Real Property

View alphabetical listings of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek attorneys practicing in Real Property below:

John H. Alspaugh Shareholder

Mr. Alspaugh specializes in business transactions with an emphasis on commercial leasing, trademark and copyright matters, corporate and real estate matters, and insurance law. He is a shareholder of the firm and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He is also responsible for the acquisition of employee benefits for the firm.

As the leader of our intellectual property practice area, Mr. Alspaugh is particularly active in trademark matters. SCMV’s acquisition of The Trademark Group has strengthened the firm’s domestic and international capabilities in that area.

Education

Mr. Alspaugh received his B.A., with high honors, from Whittier College in 1980. He earned his law degree in 1983 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he qualified for the Order of the Coif.

Representative Matters

  • Assists clients in a broad range of trademark and copyright matters, including:
    • 
Evaluation and selection of trademarks
    • 
Analysis of ownership issues
    • 
Federal Registration
    • 
Licensing, assignment, and sales transactions
    • Resolution of disputes and infringement claims
  • Represented the franchisor of a national restaurant chain in real estate and leasing transactions
  • Works closely with business owners in several industries to assist in planning for and responding to the variety of business and legal issues which arise in connection with the ownership and operation of a business
  • Represents buyers and sellers in routine and complex sales of businesses in many industries, including television broadcasting, hotel, resort, airline, construction, professional practice, and manufacturing, including the negotiation of consulting agreements and covenants not to compete
  • Created master lease forms for several large multi-tenant office buildings
  • Represents the owner of a chain of grocery stores in connection with leasing, acquisition, sale, and general operations matters
  • Representation of restaurant owners in connection with leasing, operational, and employment issues
  • Representation of buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of commercial office and retail buildings
  • Representation of business owners in the evaluation of expansion strategies
  • Representation of clients in connection with insurance issues, including risk management evaluation, insurance policy review, coverage issues, review of compliance with contractual insurance requirements, and review of tenant coverages as required by leases
  • Representation of clients in connection with the development and distribution of home video products and television programming
  • Representation of clients in connection with the formation of entities and the evaluation of rights and obligations of owners and officers

Personal

Mr. Alspaugh is married, and has sons attending the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has lived in San Diego County since the 1960s.

Hannah E. Brown Associate

Phone:
619.685.3153
Fax:
619.685.3100

Ms. Brown is an associate of the firm in the litigation department.  Her practice focuses on Family Law, Litigation, and Real Property matters.

Education

Ms. Brown received her B.A. in communication studies, with minors in English and psychology, from Chapman University in 2013, graduating magna cum laude. While in college, she studied abroad on the Semester at Sea program in 2012.

Ms. Brown received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2016, graduating second in her class, summa cum laude. While in law school, she was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in:  Contracts, Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law II, Securities Litigation, and Death Penalty.  Ms. Brown also was the recipient of the Max and Gussie Gonick Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence in the First Year.

Ms. Brown was an associate member and comments editor for the San Diego Law Review, participated in the Civil Legal Clinic, and competed in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition. She is a member of Phi Delta Phi and Order of the Coif.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Ms. Brown served as an extern for the Honorable Marilyn Huff and the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, as a law clerk at the California Attorney General’s Office, and as a summer associate at Davis, Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Brown will clerk for the Honorable Janis Sammartino starting in September 2017.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Hannah Brown, Having Your Cake and Eating It Too:  IP Protection for Cake Design, 56 IDEA: J Franklin Pierce for Intell. Prop. 31 (2016)

Robert Caplan Shareholder & President

Mr. Caplan is shareholder and president of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek.  His practice emphasizes real property law, which encompasses retail, office, industrial, hospitality, residential and mixed-use projects.

Education

Mr. Caplan received his B.A., with distinction, from Stanford University in 1957. He earned his law degree from Stanford University in 1960.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Co-author, “Commercial Lease Practice” published by the California Continuing Education of the Bar (1976)
  • Participated in several panels on real property issues for the American Law Institute-American Bar Association
  • Speaker at programs involving real property matters sponsored by the California Continuing Education of the Bar

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (1984 – through the present)
  • Recognized in San Diego Super Lawyers magazine for real estate law (2007 – through the present)
  • Named one of San Diego’s Men Who Make a Difference by San Diego Magazine (2015)

Community Affiliations

  • San Diego Symphony Foundation (Board of Trustees)
  • La Jolla Playhouse (Board of Directors)

James R. Dawe Shareholder

Mr. Dawe is a shareholder and member of the Executive Committee of the firm. He also serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the firm and chairs the Administrative, Land Use and Environmental Law practice area. His practice encompasses real property, land use, administrative and environmental law.  His primary practice consists of representing owners and developers of master-planned communities and complex commercial projects. He also represents landowners in connection with environmental cleanup issues.

Education

Mr. Dawe received his B.A. from Lehigh University in 1967 and a Master of City Planning Degree from San Diego State University in 1974, both with honors. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1976.

Representative Matters

  • Represents owners and developers of master-planned communities and complex commercial projects to obtain entitlements with appropriate conditions
  • Negotiates on behalf of owners and developers of master-planned communities with agencies such as the California Department of Transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game and various special districts to assure environmental clearance and the provision of services
  • Responsible for real estate and land use law advice in connection with San Diego projects including La Costa (3,500 acres surrounding the La Costa Spa and Resort), Carmel Mountain Ranch (1,500 acres), Rancho San Diego (3,000 acres), Singing Hills Residential (1,000 acres), Miramar Ranch North (1,200 acres) and San Diego Naval Training Center (a base closure and redevelopment project of 400 acres)
  • Represented major telecommunications and high-technology companies in connection with out-sourcing and franchising issues with municipal governments

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • American Bar Association (ABA Advisory Panel, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section and Urban, State and Local Government Law Section)
  • American Bar Association Committee on Creative Growth Management Techniques
  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Land Use, Environmental and Real Property Sections)
  • Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics society – San Diego Chapter (Board of Directors)
  • Urban Land Institute (Associate Member)
  • National Association of Home Builders Legal Action Network for Development Strategies Advisory Council
  • California Building Industry Association (Legal Action Subcommittee, Environmental Issues Task Force and the Select Conference on Industry Litigation)
  • Building Industry Association of San Diego (Former Chair, Legal Action Committee; Officer, Political Policies Committee, Urban Council)

