Neil M. Popowitz

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Land Use & Zoning Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

Freilich & Popowitz LLP
 | 10580 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 56
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: 800-549-1184
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1989
Practice Areas:
  • Land Use/Zoning (40%),
  • Business/Corporate (30%),
  • Real Estate: Business (30%)
Attorney Profile

As managing partner at Freilich & Popowitz LLP, Neil M. Popowitz is committed to representing individuals and businesses in Los Angeles, California. He focuses his practice on handling real estate and business cases that involve matters such as land use, planning and zoning.

In 1985, Mr. Popowitz received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California at Berkeley. He then graduated with a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. To broaden his knowledge and provide more in-depth counsel to his clients, Mr. Popowitz went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from The University of Southern California in 2004.

For decades, Mr. Popowitz has been advising clients regarding a variety of business law and land use issues. He counsels senior management to aid them in developing strategies to mitigate risks. Using his legal savvy and business acumen, he knows how to negotiate complex agreements. Mr. Popowitz has extensive experience navigating oil and gas ordinances, green land development codes and claims surrounding the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. His clients include government agencies, landowners and Fortune 500 companies.

In acknowledgment of his successes providing counsel in business, real estate, and land use and zoning matters, Mr. Popowitz holds an Avvo "Superb" rating.

A published author and frequent guest lecturer, Mr. Popowitz enjoys an active role in the legal community. He is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's State and Local Government Law Practice Section; the Santa Monica Bar Association; the San Fernando Valley Bar Association; the Federal Bar Association; the American Bar Association's State and Local Government Law Section and its Environment, Energy, and Resources Section; and the US Court of Federal Claims Bar Association.

When he is not at his practice, Mr. Popowitz serves as founding director of the Clean Technology Council, a nonprofit organization.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Land Use/Zoning (40%)

Business/Corporate (30%): Business Formation and Planning, Contracts

Real Estate (30%): Condominiums & Cooperatives

Focus Areas

Business/Corporate: Business Formation and Planning, Contracts

Real Estate: Condominiums & Cooperatives

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 2 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2017

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White Papers

  • What to Think About When Incorporating Your Business (2015) - While simple incorporations can be done online and at a nominal cost, if your business involves more than one person, real thought needs to go into the decision making process.

  • Form Non-Disclosure Agreements Aren’t worth the Paper they are Printed On (2015) - It is pretty rare these days for someone in business not to have been asked at one point or another to sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. Everyone who thinks they’ve come up with the “next big thing” walks around toting blank NDAs, thinking it will keep their new version of sliced bread safe. 99% of these aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

  • What to Look Out For When Leasing Retail Space (2015) - There are many factors to consider when leasing a retail space for your business. Most of these are dependent on the location of your new work space. Here are some tips you may want to follow to make sure your venture is successful.

  • What to Look Out For When Leasing Office Space (2015) - An office space lease should be carried out only after considering the location, accessibility, commutability, budget, additional costs, loopholes in agreement, etc. Making an informed decision will save you money and ensure smooth operation of your business.

  • What to Look Out for When Leasing Industrial Space (2015) - Leasing industrial space requires ample planning, such as preparing the location for expansion, additional power requirements, etc. Here are some things you should look out for when leasing an industrial space.

  • What to look out for in a Commercial Property Purchase Agreement (2015) - When buying a commercial property, there are many factors about which you must be cautious. Commercial Property Purchase Agreements are complex and it is easy to miss some points.

  • Employees versus Independent Contractors (2015) - Whether someone is an IC or an employee is a question of law based on an objective test. The rule of thumb is that an individual is an IC if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done; if the payer controls what will be done and how it will be done, the person doing the work is an employee. 

  • Why it is Important to have an Employee Handbook (2015) - An employee handbook is a book containing companies’ information, policies and procedures. It is handed over to employees by their employers. It contains a written ‘induction’ for employees before they join the company. Here are some of the reasons why they are important and why you should get them as soon as possible.

  • Typical Buy Sell Agreement Pitfalls (2015) - It is important for every partnership to have a buy-sell agreement, and it is imperative that a buy-sell agreement be carefully prepared to ensure each partner get his or her fair share of profits. 

  • Economic Advantages of Green Development (2015) - Making the business case for green development to developers and investors with short-term investment horizons, who typically look to sell a project upon completion or after lease-up, and therefore do not have time to recoup green building cost premiums from long-term operational costs savings.

  • California’s Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program Delayed for Buildings under 10,000 Square Feet until July 1, 2016 (2015) - The State of California passed Assembly Bill 1103[i] back in 2007, mandating that owners of non-residential buildings not only input their building’s energy consumption numbers (and other data) into the EPA’s Energy Star system, but also disclose that information to buyers, lenders and lessees of the entire building. The disclosure must be made to buyers or lessees at least 24 hours before execution of the sale or lease contract, and must be made to lenders at the time the loan application is submitted.

