Andrew W. Schwartz

Andrew W. Schwartz joined Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP in 2005 after 22 years in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where he was head of land use and environmental litigation. Mr. Schwartz is a partner with the firm. His practice areas are regulatory takings, eminent domain, real estate transactions, redevelopment, rent control and land use and real estate litigation.

photo by Liza Heider

Mr. Schwartz has been a frequent participant in takings cases as counsel for parties and as amicus curiae. In June 2010, Mr. Schwartz presented the oral argument before an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, where the City won an important victory for public agencies compelled to defend mobilehome rent control ordinances and other health, safety, and environmental legislation against takings challenges. He was a member of the firm’s winning litigation team in San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco, in which the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that unsuccessful state-court takings claimaints are not entitled to relitigate their claims in federal court. Mr. Schwartz authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the League of California Cities in the Supreme Court regulatory takings case, Lingle v. Chevron. Mr. Schwartz also co-authored an amicus brief on the merits in the Supreme Court takings case Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, involving a challenge to funding legal services for the poor through Interest On Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA). He has argued more than 40 appeals in the state and federal courts and was the lead attorney in more than 20 cases that have resulted in published decisions. Most recently, Mr. Schwartz won a significant appellate victory for the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency in an eminent domain action (SAFCA v. Dhaliwal), where the owner appealed a jury verdict awarding the owner $208,000, where SAFCA’s appraisal was $108,000, and the owner’s appraisal was $1,130,000.

Mr. Schwartz also won a recent victory in a jury trial on behalf of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority in an eminent domain action to acquire a five-story office building for the Transbay Transit Center Project (City and County of SF v. Invesmaster Corp.). The property owner’s appraiser valued the property at $12,000,000; the City’s/TJPA’s appraisal was for $7,700,000. After an eight-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of $7,950,000, only 3% above the City’s/TJPA’s appraisal. The property is needed for the train tunnel and bus ramp for the Transbay Project.

In 1998, Mr. Schwartz co-founded the Community Land Use Project of California, a special project of California's Institute for Local Self Government. The Project assisted local government agencies in preserving an appropriate balance between individual property rights and community interests. Mr. Schwartz regularly consults with the California League of Cities and California State Association of Counties on amicus participation in regulatory takings and eminent domain appellate litigation.

Mr. Schwartz has written numerous articles and books and spoken widely on eminent domain, regulatory takings, and development impact fees. He is a regular presenter on regulatory takings at the annual conference sponsored by Vermont Law School and the civil law conferences of the National College of District Attorneys. From 2000-2005, Mr. Schwartz was an adjunct professor of law at Golden Gate University Law School where he taught a course on Regulatory Takings and Environmental Law. Mr. Schwartz has lectured at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA, and Hastings Law Schools. His publications include:

• Andrew Schwartz, Regulatory Takings and Climate Change, 122:13 S.F. Daily Journal 8 (Jan. 22, 2016)

• Andrew Schwartz, No Competing Theory of Constitutional Interpretation Justifies Regulatory Takings Ideology, 34:2 Stanford Envt’l L. J. 247 (2015)

• Andrew Schwartz, Richard Grosso, Lessons from Koontz, American Planning Association Magazine 9 (July 2015)

• Commentary on Mobilehome Park Owners Failed to State Facial Takings Claim Based on Adoption of Rent Control Ordinance, Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, 2 CAL. ENV. L. RPTR. 106 (2011)

• California CEB, Land Use Practice, with Kenneth Bley, Exactions, Chapter 18

• San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco: Victory for Local Control of Land Use, 10 CAL. ENV. L. RPTR. 421 (2005) and 12 ENV. LAW IN N.Y. 247 (2005)

• Andrew W. Schwartz, Reciprocity of Advantage: The Antidote to the Antidemocratic Trend in Regulatory Takings, 22 UCLA J. of Envt'l Law & Policy 1 (2004)

California Municipal Law Handbook, Contributing Editor, 2003 update

• Douglas Kendall, Timothy Dowling, Andrew Schwartz, Takings Litigation Handbook, Defending Takings Challenges to Land Use Regulation (2000); excerpts from the Takings Litigation Handbook have been reprinted in the September 2000 Zoning and Planning Law Report published by West Group (Vol. 23, No. 8) and the Urban Law Journal

• Andrew Schwartz, William Higgins, Institute for Local Self Government of California, The Basics of Takings Law (1999)

• Andrew W. Schwartz, Overripe Takings Claims Produce Rotten Fruit for Regulatory Agencies, Policy Awareness Quarterly, Center for Government & Public Policy Analysis (Winter 1999)

Mr. Schwartz received the County Counsels’ Association of California Litigation Program Award for 2003, the American Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award 2003, and the Daily Journal California Lawyer of the Year Award (CLAY) for 2006. He has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer for each year since its inception, a designation awarded to only the top 5% of Northern California lawyers. He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America and San Francisco’s Top Rated Lawyers by American Lawyer Media and has received the AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the Golden Gate Chapter of the Lambda Alpha International Honorary Land Economics Society. Mr. Schwartz received his J.D. from UCLA in 1979, where he was on the Law Review, and his B.A. from Stanford in 1976.

Mr. Schwartz is a member of the Bar of the State of California, the United States Supreme Court, and several other federal courts.