The law governing California real estate investment, development, and secured lending evolves in real time | Lessons from the courtroom battlefront


Kevin is a co-founding partner of Bay Area law firm Patton Sullivan Brodehl LLP. He is a trial and appellate attorney focusing on high-stakes disputes involving “Money and Dirt” (real estate investment, development, and deeds of trust), LLCs, and fiduciary duties.


In an era where most litigation attorneys simply “manage” cases from their desks and rarely advocate inside the courtroom, Kevin’s practice has always focused on winning high-stakes trials, arbitrations, and appeals in forums across California.

He won his first trial the day after he was licensed as an attorney in 1998, won his first appeal three years later, and has served as lead trial and appellate counsel in an array of complex real estate and business cases ever since. His courtroom experience also allows him to diagnose, shape, and favorably resolve many cases before trial.

Kevin has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year from 2012 through 2018 (Thomson Reuters ratings), which is awarded to only 5% of the Northern California Bar.


Kevin focuses on disputes over “Money and Dirt” and also publishes this similarly named blog, which has earned Kevin the distinction of “JD Supra Top Author.” (JD Supra 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards.)

As an Adjunct Professor at U.C. Berkeley School of Law in 2016, Kevin taught Real Estate Transactions and Litigation to advanced JD and MBA students, and he is a regular seminar speaker on real estate, secured lending, and LLC issues.

Kevin solves problems for a diverse set of real estate clients – developers, investors, joint venturers, and owner/operators, often in the form of LLCs, partnerships, and REITs. Cases involve broken contracts (purchase/sale, option, lease, development/disposition, joint venture/owner participation), title and title insurance issues, escrow issues, deed restrictions (including CC&Rs), easements, fraud/nondisclosure, and partition. He also represents select public agencies and private landowners in eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and land use matters.

Kevin has unique and deep experience with secured lending and foreclosure disputes (non-residential). Since 2013, Kevin has served as one of the primary Annual Update Authors for CEB’s leading treatise “Mortgages, Deeds of Trust, and Foreclosure Litigation,” and has spoken at numerous seminars and webinars. In his secured lending practice, Kevin represents a mixture of private lenders, investors, secondary loan and deed of trust buyers, and sophisticated borrowers/guarantors (often developers or investors) in disputes involving promissory notes, loan default, receivership, foreclosure, guarantor liability, and lien priority.


Kevin also handles business disputes and counseling across diverse industries other than real estate, including technology, health care, finance, manufacturing, food & beverage, agriculture, and cannabis. He has written and spoken extensively about LLC issues, including member/manager disputes and fiduciary duties. He also handles claims involving breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, interference, fraud, and business divorce / dissolution.

Kevin also has experience representing fiduciaries charged with administering trusts and estates, and pursuing/defending creditor claims against estates.


Clients and other trial attorneys retain Kevin to handle appeals and writs in California’s courts of appeal.  He has argued in appellate courts throughout the State, and has notched several published, precedent-setting victories (along with many unpublished wins). Kevin takes special pride in getting trial court judgments and orders reversed, and having meritorious claims reinstated.

Kevin served as President of the Appellate Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association from 2004 to 2007, and is a seminar speaker on appellate issues.

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