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Real Estate & Construction Litigation finalists

Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr.

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

2550 Fifth Ave., 11th Floor

San Diego, CA 92103

bartolotta@tbmlawyers.com

(619) 236-9363

Education

Law School/Year: Pittsburgh School of Law/1970

College/Year: University of Pittsburgh/1967

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania, 1970; Washington, D.C., 1972; California, 1973

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury & Property Damage, Product Liability, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

Border Business Park v. City of San Diego -- A breach of contract and inverse condemnation action against the city of San Diego resulting in a $94,500,000.00 jury verdict. Post verdict the judge granted fees and interest bringing the result for our client to above $136 million. County of San Diego v. Rancho Vista et al. -- $55 million verdict at the first trial, which was the largest condemnation verdict in the history of the state at that time. Ordered on appeal for retrial, the case eventually settled for $40 million. Hung v. City of San Diego -- High-speed police chase that ended when the pursuing officer ran a red light and broadsided Mrs. Hung's car killing Mrs. Hung. $1,950,000.00 settlement.

Professional background

Best Lawyers in America 1987-Present; 2006 Daniel T Broderick Award; 2003 CAL-ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2002 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California, 2001 CASD Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1989 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, 1988 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, 1981 Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award

Professional affiliations

American Board of Trial Advocates, American Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, San Diego County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Consumer Attorneys of California, Fellow of the Roscoe Pound Foundation

Personal affiliations

St. Vincent de Paul -- Chairman of Board of Directors 1995 to 2001, St. Vincent de Paul -- Co-Chair of the Hundred Million Dollar Capital Campaign 2001-present, Member of the American Ireland Fund - San Diego Chapter, Member of Century Club -- annually raises approximately $1 million for charity, Member of Board of Directors of Nice Guys, Founding Member -- Board of Advocates for the UCSD Regional Burn Center, Past President -- American Trauma Society, San Diego Chapter, Organizer of building projects, medical clinics and Christmas projects for orphaned Mexican children. Built one school [Emillo Zapata] and two orphanages [Primo Tapia and La Gloria]

Personal background

I was born in Monongahela, Pa. My father was a coal miner, my mother a licensed practical nurse. I have delivered newspapers, unloaded grocery trucks, hauled produce, loaded beef in a slaughterhouse, shoveled slag from the blast furnaces of a Pittsburgh steel mill. While at the University of Pittsburgh, on a full athletic scholarship, I earned recognition as a first alternate on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. Enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, my military duties returned him to "PITT" where he earned his law degree in 1970. Returning to active duty, I was appointed criminal defense counsel at Camp Pendleton and eventually assigned to the prosecution. I volunteered for orders to Vietnam and served occasionally as a radar intercept officer as well as Wing Legal Officer. I was honorably discharged with the rank of Major. Following active duty, I joined the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, specializing in insurance defense work. My compassionate nature soon led me to devote myself to full-time plaintiffs' representation.


Cary Bond

Law Offices of Cary Richard Bond, APC

501 W. Broadway, Suite 1660

San Diego, CA 92101

cbond@crbondlaw.com

(619) 230-8700

Education

Law School/Year: Washington & Lee University School of Law/1982

College/Year: Wabash College/1979

Bar admissions

California, Nevada, Court of Claims

Practice areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Civil Litigation, Construction, Corporate Business, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

My office often acts as general counsel to businesses. In that capacity, we help them first with their formational and then with their business needs as they grow and expand. We also represent them in civil matters and disputes. Given that many of our clients work within the construction industry, the firm has an expertise in working with and resolving construction industry disputes. “Major cases” typically involve contractors as the dollars involved in present day construction disputes tend to be significant.

Professional background

I graduated from law school having emphasized tax and corporate work. With that background, I started working with a firm that represented large ERISA trust funds in federal court litigation. After a couple of years of this work, I became an associate at Hillyer & Irwin, where I spent four years representing contractors in state and federal court actions. For the last sixteen years, I have operated my own business, which undertakes primarily the work profiled above in section 5. The office has also undertaken some judgment enforcement work. I believe that the ability to view matters from the point of business formation through collect of judgments helps in the efficient rendering of legal services.

Professional affiliations

I am affiliated with the ABA and the San Diego County Bar Association.


James Drummond

Sullivan, Hill, Lewin, Rez & Engel

550 W. C St., Fifteenth Floor

San Diego, CA 92101

Drummond@shlaw.com

(619) 233-4100

Education

Law School/Year: Stanford University Law School/1972

College/Year: University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana/1969

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California, all United States District Courts in California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction, Corporate Business, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

My construction practice emphasizes solving my client's problems through a business solution first with litigation/arbitration as the second alternative. This approach results in happy clients and few headlines. I recovered $8.3 million for a small local developer in a combined settlement and trial judgment from a local redevelopment agency who contended it owed only $200,000.

Professional background

For over 30 years, I have practiced all phases of construction law in San Diego County, including contract negotiation and interpretation, construction financing, resolution of disputed arising during the construction financing, resolution of disputes arising during the construction process, prosecution and defense of collection disputes, as well as the litigation of construction contract and defect claims. I provide "real time" legal advice to project managers and field personnel to resolve issues as they arise during construction.

