Environmental Law Group – San Diego, California
Of Counsel, January 2018 – present. Private law practice focused on land use, environmental, and public agency law. Advise clients on all aspects of land use, entitlement approval, environmental compliance, and municipal/public agency law. Handle land use and environmental litigation and appeals in state and federal court including challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), CERLA, RCRA, and local and state zoning and development laws.
City of San Diego, Office of the City Attorney – San Diego, California
Deputy City Attorney, Land Use Litigation and Advisory Units, 2005 – 2009 / 2011– 2018.
Land Use Litigation Unit: Handled high-profile land use litigation and appeals involving CEQA, California Coastal Act, Permit Streamlining Act, Subdivision Map Act, Mitigation Fee Act, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, California Public Records Act, Inverse Condemnation/Takings, and development challenges under the San Diego Municipal Code. Lectured office-wide on land use and writ of mandate procedure and practice. Awarded Deputy of the Quarter, Civil Litigation, 2015.
Land Use Advisory Unit: Advised the Development Services Department, Planning Department, Neighborhood Code Compliance Department, and City Council’s Land Use & Housing Committee on development and zoning issues; prepared development and zoning ordinances including comprehensive updates to the Land Development Code (LDC); negotiated and prepared facilities financing/development agreements for large-scale public works projects on behalf of the Facilities Financing Department.
Kaye, Rose & Maltzman, LLP – San Diego, California
Associate Attorney, 2004 – 2005 / Partner 2010. National maritime law firm representing major cruise lines and maritime counsel to the Cruise Lines International Association. Prepared and argued dispositive motions related to maritime issues including demurrers and motions for summary judgment in federal and state court. Prepared written discovery, conducted depositions, drafted jury instructions, and handled trial preparation.
Gates, O’Doherty, Gonter & Guy, LLP – Irvine, California
Associate Attorney, 2003 – 2004. Midsize insurance defense firm specializing in employment law, discrimination/ADA claims, personal injury, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and premises liability. Prepared and argued dispositive motions including motions for summary judgment.
Law Offices of William R. McGee – San Diego, California
Associate Attorney, 2001 – 2003. Statewide consumer protection firm specializing in Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Conducted depositions of automobile repair facility PMKs, car manufacturers, and technical experts. Handled mediations, arbitrations, settlement conferences, and motions throughout California.
Law Offices of Vondra & Shields – San Diego, California
Certified Law Clerk/Associate Attorney, 1997 – 2001. Plaintiff-oriented civil litigation firm handling premises liability, medical malpractice, personal injury, and family law cases. Prepared motions, discovery, and divorce/separation/pre-nuptial agreements.
University of California, Berkeley, B.A., English, 1995
(Minor: Slavic Languages and Literature)
University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1999
Citizens for Beach Rights v. City of San Diego (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 1301
SOHO v. City of San Diego (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 163
CREED-21 v. City of San Diego (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 488
State Bar of California, 2000 – present
United States District Court, Southern District of California
United States District Court, Central District of California
- Successfully defended CEQA challenge to entitlements to remove vehicle traffic from Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park.
- Successfully defended CEQA/ municipal code challenges to entitlements for large-scale downtown hotel projects.
- Successfully defended municipal code challenge to entitlements for controversial lifeguard station in Mission Beach.
- Successfully defended CEQA challenge to development approval under the emergency exemption.
- Successfully defended municipal and constitutional challenges to subdivision in Point Loma.