Dana Dean

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Since opening her law firm in Benicia, California in 2003, Dana Dean has practiced real estate and land use law, focusing on litigation and land use development. Ms. Dean has successfully concluded dozens of cases involving disputed developments and related land use entitlements, as well as transactional, boundary, easement and other traditional real estate claims. She routinely assists and advises clients in Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Yolo and Los Angeles counties.

Ms. Dean has successfully represented neighborhood groups and project developers alike at city and county levels during all stages of the CEQA process and before various state agencies considering applications related to other entitlements. Ms. Dean has also successfully represented plaintiffs, defendants, buyers, sellers, agents and brokers in real estate litigation matters related breach of contract, fraud, non-disclosure and the like.

In 2007, having completed training through the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, Dana began taking mediation assignments from the Solano County Superior Court, with a focus on mediating real estate and other contract disputes. Since then, she has obtained advanced mediation training in local government and land use dispute resolution. With her substantial experience in representing all types of parties in real estate and land use disputes, Ms. Dean brings an experienced, unique perspective to resolving real estate and community land use disputes with empathy and efficiency.

Dana Dean also has a long history of community involvement, with particular focus on health issues and a current focus on children’s health and well-being. Having previously served on the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Ms. Dean now serves on the Solano County Board of Education as Trustee for Area 3. In addition, she was recently reappointed to a second four-year term as Commissioner for First Five Solano.

Practice areas

  • Real estate litigation
  • Zoning, planning and land use
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Boundary disputes
  • Easements
  • Quiet title
  • Real estate fraud
  • Real property acquisitions
  • Real property development
  • Environmental dispute resolution
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Environmental litigation
  • Brownfields redevelopment
  • Real estate mediation
  • Adverse possession
  • Land acquisitions
  • Mixed-use development
  • Waterfront development


  • California and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2007


  • John F. Kennedy University, J.D., magna cum laude, 2002

Relevant Work Experience

  • Law Offices of Dana Dean, Managing Principal, 2003– Present
  • Office of the Attorney General, State of California, Department of Justice, Land and Natural Resource Sections, Extern, 2002
  • U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Regional Counsel, Law Clerk, 2002
  • Solano County District Attorney, CLS Intern, 2000-2001

Associations & Memberships

  • Solano County Bar Association (Member)
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association (Member, Real Estate Section)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Sections: Environmental; Energy; Resources; Real Property; Litigation)
  • State Bar of California (member, sections on: Real Estate Property; Litigation)
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Consumer Attorneys of California

Boards, Commissions & Elected positions

  • Solano County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3, 2013- Present
  • Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees, Trustee, 2008-2013
  • City of Benicia, Sky Valley Open Space Committee, Member, 2004-2007
  • Affordable Housing Affiliation, Board Member, 2005-2008
  • Valero Community Advisory Panel, Member, 2003-2007
  • Good Neighbor Steering Committee, Spokesperson, 2003-2013
  • Joe Henderson PTG, Board Member, 2000-2004
  • Solano County Democratic Central Committee, Member, Vice-chair, Parliamentarian, 2004- Present
  • California Democratic Party Finance Committee, Member, 2011- Present


  • Recipient, Witkin Award for Academic Excellence (Am Jur), Real Property, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Remedies, Business Associations, 2000, 2001, 2002.
  • Paul Harris Fellow

Author, “The Residual Exception to the Hearsay Rule: Desperate Last Resort or Forgotten Ninth Circuit Gem-” 1 JFKU Volume 10 (2004)