Karen L. Diepenbrock

Karen L. Diepenbrock

Karen L. Diepenbrock's Profile Image
Phone: 916.492.5026
Bio Representative Matters Speaking/Writing Of Note

Karen Diepenbrock’s practice emphasizes real property, land use and environmental law. She represents both private and public entities in negotiating and drafting agreements for all aspects of real estate development. She has represented numerous developers in drafting agreements for purchase and sale, ground leases, build-to-suit leases, shopping center leases, covenants, conditions and restrictions, brokerage agreements, construction and permanent financing documents, standard form office leases, joint venture agreements, development agreements, and construction contracts.

Karen has appeared before the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and Zoning Interpretation Committee, Sacramento City Council and Planning Commission, Local Agency Formation Commissions, Placer County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, and other local boards and commissions on land use matters including rezonings and annexations. Karen also provides advice regarding environmental matters.

She has served as an Arbitrator for the Superior Court of Sacramento and as a Judge Pro Tem.

Karen gives generously of her time and talent to numerous civic and charitable organizations. She serves or has served on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: Crocker Art Museum, Girl Scouts – Heart of Northern California, Catholic Healthcare West Community Advisory Board, Wells Fargo Community Board, Citizenship and Law-Related Education Center, Sacramento Theatre Company, Stanford Home for Children, and Sacramento Make-A-Wish Foundation. She acted as Co-Chair of the Mercy Foundation Centennial Campaign, raising over $7.5 million. In 1993, she was recognized as the County Bar Association’s “Humanitarian of the Year.”

Karen has held numerous leadership positions with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce including membership on the Board of Directors, General Counsel in 1992, Vice President of Governmental Relations in 1997, and Vice President of Community Relations in 1998. In 1996, the Chamber recognized her work with the prestigious “Businesswoman of the Year” award.

She has been recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America” since 2007, a Northern California Super Lawyer (2009, 2010), and Real Estate Professional of the Year (2007).

She is an author and speaker on real estate and land use issues.

She received her B.A. in French from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.A. in French from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, Martin Luther King School of Law and received the Order of the Coif.


Formed and represented venture through which local investors, a major international financial institution, and East Coast hedge funds proposed a new power project.

Represented developer of underground natural gas storage project in joint venture (LLC) with financial partners, including negotiations for operating agreement and several amendments, arrangement for disbursements.

Real Estate

Represented developer in preparation of CCRs for the first major new commercial office development in the City of Sacramento outside the core downtown.

Represented a large hospital in connection with complicated remapping of multiple downtown properties involving more than 10 separate owners to facilitate major $170M expansion and renovation.

Represented the developer of a major parcel of bare land west of I-5 and north of the Garden Highway successfully advocating with City Planning Commission, the City Council, the environmental community and others in the preparation and certification of the EIR, a revision of the City General Plan, the rezoning of the land from residential to office building and other land use matters.

Ms. Diepenbrock has received many awards for excellence in the practice of law.  These include recognition for multiple years as a Best Lawyer in America, a Top Attorney in Northern California, a Top Attorney in San Francisco, Professional of the Year for Real Estate Law, Northern California "Super Lawyer" for Real Estate, Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser, Businesswoman of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.   She has served on the Boards of multiple entities, including Mercy Healthcare Sacramento, the Community Board, Catholic Healthcare West, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento, the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Sacramento Theatre Company and the Stanford Home for Children.   She has served as an arbitrator for the California Superior Court since 1988 and as a Judge Pro Tem since 1999.

She is a proud graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Martin Luther King School of Law at the University of California at Davis (Order of the Coif); holds a M.A. degree in French literature from the University of California at Berkeley and spent a year at the University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.  



University of California, Berkeley
B.A., French, Phi Beta Kappa

University of California, Berkeley
M.A., French

University of California, Davis, School of Law (King Hall)
J.D. 1979


California (1979)

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California


Real Estate

Diepenbrock Elkin
Dauer McCandless LLP
555 University Avenue Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: 916.492.5000
Fax: 916.446.2640