News & Events

News & Events


June 15, 2015

Developers Can Be Required to Include Affordable Housing, California High Court Rules

The Los Angeles Times, by Maura Dolan

In a case in which Burke partner Thomas Brown wrote a friend of the court brief on behalf of the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties, the California Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision that is a major victory for California cities seeking to address what the State legislature has repeatedly called a housing crisis. In the case, entitled California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, a building trade association (CBIA) challenged the facial validity of San Jose’s “inclusionary zoning” ordinance, which requires developers of market rate housing to set aside 15% of a project’s units at prices affordable to low and moderate income purchasers, as an unconstitutional “taking” of property. In making its claim, CBIA argued the ordinance constituted an “exaction” whose validity was required to be reviewed by courts under a rigorous “heightened scrutiny.”  Affirming a Court of Appeal ruling in favor of San Jose, and instead accepting the arguments presented by the League and others, the Supreme Court disagreed with the CBIA, ruling that San Jose’s inclusionary ordinance was a form of land use regulation, not an exaction, and that as such it was entitled to the most deferential standard of judicial review applicable to elected City Councils’ legislative policy judgments about appropriate land uses.

June 2015

Safe Haven

Benjamin L. Stock

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP is proud to announce that Benjamin L. Stock, a partner in our San Rafael office, recently worked pro bono with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in securing asylum for a young unaccompanied minor who fled to the United States from Guatemala, where she and her family suffered violence, abuse, and persecution.

August 15, 2014


John J. Welsh, H. James Wulfsberg

Burke Williams & Sorensen and Wulfsberg Reese & Colvig are pleased to announce their merger.  Effective September 1, the combination adds to Burke the Wulfsberg firm’s nationally-recognized major construction litigation and counseling practice, together with its broad experience in complex commercial litigation, arbitrations, and trials.  Expanding its Oakland office to more than thirty lawyers, Burke will now have over 100 attorneys, with offices in nine locations throughout California, including Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, the Inland Empire, Marin County, Palm Desert, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, and Ventura County.