Jane Ellison Usher is a partner in the Firm's Los Angeles office. She is a member of the Firm’s Real Estate, Public and Environmental Law, and Litigation practices. Ms. Usher represents private, public agency, and nonprofit entities in the resolution of their government and regulatory affairs. With thirty years of expertise in land use, planning, zoning, environmental, real estate development, CEQA, Brown Act, Public Records Act, ethics, ordinances, legislation, municipal and administrative law, Ms. Usher advises her clients from the inception of a government matter, through agency hearings and determinations, to the conclusion of any litigation that might result.
Over the past two decades, Ms. Usher has served the City of Los Angeles in several appointed roles. Most recently, she was the Senior Assistant City Attorney member of the executive management team of the Office of the City Attorney. In this capacity, she negotiated the City’s complex real estate matters, including for the LA Live football stadium, NBC Universal, and USC; litigated the city’s highest profile cases, involving urban renewal, planning and development, building and safety, infrastructure, code enforcement, outdoor advertising and signage, medical marijuana, homelessness, and constitutional questions; and drafted and successfully defended many of the most innovative and ground-breaking ordinances, policies, and actions of the city. Previously, Ms. Usher was President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission (2005-2009), Counsel to Mayor Tom Bradley (1989-1993), and the Mayor’s Alternate on the Board of the Los Angeles Transportation Commission (1991-1993). She has spoken extensively on zoning, environmental and municipal law, including on the important relationship between property owners and their neighbors.
Formerly, Ms. Usher was the Assistant Dean to the USC Annenberg School. As an adjunct member of the USC Gould School of Law faculty, she teaches a course entitled The Law of the City. Ms. Usher was associate general counsel to the Los Angeles Olympics, and general counsel to the United States Football League, the America’s Cup sailing competition, and the men’s and women’s professional beach volleyball associations. Ms. Usher began her legal career at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Tunney. Ms. Usher’s civic commitments have included Brown University, the Center for Early Education, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Cornell University, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, Harvard Westlake School, and Wilshire Boulevard Temple. She has received Tree People’s Evergreen Award and the AIA California Council’s Presidential Citation.