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Ellis Raskin

Ellis F. Raskin

(415) 995-5835


Ellis Raskin is a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate & Environment Section. He represents public agencies, privately-held companies, and other stakeholders across California in complex real estate, housing, and land use matters. Ellis’ work has involved a range of large-scale development projects in high-stakes administrative proceedings and litigation.

Ellis is an accomplished land use litigator who has achieved groundbreaking environmental and land use victories for clients across California. Areas of focus in Ellis’ practice regularly include the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Surplus Land Act, the California Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, and other state and local land use laws. He also regularly provides advice and guidance about navigating California’s new housing laws, California’s Housing Element Law, the Housing Accountability Act, SB 9, and related legislation.

As part of his land use practice, Ellis helps clients navigate complex property disputes, including disputes relating to views, boundaries, easements, and complex tree disputes. He also advises clients on matters involving residential and commercial leases, including matters involving California’s state and local rent control laws.

Ellis has litigated numerous private attorney general fee motions (Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.5), and he advises public agencies, law firms, and other stakeholders in matters involving private attorney general fee claims. Ellis has provided expert testimony regarding private attorney general fee motions, and he provides third-party reviews of fee claims.

In addition to his legal practice, Ellis also serves as the Chair of the City of Santa Monica’s Planning Commission. He has served in leadership positions on a range of housing and environmental advocacy organizations, including the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter.


J.D. UC Law San Francisco (Formerly UC Hastings) ( 2015 )
B.A. Occidental College ( 2010 )

Academic Distinction

West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Managing Editor

Moot Court Student of the Year, 2014-2015

Admissions and Courts


Santa Monica Planning Commission, Chair

Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, Executive Board

Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter, Political Committee

Angeles Chapter’s Executive Committee, Member

Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force, Former Member

"Five Win Seats on the Chapters Executive Board,Sierra Club (December 2023)

"​Gavin Newsom Signs YIMBY-backed Law to Fast-Track Homebuilding," San Francisco Chronicle (October 2023)

"Court Revives California Public Beach Harassment Case," Law360 (March 2023)

"Council Could Approve Revised Housing Element at Tuesday Meeting," Santa Monica Daily Press (June 2022)

"City Council Race Begins with Newcomers Vying for Open Seat," Santa Monica Daily Press (June 2022)

"A stalled housing project asks: Should we preserve Bay Area hillsides or watch 'people move to Texas'?," San Francisco Chronicle (March 2022)

"Planning Commissioner Ellis Raskin declares Council candidacy," Santa Monica Daily Press (March 2022)

Planning Commission backs Saint John’s redevelopment despite lack of psych beds,Santa Monica Daily Press (January 2022)

New medical center approved for Arizona/20th,Santa Monica Daily Press (November 2021)

“McKinnon Fails to Win Reappointment to Planning Commission,” Santa Monica Lookout (September 2020)

“Antioch Approves Nearly 1,200 Homes on its Southern Border,” The Mercury News (July 2020)

“Almost 500 apartments go through design review,” Santa Monica Daily Press (December 2019)

“Marijuana production faces ‘war’ from Asian American communities in San Gabriel Valley,” Los Angeles Times (February 2019)

“Redondo Beach mulls next steps for Measure C, waterfront development,” The Daily Breeze (April 2017)

Super Lawyers, Environmental Litigation (2022-2023)

California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2020-2022)

Judicial Extern to the Honorable Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court