Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. is opening a San Diego office. That’s big news in our legal community. That Ogletree Deakins, one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, was able to attract Spencer Skeen, a partner at Fisher & Phillips, is just as big. Skeen will serve as the founding and managing shareholder of the new office. San Diego is Ogletree Deakins’ 43rd office, fifth in California, and part of the network of offices throughout the state.

“Ogletree Deakins has an outstanding reputation for providing superior client service,” said Skeen.

Skeen has practiced labor and employment law his entire career. As a litigator, Skeen represents employers in a range of matters, including defending claims alleging harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour claims, ADA and ADEA violations, unfair business practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, and class action disputes. Skeen is very involved in the San Diego community. He serves on the board of directors for the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce and was co-chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the San Diego County Bar Association in 2011 and 2012.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack now has 71 attorneys among its 23 practice groups. It hired new partner Roland Achtel. Achtel is a member of the Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section of the San Diego County Bar Association and the Trusts & Estates and Litigation Sections of The State Bar of California.

“We have an extremely busy team of trust and estate attorneys,” said John Morrell, managing partner at Higgs. Achtel is an experienced estate planner with an emphasis in trust and probate litigation, and he handles conservatorship matters, as well.

Fisher & Phillips LLP San Diego elected Danielle Hultenius Moore to partner earlier this month. Moore is a member of the firm’s nationally-recognized labor and employment law practice and joined the firm as an associate in 2006. Moore represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination, wrongful termination, workplace harassment, retaliation, unfair competition and wage-hour lawsuits, employment handbook and personnel policy preparation, and general preventive advice including hiring, discipline and termination practices.

“I am pleased to welcome Danielle to the firm’s partnership in recognition of her legal skills, achievements and commitment to client service,” said Chris Hoffman, founding and managing partner of the San Diego office.

Moore serves as the North County chapter president of Lawyers Club of San Diego and a board member. She also is a committee member of the Legislative and Small Business Advocacy group with the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and a member of the San Diego Bar Association and the San Diego Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Ron Ball, the former city attorney of Carlsbad, has joined Best Best & Krieger LLP as an of counsel attorney. Ball, who retired from his Carlsbad position in December after 26 years, will be a member of the firm’s San Diego municipal law practice group, one of the largest in California. Ball has an extensive background in legal issues that affect cities. During his tenure in Carlsbad, Ball worked on several high-profile and cutting-edge legal matters, including the creation of California’s first financing district, the defense and implementation of the city’s growth management plan, the drafting of the city’s first development agreement for Legoland California and the drafting of the second agreement for the then proposed Carlsbad desalination plant.

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA) made Jim McNeill and Renzo Rocchegiani partners, and it has hired four new associates. McNeill is a member of the firm’s litigation practice with a national practice concentrated in employment and ERISA litigation, class action defense, intellectual property litigation, and complex business/commercial disputes. McNeill also counsels clients with interests in Central and South America on cross-border issues. Rocchegiani is a member of the firm’s intellectual property and technology group and his practice focuses on patent litigation, patent prosecution, and client counseling, with an emphasis on intellectual property and technology.

The four new San Diego associates joining MLA’s San Diego-downtown office are: Wyatt Glynn, who received his J.D. and B.A. in mass communication from the University of California Berkeley; Evan Mix, who received his J.D. from the University of Virginia and B.A. in philosophy and political science from the University of California San Diego; Adam Noakes, who received his J.D. from the University of California Los Angeles and B.S. in business administration from the University of Maryland; Arthur Yu, who received his J.D. from the University of California Los Angeles and B.A. in economics from the University of California Berkeley.

David Salisbury, director of Business Development for Mintz Levin San Diego, will be the new chair of the University of San Diego School of Business Administration’s Alumni Council. Alex Barnes, who was most recently a special projects analyst for Sempra Energy’s Risk Analysis & Management Group, will serve as vice chair.

“I’m very excited about our new and returning School of Business Alumni Council members,” said Salisbury. “As the School of Business Administration begins its fifth decade in 2013, this team is going to accomplish great things …”

Cooley LLP partner Anthony Stiegler and associates Kraig Jennett and Shannon Sorrells agreed with the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties that the City of Oceanside shouldn’t cite and fine a street musician for violating a city ban on any form of live music performance. In case you missed it, musician Mark Mayville occasionally plays an electric guitar with a portable, battery-powered amplifier, near the Oceanside pier. As street performers often do, Mayville displays a jar to accept voluntary donations from listeners and passersby, but does not actively solicit tips, charge for requests, or sell any merchandise. In March 2011, two police officers insisted that Mayville stop playing his guitar and detained him, citing him for violation of Oceanside’s noise ordinance. At his hearing, he was found guilty, fined $275, which was suspended for a year as long as he was not cited for the same violation during that period. Mayville subsequently contacted the ACLU. It contacted the Cooley attorneys. The two sides tried to negotiate a settlement, but Mayville felt the Oceanside Police Department continued to restrict his free expression activities, so the ACLU and Cooley filed a complaint asking the court to declare Oceanside’s anti-solicitation ordinances, as applied to Mayville’s musical performances, unconstitutional. After further post-filing negotiations, the parties reached an agreement, and the settlement was finalized and approved by a U.S. District Court judge this week, ensuring the right of performers to engage in free expression in public forums in Oceanside.

Randy C. Frisch is the president and publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho. He can be reached at rfrisch@sdbj.com.