James R. Traber

James Traber is a partner in Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost’s Sacramento office. He has dedicated his career to helping schools navigate the complexities of school facilities, construction, real estate, and business related matters.  Mr. Traber has extensive courtroom experience, and acts as general counsel to many school districts throughout California.  Mr. Traber co-chairs the firm's Business, Facilities, Real Estate, Construction & Energy Practice Group.

Construction Project delivery. Mr. Traber regularly provides advice and counsel regarding all construction project delivery methods and has expertise in Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, Lease-Leaseback, and Uniform Construction Cost Accounting delivery methods.

Lease-Leaseback.  An expert in Lease-Leaseback agreements, Mr. Traber has written and presented on legal changes to the law created by AB 2316 (effective January 1, 2016).  Mr. Traber has drafted many Lease-Leaseback agreements for projects of various sizes throughout the State.  In the aftermath of the Davis v. Fresno decision, Mr. Traber was asked to write several "friend of the court" briefs on behalf of school organizations to assist Courts with understanding the practical aspects of Lease-Leaseback agreements.

Developer fees.  Mr. Traber counsels school districts on the substantive and procedural legal issues concerning school impact fees (developer fees.).  Mr. Traber helps schools negotiate agreements with developers, and has successfully defended multiple demands and formal lawsuits brought against schools related to developer fee issues.

Condemnation.  Mr. Traber has condemnation litigation expertise relating to schools.  Mr. Traber has procured multiple school sites using eminent domain, resolving many before litigation became necessary, and litigating some in Court.  Mr. Traber has also successfully prosecuted and defended claims for inverse condemnation in various legal actions throughout the State.

Surplus Property.  Mr. Traber has extensive experience assisting schools with disposing of surplus property from the formation of "7-11" committees, through the actual receipt of bids for the property and the resulting real estate contracts.

Procurement of equipment and services.  Mr. Traber also has broad experience counseling schools on the procurement of goods and services through bidding, and navigating the exceptions to bidding requirements.  Mr. Traber regularly crafts contracts for large scale procurements, as well as agreements for professional services. 

Mr. Traber earned his Juris Doctor at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.  He holds a bachelor's degree, cum laude, in Psychology, also from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

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