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Eight Miller Starr Regalia Attorneys Receive Recognition from Best Lawyers in America ©; Arthur F. Coon named Lawyer of the Year in Oakland Land Use and Zoning Law

Related Attorneys: Lance Anderson, Arthur F. Coon, James “Jim” Frassetto, Dana Kennedy, Hans Lapping, Yalda Vahdani, Bryan W. Wenter, AICP
Related Practices: Land Use & CEQA, Land Use - Entitlement, Land Use - Litigation, Land Use - Transactional, Leasing, Environmental

Miller Starr Regalia (MSR), a preeminent California real estate law firm for more than 50 years, announced today that eight of its attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2024 edition of the Best Lawyers in America © list, half of whom have been recognized for at least five years.

Shareholder Arthur F. Coon, Chair Emeritus of Miller Starr Regalia’s Land Use Department and Chair of its Appellate Practice Group, has been named “Lawyer of the Year” in Oakland Land Use and Zoning Law.

Yalda Vahdani was named 2024 “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” in Real Estate Law in San Francisco, and Dana Kennedy was named 2024 “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” in Land Use and Zoning Law in San Francisco.

The MSR lawyers receiving recognition are:

  • Lance Anderson: Real Estate Law (recognized 2018 – 2024)
  • Nadia L. Costa, Land Use and Zoning Law (recognized 2023 – 2024)
  • Arthur F. Coon: Land Use and Zoning Law and “2024 Lawyer of the Year” designation (recognized 2012 – 2024)
  • James M. Frassetto: Real Estate Law (recognized 2008 – 2024)
  • Dana Kennedy: Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch, Land Use and Zoning Law, San Francisco (recognized 2022 – 2024)
  • Hans A. Lapping: Real Estate Law (recognized 2021 – 2024)
  • Yalda Vahdani: Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch, Real Estate Law, San Francisco (recognized 2023 – 2024)
  • Bryan W. Wenter: Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law (recognized 2020 – 2024)

“This group of attorneys has shown an unparalleled dedication to their clients’ interests, providing the highest quality legal services to help them advance their business goals. We are pleased their peers have recognized their talents and included them in this year’s Best Lawyers list,” said Ella Gower, Miller Starr Regalia’s managing shareholder. “We are thrilled at Art’s designation as the land use and zoning ‘Lawyer of the Year’ (Oakland), and the inclusion of Yalda and Dana in the ‘Ones to Watch’ lists. The recognition of each of our team members is well-deserved.”

Coon has distinguished himself as a litigator at the trial and appellate levels of both federal and state courts, including an appearance as counsel of record before the U.S. Supreme Court. His areas of focus include land use, environmental law, the law of public agencies, extraordinary writs, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Art also counsels and advocates for clients who have matters in front of administrative bodies. Art is the principal author of Miller Starr Regalia’s first blog, CEQA Developments – CEQA Developments tracks and offers expert attorney analysis and insights on published case law and statutory CEQA developments and contains 437 posts (and counting) dating from its September 2011 inception to the present.  The blog has been recognized in the Global Top 200 Law Firm Blogs list by Practice Source and House of Butter.

Vahdani’s experience includes commercial leasing, with an emphasis on retail leasing, as well as real property acquisition and disposition.  She also advises franchisors, both established and startup, in developing franchising programs and assists franchisees in negotiating franchise agreements and ongoing legal compliance.

Kennedy advises real estate developers, investors, and other clients on a wide range of land use matters and real estate transactions, including zoning, planning, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Her practice focuses on the processing of entitlements, supervising the preparation and approval of environmental documentation, and negotiating transactional documents associated with land use, project development, and construction, including agreements between private and public entities.

Nearly 114,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), with over 15 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 10.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 66,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”


Media Contact:
Mary Pattara


Miller Starr Regalia
Miller Starr Regalia has had a well-established reputation as a leading real estate and land use law firm for more than fifty years.  For nearly all that time, our firm has written Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 4th, a 12-volume treatise on California real estate law.  We call it “the Book.”  The Book is the most widely used and judicially recognized real estate treatise in California and is cited by practicing attorneys and courts throughout the state.  Our firm has experience in all real property matters, including full-service litigation and dispute resolution services, transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, common interest development, construction, management, title insurance, environmental law, and land use. For more information, visit

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