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Municipal / Government

Attorneys are listed alphabetically

Charles A. Bird

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps

600 W Broadway, Ste 2600

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 699-2406



Charlie Bird specializes in appeals and writs in all California and federal appellate courts. He has been the lead counsel in more than 40 cases with published opinions, including U.S. Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, and U.S. Ninth and Tenth Circuits. He has handled more than 100 appeals and writs as lead counsel.

Bar Admissions

California, U.S.Supr.Ct., U.S.Fed.Cir., 4th U.S. Cir., 6th U.S.Cir., 9th U.S.Cir., 10th U.S. Cir.


JD, UC Davis, 1973

BA (History), UC Davis, Highest honors, 1969


American Academy of Appellate Lawyers

California Academy of Appellate Lawyers


Supreme Court of Alaska

Kim W. Cheatum

Law Office of Kim W. Cheatum

750 B Street, Ste 3300

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 233-9977


Cheatum graduated from Claremont's Men's College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude. He received his Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in 1978, and was subsequently published in the International Law Review.

He became licensed as an attorney by the State Bar of California in 1978, and was granted the status of Certified Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California in 1991.

Cheatum has served as both a Temporary Judge and Special Master for the Superior Court of the County of San Diego, Family Law Division, and in 1992 served as Adjunct Professor of Community Property at California Western School of Law.

The author of many articles, including three lead articles in Family Law News, which is the official publication of the State Bar of California, Family Law Section, Cheatum also served as Amicus Curiae for In re Marriage of Haines (1995) 33 Cal. App. 4th 277.

Cheatum currently practices family law in San Diego, with an emphasis on complex property issue matters.

Charles B. Christensen

Christensen Schwerdtfeger & Spath LLP

444 West C St, Ste 200

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 236-9343


Charles B. Christensen is the senior partner in the firm of Christensen Schwerdtfeger & Spath, LLP. He has been in practice in the State of California for more than 32 years.

Since 1991, a substantial portion of Christensen's time has been devoted to Housing Law representing the San Diego Housing Commission. During that time period, Christensen has represented the commission in all aspects of housing law, including matters involving density bonuses, coastal affordable housing requirements; lending, including federal and state sources of funding; tax credit financing; issues concerning SROs; bond financings; first time homebuyer financing; inclusionary housing documentation; Section 8 vouchers; Article 34 issues; and, litigation involving construction defects in public housing, obtaining settlements and jury verdicts in excess of four million dollars for his public entity clients, among other areas of representation.

He currently represents the Community Development Commission of the City of National City and the San Marcos Redevelopment Agency on special matters concerning redevelopment law and housing law. He is also general counsel to the San Diego Model School Development Agency, a joint powers agency.

Christensen is a member of the San Diego County and American Bar Associations and the State Bar of California. He and his firm are listed in Martindale-Hubbel's Register of Preeminent Law Firms in the United States.

Terence M. Chucas

3111 Camino del Rio N, Suite 400

San Diego CA, 92108

(619) 528-2364



J.D. -- Western State College of Law

B.A. - University of British Columbia; Vancouver, B.C.

Professional Experience

Current -- Law Offices of Terence M. Chucas, Family Law Practice

1990-1998 -- Law Offices of Terence M. Chucas, Juvenile Dependency Practice

1977-1990 -- Law Offices of Terence M. Chucas, General Law Practice

1964-1971 - Royal Canadian Navy, Naval Officer

C. Michael Cowett

Best, Best & Krieger

402 West Broadway, 13th Floor

San Diego, CA 92101


(619) 525-1300

C. Michael Cowett has practiced public agency law including work as a City Attorney, Redevelopment Agency counsel and Special District general counsel since his admission to the bar in December, 1972.

He joined Best, Best & Krieger in 1993 after 21 years at Jennings, Engstrand & Henrikson, where he served as managing partner for three years and chairman of its Public Agency Practice Group. He sat on the executive committee of Best, Best & Krieger for three years and served as managing partner of the San Diego office for five years.

