Arthur J. Friedman is of counsel in the firm’s San Francisco office.


Arthur’s litigation and consulting practice encompasses complex commercial, real estate, CEQA, land use, public agency and charter school education matters.

Arthur was recognized again this year for the ninth consecutive year as a Northern California Super Lawyer for environmental and business litigation, and listed among the Best Lawyers in America.

Commercial Litigation:

Arthur’s commercial litigation practice encompasses a broad range of shareholder, partnership and contract disputes, including shareholder derivative actions, joint venture and related partnership disputes. Arthur additionally has extensive experience litigating breach of warranty and other complex contractual disputes. Arthur recently obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for his client following a one-month trial in a complex contract dispute arising from his client’s multi-year design and implementation of new computer systems for a hospital. Arthur presently is representing private and public entities in a variety of complex commercial matters.

Land Use Litigation:

Arthur is widely-recognized as among the most experienced and accomplished litigators in disputes involving California’s Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). For more than 15 years, Arthur has litigated numerous CEQA cases throughout California before the trial courts, Courts of Appeal and California Supreme Court. Arthur served as peer review counsel to assess CEQA litigation risks for investors of the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors stadium projects, respectively. He previously successfully defended the City of Sacramento in defeating CEQA challenges to the Sacramento Railyards Specific Plan, which the Daily Journal listed as among the “Top Defense Verdicts,” as well as the Oakland Zoo in defeating challenges to the Zoo’s plan amendment. Arthur also has represented the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and continues to represent developers throughout California in defending approved large-scale retail, hotel, entertainment, residential and mixed-use projects.

In addition to his expertise under CEQA, Arthur has extensive experience litigating disputes on behalf of developers and cities under California’s Housing Element, SB 35, the Housing Accountability Act and Density Bonus Law. Arthur achieved success in pursuing Housing law claims on behalf of his developer clients in litigation brought against the Town of Los Gatos and the City of Dublin, and is presently defending Housing law claims brought against a municipality.

Arthur recently prevailed on appeal in challenging a municipality’s enactment of a moratorium barring development of all public charter schools. 

Public Agencies:

Arthur represents public agencies, including the cities of Sausalito and Los Altos in a variety of complex matters involving citizens or other public agencies that may arise under contracts, statutes or public interest rights. In addition to litigation, this work includes consultation, peer reviews and independent investigations regarding compliance with the Brown Act and other legal obligations.


Arthur represents the California Charter School Association and various charter schools in various matters arising under California’s Charter School Act and other legal authorities pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of charter schools and their chartering authorities. 



Published Decisions

  • California Charter Schools Association v. City of Huntington Park 35 Cal. App. 5th 362 (2019)
  • May v. City of Milpitas (2013) 217 Cal. App. 4th 1307
  • Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2012) 210 Cal. App. 4th 1484
  • Citizens for Open Government v. City of Lodi (2012) 205 Cal. App. 4th 296
  • Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton (2010) 48 Cal. 4th 481
  • County of Sacramento v. Superior Court (2009) 180 Cal. App. 4th 943
  • Gilroy Citizens for Responsible Planning vs. City of Gilroy (2006) 140 Cal. App. 4th 911
  • Preservation Action Council v. City of San Jose (2006) 141 Cal. App. 4th 1336
  • Bodega Bay Concerned Citizens vs. County of Sonoma (2005) 125 Cal. App. 4th 1061
  • Anderson First Coalition v. City of Anderson (2005) 130 Cal. App. 4th 1173
  • Schnall v. Hertz Corporation (2000) 78 Cal. App. 4th 1144
  • Aerojet-General Corporation v. Transport Indemnity Company(1997) 17 Cal. 4th 38



Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 2018-2024

Northern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers, 2011-2021, 2023-2024

Leading Environmental Practices Lawyer, The Recorder, 2012

Legal 500, 2010




  • "Taking and Defending Expert Depositions," PLI Course Handbook Titled "Taking and Defending Depositions 2011".

  • "Analyzing Climate Change Under CEQA In A Climate Of Uncertainty," Real Property Law Vol. 30 (September 2007).

  • "The Use and Misuse of Motions to Stay the Project In CEQA Litigation," California Real Estate Journal (May 29, 2007).

  • "Attention Developers: Your Tentative Map May Be in Jeopardy - Or May Have Expired," California Real Property Journal (Spring 2004).

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • "Keep Up With The Latest CEQA Developments," Sheppard Mullin CEQA Breakfast Briefing (September 27, 2012)
  • "CEQA: Part II," Select Conference on Industry Litigation, Napa, CA (May 21, 2011)
  • "Taking and Defending Expert Depositions," Practising Law Institute's Taking and Defending Depositions, San Francisco, CA (June 9, 2010)
  • "Deposition Strategy," Practising Law Institute's Taking and Defending Depositions, San Francisco, CA (June 18, 2009)
  • "Policy Initiatives in California", Climate Change and Land Use Conference, Tarrytown, NY (May 5, 2008)
  • "AB 32," presented to American AgCredit, Santa Rosa, CA (2007)
  • "Climate Change and EIS's," CLE International Conference on Climate Change Law, Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (February 28-29, 2008)
  • "AB 32," Law Seminars International Conference on Climate Change Impacts On Land Use Planning and Project Approvals, White Plains, NY (May 5-6, 2008)



J.D., University of Texas, 1992, with honors

B.A., Yale University, 1989, cum laude


  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
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