Community Affiliations

  • San Diego Economic Development Corporation (Executive Committee, Board Member, Development Committee, Public Policy Committee Chair)
  • Friends of Balboa Park (Advisory Council)
  • Chaired numerous national, state and local library boards
  • Chair, Urban Libraries Council—the members of which include the 120 largest public library systems in the United States
  • President, Library of California Board
  • Chair of Californians for Literacy and Community Libraries—the campaign committee in support of the $350 million library bond issue measure passed by the voters of California in March, 2000
  • San Diego Public Library Commission (Chair, eight years)
  • San Diego Public Library Foundation (Founding Chair)
  • Downtown San Diego Partnership (Executive Committee Member, past Chair)
  • San Diego City Manager Ballot Committee (past Chair)
  • San Diego Opera (Board of Directors; past Vice President of Legal Affairs)
  • San Diego Symphony (past Advisory Committee Member)
  • Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art Development Board (Founding Chair of Development Board and current Board Member)
  • Musical Arts Foundation (Founding Board Member)
  • Francis W. Parker School (past Officer, Board Member)
  • Co-Chair, Steering Committee for Downtown San Diego Centre City Community Plan Update (2006)
  • San Diego History Center (past Board Member)
  • Art of Elan (Board Member)

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Listed in the 1993-present editions of The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in the 2007-present editions of the Southern California Super Lawyers, San Diego Edition
  • Listed in Who’s Who in American Law
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals – San Diego Chapter, National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award (2003)
  • American Jewish Committee, San Diego Chapter, Judge Learned Hand Award (2004)
  • Listed in Who’s Who in the World
  • American Library Association Trustee of the Year Award and 100 Most Influential Library Supporters of the Twentieth Century (1995)
  • California Library Association’s President’s Award for efforts to improve library services throughout California and the nation (1999)
  • Downtown San Diego Partnership Alonzo Awards – President’s Award (2006) and Founder’s Award (2010)
  • San Diego Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Land Use & Zoning – San Diego (2012)
  • Lambda Alpha International – San Diego/Tijuana Chapter, Crystal Globe Award (2012)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Outstanding Attorney of the Year Award (2012)
  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2014, 2015 (Land Use/Zoning)
  • Martindale Hubbell Peer Review rating of AV Preeminent

David J. Dorne Shareholder & Business Department Chair

Mr. Dorne is a senior partner and chairman of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek’s Business Department. His practice emphasizes private client transactions, including tax advice and business planning, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, and health care law.

Education

Mr. Dorne received his Bachelor of Science Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois in 1969 and holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics. He received his law degree, cum laude, from Boston University in 1973.

Employment Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Dorne was with the New York law firm of White & Case.

Representative Matters

  • Recently completed creation of venture funds in excess of $350 million
  • Handled the negotiation, structuring and documentation of complex relationships among private equity funds and their investment managers, trading counterparties, and investor, including development of selection matrix for fund investment
  • Counseled high net worth families and individuals on asset distribution, wealth management, and family office issues
  • Represented a regional distribution center in a $300 million sale to a Fortune 500 company
  • Represented a San Diego corporation in the conduit financing of $250 million of real estate
  • Representation of clients in the acquisition, sale, leasing, financing and construction of major office, hotel, industrial buildings and retail shopping centers
  • Handled the successful merger of a regional specialty group of physicians into an integrated provider group

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • State Bar of New York
  • Personal Income Tax Subcommittee of the California State Bar (Past Chair)

Community Affiliations

  • Past President of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent lecturer for the California Continuing Education of the Bar

Professional Awards & Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law category
  • Southern California Super Lawyers – San Diego Edition
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Named in Super Lawyers – Business Edition for Tax (2014)
  • Named in San Diego Super LawyersBusiness Edition for Tax (2014, 2015)
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® as AV Preeminent™ (2016)

Hillary M. Dorne Associate

Ms. Dorne’s practice emphasizes advising private client transactions, including business planning and corporate compliance, corporate governance, real estate, and health care law.  She has additional experience in the formation and operation of businesses, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, stock options, finance, and Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, and general representation of entrepreneurs in widely diverse industries. Ms. Dorne is knowledgeable in personal estate planning and the formation and operation of tax‑exempt organizations.

Education

Ms. Dorne received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis.  She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.  While in law school, Ms. Dorne was a Senior Associate of the Journal of Climate and Energy Law.  She was also a participant of the University of Barcelona School of International Law Program in Barcelona, Spain.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Ms. Dorne served as Judicial Extern for the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan in the Southern District of California and as a law clerk with the United States Federal Defenders, Criminal Division in San Diego.

Representative Matters

  • Advises clients regarding formations and operations of charitable trusts and nonprofit organizations
  • Assists clients with succession planning for closely-held businesses and other personal and/or family assets
  • Designs and structures estate planning documents for clients (including wills, trusts, advance health care directives, asset management powers of attorney, etc.)
  • Forms business organizations, including limited liability companies, partnerships, and corporations
  • Prepares various business contracts and advises clients regarding short and long-term business planning and strategies
  • Provides a wide-range of federal, state and local business advice to individuals, partnerships, corporations, and other business entities on corporate compliance
  • Represents health care companies in mergers and acquisitions, formation of multi-specialty groups, independent practice associations, and management service organizations. Negotiate management service contracts, physician service agreements, purchase and sale of professional practices and related agreements
  • Represents clients in real estate transactions, including sales, leasing, purchases, 1031 exchanges, financing, debt workouts and construction of major office, hotel, industrial buildings and retail shopping centers
  • Represents clients in various business matters and transactions, including business governance, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and spin-offs, and liquidations
  • Represents lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of commercial real estate‑secured loan transactions (involving acquisition and development, construction, ground lease and(or) permanent financing for office, hotel, retail, commercial and industrial properties)

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • American Bar Association

Personal

  • Ms. Dorne is fluent in Spanish.

David M. Greeley Shareholder

Mr. Greeley is a shareholder of the firm in the Litigation Department and focuses both on resolving, through litigation or negotiation, business, corporate, insurance, licensing, trademark, leasing, franchising and contract disputes and on advising clients on how to avoid future disputes by strengthening business relationships through effective communication.

Education

Mr. Greeley graduated cum laude with a B.A. in American history from Wake Forest University in 1990. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1998, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Symposium Editor of the Arizona Law Review.

Representative Matters

Advisory Matters

  • Advises and counsels business owners on effective negotiation tactics with the goal of resolving disputes before either side considers, much less files, litigation
  • Advises business owners on avoiding alter ego liability
  • Advises business owners, developers and general contractors on procuring proper insurance and on obtaining policy benefits
  • Advises businesses on protecting trade secrets and other intellectual property
  • Advises construction professionals on procuring and maintaining the proper licenses
  • Advises franchisors and franchisees on issues related to compliance with the California Franchise Investment Law and the California Franchise Relations Act
  • Advises employers on compliance with both California federal wage and hour laws
  • Advises litigants on cross-border litigation

Litigation Matters

  • Favorably resolved real estate developers’ insurance coverage claims against insurance company and insurance brokers
  • Favorably resolved licensee’s claim against licensor under “accidental franchise” theory of recovery
  • Obtained full-demand settlement for publisher following court granting preliminary injunction in business dispute
  • Successfully arbitrated real estate seller’s claim against buyer arising out of sale of apartment building
  • Obtained summary judgment and award of attorneys’ fees on three complaints and over fifteen causes of action for CEO in complex business litigation
  • Obtained defense verdict in bench trial wherein plaintiff alleged claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of partnership agreement
  • Obtained summary judgment for title insurance company in defending against complaint for breach-of-title policy and bad-faith denial of claim

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Mentor, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising
  • Floor Leader, San Diego County Bar Association Caucus for the California Conference of Bar Associations

Proffesional Awards & Honors

  • Best of the Bar (San Diego Business Journal, 2016)

Sean T. Hargaden Shareholder

Mr. Hargaden is a shareholder of the firm and has been practicing with the firm in the areas of real property law and business transactions for over 25 years. His real estate practice experience includes extensive representation of real estate funds, lenders, developers and institutional and 
non-institutional investors in all areas of real estate.

