A U.S. judge has ordered that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke can be questioned in a lawsuit against the government filed by the former head of American International Group Inc.
Law School/Year: University of San Diego School of Law, 1973
College/Year: Claremont McKenna College, 1970
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
Business Litigation; Civil Litigation; Construction; Real Estate; Municipal and Government; Affordable Housing Law
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 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 successfully sell the property with the proper zoning. Most recently, Walter Spath and I were 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 834 units of affordable housing through its landmark HUD approved acquisition program over the last three years. In addition, recently I was involved in assisting in the amendment of the inclusionary housing ordinance in the city of San Diego to deal with issues raised by the Palmer and Patterson cases. In addition, foreclosure litigation involving the SRO Churchill Hotel was successfully resolved in the San Diego Superior Court. The Churchill Hotel is being renovated and made ready for reoccupation.
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 40 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 was named one of the top public agency lawyers by The Daily Transcript in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and now in 2013. I have also been named a Super Lawyer in the San Diego area in the municipal law arena for the last seven years (2007 through 2013). In March of 2013, I was named at Top Lawyer in San Diego by the San Diego Magazine. For the last 22 years a major portion of my practice has been devoted to representing public entities, including 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 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 valued in excess of $14 million over the last several years.
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.
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 1970s. I currently live in Point Loma with my wife of almost 43 years, Susan. We have four children, Brophy, Michelle, Courtney and Tim. We also have seven grandchildren. We are very happy and fortunate that all of but one of our children and all of our grandchildren live in California, with most of them residing in San Diego County.
Aug. 14, 2013 -- Reporter Doug Sherwin talks with attorney Lonny Zilberman, a partner with Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP and a 2013 Top Attorney, about sexual harassment lawsuits and the nuances of these types of cases.
Partner liability has emerged as one of the most important issues for law firms and is increasingly the crucial factor that determines building selection and the structure of other economic lease terms. Arguments over liability complicate — even kill — otherwise easy lease transactions. Law firm decision-makers contemplating a relocation or renewal would be well-served to understand and carefully consider how they intend to deal with partner liability from the outset.
Top Attorneys 2013 pays tribute to San Diego County's legal cream of the crop. It is the culmination of a lengthy peer voting process that began in April with the announcement of a call for nominations. San Diego County lawyers were asked who among their peers -- with whom they had professional experience -- were worthy of recognition.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June, it opened up more than 1,000 federal benefits and responsibilities to legally married same-sex couples.
Thomas Guernsey has been at the job as Thomas Jefferson School of Law's new dean and president for less than two months and he's already made quite an impression.
Recently, I received calls from two human resources managers regarding articles in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. They were concerned about the WSJ’s claim that the position of legal secretary is extinct and USA Today’s assertion that the growth of temporary hiring is a negative devolvement.
Established in 2001, Morris, Sullivan & Lemkul was founded by Shawn Morris and Mike Sullivan. Shawn and Mike are former partners of Wingert Grebing, one of San Diego's oldest and most respected law firms.
The U.S. Department of Treasury recently announced that it is delaying until 2015 the enforcement of the so-called “employer mandate” provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA” or “Obamacare”), which were supposed to take effect in 2014.
#1. Put all commission agreements in writing (Labor Code section 2751).
RJS Law is a full-service law firm that can help resolve your personal, small-business or corporate tax problems with the Internal Revenue Service and California state tax authorities.
As the practice of law adapts to meet the changing needs of clients and organizations, opportunities exist to develop partnerships between law firms and law schools. Together, firms and schools can prepare profession-ready graduates and meet the growing need for legal services. California Western School of Law, San Diego’s oldest law school, is poised to lead the way in this national effort.
The University of San Diego School of Law develops resources and clinics that offer practical training to law students while making it possible for them to give back to the community. With San Diego County’s estimated veteran population of 250,000 and more than 2 million veterans living in California, there is no doubt that many have and will benefit from the school’s Initiative to Protect Student Veterans.
California’s employers are burdened with a long list of onerous regulations, so it’s no surprise that many employers fail to recognize the daunting requirements of the California Labor Code -- until it’s too late.
Gomez Iagmin Trial Attorneys is a plaintiff's only law firm based in downtown San Diego, specializing in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, complex product liability and mass torts.
The attorneys at CaseyGerry specialize in serious personal injury and traumatic brain injury cases, and are at the forefront of the complex medical issues related to brain injury. These include chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease thought to be caused by repeat concussions or blows to the head, and second impact syndrome, a condition in which the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers a second concussion.
Ralph Nader has a new cause.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that, at least when it comes to voting rights, the U.S. Supreme Court is guilty of wishful thinking. He is also showing both how difficult and how important it is to overcome that kind of thinking.
A federal jury in Oregon awarded $18.6 million to a woman who spent two years unsuccessfully trying to get Equifax Information Services to fix major mistakes on her credit report.
A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Cuomo administration over dairy farm regulations intended to bolster the state's growing yogurt industry, the groups announced Monday.
It was late at night on Feb. 27, 2001, and Penn State's then-president, Graham Spanier, one of academia's most prominent administrators, typed a brief email to two other top administrators as they debated how to respond to a thorny situation.
FedEx Corp., the world’s largest cargo airline, will pay $21.5 million to settle a lawsuit over claims that it overcharged customers by billing for deliveries to businesses and governments at higher residential rates.