Peter Sandmann

Contract  and other litigation  involving businesses, partnerships and individuals, business and professional partnership dissolutions and disputes, real estate and  land use counsel and dispute resolution,  homeowners’ association counsel and dispute resolution,  employment and academic tenure disputes,  and alternative dispute resolution processes including collaborative law, mediation and arbitration.

Peter Sandmann has more than forty years of experience representing individuals, companies and organizations in an extremely broad range of civil disputes and legal issues. Peter has also served as a mediator, arbitrator and neutral case evaluator for the United States District Court as well as the California Superior Court in San Francisco and Marin Counties and has served as a temporary judge as well as a special master at the request of courts in the Bay Area. Peter has continued to receive the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell, rated “A-V” by his peers (for pre-eminent legal ability and professional ethics)  for more than 25 years,

Peter started his career as a public interest lawyer after graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he was on their prestigious Law Review. During his years as a public interest lawyer, Peter handled trials and appeals  throughout the United States,  in state and federal courts including Michigan and Pennsylvania in the East, Texas in the South, and Washington and California in the West.  His  appellate advocacy included a ground-breaking case of first impression in the United States Supreme Court that established the right of juveniles to receive treatment if they were incarcerated in institutions for having committed offenses. Upon leaving full time public interest law practice, Peter and a colleague formed a small firm in San Francisco where he began representing individuals and businesses in all types of civil cases.

Although he has handled hundreds of disputes and conducted trials in front of juries and judges in numerous jurisdictions, Peter prefers his role as a counselor and advisor, helping clients resolve their legal issues without resort to court if at all possible. The expense and stress of litigation and the uncertainties and risks associated with any court proceedings provide strong incentives for finding consensual ways to resolve legal disputes and solve legal problems. Lawyers often see themselves as litigators without also recognizing the equal  or greater importance of their role as counselors. Peter acts on his belief that litigation should be seen as a last resort, when other efforts have failed or are not available.

Peter’s current practice includes private and public contract disputes, partnership and corporate disputes, broker/dealer matters, real estate, land use and environmental law, contests and controversies regarding wills, trusts and estates, employment law (including college and university tenure disputes), and insurance coverage disputes, with emphasis on alternative dispute resolution, and on federal and state court litigation where necessary.  He acts as general counsel to public and private entities, including special governmental districts and homeowners’ associations.

Peter is a member of the Litigation Section, State Bar of California, a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Marin County Bar Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire. His background includes service as an Army Intelligence officer in Viet Nam, post-graduate attendance at the London School of Economics, and raising three children.

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