David DeBerry, Director

David DeBerry
Phone: (714) 415-1088
Fax: (714) 415-1188
Email: ddeberry@woodruff.law
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Practice Areas

Practice Description

David DeBerry serves as general counsel to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust, and the Placentia Library District.  He also has 25 years of experience as a City Attorney.  Mr. DeBerry has in-depth experience in land use matters, including advising clients on conditional use permits, zoning, general plans, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and in negotiating and drafting land acquisitions and development agreements.  He has developed an expertise in various transportation matters, with particular specialties in utility relocations, construction contracts and project procurements.

Mr. DeBerry exclusively represents public agencies and has represented them in numerous court cases involving a variety of issues, such as land use, CEQA, elections, utility relocations, and conflicts of interest, including a number of published federal and state court decisions.  He also advises legislative bodies on governance issues such as Public Records Act, the Brown Act, and the Political Reform Act.  His goal is to advance the interests of his clients through creative legal solutions and ensure they are fully informed of any legal consequences that may effect the decisions they make.

Professional Activities

Mr. DeBerry has twice served as President of the Orange County City Attorneys’ Association.  For two years he served as the Orange County representative on the League of California Cities State Legal Advocacy Committee.

Representative Matters

  • Represented two transportation agencies in four CEQA challenges to three freeway improvement projects.
  • Assisted the Orange County Transportation Authority during the procurement and construction phases for the I-405 widening, which will add a 16-mile, 4-lane toll facility.
  • Through a combination of negotiated settlement and litigation, recovered $10 million against a city’s former trash hauler for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Successfully defended a city council’s decision not to place a voter referendum on the ballot because it improperly sought to rescind an administrative matter.
  • In a published appellate court decision, All Towing Services v. City of Orange, defended the City Council’s decision on a police tow contract against allegations of due process violations and conflicts of interest.
  • Successfully defended a city against a complaint by a sober living operator that a sober living/boarding house ordinance drafted by Mr. DeBerry was discriminatory.
  • Negotiated and drafted land exchanges between a city and the U.S. Government to move an Army Reserve Training Center to a new site and between a city and school district for a new 6-12 school site.
  • In two separate appellate court decisions defended a city council’s determinations on conditional use permits against allegations of due process and CEQA violations.
  • Successfully argued during the Orange County bankruptcy that a city’s eminent domain court deposit should be given trust status and reimbursed in full.
  • Assisted four different agencies in negotiating agreements for relocation of utilities on a number of grade separation and freeway improvement projects.

Relevant Publications & Presentations

    • Publications:
      • Western City Magazine, Group Homes in the Neighborhood
      • Orange County City Attorneys’ Association, When Things Go Wrong
    • Presentations:
      • Ethics training for various associations and public officials
      • Solid Waste Association of North America, Impacts of Propositions 218 and 62 on Fees
      • League of California Cities Annual Conference, Regulation of Boarding House Uses


  • Western State University (J.D., 1988)
  • San Diego State University (B.A., Journalism, 1980)