Phone: 619-238-4900

Governmental Entity Litigation

  • California Coastal Act litigation
  • CEQA litigation
  • Contract disputes
  • Eminent Domain/Inverse condemnation disputes
  • Governmental entity torts
  • Land use/zoning/entitlement litigation
  • Writ proceedings

Who says, “You can’t fight City Hall?” We’ve been fighting local, state and national governmental agencies for decades, with outstanding results. Our success stems from the multi-facetted approach we take in every case in which a governmental entity is involved.

Our thorough knowledge of the legal nuances that apply when adverse to a governmental agency is essential. But that is not enough. Because the courts give great deference to the discretionary decisions made by agencies within the executive branch of government, cases are seldom won on purely legal issues. We succeed where others fail because we understand the decision-making process of governmental agencies, and those who run them. We know political factors and public opinion often drive agencies’ decisions; and carefully evaluate how they can be influenced in every case. We also know from years of experience and dozens of cases that the personal motivations and aspirations of an agency’s elected or appointed decision-makers and their staff frequently have more to do with their decisions than what best serves the public’s interests. Our sensitivity to these issues, coupled with our proactive and tenacious approach, makes Mazzarella Law APC uniquely qualified to successfully “fight City Hall,” as reflected by an unmatched history of success.


  • We have successfully sued The City of San Diego, The County of San Diego, The San Diego Port District, The City of Chula Vista and The City of Oceanside, some on multiple occasions, to recover predevelopment expenses on behalf of real estate developers alleging the governmental entities breached Exclusive Negotiating Agreements. In these cases our clients have made recoveries of $5 million, $2.2 million, $1.5 million, $800,000 and $300,000.
  • We represented Citizens Advocating Redevelopment Excellence (“C.A.R.E.”) in the CEQA challenge to the EIR for PetCo Park which resulted in, among other things, the preservation of the historic “Candy Factory” building, which became the largest brick building ever relocated.
  • We obtained a Judgment after a Court trial against the California Coastal Commission which not only denied the Coastal Commission’s appeal of a City of San Diego permit for a 9,500 square foot “remodel” on the coast in La Jolla, but also found that the Chair of the Coastal Commission lied about the date the Commission’s appeal was filed.
  • We obtained the dismissal of 28 misdemeanor counts filed by the City of San Diego against the owner of a golf course who made improvements on environmentally sensitive open space without authority. The City also demanded our client remove the improvements. In response, we filed a $20,000,000 claim against the City for damage the City caused to our client’s property. The City ultimately allowed the improvements to our client’s golf course to remain.
  • We successfully sued the City of Chula Vista for the wrongful termination of its City Attorney.
  • We successfully sued the Sweetwater Union High School District for the wrongful termination of its Superintendent.
  • We successfully sued the City of San Diego to halt the water recycling program known as “Toilet to Tap.”
  • On behalf of a neighborhood coalition, we enjoined the relocation of the San Diego Adult Mission into a residential neighborhood until conditions were placed on the relocation which were acceptable to the community.
  • We represented San Diegans for Sensible Land Use (“SDSLU”), a group consisting of 200 real estate professionals, in litigation against the California Coastal Commission involving the Local Coastal Plan for La Jolla.
  • We represented Horizon Christian Fellowship Church in a dispute with the San Diego City School District and a Charter School over the lease of City owned property on which the Church’s 800 student campus operated. Our successfully negotiated 11th hour resolution came just 2 weeks before the school would have had to close.
  • We have represented and continue to represent the Bonita Valley Christian Church in connection with its construction of a $9 million sanctuary, street access issues and building code compliance with regard to out buildings on the Church’s property.
  • We recovered over $1.8 million for the City of National City and The Redevelopment Agency of the City of National City in a negligence action against the land use consultant it hired to assist it with its redevelopment efforts.
  • We successfully blocked development of 2 high-rise buildings just north of PetCo Park on behalf of the developer of a condominium project whose views into the ball park would have been blocked by the development.


  • Manchester Financial/”Papa Doug” Manchester
  • The Douglas Wilson Companies
  • Tuescher Development
  • Lambert Development
  • The City of National City/The Redevelopment Agency of the City of National City
  • Horizon Christian Fellowship
  • Bonita Valley Christian Church
  • San Diegans for Sensible Land Use