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Monday, Apr 15, 2024

2020 Leaders in Law Finalists: Real Estate Attorney of the Year

Diane De Felice


Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Diane De Felice combines her industry-leading land use and environmental law proficiency with proven litigation skills in large development and infrastructure projects. Her knowledge of the public agency administrative processes enhances her ability to streamline complex environmental issues entwined with land use and planning matters for clients that include zoning and subdivision approvals, as well as other real estate related issues.

Recently, De Felice successfully represented the City of Baldwin Park at trial on a land use and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case related to a regional Materials Recovery Facility and Transfer Station Project (Waste Recycling Facility). The case highlighted De Felice’s ability to lead work for clients in connection with land use and zoning mandates that are among the most contentious and pressing issues in the state.

David Graeler

Chair, Litigation Department; Co-Chair, Real Estate Practice


David Graeler serves as chair of Nossaman’s Litigation Department and co-chair of its Real Estate Practice Group. Over the past several years, he has worked on a number of high profile matters, including his work on behalf of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

He leads the legal team that is advising LAWA on real property matters related to the Landside Access Modernization Program, a $5 billion program to ease access in and out of the second largest airport in the United States. Graeler has advised LAWA on myriad issues including: the scope of acquisitions and schedule impacts; aerial, roadway, column & footing, and temporary construction easements; purchase and sale agreements; escrow instructions for both transactions and for relocation obligations under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance / Ellis Act.

David Nahai


Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP

David Nahai has achieved success in many different arenas, including the law. Despite his arrival in the U.S. under difficult circumstances, has reached high positions in major law firms, attained the general manager and CEO role at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, served as chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board, and was a Senior Advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative. He is presently a Los Angeles County official, chairing a Watershed Area Steering Committee.

Nahai is a partner at the Lewis Brisbois law firm, where he specializes in real estate and environmental transactional matters. His expertise covers purchase and sale deals, commercial leases, financing transactions, construction matters, development agreements, and joint venture matters of all kinds.

Jerry Neuman


DLA Piper

Utilizing his exceptional skills, Jerry Neuman has assisted clients in the creation of some of Los Angeles’ most significant projects and has led some of the most important initiatives across the region. Neuman’s clients are well served by his combination of creative strategic thinking, legal and business acumen and political awareness. In this regard, Jerry uses his practice to push for better, more livable and sustainable communities while promoting the success of his clients’ projects.

As co-chair of DLA’s Real Estate practice group and the California Chair of the firm’s Land Use practice, Neuman has demonstrated engaged leadership that makes one of Los Angeles’ largest land use practices more like family than colleagues. His team personifies equity and inclusion by design. Neuman has worked to build a team that reflects the community in which he practices.

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