Earlier in his career, Steve actively litigated for property owners and real estate professionals, and was responsible for decisions which heavily influenced the real estate industry.
Easton v. Strassburger (1984) 152 Cal. App. 3d 90, established the modern standard for residential real estate disclosure.
Twain Harte Associates, Ltd. v. County of Tuolumne (1990) 217 Cal. App. 3d 71, is one of the most-cited cases in the area of downzoning.
Floystrup v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (1990) 219 Cal. App. 3d 1309 ended the overreaching practice of ‘administrative’ residential rent withholding orders without the due process protections of notice and hearing.
Since joining Withers, Steve has been the synapse for its West Coast real estate practice, fielding questions and handling needs of dozens of Withers partners around the world. He adds value through ‘cultural competence’, the quality of responding to client requirements from diverse cultures sensitively and appropriately. This is the product of a lifetime of charitable and business endeavors around the world.
State of California, 1973
US Tax Court
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
US District Court, Northern District of California
US District Court, Central District of California
US District Court, Southern District of California
US District Court, Eastern District of California.
‘Qualified Opportunity Zones: Promise Remains (Or Does It?)’ Thomson Reuters’ Taxation of Exempts - November/December 2020, co-author
‘Qualified Opportunity Zones: Promise Remains (Or Does It?)’ Thomson Reuters’ Practical Tax Strategies - November 2020, co-author
‘California’s Proposition 15 to impact owners of non-exempt commercial and industrial real estate,’ Withers Insight - October 26, 2020, co-author
‘Direct Leasing Could Make Subleasing Issues Worse,’ GlobeSt.com - October 14, 2020, quoted
‘Available Sublease Space Continues to Grow,’ GlobeSt.com - August 27, 2020, quoted
‘COVID-19: Opportunities for Prospective Tenants,’ Withers Insight - July 30, 2020, co-author
‘The Art Market Adjusts: Guidance for gallery tenants in the US and UK,’ Withers Insight - March 27, 2020, co-author
‘Nonprofits Partner to Assemble Andreotti Farm,’ Half Moon Bay Review - June 4, 2019, quoted
Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (formation team, charter member)
Board Member, Asian Pacific American Heritage (APAH) Foundation
Board Member, HealthRight 360 Foundation
San Francisco Bar Association and Real Property Section
California Bar Association
California Lawyers Association and Real Property Section
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Community United Methodist Church of Half Moon Bay
‘Qualified Opportunity Zones After Four Years: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly,’ CalCPA Real Estate Conference, Burlingame, CA, November 2021
‘A Top-Down View of US Real Estate Acquisition by Offshore Investors,’ CalCPA International Tax Committee (ITAX), San Francisco, CA, August 2017
Qualified Opportunity Zones (18 presentations since October 2018)
Me in a minute
Life in law for me is generative
Many of my contemporaries have wafted away into retirement (whether restless or happy), volunteer pursuits or unsettled life transitions. Their life in the law is over. Not mine. It’s always been more of a calling for me, a vocational commitment that daily draws on every experience I’ve had and every relationship I’ve nurtured. Life in law for me is generative. It’s daily 360-degree exposure, not just to clients’ needs, but also to the healthy and sustainable growth of this firm, the welfare of its members, a bunch of impactful charities and a community that frequently asks my guidance. I get to give back at this stage of life and, in doing so, I assuredly receive more than I could ever imagine.
Even better, I have a remarkable marriage, four awesome adult children, two grandchildren and an imaginative garden. But I digress. Since law is the topic, in recent years I’ve had the privilege of working with several orders of ‘graying’ Roman Catholic nuns whose organizations are scheduled to dissolve when the last of them passes. I’ve walked them through the monetization of their real estate assets in ways that honor their charisma, give back to the community and provide them needed financial resources as they age. Most notably, I’m approaching the end of a five-year assignment for Sisters of the Holy Family in which we started with 15 acres and an obsolete motherhouse and ended with three 15-bedroom state-of-the-art progressive care residences, a fully-endowed, independently-run 5.5 acre heritage park open to the public and 78 single family homes that paid for it all. The community and the client were thrilled with the result. I was privileged to handle the entire legal end of this for the Sisters, a kind of career tour-de-force including visioning the project, obtaining the entitlements, preparing the purchase and sale agreement and construction contracts and dozens of easements, qualifying the independent owner of the park under IRC Sec. 501 © (3) and drawing a highly refined conservation easement. Everybody won here, a result I strive for whenever I can. That’s the kind of thing I do.