leasing transactions. He returned to private practice in 2010 and counts his former employer among his current clients.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.


Lauren Boro

Lauren Boro

Partner
Real Estate and Project Finance

Lauren brings to Stice & Block, LLP over 25 years of transactional practice dedicated to real estate development and project finance, with a focus on the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience is deep and varied, having served as general counsel for a finance company/investment fund, public home builder and, most recently, a private multi-family developer. These roles, combined with her years of large law firm practice, influence Lauren’s business-minded, practical approach to solving problems and making and closing deals.


David C. Smith

David C. Smith

Partner
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. Read More >>

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Smith has represented individual land development and conservation companies as well as the industry at large in a broad array of land use, entitlement and regulatory contexts. Mr. Smith’s particular 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.Prior to joining Stice & Block, Mr. Smith was a Senior Vice President for DMB Pacific Ventures LLC, a strategic real estate and land use investment company. Mr. Smith’s primary focus was on DMB communities in California, though he also worked on projects in other western states. DMB’s proposed projects represent some of the most dynamic and complex regulatory development and conservation challenges and opportunities in the state.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

Nicole M. Martin

Associate
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. Read More >>

Nicole obtained her J.D., cum laude, in 2009 from UC Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief for the Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy. Nicole received a B.S. in Biology (Ecology, Behavior and Evolution) and a B.A. in Economics from UC San Diego in 1998. Nicole also holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which she earned in 2000.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 Kimura-Barnes

Kathy Kimura-Barnes

Senior Paralegal

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. Read More >>

Kathy has spent more than 15 years working as a real estate house paralegal, both in-house and with outside counsel. She has extensive experience with real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of all types of real property, from unimproved, unentitled dirt, to fully developed property.Kathy manages the formation of project entities and the maintenance of corporate records, resolutions and authorizations. Kathy also frequently acts as the liaison between clients, escrow/title officers and lenders and lender’s counsel for secured financings.Kathy obtained her B.S. and Paralegal Certificate from San Francisco State University and is a Notary Public.