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Mary M. Howell, Esq., CCAL

Mary M. Howell, Esq., CCAL

Of Counsel

Practice Areas

Community Association Counsel
Senior & Fair Housing
Civil Litigation

Legal Assistant: Joy C. Dispo


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 is a former shareholder of Epsten, APC. Her legal practice has solely focused on the representation of community associations. She is a long-time champion of senior housing, 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 and has been lauded for her work by numerous civic organizations and state and local governments.

In addition to counseling associations on corporate governance and interpretation and enforcement of governing documents, Mary's casework on behalf of associations encompassed 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.

Mary was an adjunct law professor 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, on the Steering Committee of the State Bar's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Subsection, and appeared in various cases as an expert witness on community association issues.

Since 1994, Mary has been 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 and 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. For many years, she has co-authored the updated CEB text on Advising California Common Interest Developments, published in 2013. In 2014, the San Diego Daily Transcript named Mary a "Top Attorney in the Real Estate and Construction Transactional" practice category, and was recognized in the 2024 edition of the Best Lawyers in America in the "Community Association Law" category.

Events & Speaking Engagements

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    Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America, "Community Association Law"