  • About Neil Popowitz

    Admitted: 1989, California

    Professional Webpage: www.freilichpopowitz.com/About/Neil-M-Popowitz.shtml

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • American Bar Association, Member, Section of State and Local Government; Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Section of Intellectual Property Law; Section of Litigation; and Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.
    • United States Court of Federal Claims Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association; Member, Section of State and Local Government; Member, Amicus Briefs Committee
    • Santa Monica Bar Association
    • San Fernando Valley Bar Association
    • United States District Court, Southern District of California
    • United States District Court, Northern District of California
    • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
    • United States Court of Federal Claims
    • United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeal for the 8th Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit
    • United States District Court, Central District of California
    • State Bar of California, Member, Section on Public and Land Use Law

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Founding director of the nonprofit "Clean Technology Council"

    Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

    • The need for local zoning to address the impacts of drilling and fracking for oil and gas resources is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. This Seminar focused on the need for local government regulation of oil and gas fracking, drilling, and production to avoid preemption and fill the vacuum left by less than comprehensive federal and state regulation. The Seminar: (1) demonstrated that federal and state preemption of local government activity arising from mining and oil and gas extraction is not currently the majority rule in the United States; and (2) provided numerous examples of specific local government oil and gas ordinance provisions through land use planning and implementation techniques., Speaker, Hydraulic Fracturing: How Local Communities Can Use Planning and Zoning to Mitigate the Worst Consequences of the Fracking Boom, Clean Technology Council, 2014
    • The need for local zoning to address the impacts of drilling and fracking for oil and gas resources is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. This Webinar focuses on the need for local government regulation of oil and gas fracking, drilling, and production to avoid preemption and fill the vacuum left by less than comprehensive federal and state regulation. The Webinar: (1) demonstrates that federal and state preemption of local government activity arising from mining and oil and gas extraction is not currently the majority rule in the United States; and (2) provides numerous examples of specific local government oil and gas ordinance provisions through land use planning and implementation techniques., Speaker, Municipal Options for Controlling Fracking: How Local Communities Can Use Planning and Zoning to Mitigate the Consequences of the Fracking Boom, Municipal Sustainability Forum, Sustainable Cities Exchange eWorkshop, 2014
    • A growing number of California cities and counties, acting under the authority of the current oil and gas statute, S.B. 4, California Public Resources Code, Section 3690 have, or are moving to ban all oil and gas drilling and fracking from their jurisdictions. This article  analyzes: (1) whether cities and counties are preempted from banning all oil and gas drilling and fracking pursuant to state preemption and operational conflict doctrines; (2) whether banning all oil and gas drilling and fracking, even if authorized by S.B. 4, would constitutes a taking of lands or leases whose only value lies in oil and gas extraction; and (3) how cities and counties, not banning fracking, can effectively regulate and tax oil and gas drilling and fracking to achieve fiscal balance, economic activity and employment, adequate public facilities and services, affordable housing and protection of environmentally sensitive lands, air and water quality., Co-Author, To Ban or Not to Ban: How California Cities and Counties Can Effectively Regulate Oil and Gas Fracking Activity without the Risk of a Total Ban, The Public Law Journal, 2014
    • The recent boom in oil and natural gas drilling resulting from the technological advance of fracking has overwhelmed many small communities. The need for local zoning to address the impact fees and adequate public facilities dedications is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life.This slideshow/talk demonstrates how local communities can protect themselves from the worst consequences of oil and gas drilling., Speaker, Oil and Gas Fracking: The Santa Fe County Plan and Ordinance, A Model for Local Governments Throughout the United States, Sustainable Cities Exchange, 2013
    • The recent boom in oil and natural gas drilling resulting from the technological advance of fracking has overwhelmed many small communities. The need for local zoning to address the impact fees and adequate public facilities dedications is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. The panel discussed details regarding how local New Mexico communities have used land use and zoning laws to protect themselves from the worst consequences of oil and gas drilling without running afoul of federal and state preemption., Panelist/Speaker, Fracking in New Mexico, American Bar Association, Section of State and Local Government Law, Fall Meeting, 2013
    • As states require utilities to meet portfolio standards ranging from 10% to 33% renewable energy production, an enormous market is available through city installation of solar panels on residential and commercial buildings. This market avoids bringing electrical transmission from remote large scale wind and solar facilities. Cities gain by the sale of renewable energy credits and property owners benefit by paying for the systems through the "negawatts" saved from rising electric utility rates., Speaker, Revenue Streams for Cities and Counties in Supplying Renewable Solar Energy for Commercial and Residential Markets, Sustainable Cities Exchange, 2013
    • The U.S. Supreme Court's recent pronouncements in the highly contested five to four decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District essentially prohibits ad hoc, non-legislative conditioning of applications for development approval that do not meet the "nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests of Nollan and Dolan regardless of (1) whether by monetary exaction or dedication of land; (2) whether the application is approved with such conditions or denied for failure to agree to such conditions; or (3) for infrastructure or mitigation of environmental harm. This article addresses how local governments may move forward in a post Koontz world while maintaining flexibility in planning and development., Co-Author, How Local Governments Can Resolve Koontz's Prohibitions on Ad Hoc Land Use Restriction, American Bar Association/The Urban Lawyer, 2013
    • The recent boom in oil and natural gas drilling resulting from the technological advance of fracking has overwhelmed many small communities. The need for local zoning to address the impact fees and adequate public facilities dedications is critical to maintaining health, welfare, and the quality of life. The article details how local communities can protect themselves from the worst consequences of oil and gas drilling without running afoul of federal and state preemption., Co-Author, Oil and Gas Fracking: State and Federal Regulation Does Not Preempt Needed Local Government Regulation - Examining the Santa Fe Oil and Gas Plan and Ordinance as a Model, American Bar Association/The Urban Lawyer, 2012
    • This first decade of the 21st century has generated unprecedented levels of environmental awareness and activity around the globe. Although this focus on sustainability has been championed by environmentalists and concerned citizens acting on civic imperatives—and may have been viewed until recently as a fad by developers—the economic reality of global warming has now taken hold. Land, especially within job-producing regions, is the ultimate nonrenewable resource. If built under sprawl development patterns, unsustainable burdens on the environment and public infrastructure and the loss of environmentally sensitive open space and agricultural lands will become intolerable. The inevitable result is that the sustainability movement will continue to build momentum and manifest itself in the priorities of governments, citizens, consumers, developers, and the industrial-commercial complex., Co-Author, The Umbrella of Sustainability: Smart Growth, New Urbanism, Renewable Energy and Green Development in the 21st Century, American Bar Association/The Urban Lawyer, 2010
    • This is the story of a chemist who invented a revolutionary new nanotechnology product for a mature and declining industry he initially wasn’t interested in and wanted nothing to do with; and how he got the company funded by going to an old, stodgy company that just happened to have a CEO who recognized that his company and perhaps the entire U.S. textile and apparel industry was going to fail if he didn’t reinvent how they were going to do business in the 21st Century., Author, Nano-Tex: How an Accidental Startup Got Funded, Perfected its Product and Saved Not Only Burlington Industries, but maybe the Entire U.S. Textiles/Apparel Industry, University of Southern California Technology Commercialization Alliance, 2003
    • Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 encourages the settlement of litigation without trial. The statute punishes an intransigent party who refuses an offer to compromise and then fails to obtain a more favorable judgment at trial. Thus the statute adds a new dimension of danger to settlement negotiations. A party who refuses a Section 998 offer must accept not only the ordinary risks inherent in trial but the additional risk that a significant penalty may be imposed should the trial not conclude as anticipated., Author, Compromising Positions: The Good Faith Requirement of Section 998 Offers to Compromise is Judged Case by Case , Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, 1995

