Emily Charley

Emily M. Charley


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Public Agency
Public Agency
San Francisco

Emily specializes in real estate litigation, representing clients in both state and federal courts as well as arbitrations. Her broad array of clients encompasses individual owners and developers, as well as managers of shopping centers, office buildings, industrial properties, hotels, and senior care facilities. Emily provides counsel on matters involving the purchase and sale of real estate, construction and development disputes, commercial lease disputes (including nonpayment of rent, exclusives, options, cotenancy issues, tenant improvements, mechanic’s liens, lease terminations and tenant bankruptcies), and post-lease termination collections. She also has assisted clients in both commercial and residential evictions, and served as a state court expert witness on easements. Emily often solves issues for her clients by using provisional remedies to obtain faster results.

On behalf of her public sector clients—including cities, counties, transit agencies, special districts, and regional planning entities—Emily works through state court litigation and arbitration to address matter involving real estate, land use, and code enforcement.

In addition to serving as the firm’s Assistant General Counsel, Emily contributes significant time to pro bono legal services in her community. Currently, she sits on the board of directors of the Golden Hour Restoration Institute, a non-profit providing ecological restoration education, and Matter of Trust, a non-profit linking surplus with needs; additionally, she serves as a volunteer Court Appointed Judicial Advocate, a non-profit supporting foster youth, and International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law, a non-profit connecting legal assistance to the cause of women’s rights.


Published Decisions

Schwarzburd v. Kensington Police Protection & Community Services Dist. Bd. (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1345.

California Bank & Trust v. Piedmont Operating Partnership, L.P. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1322.


"Labor Action at Retail Locations: Free Pass or Trespass?" co-author, Shopping Centers Law Alert (October 2016)

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California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2021)

Pro Bono Attorney Honor Roll, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Community Involvement

Marin County Bar Association, Director

Town of Corte Madera Parks & Recreation Department, Commissioner

Professional Affiliations

Association of Corporate Counsel

Bar Association of San Francisco

Marin County Bar Association

International Council of Shopping Centers

Academic Distinction

CALI Award recipient in Legal Ethics, and Legal Research and Writing


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

B.A., Mills College (2002)

Admissions And Courts


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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

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

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



North Bay

415-995-5009 Direct Phone
415-995-3552 Fax

San Francisco

415-995-5009 Direct Phone
415-995-3552 Fax

Email Attorney


Firm Leadership

Assistant General Counsel