He serves as general counsel to the North San Diego County Transit Development Board, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rancho California Water District, Sweetwater Authority, and Valley Center Municipal Water District. He also serves as special counsel to many other public agencies.

Cowett received his bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley and law degree from the University of California at Davis in 1972. He was a writer and editor of the Davis Law review.

Cowett is a member of the California State Bar and a past member of the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section.

Nancy Dix

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP

401 B Street, Ste 1700

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 699-2921



As a partner in the Intellectual & Technology Property Group, Nancy Dix heads up the firm's Government Contracts Practice in the San Diego Office.

She represent clients in a broad range of government contract matters including bid protests, claims, sub-contract disputes, appeals to boards and courts, suspension and debarment matters, government investigations, and qui tam suits. She also provides general counseling and advice on a variety of government contract, cost charging and regulatory matters.

Dix also heads the Trademark Prosecution Group in the San Diego office and represents and advises clients on protecting their trademarks and other intellectual property. She also litigates intellectual property disputes, including licensing, trademark and trade dress, trade secret, unfair competition and copyright matters.

Courts and forums

U.S. Supreme Court

Court of Federal Claims

District Courts: Northern, Central & Southern Districts of California and District of Columbia

Courts of Appeal: Federal, Fourth, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits

Civic and charitable

San Diego Military Advisory Council, Secretary, Board Member

San Diego Fleet Week Foundation, Board Member

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Committee

San Diego Chamber of Commerce, former Chair Military Affairs Advisory Committee

San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau

ABA Public Contract Law Section

Michele Sacks Lowenstein

Law Offices of Michele Sacks Lowenstein

5030 Camino de la Siesta, Ste 304

San Diego CA, 92108

(619) 298-6246



Michele Sacks Lowenstein is a Certified Family Law Specialist in San Diego, California. She has been a practicing family law attorney for 23 years and represents men and women who seek reasonable solutions to the problems they face going through the process of divorce.

Sacks Lowenstein has served as the chairperson of the Family Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association and periodically serves as a settlement conference judge for the San Diego County Family Law Court.

Sacks Lowenstein has been trained in collaborative divorce and is pleased to offer this service to clients as it provides a way for parties to maintain their dignity as well as a measure of control over the dissolution of their marriage.

James E. McElroy

Law Office of James McElroy

625 Broadway, Suite 1400

San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 232-6686


Principal, Law Office of James E. McElroy

Chair, Southern Poverty Law Center

Chair, San Diego Inn of Court

Formal Education

University of Illinois, B.A. 1974

University of San Diego School of Law, Juris Doctor 1977

Nature And Type Of Practice

Plaintiffs' Civil Litigation

Professional Negligence

Personal Injury

Civil Rights

Professional Associations

San Diego County Bar Association; State Bar of California; American Bar Association; Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Consumer Attorneys of California; American Trial Lawyers Association; San Diego Inn of Court (Past President); Louis M. Welch Inn of Court (Master).

Committee Activities

San Diego County Bar Fee Dispute Arbitration Committee; San Diego County Bar Client Relations Committee; State Bar Conference of Delegates - 1990 to present; Chairperson, Bench/Bar Arbitration Subcommittee - 1988 to 2003; Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Round Table Seminar Committee and Education Committee; San Diego County Bar - Litigation Section; State Bar Probation Department Monitor 1991 to present; State Bar Committee on Human Rights Panelist -State Bar Convention; State of California commission on the Prevention of Hate Violence; Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Board of Directors 1995 to 1998; San Diego Inn of Court Board of Directors 1998 to present; Anti-Defamation League Civil Rights Committee.


Adjunct Professor California Western School of Law - 1979 through 1984, Civil Law (clinic and classroom); California Western Clinical Internship Supervisor, 1984 to present


Distinguished Service Award - Southern Poverty Law Center

National Civil Rights Achievement Award, Anti-Defamation League

Margaret Sanger Award - Planned Parenthood - Distinguished Service in Protecting Women's Rights

Womancare Health Center - Outstanding Work in Protecting the Rights of Women

Service to the Legal Profession Award - San Diego County Bar Association

Outstanding Attorney of the Year (2004)- San Diego County Bar Association

Robert P. Ottilie

Law Offices of Robert P. Ottilie

550 West C St, Ste 1350

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 231-4841



Robert Ottilie obtained a degree in economics from Stanford University in 1977 and a law degree in 1980 from the University of Iowa.