Education

Mr. Hargaden graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.A. magna cum laude, in 1982. He earned a joint M.B.A. and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987.

Representative Matters

  • Commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions, and leasing
  • Financing transactions and equity generation
  • Documentation of secured real estate loans
  • Entity formation and governance
  • Development and redevelopment of property
  • Agreements relating to development of real estate
  • Purchase and sale of business entities and assets
  • Workout and restructuring of debt secured by mixed collateral
  • Ground leasing and ground leasehold financing
  • Loan restructuring and loan enforcement
  • Formation and negotiation of joint ventures
  • Development and financing of residential projects, shopping centers, hotels, industrial projects, office buildings, golf courses and other commercial and mixed-use projects

Clients Include:

 Developers, master developers, merchant builders of single-family detached and attached product in both suburban and urban areas, investors in real estate developments, lenders, landlords and tenants in the leasing of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use developments and entrepreneurs with real estate and general business needs.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV rating
  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2012 – present (Real Estate)

Christine M. LaPinta Shareholder

Ms. LaPinta is a shareholder with the firm. Her practice areas generally include defense of complex business litigation, construction defect, real and intellectual property, consumer protection, employment and bankruptcy matters. Ms. LaPinta also assists the trust and estates practice area in litigation arising out of those matters.

Education

In 1999, while serving in the United States Air Force in Okinawa, Japan, Ms. LaPinta received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College, Asian Division. Ms. LaPinta received her Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in 2003.

Representative Matters

  • Represent various entities regarding trademark and intellectual property disputes
  • Represent multiple national retailers in cases arising out of the consumer protection laws, including the Federal and State Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Karnette Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
    • In 2011, obtained defense verdict after jury trial on Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Karnette Act and obtained award of all damages sought, including punitive damages on cross-complaint
  • Represents employee benefit plan of luxury hotel in ERISA litigation
  • Represents local developers, design construction managers and lenders in various matters involving litigation over property and development rights, contract disputes, construction defect claims and insurance matters
  • Represent clients in all manner of contract disputes, from complex multi-party business disputes to simple commercial contract actions and arbitrationsRepresents both debtor and creditor clients in various Chapter 11 proceedings
  • Represents employers in various types of employment litigation, including: discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and benefit proceedings and disputes
  • Represent individuals and entities in trust and estates and probate litigation

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • Admitted to State Bar of California, 2003
  • United States District Court, Northern, Southern and Central Districts of California
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Court of Northern District of Oklahoma
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Oklahoma
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter (Board Member 2013-present; Member of Leadership Development Committee 2011-2013)
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter (Associate 2006-2007)

Personal

Ms. LaPinta served as a Communications System Operator aboard the E-3 Sentry in the United States Air Force. She also worked as a Case Manager for Big Brothers Big Sister.

Joseph P. Martinez Shareholder

Mr. Martinez is a firm shareholder practicing in the areas of real estate and business transactions. Mr. Martinez represents real property and business owners, investors and managers, as well as developers, landlords, tenants, borrowers and lenders. His expertise encompasses a variety of sophisticated matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, equity investment, development, leasing and secured lending transactions. Mr. Martinez is fluent in Spanish and English.

Education

Mr. Martinez earned his B.A., cum laude, from Harvard College in 1992 with a concentration in Economics. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1996 where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Latino Law Review.

Representative Matters

  • Represents urban and suburban residential, mixed-use and commercial real estate developers in documentation, negotiation and closing of purchase and sale transactions, leasing transactions and secured finance transactions
  • Represents interests of companies engaged in residential, mixed-use and commercial real estate development, investment and management transactions
  • Represents lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of commercial real estate-secured mortgage loan transactions (involving acquisition and development, construction, ground lease and(or) permanent financing for office, hotel, retail, commercial, industrial and multi-family properties)
  • Represents lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of personal property–secured loan transactions (involving intellectual property, negotiable instruments, stock/marketable securities portfolios, accounts receivable, life insurance, aircraft, watercraft and equipment collateral)
  • Represents borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of commercial real estate-secured conduit mortgage loan transactions and defeasance transactions
  • Represents landlords and tenants in documentation, negotiation and execution of office, retail, commercial and industrial real estate leasing transactions
  • Represents real estate interests of companies engaged in corporate merger and acquisition transactions
  • Represents real estate interests of companies engaged in bond financing transactions
  • Represents interests of owners, investors, borrowers and lenders in distressed commercial real estate transactions

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • Supreme Court of California
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of California, Agribusiness Committee, Co-Chairman (2006)
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Real Property Law Section and Business Law Section

Community Affiliations

  • Southwestern College Foundation (Director)
  • Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (Director)
  • San Diego Padres, Hispanic Community Leadership Committee (Member)
  • San Diego New Children’s Museum (Past Director)

Personal

Mr. Martinez enjoys running, mountain biking, hiking, fishing and camping in the great outdoors, he is a life-long fan of the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Chargers, and he volunteers his time to improve Spanish and English literacy in children at local elementary schools.

Gerald L. McMahon Chairman of the Firm & Litigation Department Chair

Mr. McMahon is chairman of the board and head of the firm’s Litigation Department. Mr. McMahon’s practice emphasizes civil litigation. He has tried in excess of 100 cases before juries, judges, arbitration panels and administrative law judges.

The more than 100 cases he has tried include matters in the disparate areas of anti-competitive practices, family law, construction, corporations, eminent domain, employment, insurance, intellectual property, limited liability companies, partnerships, personal injury, planning and zoning, products-liability, professional malpractice, real estate, and securities, among others.

Education

Mr. McMahon received his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Southern California in 1956, and was awarded Order of the Palm as the outstanding graduating senior. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1964, where he was the Notes Editor of the San Diego Law Review. While attending law school, Mr. McMahon was designated the St. Thomas More Scholar for the highest grade-point average in his class, and was named to the Order of the Coif.

Employment Background

Mr. McMahon was a naval aviator and, later, before entering the practice of law, held the position of Chief of Contracts for General Dynamics Corporation’s Centaur Space Vehicle Program.