Professional affiliations

San Diego County Association, American Bar Association, and Construction Financial Management Association


Douglas Grinnell

Epsten, Grinnell & Howell APC

9980 Carroll Canyon Road, Second Floor

San Diego, CA 92131

dgrinnell@epsten.com

(858) 527-0111

Education

Law School/Year: Pepperdine/1978

College/Year: University of Delaware/1976

Bar Admissions

California, Colorado, Maryland

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Construction, Real Estate

Professional background

An Officer in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps from 1980 to 1984. A trial attorney representing homeowners and homeowners associations in construction defect disputes since 1984.

Professional affiliations

A member of Consumer Attorneys of California and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.


Roger Haerr

Luce Forward

600 W. Broadway

San Diego, CA 92037

rhaerr@luce.com

(619) 699-2564

Education

Law School/Year: University of San Diego/1988

College/Year: University of San Diego/1984

Bar Admissions

San Diego, California, American

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction, Insurance, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

Representations involving: limited partner in prosecuting conversion, breach of fiduciary, and dissolution of nine entities holding $250 million in apartments; joint venture contractors of toll freeway involving prosecution of projected $100 million in extra cost and delay claims; developers in defending high-rise and detached product defect claims; defending designer of ocean sewer outfall in cost overrun claims; defending supplier of defective mass produced plumbing systems; defending hospital and museum in multi-million construction claims.

Professional background

Nineteen years at Luce Forward; equity partner in construction, real estate and environmental, and complex business litigation practice groups; extern to Judge David Thompson, U.S. Ninth Cir. Court of Appeals

Professional affiliations

Master, Welsh Inn Of Court; board member, San Diego Bar Foundation; judge advocate, San Diego Yacht Club; San Diego Bar Association; Lawyers Club; American Bar Association; Association Of Business Trial Lawyers


Robert Hanna

Best Best & Krieger, LLP

655 W. Broadway, 15th Floor

San Diego, CA 92101

robert.hanna@bbklaw.com

(619) 525-1344

Education

Law School/Year: University of San Diego/1975

College/Year: California State University/1971

Bar Admissions

California; U.S. District Court, Central District; U.S. District Court, Southern District

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

I have represented the San Diego Port District in the litigation relating to the delay in San Diego Convention Center, an asbestos manufacturer in the asbestos cases, a number of public entities and districts in the Electric Energy class action proceedings, the City of San Diego in litigation concerning the development of the former Naval Training Center and the Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego in a number of cases pertaining to the Clergy II litigation.

Professional background

My professional practice has involved a real property, business and construction trial practice for title insurance and trust companies, banks and related clients. I have also been an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law since 1985 (trial practice program).

Professional affiliations

I am a member of the California State Bar, the American Bar Association and on the adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego. I am also an Elder at the Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church.


Karen Holmes

Balestreri Pendleton & Potocki

3033 Fifth Ave., Suite 400

San Diego, CA 92103

kholmes@bpplawcorp.com

(619) 686-1930

Education

Law School/Year: California Western School of Law/1983

College/Year: San Diego State University/1979

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 9th Circuit Court of Appeal

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Construction, Personal Injury & Property Damage, Product Liability

Major cases you have participated in

I have had the privilege to participate in a number of large multi party complex civil cases, including One Harbor Dr. v One Harbor -- a high rise condo construction defect case; Sundt v. San Diego Natural History Museum -- a delay, extras case and many others involving construction. I also was recently involved in a wrongful death case involving claims of benzene exposure. In addition, I second chaired the Bryan W. v Boy Scouts of America 7 1/2 week trial involving volunteer organization liability.

Professional background

I have been practicing in San Diego since 1983. I began my career at a small maritime/admiralty firm and then moved in 1986 to a mid-sized insurance defense firm where I handled premises liability, auto, products liability and construction litigation. My practice is currently spent on loss prevention/risk management via contract review and negotiation, pre trial resolution and litigation in the fields of construction -- representing developers, builders and design professionals, products liability and personal injury defense.

Professional affiliations

I am a third-year Vice President on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Association. I am past Chair of its Construction section. I am a current member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel; the San Diego Defense Lawyers ( 1995 President ); the Defense Research Organization ( Past Chair of the Construction Committee, currently Steering Committee member and Chair of the Architects and Engineers Practice Group); the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and the Lawyers Club of San Diego.

Personal background

I am married to Richard ' Stick' Holmes, a retired airline Captain and have an 11-year-old daughter, Haley.


Valentine Hoy

Luce Forward

600 W. Broadway, Suite 2600

San Diego, CA 92101

vhoy@luce.com

(619) 236-1414

Education

Law School/Year: UC Davis/1985, Order of the Coif

College/Year: Occidental/1982

Bar Admissions

California

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Construction, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

707 Broadway LLC -- Represented investor in successful specific performance action to compel sale of high-rise tower based on exchange of letters between buyer and seller.

