Top Attorneys 2011

Academic

Steve Berenson

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Julie Greenberg

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Marybeth Herald

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Jeffrey A. Joseph

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Angela Kim Zugman

California Western School of Law

Alex Kreit

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Frank Partnoy

University of San Diego School of Law

Arnold Rosenberg

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Allen Snyder

University of San Diego School of Law

Kenneth Vandevelde

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Corporate Litigation

William J. Caldarelli

Caldarelli Hejmanowski Page & Leer LLP

William E. Grauer

Cooley LLP

Lee E. Hejmanowski

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Patricia P. Hollenbeck

Duane Morris LLP

Thomas R. Laube

Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez LLP

Monty McIntyre

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Jeffrey Shohet

DLA Piper

Nancy L. Stagg

Foley & Lardner LLP

Reg Vitek

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Michael Weaver

Latham & Watkins LLP

Mark Zebrowski

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Corporate Transactional

Gari L. Cheever

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

William Eigner

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Christopher Ekren

Sony Electronics Inc.

Mike Hird

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Marty B. Lorenzo

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.

Matt Schwartz

DLA Piper LLP

Tom Sohn

Websense, Inc.

John D. Tishler

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

Michael S. Umansky

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Adam Wyll

American Assets Trust Inc.

Criminal

Kerry L. Armstrong

Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC

Michael Attanasio

Cooley LLP

Linda Brown

Law Offices of Linda R. Brown

Kathleen Cannon

San Diego County Office of the Public Defender

G. Cole Casey

Law Offices of G. Cole Casey, APLC

Michael C. Harkness

Michael C. Harkness APLC

Alex Landon

Law Offices of Alex Landon

Colin H. Murray

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Paul H. Neuharth Jr.

Law Offices of Paul H. Neuharth Jr., APC

Charles Sevilla

Law Office of Charles Sevilla

Estate Planning/Probate & Trust

Lori Bolander

Bolander Law Group

Jeremy B. Crickard

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP

Mary F. Gillick

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP

Nancy G. Henderson

Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney

Jerilyn Jones

Brierton, Jones & Jones LLP

Carol K. Kao

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP

S. Andrew Pharies

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Elise Streicher

Law Offices of Elise Streicher

Frederick R. Vandeveer

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP

Ellen H. Whelan

DLA Piper

Family

Julie R. Barnes

Jones Barnes LLP

Lesa Christenson

ABC Family Law

J. William Hargreaves

Hargreaves & Taylor LLP

Judith Klein

Law Offices of Judith Klein

Elizabeth Kreitzer

Hargreaves & Taylor LLP

Michele Sacks Lowenstein

Lowenstein Brown APLC

Erik S. Moore

Moore, Schulman & Moore APC

Richard M. Renkin

The Law Offices of Richard M. Renkin, APLC

John H. Schweitzer

Stassinopoulos & Schweitzer, APLC

Janis Stocks

Stocks & Colburn

Insurance

Dorn G. Bishop

The Law Offices of Dorn G. Bishop APC

Andrew Dunk

Dunk & Associates

Robert Harrison

Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP

Rebecca Lack Mowbray

Mowbray Law Firm

Dominic S. Nesbitt

Osborne & Nesbitt LLP

Gary W. Osborne

Osborne & Nesbitt LLP

Douglas A. Pettit

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

Brian A. Rawers

Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Heather Linn Rosing

Klinedinst PC

Alan Schonfeld

Schonfeld, Bertsche, Preciado & Mahady, LLP

Robert F. Tyson, Jr.

