David Preiss is a San Francisco attorney and a member of the firm's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Practice Group. His practice focuses on land use, real estate and surface mining law. For more than 30 years, Mr. Preiss has represented private and public sector clients in zoning and other land use permitting matters for new and existing projects and related land use litigation, as well as real property purchase, sale, leasing and easement transactions. He previously served as vice-president-counsel for a regional developer of large mixed-use residential, golf course and commercial projects. He also concentrates in California surface mining permitting, reclamation and compliance matters, as well as related operations, acquisition, lease and royalty agreements.

Mr. Preiss' recent engagements have included:

  • representing a developer in obtaining land use entitlements and a Disposition and Development Agreement from the city of San Jose permitting site acquisition and development of a 24-story, 1.2 million-plus square feet, mixed-use project in the downtown area of the city, including office, retail, hotel residential and public parking areas
  • advising a foreign-based pension fund and preparing the asset purchase agreement for the fund's recent acquisition of a 10,000-acre portfolio of agricultural properties in the California Central Valley
  • advising the city of Oakland as the landlord on multiple long-term ground leases for the development of trade and logistics uses as part of the $1 billion redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base
  • advising the city of Oakland and helping to negotiate a 10-year stadium license agreement between the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority
  • advising the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary on the sale of its 148-acre campus site in Marin County, Calif., and the acquisition and development of a new satellite campus in the city of Fremont
  • obtaining entitlements for a wide range of residential/commercial/industrial/mixed-use development projects, in both "green field" and "infill" settings, including general plan amendments, subdivisions, rezonings, PUDs, demolition, building and use permits, design review, development agreements, and related review and certifications under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). High-profile projects have included a new acute patient care hospital meeting California's strict seismic safety requirements and redevelopment of an historic office complex in downtown Oakland.
  • providing mining and reclamation permitting and compliance reviews for surface mining and related operations under the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, including aggregate mining and production, concrete and asphalt plants and recycling operations, as well as related royalty agreements and real estate and business purchase and lease agreements
  • handling land use and CEQA litigation matters, both at the California state trial court and appellate levels
  • assisting with general real estate and business transactions, including real and personal property asset purchase and sale, option, exchange, management, lease, credit and security agreements

Mr. Preiss has served as an adjunct professor of land use at the University of California Hastings College of Law.

Representative Experience


  • University of California Davis School of Law, J.D.
  • Williams College, B.A., magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • Behring Global Educational Foundation (BGEF), Board Member, 2022-Present
  • California State Bar Association
  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • Contra Costa Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Real Estate Law, 2019-2023
  • Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2004, 2006, 2009-2019
  • The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate & Construction: Land Use/Zoning, 2012, 2023
  • Phi Beta Kappa


Speaking Engagements