Partner in Napa law firm Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Jeff Dodd



Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP

700 Main Street, Napa 94559


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

Responsibilities with your company: I became a partner in the real estate and land use group at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP this past January.

I specialize in land use, environmental, and water law . I counsel North Bay entrepreneurs, small business owners, wineries, farmers, and nonprofits on issues related to local, state, and federal government regulations, real estate, and wine and ag-related issues.

How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I'm adaptable to our ever-changing world in the legal profession and enthusiastic about finding creative approaches to the challenges we face.

Years with company: 3

Length of time in current position: I've been a partner with the firm since January 2021.

Number of companywide employees: 182

Number who report to you: 2

Greatest professional accomplishment: Joining Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass and becoming partner here. It is a great firm with a team of experts and a healthy environment to learn and grow.

I'm able to work on a range of projects that benefit the local community and that's incredibly important to me.

Greatest professional challenge: My greatest professional challenge is balancing my career and my clients, with my commitment to my family. I have a young son and also support my wife in her professional endeavors.

Best advice received: A good family friend told me, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Nothing comes easy, but preparation, great care, and attention to detail always factor in to positive outcomes for my clients.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Joining the partnership at Coblentz is a huge honor and only enhances my dedication to my clients.

What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?

The decrease in in-person connection with clients, colleagues, family, and friends has been a big change.

And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?

Finding more ways to connect digitally has been a priority and has reminded me that even a quick check-in or call can be rewarding.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

Internally, we are all facing unique challenges, be it health of friends and family or kids in and out of school, but Coblentz is a unique firm to be a part of – we prioritize balance and the well-being of each and every member of our robust team and the events of the past year have only enhanced that.

We've also really stepped up for our clients who have faced the historic circumstances of COVID, fires, and the resulting economic fallout. Coblentz has been all-hands-on-deck to help with the complex set of issues facing our clients and that is something that I am very grateful for.

Next professional goal: I am always learning in this job and always eager to learn more, which is the best part of being an attorney—you're always learning new things. However, I do want to continue to build my expertise on fire safe regulations to better serve my clients.

Education: BA, University of California, Santa Barbara; JD, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Hometown: Napa

Community/nonprofit activities: The Napa community is hugely important to me.

In 2018, I was elected to the board of trustees for Napa Valley College. Connecting the larger Napa community to everything we are accomplishing at the school, and everything the school has to offer, has been extremely rewarding.

I also serve on the board of directors for Napa's Community Health Initiative, which is dedicated to achieving 100% health care coverage for all Napa County residents, regardless of income, and I am on the advisory board for 10,000 Degrees, which helps low income students get to and through college in order to positively impact their communities.

Mentor/admired businessperson: My mom. She started an interior design company when I was very young.

Every time she hired a contractor to construct the improvements that she designed, they would always mess the job up!

So she obtained a general contractor's license in order to do both the design and the build work herself. She has been a successful general contractor for +25 years and runs a design + build firm with over a dozen employees.

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Not necessarily a buzzword – but I believe in being really straightforward and clear with my clients.

In other words, you won't hear legalese or long acronyms from me, none of us has time for that.

Typical day at the office: I love to get to the office early, which helps free me up for meetings or site visits later in the day. If I am stuck at the computer, I always take a walk along the Napa River.

In a business sense, what is the greatest thing about being under 40; and then what is the worst?

Having a young family while further establishing my business is a lot to take on, but it's been great so far. Ask me when I am 41!

Best place to work outside of your office: One of the best parts of my job is that I am often onsite with my clients. It's one thing to read a project description, but it's a whole other experience to understand my client's needs when they are right in front of me.

This has been especially true in the months and years following the fires that have so devastated the North Bay. As we focus on rebuilding, understanding the unique challenges and opportunities that my clients face is ever more apparent when I can be onsite with them.

Hobbies: I've always been an avid golfer and enjoy anything that gets me outside!

What you wanted to be when you grew up: A lawyer!

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: I would like to hike from Mt. St Helena to Lake Hennessey with my wife.

Before we were married, we started the route, but I proposed marriage half-way through the trek and champagne in Calistoga sounded better than hiking up 1,000 ft of elevation.

First job: Busser at Bistro Don Giovani's

Social media you most use: COVID has meant less and less time on social media but more attempts at meaningful connections.

Favorite book: These days it's “Goodnight Moon,” which I read to my son before bed every night.

Favorite movie: With a two-year-old, my wife and I are usually too tired to make it through a full movie these days, but we've really enjoyed watching Ted Lasso on AppleTV and Lupin on Netflix, anything feel-good.

Favorite App: I use the podcast app Stitcher daily. I am a bit of a history nerd and have been making my way through a compendium of Revolutionary War history and another podcast covering immersive accounts of the East Bay's social, political, and geographic history.

Favorite after-work drink: A negroni is the house drink: 1 part Gin, 1 part Campari, and 1 part sweet vermouth. Easy to put together, satisfying, and perfect to celebrate a good day, or wash away a bad one.

Last vacation: COVID has put a halt on faraway travels, but my family and I took a trip to the Northeast in 2019, enjoying Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. We had great seats at Fenway Park, saw the most incredible sunset of all time from Menemsha Beach on Martha's Vineyard, and explored coastal Maine and its many lobster shacks.

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

Now that they are grandparents, they've kind of moved on from me. My son, Hal, brings a lot of joy to our whole family and they are always bragging about how great he is.

Jeff Dodd



Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP

700 Main Street, Napa 94559


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

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