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Miller Starr Regalia Welcomes Carolyn Nelson Rowan as New Editor-In-Chief of ‘The Book’ on Real Estate Law

Related Attorneys: Carolyn Nelson Rowan , Karl Geier, Ella Gower

Miller Starr Regalia (MSR), a preeminent California real estate and land use law firm for the past 60 years, announced today the return of Carolyn Nelson Rowan, who will serve as the editor-in-chief of legal treatise Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, succeeding longtime editor and shareholder, Karl Geier, when he retires at the end of 2024.


“Returning to MSR feels like a homecoming. After years of teaching and working in a variety of areas related to California real estate law, I am honored and thrilled to take up the responsibility of editing such an important, highly-regarded legal resource,” said Nelson Rowan. “Carolyn’s academic background and practical legal experience in the public and private sphere make her an ideal candidate to carry the legacy of the treatise into its seventh decade of publication”, said Geier.


Nelson Rowan began her legal career at MSR as a summer associate, then was an associate in the firm’s litigation department for five years, litigating and advising clients regarding a range of real estate law issues, with a focus on environmental and land use issues. Most recently, she served as the Chief Counsel of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazzard Assessment (OEHHA), advising the director, executive committee members, and staff on all legal matters affecting OEHHA. Previously, she served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Natural Resources Law Section of the California Attorney General’s Office from 2013 to 2022. In that role, she represented state agencies in complex litigation involving CEQA and environmental issues related to water, air and other natural resources in state and federal court. She also served as an assistant professor of legal research, writing, and analysis at the University of San Francisco School of Law after departing the firm in 2010.


“We are thrilled to have Carolyn back at MSR and are so pleased to see her serve as the editor of ‘The Book.’ Our firm is proud to provide the needed updates on changes to the laws and regulations that impact our work and our lives in the California real estate sector,” said Ella Gower, MSR’s Managing Shareholder.


Often called ‘The Book,’ Miller & Starr is the most widely used reference, often cited by Judges and widely used by real estate lawyers and professionals. It has been cited thousands of times in published decisions at all levels of California state and federal appellate courts, including the California Supreme Court. Subscribers to Miller & Starr include solo practitioners, major national and regional law firms, courts, government agencies and in-house corporate law departments.


Originally a three-volume summary of the law when first published in 1965, ‘The Book,’ currently in its 4th edition, is now 12 volumes and 45 chapters, spanning the entire spectrum of California real estate law including real property, the business of real estate development, finance in California and related areas of federal regulation. The entries are all researched, written and updated by the attorneys of MSR.


The current edition provides in-depth coverage of basic real property issues such as deeds, escrows, title insurance, recording and priorities, deeds of trust and secured land transactions, as well as regulated areas such as the Subdivision Map Act, the Subdivided Lands Act, common interest developments, agency and brokerage law, redevelopment law, eminent domain, CEQA, and environmental law. It also covers real estate transactions and litigation issues such as contract formation, enforcement and remedies, commercial leasing and residential landlord-tenant issues, easements, lender liability, usury, construction law and contracting, liability for defective construction, premises liability, mechanics liens, and many other real estate subjects.

Nelson Rowan will work closely with Geier, the previous editor of ‘The Book,’ over the next year ahead of his retirement to ensure a seamless transition. To learn more about The Book, visit:

Miller Starr Regalia

Miller Starr Regalia has had a well-established reputation as a leading real estate law firm for more than sixty-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