Our practice areas reflect the growing and dynamic regional economy. Our attorneys are recognized regionally and state-wide for their expertise in such diverse areas as land use, water, real estate, complex business litigation, sophisticated business formation and transactions and environmental law.


  • Agricultural Law

    Commercial agricultural operations encompass many areas of commercial law, including the sale of goods, leasing, contract law, secured transactions, and commodity futures trading. Agricultural commercial transactions are often related to the sale and leasing of goods associated with agriculture.

    For more information about agricultural law, please contact us.

  • Appellate Advocacy

    Entry of judgment after trial may not be the end of the legal road in litigation. In fact, it is often but a step along the way. Legal issues are decided every day on appeal so choosing the right appellate attorney is imperative. Attorneys at Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP are well versed in appellate advocacy and writ practice, and provide clients with thoughtful analyses of the issues on appeal, formulate cutting edge arguments and sound legal strategies, and draft top quality written appellate briefs, all critical for a successful appeal.

    Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP has extensive appellate experience and provides a broad array of appellate services, including, appellate briefs and oral argument, writ petitions, appellate stays and bonds, and publication letters. We have represented clients – both plaintiffs and defendants – in such diverse areas as land use, CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, environmental and water law, municipal regulation, administrative law, initiative, referendum and election issues, constitutional law, and contract interpretation and enforcement.

    We have handled cases in the Supreme Courts of California and Nevada, the Ninth Circuit, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal, and various California appellate courts. We have been counsel of record in numerous published opinions and many unpublished opinions.

    Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP invites you to learn more about its attorneys in its Appellate Advocacy Practice Group. See the biographies of Steven Herum.

  • Arbitration

    Dana Suntag is an experienced arbitrator who has arbitrated many cases of all types. Mr. Suntag handles his arbitrations with a view to realizing the parties’ usual goals, of a speedy, less expensive alternative than full blown litigation.

  • Bankruptcy Litigation

    Our Bankruptcy department represents Chapter 7 Trustees in all matters related to their administration of bankruptcy cases including: employment of professionals, liquidation of assets, recovery of property of the estate, litigation of adversary proceedings to avoid fraudulent transfers and preferential transfers, litigation of adversary proceedings to avoid debtors’ discharge, and review and investigation of creditors’ claims.

    For more information about this practice area, see biography of Dana Suntag.

  • Business, Tax, Agriculture and Commercial Law

    Our business clients range include new, local start up partnerships and companies, long time local family owned companies, and regional and national Fortune 500 companies with presence in San Joaquin and Stanislaus County. This representation involves all aspects of these business activities, formation, transactional, and tax matters. Representative clients are involved in manufacturing, transportation, and personal and professional services.

    In addition, we represent all aspects of the agricultural industry. Representative clients include:
    – Food processors
    – Canners
    – Agricultural cooperatives
    – Dairies and grape growers

    We represent some of the largest and most influential farming entities in California.

    Finally the firm includes attorneys who are certified specialists in tax and estate planning and probate. We represent clients in all aspects of both tax and estate matters, including planning and, when needed representing clients before various tax agencies and courts. See the biography of Steve Crabtree.

  • Creditors’ Rights

    The Firm represents banks and lenders, often in receivership lawsuits on defaulted commercial loans. We have pursued such actions for our lending clients in many Northern California courts.

    For more information about this area of law, please see the biographies of Steven Crabtree and Dana Suntag

  • Employment Law

    Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP understands that, when it comes to being an employer in California, an “ounce of prevention” is more than worth a “pound of cure” and accordingly, we focus on advising employers how to avoid the common pitfalls that can lead to costly lawsuits brought by employees. Thus, our first line of attack is to scrutinize employers’ workplace policies and procedures and to counsel our clients how to effectively resolve any problem areas before they develop into litigation. Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP frequently advises clients regarding compliance with applicable state and federal employment and workplace laws and assists businesses and agencies with development of employee handbooks and policies related to harassment, wage and hour issues, workplace violence, drug and alcohol testing, privacy, discipline, termination, family and medical leave, and public access and accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    In the event that litigation ensues, we partner with our Litigation Practice Group to vigorously defend our clients and to bring an efficient and successful resolution to the case. Our Employment Practice Group has broad experience representing both private and public employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies in a broad range of employment matters including harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour issues, retaliation and discrimination based upon gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, age and disability.

    In addition, Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP‘s Employment Practice Group has had substantial experience litigating numerous class and collective actions in state and federal courts involving claims such as failure to pay overtime or minimum wage, discrimination, and independent contractor/ employee misclassification claims.

    Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP Employment Practice Group also assists clients in preparing employment cases for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration. See biography of Dana Suntag.

  • Environmental Law

    The laws relating to environmental compliance affect virtually every business, industry, municipality, and even the general public. We have attorneys specializing in environmental law who can advise businesses and individuals on numerous aspects of environmental law and regulation compliance. We have represented cities concerning the discharge of pollutants from sewer pipelines, businesses facing clean up orders and industries attempting to comply with air quality standards. See the biography of Jeanne Zolezzi.

