Small, focused, efficient firm advising commercial real estate investors on buying, selling, leasing, and financing.
We love commercial and investment real estate. It’s how our clients get rich slowly. They and we enjoy the journey as much as the destination. We are animated by wanting to know everything about buying, selling, leasing, exchanging, and financing real estate. We enjoy asking our clients intelligent questions, assisting them with their real estate opportunities, and devising creative solutions to their property challenges.
We love family businesses. In the 3000 years since the invention of coinage, people have devised thousands of ways to make a living. We are fascinated by the many ways that our clients provide value to their customers. We have clients in the supply chain who buy at wholesale and sell at retail. We have clients who make or distribute goods, ranging from machines as sophisticated as automobiles to industrial supplies as plain as rocks. (You can do very well if you buy and sell the right rocks.) We have clients who are brokers who connect buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, and borrowers and lenders. We have clients who, like us, provide professional services.
We love our city’s history. Our founder is a lifelong Portlander and has watched the city develop. What matters today in downtown real estate is in large part because of decisions made 50 years ago. We know the system that brought us here.
We love to plan for the future. Many of our clients have succeeded in business and have invested well. We help them attain peace of mind for their children and their grandchildren. We have known some families for four generations, and we advise them on providing for the fifth and sixth generation. We are lawyers whom you can pass on to your children.
We love the language. We write with clarity. Words are the tools of our craft, the hammers and nails of our carpentry. We write leases that put into words the commitments of our clients that may take 30 years to fulfill. Our words are your promises. We use them carefully. We strive to write to you in plain terms so that our advice is clear and useful to you.
We respect our clients. We don’t charge our clients for many of the incidentals that appear at the end of the invoices of many firms: small copying, ordinary postage, online legal research providers’ fees, and the like. Those costs are part of our overhead. The costs that we do pass through are all invoiced at our cost, without markup. Our clients hire us for our expertise, not for our photocopier.
In 30 years of law practice, and since opening the firm's predecessor Alterman Law Office in 2006, Dean Alterman has advised private businesses and real estate investors across a range that includes buying, selling, and leasing commercial and multi-family real estate, negotiating development agreements, forming condominiums, acquiring and selling businesses, and the other legal matters that come up in the business world. Known for his unusual memory and his mathematical mind, Dean's experience includes eight years in real estate sales, two terms on a county planning commission, and a stint as an outside director of a community bank and its holding company.
Dean frequently speaks and writes on real estate and land use topics. In 2015 the American Bar Association published his first book, a primer for aspiring real estate lawyers titled How to Build a Real Estate Law Practice. When not at his desk advising clients, Dean is an active leader in Portland's civic life, with present or past board service on many cultural and educational organizations, including the Portland Japanese Garden and Portland Piano International. Dean earned his A.B. in statistics from Harvard College in 1981. Dean received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in 1989. He is admitted to practice in Oregon (1989) and Washington (2010).
Erica focuses her practice on business and real estate transactions, and has a broad range of experience in other areas of law, including civil litigation and various debtor-creditor issues.
Erica is admitted to practice in Oregon (2012) and Washington (2018). Erica graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2012, where she served on the Marquette Sports Law Review and received her Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute. Prior to law school, Erica attended St. Ambrose University, where she earned a B.A. in Management and Sports Marketing.
Erica is active in the Portland legal community and serves as the president of her cycling team, Team Oregon. In her free time, Erica enjoys cycling, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.