Sacramento Attorney | Timothy V. Kassouni
Voted one of Sacramento’s Top Lawyers by fellow attorneys
Sacramento attorney Timothy Kassouni founded Kassouni Law on the belief that property rights and personal freedom are intertwined. He passionately considers it his duty and mission to rigorously defend property rights against government and private abuse. Mr. Kassouni has many years of experience litigating against private and public entities at all levels of court, including the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to name a few. His litigation expertise in land use, appeals, business, and property rights law has led to legal victories and the setting of legal precedents throughout the state of California.
Born in New York, and later spending parts of his childhood in both the California Central Valley and Los Angeles, Mr. Kassouni has a history of interaction with clients from all walks of life, from small farmers to large commercial developers. Further, one could say Mr. Kassouni’s legal career began on the school playground, where he often defended classmates from bullies -an instinct that survives to this day.
After completing a judicial externship at the California Supreme Court for Justice David N. Eagleson, Mr. Kassouni worked as an attorney for some of California’s most prestigious legal organizations before founding his own law firm in 2009 including the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the Pacific Legal Foundation, the Newport Beach business and land use litigation firm of Hamilton & Samuels, and the Constitutional property rights practice of Zumbrun Law. While at the Zumbrun Law Firm, Mr. Kassouni served as both senior attorney and legal director to the firm. His legal experience includes complex land use, Constitutional property rights, appeals, business, real estate, and construction litigation in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange and Sacramento Counties.
Timothy Kassouni is a Loyola Law School graduate with an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley. While at Loyola, Mr. Kassouni studied eminent domain and inverse condemnation law under professor Gideon Kanner, a leading scholar and attorney in the property rights field. Mr. Kassouni later received the first Fritz B. Burns Foundation public interest fellowship with the Pacific Legal Foundation. He credits the Pacific Legal Foundation and Professor Kanner as having nurtured his passion to continue in the land use and Constitutional property rights field.
- J.D., Loyola Law School, 1989
- A.B., Philosophy, University of California at Berkeley, 1985
Lockaway Storage, et al v. County of Alameda
Obtained over $2 million in damages and over $700,000.00 in attorney’s fees for a storage facility company after a two week trial on an inverse condemnation claim against the County of Alameda. The County of Alameda had wrongly applied a growth control measure to the project which delayed construction and resulted in lost income and increased construction costs. In a groundbreaking published decision, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the award of damages and attorney’s fees, characterizing the County’s arguments as convoluted “nonsense”.
Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council
Amicus curiae brief in the South Carolina Supreme Court, and subsequent amicus curiae brief in support of the petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Certiorari was granted, leading to an important 5th Amendment decision in favor of the property owner.
City of West Hollywod v. Beverly Towers
Oral argument and amicus curiae briefing before the California Supreme Court in Beverly Towers Inc. v. City of West Hollywood. This case established the precedent that local governments do not have the right to enforce condominium conversion regulations after the property owner has obtained all discretionary approvals.
Dr. Robert I. McClurg, et al v. Orthalliance, Inc
Invalidation of non-competition covenant in complex litigation action in Los Angeles County Superior Court against a publicly traded corporation on behalf of large group of orthodontists, which triggered a multi-million dollar nationwide settlement.
Norris v. Witter
Sacramento attorney Timothy Kassouni assisted private property owners in Topanga Canyon, California. The Los Angeles County Superior Court concluded that that trespass onto private property for the purpose of obtaining evidence of an alleged Coastal Act violation, is not protected speech. The defendants’ anti-slapp motion was denied.
Shayne v. County of Riverside
Client was charged with illegal grading. The County of Riverside expunged the notice of violation and dropped all charges one week before the trial. Ken Shayne comments: “I had super results with this firm and would recommend [Kassouni Law] to anyone who needs help. He was honest, very fair, and truly concerned about the injustice I was going through.”
Construction Defect Litigation
Represented over 75 home owners in construction defect actions in Los Angeles and Orange County, California, generating multi-million dollar settlements.
Preserved the private use of subsurface oil and gas rights in a parcel of land otherwise subject to a conservation easement
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1990
- Federal District Court, Eastern District of California, 1994
- Federal District Court, Northern District of California, 2006
- Federal District Court, Southern District of California, 2005
- Federal District Court, Central District of California, 1992
- United States Court of Claims, 2006
- United States Supreme Court, 2011
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
- California State Bar Association: Member Since: 1989
- Real Property Section Member
- Litigation Section Member
- Federalist Society Member
- Student President of Loyola Law School Federalist Society
Mr. Kassouni has written many published articles including the law review article “The Ripeness Doctrine and the Judicial Relegation of Constitutionally Protected Property Rights,” which has been cited numerous times by scholars in the land use field.
“The Ripeness Doctrine and the Judicial Relegation of Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” – Timothy V. Kassouni California Western Law Review – Vol. 29 No. 1 – Fall, 1992
Abstract: This article describes the traditional role and definition of the ripeness doctrine, and how courts have modified that traditional role and definition to create unusually harsh and burdensome procedural barriers for private property owners when they seek compensation for a taking under the Fifth Amendment. The article has been cited by numerous scholars as a leading authority on the issue of ripeness, and has also been cited in congressional hearings related to property rights.
The following articles have been published in California’s leading legal newspapers -San Francisco’s The Daily Journal and Sacramento’s Daily Reporter:
- The Uses and Abuses of Conservation Easements – Timothy Kassouni & Ronald Zumbrun, Published by Sacramento’s Daily Recorder June 11, 2007, Published by The San Francisco Daily Journal as Conservation Easements – July 20, 2007
- After Decades of Abuse -The Challenge to Restore Property Rights in California; Published by Sacramento’s Daily Recorder September 10, 2007, Published by the San Francisco Daily Journal as Combating Takings October 10, 2007
- Ninth Circuit Resurrects Due Process Protections For Property Owners – Timothy Kassouni and Ronald Zumbrun, Published by The Daily Recorder November 12, 2007, Published by the San Francisco Daily Journal as Protecting Private Property – December 3, 2007
- The Cost of Wetlands in Half Moon Bay – Timothy Kassouni & Ronald Zumbrun, The Daily Recorder – January 14, 2008
- The Unrepentant Sins of the California Coastal Commission – Timothy Kassouni & Ronald Zumbrun, The Daily Recorder – February 9, 2009