  • Intellectual Property/Trademarks

    Our Intellectual Property Group works with our clients to select, secure, protect, and enforce our clients’ trademarks. We work to minimize their litigation risks in furtherance of their specific business objectives and branding strategies. We have attorneys who can advise businesses and individuals on numerous aspects of trademark registration and enforcement. If you would like to protect your company name, your product name, or your company logo, it is recommended to file for a federally registered trademark. We have registered numerous wine labels, product logos and proprietary names on behalf of major wineries, corporations and developers. We have experience in all of the typical forums for resolving these types of disputes, including state and federal courts, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and in a variety of alternative dispute resolution settings

  • Land Use Planning, Development & Litigation

    Our attorneys assist a wide range of clients to include:
    – Individual landowners
    – Shopping centers developers
    – Residential real estate developers
    – Business park developers
    – Churches
    – Mining and aggregate interests
    – Regional and national development corporations
    – Public agencies in all aspects of the land development process

    This assistance includes all aspects of the land use entitlement process from filing applications to and through the final administrative approval for general plan amendments, use permits, subdivision maps, EIRs and endangered species problems. We also serve as special counsel to public agencies involved in redevelopment projects and plans. Since our firm’s inception in 1997 our attorneys have made literally hundreds of presentations to local government planning bodies. More details concerning the type and complexity of the land use matters handled by our firm are available at the newspaper link.

    A major aspect of this practice area involves the proper interpretations of:
    – General plans
    – Specific plans
    – Zoning regulations
    – State and local regulations
    – The California Environmental Quality Act

    If disputes develop which necessitate litigation, our attorneys have an exceptional depth of knowledge and experience in representing clients through the court process. Our attorneys have handled over twenty five appeals that have been decided by appellate courts, and have represented clients before the California appellate courts, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. A representative sampling of our representation of clients on land use matters is found at the court cases link. See the biography of Steve Herum.

  • Litigation

    Our litigation group provides the highest quality litigation services, at affordable Central Valley rates. Our attorneys have extensive experience in state, federal and administrative courts all over the country, including the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. Our clients know us as reasonable, efficient problem-solvers. We are known by opposing counsel as aggressive, successful adversaries. It is a testament to our teams’ ethics and skill that we have obtained a significant amount of new business from attorneys and parties who were once on the other side of the cases we successfully litigated.

    Our team specializes in environmental and water litigation, commercial contract disputes, fraud and unfair competition, trademark and trade secret protection, employment disputes, anti-trust violations, agribusiness disputes and commercial unlawful detainers. While a mid-size Central Valley firm, we have handled numerous large, complex multi-party cases in state and federal courts, often by building a team of lawyers and experts from around the country.

    For more information, see the biography of Dana Suntag.

  • Mediation

    Dana Suntag is available as a mediator to handle most types of business disputes. Mr. Suntag has attended the prestigious Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution Program. Additionally, Mr. Suntag has been certified as a mediator by the Third District Court of Appeal.

  • Probate and Estate Planning

    Our Attorneys have extensive experience providing clients with estate planning advice and assisting clients with the administration of trusts and estates. At Herum Crabtree Suntag, LLP we believe that proper estate planning provides peace of mind to our clients by assuring them that their wishes will be carried out when they pass away.

    With that goal in mind, we will strive to assist you in disposing of your assets of as you see fit. We will work hard to meet your goals and accomplish your desires in the most cost-effective manner possible.

    Estate Planning Expertise

    Our Attorneys utilize their specialized tax expertise to minimize estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping taxes, income taxes and property taxes.

    We have extensive experience working with closely-held and family businesses, such as farms and ranches, processing, manufacturing, and medical oriented businesses. Our estate planning practice includes:
    – Preparation of wills and trusts including revocable trusts, education trusts, special needs trusts, life insurance trusts, generation-skipping trusts, charitable remainder trusts, QPRTs, GRATs, grantor trusts, QDOTs
    – Formation of family partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and other business entities
    – Preparation of health care directives and durable powers of attorney

    Probate Expertise

    Our probate practice includes:
    – Estates and trust administration
    – Disclaimer planning
    – Trust and estate litigation

    We look forward to assisting you in meeting your estate planning goals. For more details about this practice area please see the biography of Steven Crabtree.

  • Public Agencies

    We serve as both general and special counsel for public agencies. These public agencies include:
    – Cities
    – Counties
    – Redevelopment agencies
    – Water districts
    – Irrigation districts
    – Other special districts

    As general counsel we represent the public agency on a day to day basis. As special counsel we bring our specialized expertise to assist the public agency with land use, environmental, water, and condemnation matters. See the biographies of Steven Herum and Jeanne Zolezzi.

  • Real Estate

    Our attorneys have extensive experience in all aspects of real estate transactions, including negotiation, and documenting complex land transactions, review of title reports, and the financing of real property transactions. We also have extensive experience in negotiating and documenting commercial and agricultural leases. Our attorneys advise clients and prepare documents concerning business organization and planning for real estate development, including joint venture agreements, development agreements, rental agreement and leases. When required our attorneys also write opinion letters for financing associated with subdivision purposes and refinancing of commercial shopping centers. See the biographies of Steve Herum, Steve Crabtree, Jeanne Zolezzi.

  • Water Law

    Our attorneys act as general or special counsel on water matters for a number of public agencies including:
    – Water districts
    – Irrigation districts
    – Cities and counties
    – Private property owners

    We assist these public agencies to obtain additional water supplies, defend existing water rights and defend against government and environmental claims. For instance, the firm has substantial experience in rare but important water rights adjudications of entire stream systems. We also have been involved in obtaining water rights for new towns. Our attorneys are regularly involved in negotiations with local, state and federal agencies as well as appearing before the State Water Resources Control Board.

    For more details about this practice area please see the newspaper and court cases links. See Biography of Steven Herum.