Joshua Safran is the Principal Attorney of the Safran Law Group and is assisted by several of-counsel attorneys in representing a wide array of developers, landowners, public agencies, and other businesses and individuals.
From 2001 to 2009, first as an Associate and then as Counsel, Joshua was an attorney in Bingham McCutchen, LLP's premier land use group. At Bingham, Joshua regularly assisted clients in complying with CEQA, planning and zoning laws, the Subdivision Map Act, public bidding and prevailing wage requirements, the Williamson Act, and the Political Reform Act. Joshua developed significant experience processing entitlements for large mixed use master planned communities, regional commercial centers and redevelopment projects; assisting local agencies in drafting ordinances, resolutions, affordable housing programs and joint exercise of powers agreements; litigating petitions for writs of mandate; negotiating conditions of approval; and drafting, negotiating and obtaining the approval of general plan amendments, specific plans, zoning amendments, development agreements, and tentative and final subdivision maps. Joshua also provided civil litigation and post-conviction criminal defense services to his clients. He also advised clients on compliance with NEPA and federal and state airport regulations.
Joshua currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Zoning and Land Use Subsection of the State Bar’s Real Property Law Section. He regularly writes on a number of topics, including land use, property law and national trends in preservation law. He served as review editor for the 2004 edition of Curtin’s California Land Use and Planning Law and has contributed to that treatise annually. While at Bingham, he also authored numerous Bingham land use alerts and was the chair of the firm’s land use law training and teaching program.
Joshua is currently involved in a number of complex pro bono matters, including a habeas petition for a woman serving a life term for the killing of her batterer, for which he was profiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. For more information on his habeas case, see: www.freedebbie.org.
Joshua is involved in a number of civic organizations, including local, national and international bar associations. He also regularly serves as a rabbi at various life cycle events, including weddings and funerals. In addition, he pursues a number of creative endeavors including writing and acting.
Joshua served as a law clerk in the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office and was a congressional intern for Representative Jim McDermott of Washington State (7th District). Joshua attended the Jewish Law program at Shalom Rav Rabbinical College in Tsfat, Israel, before going to law school. While in law school, he was a staff teacher for the largest Jewish high school program in the Bay Area, where he conceived of and wrote a full curriculum.
Awards and Honors
Domestic Violence Pro Bono Law Award, the Domestic Violence Practicum at UC Berkeley School of Law, the California Coalition of Women Prisoners, & the California Habeas Project. For outstanding and tireless pro bono legal and investigative work in proving Deborah Peagler's case, freeing her from prison, and raising public awareness of domestic violence. (February 4, 2010)
Litigation Area Associates Spotlight Award, Bingham McCutchen LLP (2007)
Pro Bono Award for Protecting the Rights of Victims of Abuse, Bingham McCutchen LLP (2004)
Pro Bono Superstar Award, Bingham McCutchen LLP (2003)
Associate editor, Ecology Law Quarterly, University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law
Leadership & Memberships
Vice Chair, Zoning and Land Use Subsection of the State Bar's Real Property Law Section
Board of Directors, Volunteer Legal Services Corporation of Alameda County
Committee Member, Food From the Bar Committee of the Contra Costa County Bar Association
Committee Member, Site Committee of the Contra Costa Jewish Day School
Member, American Bar Association, Section of State and Local Government Law
Committee Member, Land Use, Planning & Zoning Committee of the American Bar Association
Member, Alameda County Bar Association
Member, Contra Costa County Bar Association
Member, International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
Admitted to practice in California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Juris Doctor, 2001
- Oberlin College, Bachelor of Arts, 1997