David Friedman

Consulting Counsel
David Friedman


David Friedman is a land use and environment attorney in Holland & Knight's Government Section in the firm's San Francisco office. His practice focuses on the areas of land use and development, state and federal resource policy and regulatory counseling, including zoning, environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), climate policy and regulation.

In addition, Mr. Friedman has experience handling land use and environmental matters involving cap and trade policy, transit, transportation, transportation management associations, park, school and conservation easements, agriculture, endangered, threatened and special status species, wetlands, streams, water law and related state regulation and permitting. His environmental practice also covers issues related to General Plan conformance, amendment and permitting, fees, exactions and mitigation measures required for state and federal Endangered Species Act, CEQA, NEPA, Clean Water Act Section 404 and other permitting requirements, and flood, fire, wildfire, sea level rise and other environmental hazard regulation and permitting. He also has handled the analysis and legal support of project water supply assessments and hydromodification regulation and permitting.

Mr. Friedman began his legal career with a Los Angeles-based law firm, where he was elected partner in 1995. From 1995-1998, Mr. Friedman was president of the resources group of Catellus Development Corporation, a national, publicly traded real estate company, where he managed more than 1 million acres of former railroad land located throughout California.

In addition to his legal work, Mr. Friedman was a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times and to the Los Angeles Downtown News, where he wrote frequently on California and Los Angeles area economics and environmental policy issues. He was executive director of The Metropolitan Water District Blue Ribbon Task Force, which conducted the first outside review of the agency's water and management policies, and has authored studies of the California film industry, national transportation policy, agriculture industry and state business development strategies.

Mr. Friedman was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan, where he completed a book about Japanese economic development, and a National Science Foundation Fellow. In 1999-2002, Mr. Friedman was a Markle Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, writing about the potential downside of America's "new" economy.

Representative Experience


  • UCLA School of Law, J.D.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., Political Economy
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Los Angeles Times, Contributing Editor
  • Los Angeles Downtown News, Contributing Editor
  • The Metropolitan Water District Blue Ribbon Task Force, former Executive Director
  • New America Foundation, Markle Senior Fellow
Honors & Awards
  • Fulbright Fellow