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Dean N. Alterman

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Real Estate Attorney in Portland, OR

Alterman Law Group PC
805 Southwest Broadway, Suite 1580
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-517-8200
Fax: 503-517-8204
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2010, 2022
Licensed in Oregon Since: 1989
Practice Areas: Real Estate: Business, Business/Corporate, Land Use/Zoning, Estate Planning & Probate
Languages Spoken: English, French
Attorney Profile

Dean Alterman's 30-plus years in law began with 17 years as an associate and partner in larger law firms.  Since 2006, when he opened the predecessor of Alterman Law Group in Portland, Oregon, he has focused his practice on real estate, land use, family businesses, and estate planning, serving and advising clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.  He brings an extensive and varied range of experiences to his practice, including eight years on the Multnomah County Planning Commission (and three terms as its chairman), eight years in real estate sales, five years as a director of a community bank, and many civic involvements. The firm's extensive commercial real estate practice includes advising buyers, sellers, borrowers, landlords, and tenants of commercial and industrial real estate, owners of multifamily apartment projects, and investors in developable land.  The firm's business practice deals with the problems and opportunities of family businesses and their owners.

Outside of his practice, Mr. Alterman regularly writes and lectures on real estate topics. He is active in Portland's civic life and currently serves as president of the Japan-America Society of Oregon.  He is a past president of Portland Piano International and the Portland Japanese Garden, a past trustee or director of Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (the Rosemary Anderson Middle and High School) and The Catlin Gabel School, and a past chairman of the Multnomah County Planning Commission. 

Mr. Alterman is an active member of the Oregon State Bar and the American Bar Association. He belongs to the Real Property, Trusts and Estate law section of the American Bar Association and serves on the section’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He has held leadership roles in both organizations over the course of his career.

Mr. Alterman is admitted to practice in the state courts of Oregon and Washington and in the federal courts for the Western District of Washington.  He received a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Harvard College and earned his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School, where he was managing editor of the law review.

Practice Areas
  • 60%Real Estate: Business
  • 20%Business/Corporate
  • 10%Land Use/Zoning
  • 10%Estate Planning & Probate
Focus Areas

Condominiums & Cooperatives, Mortgage & Refinance, Business Formation and Planning, Limited Liability Companies, Sub-chapter S Corporations, Contracts, Business Organizations, Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills


3 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2010, 2022

About Dean N. Alterman

First Admitted: 1989, Oregon

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Chair, Commercial Real Estate Transactions Group of the Real Property, Trusts & Estates Section of the American Bar Association
  • Member, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association, 2014-2019
  • Speaker, "Drafting, Negotiating, and Challenging Land Use Findings," Oregon State Bar Real Estate and Land Use Fall Forum, November 14, 2014., 2014
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Real Estate and Land Use Section of the Oregon State Bar, 2003-2006
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the Oregon State Bar, 2007-2010
  • Washington
  • Chair, Committee on Purchase and Sale, ABA Real Property, Trusts and Estates section (2008-2012)
  • Oregon
  • Chair, Design and Construction Committee of the Real Property, Trusts & Estates Section of the American Bar Association (2013-2017)
  • Director, Bank of Vancouver (1992-1998); and its holding company Vancouver Bancorp (1994-1996)
  • Chair, Committee on Brokers and Brokerage, ABA Real Property, Trusts and Estates section (2005-2008)

Representative Clients

  • Channel Investors; Courtyard Properties; Fubonn Shopping Center LLC; Hallmark Inns & Resorts, Inc.; Indoor Billboard / Washington, Inc.; Millbank Materials USA Ltd.; Security Properties; TMT Development Company, Inc.; United Western Supply Co.; Viking Properties

Educational Background

  • A.B. in statistics, Harvard College, 1981

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Also admitted in Washington, 2010


  • Mackenzie v. City of Portland, Oregon LUBA No. 2014-089: intervened in support of the Portland Japanese Garden against an appeal of a city decision approving the Garden's expansion project; with the Garden's counsel, prevailed on all issues., 2015
  • Defended landowner in two related condemnation cases; settled both cases two weeks before trial for 38 times the government's self-described "best and final offer" plus full recovery of the landowner's attorney fees., 2018

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Director, University Club of Portland (2019-2022); Vice President (2020-21)., 2019
  • Trustee, Portland Civic Theatre, 1990-1994; President, 1992-1994
  • President, Japan-America Society of Oregon (2019-2021), 2019
  • Member, Multnomah County Planning Commission (1983-1991), and chairman, 1984-1986
  • Trustee, Public Advocates for Student Arts, 2000-2004
  • Member, Advisory Board, Portland State University Center for Japanese Studies, 2010-Present
  • Member, Metro Natural Areas Program Performance Oversight Committee, 2009-2016
  • Trustee, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (1985-2005)
  • Trustee, The Catlin Gabel School (1989-1992)
  • Board member, Portland Piano International; president (2015-2017), 2014
  • Board member, Japanese Garden Society of Oregon (2005-2014); president-elect, 2009-2011; President, 2011-2013
  • Director, Japan-America Society of Oregon (2009-2022)


  • Oregon counsel to purchaser of $60 million apartment complex, 2019
  • Represented trustee of employee stock ownership plan (hospitality industry) in the formation of the plan, 2016
  • Represented sellers of $30 million portfolio of senior housing properties, 2018
  • Represented selling shareholders in forming and funding an ESOP for a natural foods and grain-milling company, 2010

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • In this book (my second), I set out the fundamentals of the law of easements.  Building on those fundamentals, I describe how to draft easement agreements, both generally and for specific types of easements, including driveway and access easements, view easements, utility easements, and conservation easements., Book Author, How To Draft Easements, American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Section, Real Estate, 2021
  • This book, part of a series published by the American Bar Association, collects my advice on how newer practitioners can start and build a real estate law practice., Author, How to Build a Real Estate Law Practice, American Bar Association, 2015
  • In my speech and written materials I explained how to work with planning staff to draft findings of fact and conclusions of law to support local land use decisions, and how to challenge findings of fact and conclusions of law when appealing decisions to the state Land Use Board of Appeals., Speaker, Drafting, Negotiating, and Challenging Land Use Findings, Real Estate Development, 2014
  • Co-presented discussion of the ethical rules that govern attorneys representing borrowers and lenders in residential and commercial foreclosures.  , Speaker, Ethics in Foreclosures, American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estate Section Spring Symposia, 2012

Industry Groups

  • Commercial And Retail
  • Hotels/Hospitality
  • Multifamily
  • Real Estate Investment
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Office Location for Dean N. Alterman

805 Southwest Broadway
Suite 1580
Portland, OR 97205

Phone: 503-517-8200

Fax: 503-517-8204

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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