San Diego Business Journal

With the same level of competitiveness and fervor as drafting professional athletes for coveted positions, local law firms continuously recruit and change up the players.

Attorney Prescilla Dugard has joined San Diego-based Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz as head of the firm's newly established land use and real estate law practice group.

She specializes in providing counsel during all stages of the land use entitlement process, including general and community plan amendments, zoning, development agreements, conditional use and discretionary development permits, and government agency interfacing and legislative advocacy.

Dugard, a former San Diego city attorney and assistant city attorney, is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, the North San Diego County Bar Association, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 and the Lawyers Club of San Diego.

Stutz Artiano has 20 attorneys in its San Diego office.

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Nothing Petty About These Hires: The San Diego-based litigation firm of Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner LLP welcomed two associates, Robert C. Rodriguez and Gita M. Varughese, recently.

Rodriguez joins the firm's product liability practice group. His practice is primarily focused on the defense of national automotive manufacturers. Before joining Wilson Petty, Rodriguez practiced in Stockton.

Varughese is a member of Wilson Petty's product liability, business litigation, and employment and labor practice groups. She earned her law degree at the University of San Diego School of Law in 2004 and clerked for U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William McCurine Jr.

Wilson Petty employs 19 attorneys in the areas of product liability, employment litigation, warranty law, health care, media law and general business litigation.

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Growing Firm: The San Diego office of Fish & Richardson P.C. has added two more attorneys, David Kleinsmith and Jennifer Schmied.

Kleinsmith joined the firm's corporate, licensing and patent prosecution practices as counsel. Before joining Fish & Richardson, Kleinsmith founded Idea Law APC, which focused on providing intellectual property law and strategic counseling, licensing and patent work for companies in the biotechnology, medical devices, nanotechnology, and optical industries.

Schmied is a member of Fish & Richardson's business litigation practice. Previously, she was with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP.

The San Diego office of Fish & Richardson has 45 attorneys and more than a dozen specialists, advisers and law clerks.

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Partnering Up: Latham & Watkins LLP announced 26 new partners representing all five of the firm's departments and 12 offices. The attorneys were elected to the partnership effective Jan. 1, 2007.

Attorney Patricia Guerrero, who practices in Latham & Watkins' San Diego office, was elected to the partnership. She practices environmental litigation with a focus on criminal and civil government enforcement matters, toxic torts, natural resource damages, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act litigation.

The Latham & Watkins offices in downtown and North County employ more than 100 attorneys.

Send law news to Michelle Mowad at mmowad@sdbj.com . She can also be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 3112.