a Business and Real Estate Law Firm
About Zellmer Law Group

I am Joseph "Jay" Zellmer.  My legal  practice is regional, covering all of Northern California.  I still have clients from my times in San Francisco,  Chico and  Auburn and I still enjoy referrals from clients and contacts there. I am  seeking to expand generally and in the Gold Country-  Nevada and Placer Counties (Grass Valley, Nevada City, Auburn, Roseville)  and in Sonoma/Napa Counties Counties (Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma, Napa).

Over the course of my career I  have handled hundreds of matters for clients large and small.  I have successfully taken on some of the most prominent law firms in California and the U.S.  I enjoy working with my clients and have formed many lasting relationships, including valued friendships.

Recent Settlement- $14,000,000 trust dispute in San Francisco settled after 7 years of litigation.  I was brought in within months of the trial date.  I brought "fresh eyes" to the case and new approaches. We were prepared for trial and arranged a very favorable settlement on the eve of trial. 

Recent Trial- Represented holder of judgment for spousal support in action to collect against former spouse's interest in family trust.

Recent Trial- Partition action to compel sale of large Nevada County parcel for tenant-in-common. 

Recent Mediations/settlements:  

-Resolved a case for Sonoma County clients by successfully showing fraud by non-disclosure in the purchase of an upscale home.  The clients received a full refund of their purchase money.
   -  Represented physician victim of electronic email fraud.  Recovered entire sum - over $200,000- from major national bank and accounting firm. 

    -   Substantial settlement in attorney malpractice case; defended trustee of family trust in action by sibling.

Recent Closed Transaction:  Closed sale of longtime client's equipment financing firm.

       Recent Closed Transaction:   I represented a successful Foothill manufacturing company in the sale of its construction materials business.  The purchaser was a European Company, represented by the largest law firm in the world.  We held our own and negotiated a fair deal without lingering liability exposure for my clients. Now, my clients get to retire.

       Over the last several years,  I have successfully represented a number of dental and medical professionals in disputes arising out of the purchases and sales of their practices.  I prefer the defense of professionals wrongly accused/sued in such cases. 

   I  won a very complex mining law case in Yuba County arising out of claimjumping activities.  The case involves intricate aspects of mining, real estate and business law.  I have successfully litigated against the most established and well known mining attorneys in the state. After a two week trial, the Court has ruled in our favor quieting title in my clients and indicated that my clients will be awarded their attorneys fees and punitive damages.  A complete victory.

2013  Closed Transaction-  I was local counsel for a principal of a successful Canadian real estate investment company purchasing a local +/-450 acre vineyard property.  

Further Closed Transactions-   Zellmer Law Group was local counsel in a $6.65 million purchase and sale/leaseback transaction for a Placer County manufacturing firm.   In another transaction, the firm  represented the seller in a $1.8 million sale of an Indiana clothing design and manufacturing firm.

Other Recent Cases-  I won a complete defense jury verdict after an 11 day Placer County jury trial.  The case involved Plaintiffs' claims that the firm's client intentionally defrauded them and breached their contract in connection with the sale of real estate.  The Plaintiff's sought over $200,000 in damages, plus attorney's fees of over $100,000, and were awarded nothing.

I also  won a jury trial in Nevada County defending a client against the claim of a neighbor who claimed easement and public road rights over the client's property.

Some  career highlights include:

•    Graduated from  University of California's Hastings College of the law in 1983.  He was in the top 17% of his class. Hastings is generally recognized as one of nation's top law schools.  He was Chief Note and Comment Editor of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review and published  author of "Detecting Collusion in Oligopolistic Industries;  A   Comparison and Proposal", 6 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review (1983)

•    Made partner in 12 lawyer  downtown San Francisco law firm in four (4) years; firm was renamed Lerner, Veit & Zellmer

•    Founded and owned Zellmer Law Group, Chico, California - 4 lawyers, 10 employees; moved to Nevada County in 1997

•    Represented California State University Trustees in construction of minor league baseball stadium in Chico, California

•    Plaintiff's counsel in $100,000,000 breach of contract/intellectual property tort claim against major airline

•    Lead counsel in $10,000,000 suit against affilate of major telecommunications firm

•    Completed successful work out and restructuring of $10,000,000 in loans secured by 55 medical condominium units

•    Formed tenant association for San Francisco commercial building, resolved dispute with landlord for $500,000

•    Won a $966,000 settlement for offshore manufacturer of medical equipment

•    Successful defense of numerous clients, including sellers, real estate professionals, and engineers in claims arising out of  purchase and sale, development and construction of real estate projects

•    Represented purchaser of $30,000,000 shopping center in Petaluma, California

•    Successful prosecution of legal malpractice case against major San Francisco law firm - confidential settlement

•    Successful on appeal after month-long real estate fraud trial in Lake County

•    Successful defense of national bakery equipment firm in unfair competition case

•    Successful defense of regional door manufacturing company against claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition

•    Successful defense against sexual harassment claim for regional construction firm

•    Represented sellers in transfer of stock in San Francisco airport services company - value approximately $6,000,000

•    Successfully completed sale of national chemical manufacturing company

•    Completed reorganizations and sale of several advertising agencies

•    Won arbitration for property owner in boundary dispute in Ophir area of Placer County

•    Won arbitration and defended award in litigation in Butte County commercial landlord-tenant dispute - value  of award to client was approximately $600,000

Joseph Zellmer's Community Involvement:

•    Yuba River Charter School - a Waldorf Methods Charter School-  Steering Committee for New School Site (School has been awarded $8.5 million by State of California);  Immediate Past Chair of Charter Council and board member of the Educational Foundation
•    Nevada City Little League- Manager- 2008 Farm Dodgers
•    Auburn Gold Country Rotary - Paul Harris Fellow; Program Chairman
•    Forest Charter School - Charter Council President; Founding Board of Directors
•    Auburn Chamber of Commerce - Member
•    Leadership Auburn - Co-Founder, Member - Board of Regents  
•    Other Former Positions: Leadership Chico - Chair, Steering Committee    and Chair,   Curriculum Committee Chico Economic Planning Corporation - Vice President for Economic Development Chico Economic Foundation - Co-Founder and Chairman; Chico Exchange Club - Member; Alamo Improvement Association – President

Personal  --- See also Jay's Story

  • Married to wife River. Two children- Tasha, born 1989  and Aaron, born 2000
  • Avid  golfer and photography hobbyist
  • Bicyclist- road and mountain- Canada to Mexico; Survivor of Cycle Oregon for 50th birthday- 7 days,   500 miles, 28,000 of climb
  • 4 Mountain Passes- Markleeville Death Ride        
  •  Initiated in The Mankind Project's New Warrior Training  Adventure- 2008.    
Zellmer Law Group

416 Broad Street
Nevada City, CA 95959

438 First Street, 4th Floor
    Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Telephone 530.277.7444
Sonoma County Telephone 707.571.7444
Facsimile 855.571.7444 
email:  jfz@zellmerlawgroup.com

Former address:  360 Sierra College Drive, Suite 220, Grass Valley, CA 95945
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