Rick Jarvis is one of California’s leading land use and public law litigators. With over two decades of litigation experience, Rick has handled over 100 cases in California and federal courts, primarily defending cities and other public agencies against claims brought under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Planning and Zoning Law, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Subdivision Map Act, and other land use and municipal laws, as well as regulatory takings and landowner civil rights claims.
Rick also advises his clients on land use issues during the planning and public hearing process, reviewing and “bullet-proofing” CEQA documentation and working with city attorneys and planning staff in order to minimize litigation risks in the first place. Rick is active with the League of California Cities, including preparation of several amicus briefs and presenting the Land Use and CEQA Litigation Update at some of its conferences.
Rick has extensive experience handling writs (at both the trial and appellate levels) and appeals, and is a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Given his expertise in both appellate and public agency law, the Judicial Council of California often retains Rick to represent various superior courts in appellate writ matters.
Rick received his law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law in 1991 and then served for one year as a law clerk to former Federal Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil in the Northern District of California. For nearly every year since 2006, Rick has been selected by Law & Politics for inclusion in its annual list of “Super Lawyers” in Northern California, which seeks to list the top 5% of lawyers in Northern California through a process of independent evaluation and peer review.
Published court decisions in which Rick played a lead role include:
Published CEQA Cases
- Latinos Unidos de Napa v. City of Napa (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 192
- Clover Valley Foundation v. City of Rocklin (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 200
- Latinos Unidos de Napa v. City of Napa (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1154
- Watsonville Pilots Ass’n v. City of Watsonville (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 1059
- Tracy First v. City of Tracy (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 912
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. City of Turlock (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 273
- Stanislaus Natural Heritage Project v. County of Stanislaus (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 182
Published Land Use and Environmental Cases
- Lockaway Storage v. County of Alameda (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 161
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. City of Turlock (E.D.Cal. 2007) 483 F.Supp.2d 1023
- Ailanto Properties, Inc. v. City of Half Moon Bay (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 572
- Ashoff v. City of Ukiah (9th Cir. 1997) 130 F.3d 409
- Building Industry Assn. v. City of Livermore (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 719
- Alameda County Land Use Assn. v. City of Hayward (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 1716