John Paul Hanna

John Paul Hanna is one of the leading land use lawyers in California, experienced in developing, buying, selling, subdividing, financing, leasing, construction, common interest developments, resort communities, permitting, entitlements, conversions, and dealing with city and county staffs, planning commissions, councils, boards of supervisors and with such state agencies as the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Social Services.

Mr. Hanna has been selected in Best Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, San Francisco’s Best Lawyers, and Silicon Valley’s Best Lawyers. Mr. Hanna has represented clients and obtained entitlements such as tentative and final subdivision maps, condominium plans and public reports for over 1,200 projects (residential, commercial and mixed-use) including more than 35,000 condominium units and over 22,000 planned development lots.

Representative Matters

  • Represented two different Bay Area cities in reviewing complex mixed-use common interest development project documents
  • Appeared as expert witness in cases involving real estate development, subdivisions, Department of Real Estate regulations and homeowners associations
  • Presented owner/developer of Lake Merced Hill in San Francisco, one of the early common interest developments
  • Represented the owner/developer of Golden Gateway projects, an early downtown mixed-use residential commercial project in San Francisco
  • Represents numerous homeowners associations and commercial owners associations throughout California
  • Represented the owner/developer of an 1100 unit residential/commercial/retail project obtaining approval of tentative maps for a project on Fillmore Street in San Francisco
  • Represented the owner/developer of a 2,000 lot residential resort community in Stanislaus County
  • Represented the owner/developer of Redwood Shores, a master planned community in Redwood City, San Mateo County
  • Represented the owner/developer of the Cupertino Town Center in Santa Clara County
  • Represented the owner/developer of the Apple campus
  • Represented Habitat for Humanity San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, developing affordable housing projects
  • Represented a joint venture composed of Shea Homes, Lennar and Centex in developing the Rivermark Project in Santa Clara County
  • Represented most of California’s major homebuilders over the last 40 years in developing governing documents and obtaining Department of Real Estate public reports
  • Represented owners and developers of condominium hotels in Half Moon Bay and Hermosa Beach
  • Represented owners and developers of numerous mixed-use residential, office/retail high-rise projects in San Francisco and San Jose
  • Represented owner of a landmark historic building successfully converted into office condominiums in San Jose
  • Represented receiver of a large commercial retail project (Vietnam Town) in San Jose

Selected Activities

  • Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Member, College of Community Association Lawyers
  • Member, Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO) (Member of Legal Resource Panel)
  • Member, Real Property, Probate Trust Law Section of American Bar Association
  • Member, Common Interest Subdivision Committee of the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • Member, Common Interest Committee of American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Member, Community Associations Institute (CAI)
  • Member, Home Builders Association (HBA) (Board of Directors of South Bay)
  • Member, Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  • Selected as outstanding young man of Palo Alto by Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • Selected as one of five outstanding young men of California by Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • Bohemian Club
  • Elks Club
  • Kiwanis Club (President, Palo Alto)
  • Menlo Circus Club
  • Department of Real Estate Building Industry Association Committee (Co-Founder)
  • Captain, United States Army Reserve (Airborne) (Ret.)


Books Written

  • Teenagers and the Law (forward by Bayless Manning, Dean, Stanford Law School)
  • Youth and the Law (First Publication of Palo Alto Unified School District)
  • The Complete Layman’s Guide to the Law (forward by Justice Tom Clark)
  • California Condominium Handbook (published by Bancroft Whitney Company)
  • California Condominium Handbook II, Law and Practice (published by Bancroft Whitney Company)
  • Homeowners Associations: A How To Guide For Leadership and Effective Participation (published by Hanna Press) (translated into Chinese and published in China by Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Hanna and Van Atta on California Common Interest Developments (published by West)

Articles Written

  • “The Fourth District Strikes Again,” – Real Property Law Reporter (Vol 34/Number 4, July 2011)
  • “Amending Association Documents,” The ECHO (June, 2000)
  • “Requirements for Records and Reports,” The ECHO (October, 1993)
  • “Fannie Mae Updates Her Guide for Condominiums and Other Common Interest Developments,” CEB Real Property Law Reporter (August, 1993)
  • “Current Condominium Practice Problems,” Pepperdine Law Review (1976)
  • “Subdivisions: Conditions Imposed by Local Government,” Santa Clara Lawyers (Spring, 1966)
  • “Protecting Builders’ Rights,” The Voice of the Homebuilding Industry (December, 1964)
  • “Compulsory Dedication of Subdivision Land May Be Illegal,” California Builder (August, 1964)
  • “The Land of Aas, or, Dorothy, We’re not in Kansas Anymore, ” California Real Property Journal (Vol. 32, No. 2, 2014)

Teaching Experience

  • Lecturer on Common Interest Subdivisions, CEB Continuing Legal Education California State Bar, 1990


  • America’s Most Honored Professional
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • AVVO Top Rated Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Top Attorneys in Northern California
  • Best Lawyers in California
  • Best Lawyer in California First Tier
  • Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year in Northern California- 2018


  • Menlo School
  • Phillips Academy Andover
  • Stanford University, B.A.
  • Stanford Law School, J.D.
  • Military Intelligence School (Ft. Holabird, MD)
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