Tyson & Mendes

Intellectual Property Litigation

N. Thane Bauz

Perkins Coie

Matthew Cook Bernstein

Perkins Coie LLP

Juanita Brooks

Fish & Richardson PC

Micha "Mitch" Danzig

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

James V. Fazio, III

San Diego IP Law Group LLP

Robert Gerber

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Randall Kay

Jones Day

John B. Scherling

Sughrue Mion, PLLC

Anthony Stiegler

Cooley LLP

John Thornburgh

Fish & Richardson PC

Kent M. Walker

Lewis Kohn & Fitzwilliam LLP

Boris Zelkind

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

Intellectual Property Transactional

Bing Ai

Perkins Coie LLP

G. Peter Albert Jr.

AlbertDhand LLP

John M. Carson

Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear LLP

William E. Hunter

Fish & Richardson PC

Ned Israelsen

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP

John Kim

IP Legal Advisors PC

Carl A. Kukkonen, III

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC

Lisa Martens

Fish & Richardson PC

Julia Miller

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Brian Wacter

Broadcom Corporation

Labor & Employment

Jonathan D. Andrews

Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP

Rick Bergstrom

Jones Day

Krista M. Cabrera

Foley & Lardner LLP

Christopher B. Cato

Gordon & Rees LLP

George de la Flor

Law Offices of George L. de la Flor

Cynthia Freeland

Schor & Freeland LLP

Thomas S. Ingrassia

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz

Jerrilyn Malana

Littler Mendelson

Katie Pothier

Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP

Leonid “Lonny” M. Zilberman

Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP

Municipal & Government

David Brodie

Office of County Counsel

Charles B. Christensen

Christensen & Spath LLP

Jodi L. Cleesattle

California Office of the Attorney General

Shawn D. Hagerty

Best Best & Krieger

Karen Landers

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Raymond Liddy

California Department of Justice

Tilisha Martin

Dependency Legal Group of San Diego Minor's Counsel Office

Amy Roebuck

California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Steven Ross

California Department of Justice

Walter F. Spath III

Christensen & Spath LLP

Personal Injury/Property Damage

Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr.

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

Stephen Estey

Estey & Bomberger

Robert J. Francavilla

Casey, Gerry, Schenk, Francavilla, Blatt & Penfield, LLP

John H. Gomez

Gomez Trial Attorneys

Robert Hamparyan

Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan

Ryan D. Harris

Harris Personal Injury Lawyers

Patrick L. Hosey

Hosey & Bahrambeygui LLP

Richard A. Huver

The Huver Law Firm

James S. Iagmin

The Gomez Law Firm

Virginia Carol Nelson

Law Offices of Virginia C. Nelson

Daniel M. White

White Oliver Amundson & Gallagher

Real Estate & Construction Litigation

Jeffrey Baird

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

Christopher K. Barnette

Law Offices of Christopher Barnette

Mark G. Budwig

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

William J. Caldarelli

Mazzarella Caldarelli LLP

P. Randolph "Randy" Finch Jr.

Finch, Thornton & Baird LLP

Thomas Finrow

Law Office of Thomas M. Finrow

Robert J. Hanna

Best Best & Krieger LLP

Jeff Hood

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Laurence R. Phillips

McKenna Long & Aldridge

Howard James Silldorf

Silldorf & Levine LLP

Charles Walker

Bruckner & Walker, LLP

Real Estate & Construction Transactional

David Bagley

Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP

Robert Bell

Dentons US LLP

Jeffrey Chine

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

Karolina A. Ericsson

Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden PC

Ray Gliner

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

Julie Mebane

Duane Morris LLP

Michael Ramsey

Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden, PC

Brian T. Seltzer

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Mark Spiegler

Fisch, Spiegler & Ginsburg APLC

Amy M. Strider

Peterson & Price, APC

Justin White

Law Office of Justin White

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Fausta Maria Albi

Larrabee Albi Coker LLP

Christopher Celentino

Duane Morris LLP

Gordon D. Cruse

Gordon D. Cruse APLC

Robert W. Frank

Neil, Dymott, Frank, McFall & Trexler APLC

Marco Gonzalez

Coast Law Group LLP

Russell Handy

Potter Handy, LLP

David L. Osias

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP

Richard A. Paul

Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton, LLP

Dennis Schoville

Schoville & Arnell LLP

Spencer Skeen

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC

2011 Winner

Charles B. Christensen

Christensen & Spath LLP

Education

Law School/Year: University of San Diego School of Law, 1973

College/Year: Claremont McKenna College, 1970

Bar Admissions

California; U.S. District Court for Southern, Central and Northern Districts of California; U.S. Claims Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court

