Adam Hofmann

Adam W. Hofmann


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Political and Election Law
Political and Election Law
San Francisco

Adam represents both public and private clients in civil writs, appeals, and mandate proceedings, as well as traditional litigation and dispute resolution. In addition, he works with clients to help them avoid or resolve conflicts before they become formal, legal disputes. Adam’s experience includes representing cities, counties, and special districts in matters relating to public finance and revenue measures (Prop 13/218/26), land use, eminent domain, and election law. He also represents corporate and individual clients in land use and eminent domain matters.

In addition, Adam is an adjunct professor teaching courses in local government and land use law at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Prior to joining Hanson Bridgett, Adam was also an extern in the chambers of the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Representative Work

Appeals and Writs

Represented the League of California Cities as amicus before the California Supreme Court in case holding that charter city franchise fees are not taxes governed by Article XIII C of the California Constitution unless they exceed the reasonable value of the franchise. Jacks v. City of Santa Barbara (2017) 3 Cal.5th 210.

Secured opinion upholding county retirement system’s constitutional and statutory authority to consider the interests of both active and retired members when setting employer contributions. O’Neal v. Stanislaus County Employees’ Retirement Association (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 1184.

Successfully defended summary judgment against nurse’s wrongful-termination and defamation claims, securing published decision that hospital reporting to the Bureau of Registered Nurses is absolutely privileged from tort liability. Lemke v. Sutter Roseville Medical Ctr., et al. (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 1292 (Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C078983).

Represented the California Assisted Living Association as amicus curiae in published opinion establishing that mandated reporters of elder abuse are absolutely immune from tort liability for reporting and related activity. Santos v. Kisco Senior Living, LLC (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 862 (Fourth District Court of Appeal Case No. D067929).

Represented a group of behavioral-economics scholars as amici in the Supreme Court of the United States advocating rule adopted by the Court that laws prohibiting credit-card surcharges inhibit communicative conduct and implicate the First Amendment. Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman (2017) 137 S.Ct. 1144.

Secured published decision rejecting so-called "boss-ectomy" claims in which employees allege that they are disabled by the stress of working for a difficult supervisor. Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 78.

Overturned trial-court ruling that water district's groundwater charge violated restrictions of California's Proposition 218 (Article XIII D of the California Constitution) and the water district's enabling legislation. Great Oaks Water Co. v. Santa Clara Valley Water Dist. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 456.

Resisted appeal challenging trial court’s jurisdiction to enforce settlement under Code of Civil Procedure section 664.6. Storper v. Dillick, First District Court of Appeal Case No. A135435, May 31, 2013 (unpub’d)

Successfully challenged by appellate writ trial-court order allowing broad, exploratory discovery in traditional mandamus proceeding against state agency. State of Cal. Div. of Occupational Safety & Health v. Superior Court, Second District Court of Appeal Case No. B 235419, April 23, 2012 (unpub'd)

Helped pro bono client defeat appeal from complex, international custody award. Abolghasemi v. Abdollahzadeh, First District Court of Appeal Case No. A134427, January 17, 2013 (unpub'd)

Represented friend of the court in case clarifying local term limit rules. Arntz v. Superior Court (Alioto-Pier) (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1082.

Mandate Proceedings

Successfully defended regional rail authority against Brown Act challenge to emergency closed session regarding the security of essential public services.

Defended elected officials from recall proponent’s writ of mandate attempting to restrict the officials’ ability to discuss their views on relevant political issues in their ballot-pamphlet statements.

Intervened on behalf of political action committee in writ of mandate proceeding and helped defeat challenge to ballot materials regarding San Francisco's Proposition F.

Defended a commuter rail agency in a taxpayer waste suit seeking to sever the agency’s planning relationship with the California High Speed Rail Authority, obtaining early dismissal of all claims.

Fought labor organization's writ of mandate seeking to dictate how the state enforces heat regulations governing farm work.

Defended city against challenge to the Housing Element of its General Plan based on the city's decision to reject a proposed development.