Representative Matters

  • Represented manufacturer of medical device in patent infringement action against manufacturer of competing device
  • Defended international software maker against putative class action alleging defects in the software
  • Represented national fast-food chain in trade name infringement action
  • Represented national hospital corporation in defense of wrongful termination-of-employment action by several plaintiffs alleging dismissals in violation of public policy
  • Represented national chain of warehouse clubs in defense of anti-competitive practice claims by former supplier and in defense of a securities class action brought by shareholders
  • Defended law firm that had rendered tax opinion for a tax-shelter offering against investors’ claims
  • Represented developer of 340-unit condominium in defending against class action brought by homeowners
  • Represented religious leader before a jury of 550 of his peers
  • Represented building owner in construction-defects action against architect, general contractor and subcontractors
  • Represented national manufacturing corporation in defending class action brought by its California franchisees
  • Represented corporate majority shareholder in action against minority shareholder for usurpation of corporate opportunity
  • Represented spouse of principal in money management firm in dissolution-of-marriage proceeding
  • Arbitrated, before a tribunal of the International Court of Arbitration, royalty-sharing issues between holder of wireless telephone technology patent and an agency of a foreign government
  • Represented national trader of electric energy in putative class actions alleging unfair competition
  • Co-defense liaison counsel in coordinated California tobacco litigation proceedings
  • Represented several judges in individual matters

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern and Central Districts of California
  • U.S. Claims Court
  • Co-Chair, San Diego County Bar Association Conference on Diversity and Advocacy (1995)
  • University of San Diego School of Law (Chairman, Board of Visitors, 1980, 1996-1998)
  • Chairman, Drafting Committee, San Diego Civil Settlement and Trial Manual (1978)
  • Judge Pro Tem, San Diego Superior Court (1978 to date)
  • Member of the American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators
  • Judicial Arbitrators Committee, San Diego Superior Court (Arbitrator and Member, 1979 to date)
  • Chairman, Drafting Committee, San Diego Civil Settlement and Trial Manual (1978)
  • California State Bar District No. 9 (Disciplinary Referee Pro Tem, 1976-1978)
  • Adjunct professor of law and Assistant Director, Staff of Trial Techniques Course, University of San Diego School of Law (1969-1972)
  • Barristers (Member, Board of Directors, 1969-1970)
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter (Master Barrister)
  • San Diego Inns of Court, Inc.
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Vice President and Director, 1974-1977)
  • State Bar of California (Litigation and Family Law Sections)
  • American Judicature Society
  • Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity

Community Affiliations

  • Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (former Member, Board of Trustees)

Publication & Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association Masters of Advocacy Seminars (1986, 1989, 1991)
  • Speaker, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association, “Keys to Victory at Trial (or Some Good Excuses if You Lose)” (1989)
  • Demonstrator, American Board of Trial Advocates/San Diego County Bar Association seminar “Trial of a Sexual Harassment Case” (1992)
  • Demonstrator, State Bar of California Convention, “Comparative Cross Examination” (1993)
  • Demonstrator, U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Advocacy Institute, “Cross-Examination” (1994)
  • Speaker, The Rutter Group, “Punitive Damages, Preparation & Trial” (1996)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Creating and Implementing a Discovery Plan”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Civil Discovery”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “How to Make the Law of Evidence Work for You”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Law and Motion Practice”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “How to Prepare for Trial”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Jury Voir Dire”
  • Panelist, California Association of Business Trial Lawyers Seminar (2001)
  • Founding Director, lecturer, demonstrator and workshop leader for San Diego Inns of Court, an Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Lecturer at California Western Law School on the use of expert witnesses and the art of taking a deposition

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Designated as Distinguished Alumnus, University of San Diego School of Law (1976 and 1980)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, San Diego Chapter (President, 1981)
  • Recipient of Daniel T. Broderick, III Memorial Award, bestowed by representatives of the San Diego Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Association, Defense Counsel Association and Bar Association, upon “an attorney with substantial litigation experience who epitomizes the principles of civility, integrity and professionalism” (1991)
  • Best Lawyers in America in Business Litigation, Family Law and “Bet-the-Company” Litigation categories (1988-current)
  • Named as one of three lawyers for 2010 in Southern California, based upon their particularly high level of peer recognition
  • University of San Diego School of Law, 2010 Hughes Career Achievement Award
  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2014, 2015 (Business Litigation)
  • Named as one of the “10 Best” Attorneys in California by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2015)

 

Andrea N. Myers Shareholder

Ms. Myers is a shareholder with the firm.  She has litigated in state and federal courts on a wide variety of issues at both the trial and appellate levels.  Her practice emphasizes complex business and commercial litigation, with particular concentration on real property, professional liability, and employment disputes.

Education

Ms. Myers received her B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College in 2003, and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2008. While in law school Ms. Myers received multiple honors in legal research and writing, and the award for excellence in oral advocacy. She was also the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Law of the American Democracy.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Ms. Myers worked as an analyst for Mercer Consulting. Ms. Myers was a summer associate at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek in 2007.

Representative Matters

  • Defended several firms in complex malpractice, fraud and conversion cases involving issues of professional responsibility, privileges, and attorney duties
  • Represented an international corporation in a commercial contract dispute through trial and obtained a successful defense verdict
  • Represented a developer against a large international corporation in a commercial real property dispute through the first phase of trial and obtained a successful settlement
  • Defended a corporate tenant in a commercial lease dispute through the first phase of trial and obtained a successful settlement
  • Represented various clients from Fortune 500 companies to local companies in complex business disputes through trial and arbitration
  • Defended a national retailer in a consumer protection action involving Federal and State Fair Debt Collection Practices and obtained a defense verdict after jury trial and an award of punitive damages on a cross-complaint
  • Represented several local developers, business owners, individuals, and lending institutions in various real property litigation matters ranging from landlord / tenant disputes, title disputes, mechanic’s lien matters, and commercial unlawful detainers
  • Represented financial institutions, business owners, and individuals in judicial and non-judicial actions
  • Defended guaranty enforcement actions and proceedings
  • Defended various local and international law firms in professional malpractice and malicious prosecution claims
  • Defended a national corporation against wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation and fraud claims
  • Defended an international company against sexual harassment claims
  • Defended an international retailer against wage and hour claims
  • Counseled an international wholesaler in general labor relations matters
  • Represented various trustees and beneficiaries in trusts disputes and probate litigation

Appellate Opinions

  • Duke Gerstel Shearer, LLP v. Pursiano (2016) 2016 WL 7322452
  • Estate of Blevins (2016) 2016 WL 1291882
  • Safari Associates v. Superior Court (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 1400
  • Duke Gerstel Shearer, LLP v. Pursiano (2012) 2012 WL 471202

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Board of Governors & Executive Committee
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter, Barrister
  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Community Affiliations

  • Urban Discovery Academy Board of Trustees
  • San Diego Bowl Game Association Red Coat
  • Junior League of San Diego
  • The Bishop’s School Alumni Association
  • Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association San Diego Chapter Leader

Professional Awards & Honors

  • 2015-2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star (Business Litigation), Super Lawyers
  • 2016 Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) Award Honoree, YWCA
  • 2014 Top Young Attorney, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2014 Young Influential, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2014 “Law and Junior League Cast a Spell Over Andrea Nelson Myers,” La Jolla Light
  • 2013 Woman Who Moves the City, San Diego Magazine
  • 2013 Woman of the Year, San Diego Magazine
  • 2013 Top Young Attorney, San Diego Daily Transcript

Neal P. Panish Shareholder

Mr. Panish, Esq. is a trial attorney, serving as lead counsel for a wide variety of institutional and entrepreneurial clients in State and Federal Court trials and arbitrations. He is a member of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, a Top Lawyer by San Diego Magazine and one of San Diego’s top ten real estate and construction litigation attorneys by his peers.