Leucadia National Corp./San Elijo Ranch -- Lead counsel for developer of master planned community in all types of lawsuits relating to community entitlement and development, including environmental lawsuits to enforce obligations of the County of San Diego at the San Marcos Landfill, a lawsuit to prevent the County from re-opening of the San Marcos Trash Recycling Plant, lawsuits by neighborhood groups opposed to development, condemnation litigation and land sale contract litigation.

D.R. Horton Inc. -- Represent national home builder in real estate contract dispute resolution and litigation statewide.

Professional background

Expertise in the litigation and arbitration of commercial contact disputes, land use and construction law.

Professional affiliations

Peninsula Family YMCA, San Diego Business Trial Lawyers Association, San Diego Museum of Man, The American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Chapter


Robert Marks

Marks Golia & Finch, LLP

3900 Harney St., First Floor

San Diego, CA 92110

rmarks@mgfllp.com

(619) 293-7000

Education

Law School/Year: Washington & Lee University/1976

College/Year: Virginia Military Institute/1973

Bar Admissions

California (state and federal courts), Virginia (state and federal courts - inactive), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Supreme Court

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction

Major cases you have participated in

Applied Waterproofing v. Landex Construction Corporation: lead trial attorney in five-week jury trial resulting in verdict and judgment for client in excess of $2.5 million.

West Coast General Corp. v. County of San Diego: Lead trial attorney on 19-day arbitration resulting in an award for client in excess of $800,000.

Professional background

Served six years in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, practicing criminal law before military courts and civil litigation involving federal government contracts for construction, equipment, supplies and services before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. Served as general counsel for a construction company and in 1987 co-founded Marks, Golia & Finch LLP. Extensive experience representing prime contractors and subcontractors in issues of contract preparation and interpretation, dispute avoidance and dispute resolution, and have tried numerous complex construction trials and arbitrations, several resulting in multimillion dollar verdicts.

Professional affiliations

Served on committees of the San Diego Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, including the drafting committee for the San Diego Chapter's Standard Subcontract which is widely used throughout California.

Member of the State Bar of California, San Diego County Bar Association and serves as an arbitrator for the San Diego Superior Court.


John F. 'Mickey' McGuire

Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire

2550 Fifth Ave., 11th Floor

San Diego, CA 92103

mcguire@tbmlawyers.com

(619) 236-9363

Education

Law School/Year: Marquette University/1975

Other Graduate School/Year: Southern Illinois University/1973

College/Year: U.S. Naval Academy/1968

Bar Admissions

1975, Wisconsin; 1976, California; 2004, Arizona

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction, Personal Injury & Property Damage, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

Baldwin v. Carlton Santee Corp. -- $12 million jury verdict and settlement for two against developers for constructing a 110-unit single-family development at the toe of an ancient landslide. Case involved 150 individual clients. La Jolla Village HOA v. Donald Bren -- $22,400,000 jury verdict and confidential pre-trial settlement, construction defect suit involving roofs, drainage, land subsidence, slope failure and structural defects in 419-unit condominium project. Kirst v. Riderwood -- Personal injury and property damage claim involving a family's exposure to mold that damaged their immune systems. Actual damages less than $25,000 but a confidential settlement was reached exceeding $1,000,000.

Professional background

I have received four "Outstanding Trial Lawyer" awards for trial work on behalf of hundreds of families whose homes were damaged by construction defects. I am a member of ABOTA, past editor of Landslide and Subsidence Liability, and have served as a Judge Pro Tem, arbitrator, mediator, and lecturer in national trial technique seminars. In 1987, I was first recognized in Best Lawyers in America and every year since then. In 1999, I received the David E. Casey Award for Excellence in Trial Work from CASD. I currently hold the record for the largest non-punitive verdict obtained in the state.

Professional affiliations

American Board of Trial Advocates; San Diego County and American Bar Associations; State Bar of California; State Bar of Wisconsin; State Bar of Arizona; Consumer Attorneys of California and San Diego; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Personal affiliations

American Ireland Fund; St. Vincent de Paul's Villages; Los Ninos

Personal background

I was born and raised in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. During a tour of duty in Southeast Asia, I was responsible for shepherding war correspondents to and from active combat areas. During my 14-month tour of duty, I was the recipient of three combat medals for valor under fire, including the Purple Heart. I completed my Naval service at the Pentagon, where for three years I was the press officer for Secretaries of Defense Laird, Richardson and Schlesinger.


Neal Panish

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

750 B St., 21st Floor

San Diego, CA 92101

panish@scmv.com

(619) 685-3003

Bar Admissions

American Bar Association, State Bar of California, San Diego County Bar Association

Practice Areas

Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Construction, Real Estate

Major cases you have participated in

Complex litigation representing large property owners in condemnation proceedings resulting from State Route 56, the widening of Interstate 5, and the Carmel Valley Restoration and Enhancement Project; Defense of Political Reform Act litigation; Defense of technology and other companies in alleged trade secret and unfair business practices litigation.

Professional background

I am a member of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek. I practice business and intellectual property litigation with an emphasis in the areas of real property, eminent domain, commercial landlord/tenant, construction, commercial business disputes and professional liability.

Professional affiliations

American Bar Association; State Bar of California; San Diego County Bar Association; U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; U.S. District Court, Central District of California; San Diego Trial Lawyers Association

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