DAVID S. BAUMWOHL
Principal and Senior Partner
Mr. Baumwohl has been in practice in the Mammoth Lakes area since 1980. With 40 years of experience, he leads a firm having a diversified, full service practice with emphasis in consultation, transactional, and litigation in the areas of real estate, general business representation, and employment law.
Client representation of real estate matters include land use (development projects and other planning matters), Homeowner Associations, property taxes, leasing, landlord/tenant, sales, and title matters. Business client matters include entity formation and compliance, employment and human resources, business sales and restructuring.
B.S. Business Administration, California State University, Northridge (1977)
Juris Doctor, University of The Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1980)
Mr. Baumwohl has represented clients involved in most of the long-term and largest development projects most frequented by residents and visitors to the year-round destination and alpine resort community of Mammoth Lakes, home to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (MMSA). Until the recent sale of the company in 2017, The firm had served as local general counsel to MMSA since the mid-1980’s.
Development projects include The Village at Mammoth, where Mr. Baumwohl was involved at the inception of the project. Activities included assembling the many individually owned properties now comprising The Village and representing MMSA and its then affiliates and partners in acquiring these parcels. The next phase included early zoning and planning entitlements, and then the sale of the project to the eventual developer. Mr. Baumwohl remained involved on behalf of MMSA in assisting with the first phases of The Village.
Dempsey Construction Corporation was the original owner and developer of the Snowcreek project. Snowcreek is Mammoth’s first and largest multi-use development project. It is a 355 acre master planned community. The firm served as general counsel to Dempsey and handled many aspects of the planning and development of the initial 5 phases of the project, including more than 700 residential units, a golf course, a full service athletic club, and other amenities.
Development projects have been the target of litigation by factions of homeowners. Mammoth Lakes has not been immune. The firm has successfully defended developers and construction firms (including many trades) in the matters the firm has litigated.
The Mammoth Lakes community is located within the Inyo National Forest. As a result, most new parcels of private land arise from land trades with the United States Forest Service. The firm has represented clients who have been the beneficiaries of such land trades in acquiring federally owned land and adding that land to the privately held inventory of the community. Projects have included land for expansion of the Snowcreek Golf Course, 10 acres at the entrance of the Town of Mammoth Lakes designated for government facilities (including the existing Mono County Superior Court, planned expansion of Mammoth Hospital, the new headquarters for the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, and a planned civic center).
The Southern Mono Healthcare District, which owns and operates Mammoth Hospital, is another primary client of the firm. Mr. Baumwohl has served as the District’s general counsel since 1980.
Mr. Baumwohl has successfully litigated numerous business, commercial, real property, and personal injury cases, both on the side of plaintiffs and defendants. The firm qualifies and has served and continues to serve as insurance Cumis counsel in several cases.
Successful litigation is not limited to verdicts and judgments. Success includes favorable settlements by way of direct negotiations between the parties and their counsel as well as employment of alternative dispute (ADR) processes. Settlements values involving the firm have included levels exceeding $10 million. Mr. Baumwohl has handled numerous appeals.
Internet and related technology enable the firm to better expand beyond the communities of the Eastern Sierra Nevada region. The firm maintains a presence in Southern California with a satellite office in Ventura County. Mr. Baumwohl has teamed up and associated with firms to become involved in complex transactions and litigation matters, both locally and in other communities throughout California.
Expansion of the practice in the area of property taxation was the result of the great recession and nation-wide declining real estate market after the 2008/2009 financial collapse. This aspect of the firm’s practice focuses on base-year assessment and decline in value appeals. Recent outcomes include assessment reductions of several million dollars, resulting in tax liability decreases of several hundred thousand dollars in annual savings per parcel.