Education

Mr. Panish received his B.A. in economics, with provost honors, from the University of California, San Diego in 1983. He earned his law degree, cum laude, from Loyola Law School in 1987, where he was a staff member and Note and Comment Editor of the International and Comparative Law Journal.

Representative Matters

General Practice

  • Representation of institutional and entrepreneurial clients in commercial litigation
  • Representation of businesses, financial institutions, banks, real estate entrepreneurs, developers and owners, contractors, subcontractors and individuals in a wide array of finance, real estate and construction-related litigation
  • Representation of publicly traded REIT in commercial litigation, real estate litigation, commercial lease disputes, condemnation proceedings and CEQA litigation
  • Representation of technology, services and other companies in alleged trade secret/proprietary misappropriation, unfair business practices and employment litigation
  • Defense and prosecution of real property title insurance and escrow claims/disputes on behalf of title insurance companies and their insureds, escrow companies and property owners
  • Representation of real property owners, hoteliers, restaurant owners and business owners in tax controversies, property tax assessment appeals and valuation hearings
  • Defense of public officials in Political Reform Act litigation

Specific Representative Matters

  • Representation of reinsurance intermediary in complex litigation filed by insurance agent/producer alleging damages in excess of $10 million for breach of producer’s agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets and fraud. The case involved complex surety bond underwriting, claims handling, reinsurance and proprietary information issues, as well as the investigation of numerous, underlying surety bond claims. After approximately one week of hearings on motions in limine and voire dire of 200-plus potential jurors for anticipated 6-month trial, the case settled favorably during jury selection
  • Defense of German bank/secured creditor in adversary proceeding filed by general contractor asserting damage claims in excess of $22 million on theories of equitable subordination, fraud and conspiracy in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California. Successfully resolved complex adversary proceeding during trial, freeing up in excess of $40 million in secured sales proceeds
  • Defense of German bank in complex, consolidated San Diego Superior Court proceedings involving 40-plus civil cases brought by materialmen, suppliers, subcontractors and design professionals seeking priority over German bank’s deed of trust. Successfully obtained dismissals, defense judgments and settlement of all cases
  • Prosecution of trade secret claims by information technology company against former employees and competitor, resulting in recovery of substantial monies through settlement
  • Representation of institutional real property owner in complex real estate litigation and condemnation proceedings arising from various public projects, including California State Route 56, widening of Interstate 5 and the Carmel Valley Restoration and Enhancement Project (CVREP)
  • Prosecution of specific performance action for real estate developers after 30-day trial. Obtained specific performance judgment acquiring approximately 80-acres of undeveloped land in northern San Diego County and attorney fee awards exceeding $800,000
  • Representation of automobile conglomerate in approximately 30-day arbitration over 6-month period of time in alleged wrongful termination/breach of contract claims by former employee
  • Representation of automobile conglomerate in approximately 14-day arbitration over 3-month period in defense of commercial contract claims asserted by individual dealer/broker and counterclaim for breach of an alleged oral contract. Complete defense verdict and substantial award on counterclaim and attorney fees
  • Defense of CPA firm in multi-party, real estate-related, malpractice/securities litigation
  • Defense of national real estate developer in class action case and arbitration asserting unfair business practices and violations of Business & Professions Code §§ 7000 – 7191 (contractors licensing law)
  • Defense of national title insurance company in insurer bad faith litigation case in San Diego Superior Court arising from the purchase and later foreclosure on 100-plus room motel. Defense judgment obtained on motion for summary judgment and successfully upheld on appeal
  • Defense of national title insurance company in insurer bad faith litigation filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of California by insured arising out of land use constraints and violations on insured’s improved real property
  • Defense of national retail tenant in commercial lease dispute with landlord/property owner. Defense verdict obtained after trial
  • Prosecution of breach of commercial lease case by landlord/property owner against national retailer enforcing liquidated damages provision to judgment and successfully upheld on appeal
  • Defense of purchaser/developer of large, retail real estate project in approximately 28-day jury trial, post-trial motions and appeal involving alleged real estate fraud
  • Representation of public officials in defense of Political Reform Act cases alleging official misconduct and violations of campaign or election law
  • Defense of regional supermarket company in breach of lease/covenant of continuing operations case resulting in defense judgment, upheld on appeal
  • Representation of majority co-owners in defense of partition action involving 100-plus room motel in Mission Valley area of San Diego, California
  • Representation of trustees/co-owners in successful prosecution of partition action to require sale of approximately 13-acres of undeveloped land neighboring California State University, San Marcos
  • Defense of former employees and start-up life science company defeating claims asserted by publicly-traded life science company on alleged theft of trade secrets, breaches of covenants not to compete, breaches of fiduciary duty and related claims. Settlement after summary judgment hearing and successful writ to court of appeal
  • Defense of reinsurance intermediary in complex trade secret case brought by health care insurance producer against health care insurer and reinsurance intermediary arising from California’s then-largest health care insurance program with hospitals, physicians groups and medical professionals
  • Defense of real estate developer/purchase of real property for retail development project for claims of fraud, breach of contract arising from purchase of land for retail development project
  • Prosecution of complex bad faith action by commercial property owner against insurance companies arising from 5-alarm fire in China Basin Landing area of San Francisco resulting in substantial settlement
  • Representation of co-tenants in real estate partition action compelling sale via public auction of 12.70 acres of raw land in San Marcos, California
  • Defense of real estate developer in real estate fraud action by purchasers of condominiums. Defense summary judgment granted by trial court, affirmed on appeal
  • Defense of real estate developers on Mills Act claims asserted by purchasers of condominiums. Defense summary judgment affirmed on appeal
  • Representation of creditors in trial in United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District regarding determining value of assets of debtor’s estate including substantial real property, hotel/motel properties, apartments and other residential properties
  • Representation of commercial property owner in prosecution of business interruption claim arising from fire losses suffered by owner of 900,000 square foot office building
  • Representation of restaurant group in real property tax assessment controversies and successful assessment appeal
  • Representation of hotel group in successful assessment appeals in various, multi-day hearings on real property assessment appeals of unlawful taxation of intangible assets, providing total refund recovery in excess of seven figures