    Verdicts and Settlements:

    • Bond v. U.S., 934 F.Supp 351 (C.D. CA 1996)
    • Chang v. Formost Power Equipment Corp., 2002 WL 31831667
    • Kirk-Hughes Development, LLC for Planned Unit Development Chateau De Loire v. Kootenai Board of County Commissioners, 237 P.3d 652 (Idaho 2010)
    • Alto Eldorado Partnership v. Santa Fe County, 634 F.3d 1170 (10th Cir. 2011) cert. denied 132 S.Ct. 246 (2011)
    • Stueve Bros. Farms, LLC v. U.S., 107 Fed.Cl. 469 (2012)
    • Stueve Bros. Farms, LLC v. U.S., 105 Fed.Cl. 760 (2012)
    • Stueve Bros. Farms, LLC v. U.S., 737 F.3d 750 (Fed.Cir. 2013)

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Volunteer mentor with the USC/Marshall School of Business Career Advantage Program, Nominated “Mentor of the Month” for February 2006, 2007
    • Member, Board of Directors, Association of Corporate Counsel – SoCal Chapter, 2007
    • Co-Founder and Member, Board of Directors, Clean Technology Council
    • Member, Board of Directors, USC Alumni Club of the San Fernando Valley

    Educational Background:

    • University of Southern California/Marshall School of Business MBA, 2004
    • Loyola Law School of Los Angeles J.D., 1988
    • University of California at Berkeley A.B., History, 1985
    Office Location for Neil M. Popowitz

    10580 Wilshire Blvd
    Suite 56
    Los Angeles, CA 90024

    Phone: 800-549-1184

     

    Neil M. Popowitz:

    Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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