Practice Areas

Business Litigation; Civil Litigation; Construction; Real Estate; Municipal and Government; Affordable Housing Law and Redevelopment Law

Major Cases

San Diego Housing Commission v. Industrial Indemnity, 68 Cal. App. 4th 526 (1998); San Diego Housing Commission v. Industrial Indemnity, 95 Cal. App. 669,116 CR2d 103 (2002). I was also lead counsel in the cases of Old Vail vs. City of Temecula, inverse condemnation cases filed against the City in both federal district court and state court to obtain relief for our client as a result of alleged wrongful downzoning of the property after a special assessment had previously been levied against the property assuming a higher zoning. The federal issues were appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The state court cases were settled with our client obtaining its requested zoning and thereafter being able to sell the property for millions of dollars. Most recently, Mr. Spath and I were both involved in representing the San Diego Housing Commission in connection with its nationally recognized conversion from federally subsidized public housing. Thereafter, the firm acted as borrower’s counsel for the San Diego Housing Commission in obtaining FNMA and FHA multifamily housing insured loans in excess of $95 million through national lenders Greystone and PNC. Christensen & Spath LLP has also acted as buyers and lender’s counsel for the Housing Commission in the acquisition of over 700 units affordable housing through its landmark HUD approved acquisition program over the last two years.

Professional Background

After graduating from USD School of Law and passing the bar, I went to work for the firm of Biafora and Weiner in the San Fernando Valley in 1974. I became a partner of the firm of Biafora, Weiner & Christensen in 1976. In 1978 I moved back to San Diego and became vice president and general counsel of the civil engineering and surveying firm of Charles W. Christensen & Associates. In 1983 I became a partner in the firm of Detisch & Christensen and remained with that firm until 2002, when Walter Spath III and I formed the firm that is now called Christensen & Spath LLP. I have been practicing law in the State of California for almost 38 years. I have attained the “AV-Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Our firm of Christensen & Spath LLP, a downtown San Diego law firm, is rated AV and is also listed in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell National Bar Register of Preeminent Law Firms in the United States, in the areas of municipal law, civil trial practice and general practice. I have been named one of the top public agency lawyers by The Daily Transcript in 2005, 2009 and now in 2011. I have also been named a Super Lawyer in the San Diego area in the municipal law arena for the last five years (2007 through 2011). For the last 20 years a major portion of my practice has been devoted to representing the San Diego Housing Commission in connection with all types of legal matters. My firm has also represented redevelopment agencies concerning redevelopment and housing law and has represented cities, including the City of San Diego and the City of National City in complex civil litigation matters, as special counsel. We have also represented the CDC of National City, the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Marcos, SANDAG, the City of Poway and the City of Chula Vista as special counsel for various issues including real estate law and affordable housing matters. I have tried numerous bench trials and jury trials to judgment and verdict, representing both public and private clients in state and federal trial courts and in the Courts of Appeal, including appeals in the California Court of Appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, the State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. Our firm has represented the City of San Diego and the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego in civil litigation involving matters affecting affordable housing, including litigation involving SRO Hotels and inclusionary zoning matters. I have been chief trial counsel in civil litigation on behalf of the public entities where these entities have collected settlements and judgments in excess of $12 million over the last several years.

Professional Affiliations

I am a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. I am a past arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and a past member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. I am an active member of the State Bar of California.

Personal Background

I have resided in San Diego County since I was 2 years old, except for the four years that I practiced law in Los Angeles County in the '70s. I currently live in Point Loma with my wife of almost 41 years, Susan. We have four children, Brophy, Michelle, Courtney and Tim. We also have six grandchildren. We are very happy and fortunate that all of our children and grandchildren live in California, with most of them residing in San Diego County.

2011 Sponsors

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