Back to Attorneys


Chair, Fair Housing Practice Group

Practice Areas

Community Association Counsel
Senior & Fair Housing
Civil Litigation


University of California, San Diego, 1972
University of San Diego School of Law, 1976

Affiliations and Memberships

State Bar of California
San Diego County Bar Association
College of Community Association Lawyers
Community Associations Institute (CAI), Member, Past San Diego Chapter President and Board Member
California Association of Community Managers (CACM), Member


Mary Howell graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 1972 with a B.A. in biology. She is a 1976 graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law. In practice in San Diego since December of that year and now a shareholder in the law firm of Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC, Mary’s practice is limited to the representation of community associations. Clients include associations in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties. In addition to counseling associations on corporate governance and interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, Mary’s case work on behalf of associations encompasses litigation of CC&R enforcement cases, appellate representation, defense of common interest developments (e.g., breach of fiduciary obligation, wrongful termination, failure to maintain) and actions for declaratory relief.

A long-time champion of senior housing, Mary is well-known for her advocacy of seniors and her work on behalf of senior communities in California. As a respected authority on the topic, she has authored texts for attorneys on the federal and California laws that relate to age restricted communities. Mary has been lauded for her work by numerous civic organizations and state and local governments.

Mary has also been an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and has authored numerous articles and handbooks for homeowner associations, including Small Claims Court for Homeowner Associations, and the Resource Manual for California Senior Communities. Mary has served as a judge pro-tem for San Diego County courts, and has appeared in various cases as an expert witness on community association issues. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the State Bar’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Subsection.

From 1994 to present, Mary has served as an instructor for the California State Bar’s Continuing Education of the Bar classes on community associations and the Davis-Stirling Act. She is a past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Community Associations Institute and a frequent lecturer at CAI’s national Community Association Law Seminar, as well as CACM’s annual legal Symposium. Mary is a member of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). She serves on CAI’s amicus team, and CACM’s legislative committee. She recently co-authored the updated CEB text on Advising California Common Interest Developments, published in 2013. In 2014, the San Diego Daily Transcript named Mary as a Top Attorney in the Real Estate & Construction Transactional practice category.

Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC Articles

Additional Articles

Events & Speaking Engagements

Desert Dialogues: Golf Courses & Wells @ City of Rancho Mirage Public Library Conference Room
Oct 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Desert Dialogues: Golf Courses & Wells @ City of Rancho Mirage Public Library Conference Room

A series of presentations on community association legal issues unique to our desert communities.

Coachella Valley associations are confronted with challenges unlike those found elsewhere—lifestyle, demographics, infrastructure and facilities all evolve differently in our historical and physical environment. At Epsten Grinnell & Howell, our perspective and understanding of these issues has been shaped by years of local presence.

Attend these FREE events with Epsten Grinnell & Howell’s attorneys, who will share their insights on legal challenges of particular concern to our Valley’s community associations.

Speakers: Mary M. Howell, Esq., Dea C. Franck, Esq., and David E. Bruce, Esq.

Epsten Grinnell & Howell, APC Coachella Valley Legal Symposium @ Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Nov 9 @ 7:30 am – 1:00 pm
The Management Trust – Desert Division USO Fundraiser Event
Nov 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Management Trust - Desert Division USO Fundraiser Event

Join us as we sponsor this event benefiting the Bob Hope USO of Palm Springs.
EG&H Attendees: Mary M. Howell, Esq., David E. Bruce, Esq., Dea C. Franck, Esq.,  Tiffany Christian

Contact Attorney