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California 1987
  • District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego Trial Lawyers Association

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • “Chile Under Allende: The Decline of the Judiciary and the Rise of a State of Necessity,” published in the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Journal
  • Speaker, “Legal Ethics in California” seminar (December 2000; Lorman Education Services)

Published Opinions

  • El Centro Mall, LLC v. Payless Shoesource, Inc., 174 Cal.App.4th 58; 94 Cal.Rptr.3d 43 (2009)
  • In Re Perry Arden v. Motel Partners, 176 F.3d 1226 (9th Cir. 1999)

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Named a 2013, 2014 and 2015 Super Lawyer in real estate/business litigation by San Diego Super Lawyers Magazine; San Diego Super Lawyers Supplement to The New York Times, Riviera San Diego Magazine and Super Lawyers Business Edition
  • Named a 2014 Top Lawyer in Administrative, Land Use & Environmental by San Diego Magazine
  • Named by peers as one of San Diego’s “Top Ten Real Estate and Construction Litigation Attorneys,” San Diego Daily Transcript (2006)

 

Scott W. Perlin Associate

Mr. Perlin is an associate of the firm in the litigation department.  He represents clients primarily in matters of real estate development and other real property disputes, business litigation, construction law, administrative land use and environmental (including CEQA), and general civil litigation.  With a well-rounded background, Mr. Perlin works collaboratively and diligently with his clients helping them to achieve their goals.

Education

Mr. Perlin received his B.S. in Politics from Willamette University in 2012.  He earned his law degree from University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2016.  While in law school, he was selected to the Hale Moot Court Honors Program, in which he competed in the National Moot Court Competition sponsored by the New York Bar Association, was a teacher’s assistant for administrative law and earned honors grades in secured transactions, business organizations, and criminal procedure.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Mr. Perlin served as a judicial extern to both the Honorable Judge Wilson for the Central District of California and Honorable Judge Lewis for the Southern District of California.  He also worked as an intern for a local law firm and was a summer associate for the firm.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Personal

Mr. Perlin was born and raised in San Diego, California, growing up in Alpine and attending Steele Canyon High School.  He is an avid supporter of the local sports team (professional and youth) and USC football.

J. Scott Scheper Shareholder

Mr. Scheper is a shareholder in the Litigation Department of the firm. He applies a deeply strategic and aggressive yet intelligent approach to maximize success in litigation. He works closely with his clients to tailor a case-specific representation that harmonizes client needs and goals to the situations presented.

Mr. Scheper puts his personal approach to work in a broad range of practice areas. Most of his representation involves business and contract-related litigation, with emphasis in construction, real property, and employment matters. He tries cases and represents clients in civil litigation matters in state and federal trial courts, in adversary proceedings in bankruptcy courts and in appellate proceedings. Mr. Scheper represents real property owners, developers and contractors in various stages of development and construction; those efforts encompass consultation on ever-changing legislation, pre-execution contract review and negotiation, informal dispute resolution and litigation. He provides a spectrum of employment-related representation that includes litigation, consultation regarding trade secret and non-compete restrictions, guidance in ERISA matters, conducting wage and hour assessments and providing work place conduct seminars.  In addition, Mr. Scheper has provided sports-related representation in a number of matters, representing professional sports franchises, individual owners, and clients with sports-related intellectual property issues. In all matters, he brings a fierce dedication and commitment to helping his clients when they need him.

Education

Mr. Scheper received his B.A., summa cum laude, in 1988 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Case Western Reserve University, where he played varsity football. He earned his law degree, cum laude, in 1991 from Harvard Law School, at which time he also was a member and President of the Harvard Boxing Club and trained for and competed in Golden Gloves.

Representative Matters

  • Represented design construction manager in multi-party construction claims litigation and related matters arising out of a nearly $200 million public works project
  • Represented developer in construction contract review and negotiation for development of high-end resort property and represents local developers in various matters involving litigation over property and development rights, contract disputes, construction defect claims and insurance matters
  • Represented multiple homeowner plaintiffs in construction litigation leading to settlements collectively worth in excess of $20 million
  • Tried month-long adversary proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court involving issues of construction lending and funding, accounting and fiduciary partnership obligations stemming from multi-million dollar investment in multiple-unit residential real estate developments
  • Represented owner to resolve claims with general contractor of hospital construction project
  • Represented local health care organization in litigation by public entity to void long-term lease of local hospital and its assets in proceedings before the California Superior Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court
  • Represented federally-recognized Indian Tribe in diverse matters implicating issues of sovereign immunity and the rights, control and governance over Tribal lands; also represented members of several sovereign Indian Tribes, as board members of a multi-Tribal entity operating a health care facility in litigation implicating Tribal sovereign immunity with respect to a transaction that would facilitate development of a Tribal gaming operation
  • Represented national defense industry contractor in litigation related to military equipment contracts for the federal government
  • Represented provider of heavy manufacturing products, technology, and services in contract disputes and litigation involving coordinated efforts in North America, Europe and Asia
  • Represented local recreational and motor vehicle businesses in litigation, regulatory compliance and licensing, and employee training and contracting matters
  • Represented commercial airline operating domestic, international and transoceanic flights, in employment litigation involving maintenance and operational flight safety issues
  • Represented employee benefit plan of luxury hotel in ERISA litigation
  • Represented publicly-traded internet sports-memorabilia company in securities and employment litigation involving promotional relationships with several high-profile former Major League Baseball players
  • Represented securities brokerage and brokers in NASD arbitration asserting tortious interference claims and involving complex claims of trade secret misappropriation
  • Represented regional specialty and health food store chain in trademark litigation in federal district and appellate courts
  • Represented public telecommunications company in dispute regarding rights and obligations of Olympic-sponsorship affiliation and sponsorship of professional sports franchises and sports facilities
  • Represented minority owner of professional sports franchise in transactional negotiations involving ownership rights and interests
  • Represented professional sports franchise in protecting its creditor interests in bankruptcy proceedings

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • San Diego Inns of Court
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter
  • American Business Trial Lawyers
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Central Districts of California
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern and Central Districts of California

Community Affiliations

  • RedCoat Committee Member,  San Diego Bowl Game Association (Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl)
  • San Diego County Coastal Tritons Youth Football Head Coach/Board Member (Special Liaison)
  • Former Member and Board of Directors, San Diego Alumni Chapter, Case Western Reserve University