The emphasis of the firm's litigation practice is in the areas of business, election/political law, education law, real estate, municipal/government representation, intellectual property, employment law, child abuse, personal injury, sports and product liability. The firm devotes between 500 - 1,000 hours a year to pro bono matters or public interest litigation.

Ottilie was selected to join the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been involved in multiple $1 million (+) settlements/verdicts. He has never lost a defense jury trial. Ottilie's clients have included both the current and former San Diego County District Attorney, the current and former San Diego Mayor, the current San Diego City Attorney and School Board President, Judges, elected officials, professional athletes, coaches, and Presidents of the San Diego Bar Association, San Diego Board of Realtors and San Diego Association of Family Physicians, as well as numerous well known San Diegans and San Diego businesses.

Honors awarded to Ottilie include Stanford University's Outstanding Achievement Award, the second highest volunteer award given by the university. In 1988, he was the first recipient of the Otto Hirr award, given by San Diego Gas & Electric to that individual who has made the greatest contribution to the San Diego Latino community.

Daniel R. Shinoff

Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, APC

401 West A St, 15th Floor

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 232-3122




Daniel R. Shinoff focuses on the defense of public entities in the area of general tort practice with a focus on employment claims. He has extensive trial experience in the representation of clients in a variety of matters including general negligence, dangerous conditions, discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and civil rights issues.

Shinoff also has substantial experience in advisory and litigation work concerning the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. Admitted to the California and Federal bars in 1981, Shinoff is also a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Shinoff has worked with San Diego County Office of Education Joint Powers Authority (JPA) since 1982 in defense of numerous cases representing school districts within San Diego and Imperial counties. He routinely counsels school boards, and school and community college districts regarding all aspects of school law.

Recognized as a leading authority in school district defense and litigation, Shinoff is a frequent lecturer in continuing education and personnel training. His seminars have included topics on special education, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Western State University, J.D., 1981

University of Manitoba, 1978

Bar Admissions


United States Supreme Court


Member, San Diego County Bar Association

Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel

Member, San Diego Defense Lawyers Association

Member, United States Supreme Court Bar Association

Member, North County Bar Association

Steven M. Strauss

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

530 B Street, Ste 2100

San Diego CA, 92101

(619) 515-3246


Steven Strauss heads the firm's Litigation practice and has extensive trial experience. His practice encompasses business and real estate litigation matters including representation of business entities, corporate officers and directors, municipalities, owners, developers, investors, and high net worth individuals.

Strauss specializes in complex business litigation, real estate and partnership disputes, claims involving breach of fiduciary duty and representation of the hospitality industry. He has obtained trial verdicts and settlements in excess of $100 million.

Strauss was born in 1957. He received his undergraduate education in literature and political science, magna cum laude, from Claremont Men's College in 1978, and law degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 1981, where he was a member and associate editor of the UCLA Law Review. He is admitted to practice in the California and Federal courts as well as other jurisdictions.

He is a current member of the California Trial Lawyers' Association, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association, San Diego Bar Association and the American Business Trial Lawyers Association.

Strauss is a Master of the Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court. In 1994, 1995 and 2003 Strauss received Outstanding Trial Lawyer awards from The San Diego Trial Lawyers Association. He is currently President of the Board of Trustees of the La Jolla Playhouse, Trustee of The Bishop's School, a member of the International Council of the Salk Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the Junior Seau Foundation.


Courtney Ann Coyle, Law Office of Courtney Ann Coyle

Daniel Grunbaum, Law Offices of Daniel Grunbaum

Gary W. Powell, Law Offices of GWP

Jack M. Sleeth Jr., Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz

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