Eminent Domain

Efficiently condemned a series of properties in support of transit district's light-rail extension project.

Defended medical foundation from competing health-care district's attempt to condemn foundation's medical offices through eminent domain, prevailing in three-day "right-to-take" trial.

Represented transit district in opposing a rail business's inverse condemnation claim, which alleged that the business had lost its rail lease as a result of negotiations between the district and the business's landlord, and that the business should be compensated for the loss of that lease.

Represented a landowner in an eminent domain action involving the extension of a public street onto a retail shopping plaza. Worked to resolve logistical problems confronting the ongoing business operations while preserving the owner's rights, interests, and tenant relationships.


"Cal Supremes Limit Prop 218’s Impact on Tax Initiatives, but Less Than You Might Think," The Recorder (September 2017)

"Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Procedural Requirements of Proposition 218 to Revenue Measures Adopted by Initiative," co-author, Government Law Alert (September 2017)

"Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Proposition 218 Requirements to Franchise Fees," Litigation & Dispute Resolution Law Alert (June 2017)

Propositions 218 and 26 Implementation Guide" (June 2017)

"Court Rejects Challenge to Groundwater Charges," California Special Districts Association e-News (April 2015)

"The Court of Appeal Holds Groundwater Augmentation Charges Fees for Water Services Under Proposition 218 and Provides Much-Needed Guidance on Several Related Issues," co-author, Hanson Bridgett Public Agency Law Alert (October 2013)

"Chapter 5: Finance and Economic Development," chapter editor, Municipal Law Handbook (2012 - 2013)

"Courts Provide some Relief for Eliminating Vexatious Appeals," Daily Journal (June 2012)

"Chapter 12: Code Enforcement," reviewer, Municipal Law Handbook (2011)

"Negotiating Attorneys Fees," California Lawyer (January 2011)

"Which Comes First, the Compensation or the Fees?" The Recorder (September 2010)

"Blurring Lines: How Supplemental Jurisdiction Unknowingly Gave the World Ancillary Personal Jurisdiction," University of San Francisco Law Review (Fall 2004)

See All Publications

Blog Posts

See All Blog Posts


"Drought Regulations, Groundwater Management, and Water Rates," co-presenter, County Counsel's Association of California Environmental Law and Regulation Fall 2016 Study Section Conference (October 2016)

"Drought Regulations, Groundwater Management, and Water Rates," co-presenter, California Special Districts Association Annual Conference (October 2016)

"And Not a Drop to Drink: Public Agency Options for Responding to Drought," co-speaker, Municipal Management Association of Northern California Annual Conference (October 2015)

"The Law: When do the Substantive and Procedural Provisions of Proposition 218 and Proposition 26 Apply?" Municipal Water Utility Ratemaking in California Seminar (July 2015)

"Emerging Trends in Urban Planning and Development - SB 374 and 743," University of San Francisco School of Law’s Environmental Law Society (November 2014)

"State Water Resources Control Board Emergency Regulations for Water Suppliers," co-speaker, Hanson Bridgett Public Agency Roundtable Series (July 2014)

"Setting Retail Water Rates During Water Shortage Conditions," panelist, Water Shortage Seminar (April 2014)

"SB 375, Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008: Implementation Update and Development Incentives," Hanson Bridgett Public Agency Roundtable Series (June 2013)

See All Presentations


"Weekly Appellate Report Podcast," Daily Journal Friday Podcasts (April 14, 2017)

Professional Affiliations

American Constitution Society, Bay Area Chapter, Executive Board

State Bar of California, Public Law and Real Estate Sections

DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee

Bar Association of San Francisco Appellate Practice Section

Judicial Clerkships

Judicial Extern for the Honorable Martin J. Jenkins, United States District Court for the Northern District of California


J.D., magna cum laude, University of San Francisco School of Law (2005)

B.A., Canisius College (2000)

Admissions And Courts


Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

San Francisco

415-995-5819 Direct Phone
415-995-3483 Fax

Email Attorney


Firm Leadership

Recruiting Committee, Chair

Vice Chair of Appellate Practice