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Author, “States Rights,” Tunnels and Tunneling, December – January 2015 issue
  • Panelist, Construction Day, San Diego Daily Transcript (2014)
  • Speaker, Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), “What to Expect from an Expert Witness” (2012)
  • Speaker, Forensic Consultants Association (FCA), “Bridging the Gap – Working with Lawyers for Effective Experts” (2012)
  • Presenter, Forensic Consultants Accounting, “What to Expect From an Expert Witness” (2012)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Civil Litigation Practice: Annual Recent Developments” (2004-2007)
  • Author, “Home Security Issues,” Today’s Changing Times, SCMV Newsletter (2001)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Discovery Planning:  Strategies, Tools and Tactics” (2001)
  • Periodic On-Air Legal Analyst for Fox 6 Morning News (2000-2001)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Strategic Tips for Successfully Propounding and Opposing Written Discovery” (2000)
  • Panelist and Moderator, Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Expert Witnesses” (2000)
  • Speaker and Contributing Author, “Legal Ethics in California” seminar, Lorman Education Services (2000)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Discovery Strategies and Tactics for Success” (1999)
  • Discrimination in Employment

Professional Awards & Honors

  • AV-Peer Review Rating (5.0 out of 5.0) on Martindale™
  • San Diego (and Southern California) Super Lawyers™  (2012 – 2015, Business Litigation)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law (The American Lawyer, 2012; Fortune Magazine, 2014)
  • Top Lawyers in San Diego (San Diego Magazine, 2013 – 2015) and Top Lawyers of Southern California (Los Angeles Magazine, 2013 – 2015)
  • Top Attorney (San Diego Daily Transcript, 2015)

Brian T. Seltzer Chief Operating Officer & Shareholder

Mr. Seltzer is a shareholder and chief operating officer of the firm whose practice encompasses real property, business law and commercial financing, with a particular emphasis in real property transactions.

Education

Mr. Seltzer received his B.A., cum laude, from California State University, San Diego in 1974. He earned his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1977.

Representative Matters

Mr. Seltzer has represented parties in the active structuring, negotiation and preparation of documentation for transactions of the following types:

  • The financing of apartments, commercial buildings, hotels, mobile home parks, land tracts and historic buildings
  • The purchase and sale of apartments, commercial buildings, hotels, mobile home parks, land tracts and historic buildings
  • The acquisition of secured debt pursuant to discounted transactions
  • Deed in lieu transactions and loan modifications and settlements
  • Commercial leases and financeable ground leases
  • Mezzanine debt
  • The formation of multiple entities, with various tiered structures and institutional investments
  • The purchase and sale of businesses, including distributors, subcontractors, automotive dealerships and high-tech manufacturers
  • Governmental disposition and development agreements and exclusive negotiating agreements
  • The development of urban, mixed-used mid-rise and high-rise projects, including the preparation of multi-tier project (condominium) documents
  • The acquisition, entitlement and financing of assisted living facility sites
  • Operational and ownership issues for hotels, a multi-state wholesale distribution company and high-tech manufacturers
  • The conveyance and development of a military base subject to closure and reuse
  • The contested acquisition of the leasehold interest in a high-rise office building
  • Legislation to limit rent control
  • Legislation relating to transient occupancy taxes

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Community Affiliations

  • University of San Diego School of Law Board of Visitors (Member)
  • Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce (Past Chairman)
  • San Diego Convention Center Corporation (Past Chairman)
  • University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Association (Past Director)
  • Burnham Moores Real Estate Institute, University of San Diego (Former Member of Policy Advisory Board)
  • University Club (Member of Board of Governors)
  • San Diego United Service Organizations (USO) (Past Director)
  • Museum of Photographic Arts (Past Director)
  • Mercy Hospital and Medical Center (Past Member of Planned Giving Committee)
  • San Diego Jewish Academy (Former Officer and Director)

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Lecturer for the University of California Continuing Education of the Bar in timeshare financing, commercial leasing and real property purchase and sale transactions

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Recognized as one of the best real estate law attorneys in the country in The Best Lawyers in America (2007-2016)
  • Recognized in San Diego Super Lawyers magazine for Real Estate law (2007-2016)
  • Named one of San Diego’s Top Attorney’s” by the San Diego Daily Transcript in the Real Estate/Construction Transactional Law areas (2010, 2011 and 2013)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV Preeminent

Media

Matthew D. Seltzer Shareholder

Mr. Seltzer is a shareholder with the firm.   His practice encompasses real estate and business transactions.

Education

Mr. Seltzer received his B.S. from the University of Southern California in 2004.  He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2007.

Representative Matters

  • In 2016, represented lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of over 100 loan transactions involving total loan proceeds in excess of $1 billion
  • In 2016, represented residential and commercial real estate developers and owners in the documentation, negotiation and closing of over 60 real estate purchase and sale transactions involving total consideration in excess of $700 million
  • Represents residential and commercial real estate developers and owners in documentation, negotiation and closing of real estate purchase and sale transactions, leasing transactions and real estate finance transactions
  • Represents interests of companies engaged in residential and commercial real estate investment and development transactions
  • Represents lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of commercial real estate-secured loan transactions (involving acquisition and development, construction, ground lease and(or) permanent financing for office, hotel, retail, commercial and industrial properties)
  • Represents lenders and borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of personal property–secured loan transactions (involving equipment, negotiable instruments and(or) accounts receivable collateral)
  • Represents lenders and borrower in connection with deed in lieu transactions and loan modifications and settlements
  • Represents borrowers in documentation, negotiation and closing of commercial real estate-secured loan transactions
  • Represents landlords and tenants in documentation, negotiation and execution of office, retail, commercial and industrial real estate leasing transactions
  • Represents purchasers and sellers in documentation, negotiation and closing of business and asset purchase and sale transactions
  • Represents real estate interests of companies and individuals engaged in business and asset purchase and sale transactions

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker

Jacob T. Spaid Associate

Mr. Spaid is an associate of the firm in the litigation department.  Mr. Spaid represents clients in state and federal courts primarily in the areas of insurance, real and intellectual property, consumer protection, employment and corporate litigation, contractual disputes and general civil litigation.  Mr. Spaid also assists in probate litigation and other matters involving trusts and estates.  Mr. Spaid’s primary focus is developing creative, strategic solutions tailored to accomplish his clients’ specific goals.

Education

Mr. Spaid graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude in 2009 and was elected the most outstanding student of his class. He also received a Master of Business Administration, magna cum laude, from San Diego State University in May 2014. Mr. Spaid attended California Western School of Law and received his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude in May 2014. While in law school, Mr. Spaid was named to the Dean’s list and served as Senior Editor of Law Review. Mr. Spaid received the Diane Ethics award and the Law Review Outstanding Editor award, and received the top grade in Civil Procedure I & II, Legal Skills I & II, STEPPS I & II, ERISA, Business Organizations, and FDA Law. Through his second and third year in law school Mr. Spaid also served as the Honors Instructor for Legal Skills I & II, Constitutional Law I, and Torts II.

Employment Background

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Spaid served as a judicial Intern for the Honorable Steven R. Denton in the California Superior Court, and as a judicial Extern for the Honorable Ruben B. Brooks in the Southern District of California.

Representative Matters

  • Represented publicly-traded retail company in consumer protection litigation
  • Represented publicly-traded retail company in employment litigation
  • Represented national real estate development company in development dispute
  • Represented national insurance company in multiple, multi-million dollar lawsuits regarding alleged bad faith
  • Represented international insurance company in multi-million dollar litigation involving construction defect issues
  • Represented national real estate development and management company in litigation involving insurance coverage disputes
  • Represented various local business owners (LLCs) regarding litigation among members
  • Represented various title insurance companies in litigation regarding priority of interests in property
  • Represented employee benefit plan of luxury hotel in ERISA litigation
  • Represented owner of California apartment complexes in defense of class action litigation regarding landlord-tenant issues
  • Represented local property owners in various real property disputes
  • Represented various local individuals in probate litigation

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter (Associate)

Professional Awards & Honors

  • 2017 Super Lawyer Rising Star (Insurance Coverage), Super Lawyers

Personal

Mr. Spaid plays four different instruments and enjoys surfing, bicycling, and painting.

Thomas F. Steinke Shareholder

Mr. Steinke is a shareholder of the firm practicing real property, land use, environmental, administrative and governmental law.

Education

Mr. Steinke attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor’s of Applied Science and Engineering in 1968 and a Master of Science degree in 1970. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1975.

Employment Background

Mr. Steinke joined Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek after nearly 13 years in the Planning and Property Division of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. He was the advisor to the City Council Transportation and Land Use Committee, Planning Department, Environmental Quality Division and Building Department. Mr. Steinke also represented the City Purchasing Department, which dealt with contracts and contract disputes. While working in the City Attorney’s office, Mr. Steinke was instrumental in drafting and negotiating the City of San Diego’s Local Coastal Program applicable in the Coastal Zone for the California Coastal Commission, the City’s Resources Protection Ordinance, the City Council’s No-Growth Initiative and approximately twenty development agreements by and between the City of San Diego and representatives of the development community.

Representative Matters

  • Prepares and processes agreements regarding property development and project financing including development agreements and related agreements with school districts, fire and life safety districts, municipal water districts, municipal, county, state and federal agencies
  • Represents developers, landowners, contractors, subcontractors and users in connection with development and construction activities
  • Advises in the preparation of environmental impact reports, development of strategies for compliance with federal, state and regional environmental legislation such as habitat conservation plans; Native American consultations and negotiations; and preparation of specific plans and related environmental documents and findings
  • Processes development entitlements including general plan amendments, master plans, specific plans, subdivision maps, zone changes, conditional use permits, variances and coastal development permits

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California (Business Law, Environmental Law, Real Property Law Sections)
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Registered civil engineer in the State of California
  • Former Commissioner of the City of San Diego’s Housing Commission

Dennis J. Wickham Shareholder

Phone:
619.685.3135
Fax:
619.702.6812

Mr. Wickham is a shareholder of the firm whose practice emphasizes bankruptcy, and business and real property litigation.

Education

Mr. Wickham received his B.A. from San Diego State University in 1976. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1979, where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi and Order of the Coif. In law school, Mr. Wickham participated in the Law Review and the Moot Court Board.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Claims Court
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court (all California Districts)
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
  • San Diego Bankruptcy Forum (Secretary, 1997; Director, 1995-97)
  • Thomas More Society (President, 1992; Director, 1990-96)
  • Lawyer representative to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1994-96); Chair of District Delegation (1995-96)
  • Judge Pro Tem, San Diego Superior Court

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2007 – present)
  • Recognized in San Diego Super Lawyers magazine for Bankruptcy law (2007 – present)
  • Mediator of the Year, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California (1995, 2002)

Media

G. Scott Williams Shareholder

Mr. Williams is a shareholder of the firm. His practice focuses on environmental, land-use and commercial litigation, and assisting private clients with land-use and environmental issues during the entitlement process and in real property transactions.

Mr. Williams has extensive experience litigating environmental and land-use matters in state and federal courts.  While at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek and in his previous position as a senior attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Mr. Williams has handled complex civil litigation under major federal and state environmental statutes, including CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, the Polanco Act, CERCLA, RCRA, NEPA, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

In addition to his litigation experience in environmental and land-use matters, Mr. Williams advises developer clients and leads negotiations with government agencies regarding environmental and entitlement issues.  Mr. Williams has helped resolve issues under CEQA, NEPA, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act on many projects, including housing developments with hundreds of new homes, correctional facilities with thousands of beds, destination resorts, high-rise condominiums, cultural institutions, and commercial and industrial facilities.  He has also assisted clients in such matters as zoning and general/specific plan issues, remediation of contaminated properties, the creation of habitat preserves for project mitigation, the demonstration of adequate water supplies for large-scale projects, and compliance with new stormwater regulations and emerging greenhouse gas emissions requirements.

Mr. Williams’ litigation experience also encompasses a variety of additional civil and commercial matters, including, for example, defense of a class action against a nationwide service company, defense of a law firm accused of improper conduct during the course of precedent-setting litigation, disputes over ownership and control of stock in public and privately-held companies, and sophisticated commercial disputes involving large-scale private and public entities.

Education

Mr. Williams received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Harvard College, in 1983. He received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1988, where he was Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review.

Employment Background

Mr. Williams served as a senior attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice, and as a trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division, where he conducted affirmative and defensive commercial and contract litigation on behalf of numerous federal agencies.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Williams clerked for Hon. Dolores K. Sloviter of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Representative Matters

  • Represented private developers in CEQA lawsuits and related land-use litigation brought by environmental and community organizations seeking to derail approved projects
  • Defended manufacturer in Polanco Act litigation brought by community development agency seeking to recover cleanup costs for property formerly owned by client
  • Represented private landowners identified by EPA as potentially responsible parties at Superfund site
  • Represented the federal government in multimillion-dollar CERCLA cost recovery actions by leading mining and manufacturing companies, a shipyard and a paint recycling facility
  • Defended EPA rulemakings of national significance challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals, including regulations addressing regional ozone pollution and hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act; the long-term disposal of radioactive waste; and hazardous waste disposal in the petrochemical industry
  • Defended permitting and associated regulatory activity by federal agencies under the Clean Water Act, including state water quality standards approved by EPA and dredge-and-fill permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Handled affirmative claims arising from financing and subsidy contracts between the United States and public and private entities, including misapplied federal grants and large financing contracts with a shipbuilder, an ethanol plant, an airline and a tribally-owned casino
  • Defended contract claims in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including bid protests, construction delay claims, and challenges to contract termination

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Named one of San Diego’s Best Lawyers 2016 by SD Metro Magazine
  • Named to The Daily Transcript’s list of Top 100 Influential Leaders in San Diego