Ms. Plaza’s experience includes serving as City Attorney for California Cities; as the Chief City Attorney for a major city in PA; as Chief and Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Torts Branch of the Civil Division of the U.S. Justice Department; and as a subcabinet-level Secretary of Housing in Washington D.C. Ms. Plaza has eleven years of private practice experience representing companies of all sizes. She has served as lead counsel in all aspects of municipal law with particular emphasis on land use, contracts, redevelopment and economic development, including affordable and construction litigation. Ms. Plaza has advised and represented City clients and Redevelopment housing agencies in connection with the assembly of land for reuse and redevelopment to support significant commercial, industrial or residential development.
Ms. Plaza was appointed by President Clinton, and served from 1997 through 2001 as Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”) in Washington, D.C. In that position Ms. Plaza advised the Administration on policies affecting housing and represented the federal government before state and federal governmental agencies and building and banking industry groups. Ms. Plaza also administered housing programs and established policy for the design, construction, and alteration of housing and other buildings to meet HUD’s accessibility requirements. Ms. Plaza has significant experience in mortgage lending and, in her capacity as federal regulator, evaluated the performance of state and local housing enforcement agencies and of the secondary market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Ms. Plaza has assisted cities and non-profit entities with HUD programs and funding from CDBG, HOME and NSP programs amongst others.
Prior to her service as Assistant Secretary of HUD, Ms. Plaza was appointed by President Clinton and served from 1993 to 1997 as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Plaza handled sensitive, precedent-setting litigation matters in tort law, including matters in environmental torts, medical malpractice, vaccine and radiation litigation, constitutional tort litigation (including the Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents), aviation and admiralty law. Ms. Plaza also practiced law in the private sector in Washington D.C. in the nationally known law firms of Seyfarth Shaw and Arent Fox and served as trial attorney in the Commercial Litigation Justice in Washington, D.C. Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department in Washington D.C.
Ms. Plaza is a 1984 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she served as Associate Editor of the California Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Harvard University in 1980, and is admitted to practice law in four jurisdictions: Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, California, and Texas (inactive).
Arto J Nuutinen
Arto J. Nuutinen has practiced public law for more than twenty years. His primary areas of practice concern California Tort Claims Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Political Reform Act, the Public Records Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Mr. Nuutinen has primarily represented municipalities, water districts, public school districts and community colleges, and has been special counsel to joint powers authorities, port authorities and transportation agencies. In addition to public agencies, Mr. Nuutinen has also represented several large corporations and financial institutions, and has also defended retail supermarkets in matters involving personal injury allegations. An experienced litigator, he has considerable background in matters involving complaints, discovery, law and motion and appellate practice.
Mr. Nuutinen also advises on matters concerning real property, joint use, leasing, energy performance contracting, surplus property and Civic Center Act issues. He is also experienced in matters concerning contractor licensing. Mr. Nuutinen is an adjunct instructor at the University of California, Riverside, and is a featured speaker on public law issues.
Mr. Nuutinen has written numerous ordinances and resolutions, and has also drafted and enforced general and special provisions for public works construction contracts. He is also experienced in land use issues, and has assisted public agencies and joint powers authorities with eminent domain, defense of inverse condemnation claims, redevelopment, breach of contract and environmental litigation. Mr. Nuutinen has also been involved in the development of new legislation. He has appeared before, and has advised, numerous public agency governing bodies.
Mr. Nuutinen is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine (Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, 1984) and the University of San Diego School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1989). He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1990.
Michael Salanick is Of Counsel to the Plaza Law Group. He is a bankruptcy lawyer. Mr. Salanick represents clients throughout southern California, including the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, Orange, and San Diego.
Attorney Michael Salanick believes in providing high-quality and affordable legal services, while relying on years of legal training, seasoned analysis, and a keen sensitivity for identifying and activating solutions to fit a client’s unique situation.
Mr. Salanick provides his clients bankruptcy options and alternatives that may be available; an honest assessment of each individual situation and the likelihood of success; direct answers regarding filing fees, attorney fees, and any associated expenses anticipated; proper and thorough attention is given to clients’ needs and any outstanding concerns; and clients and non-clients alike are never rushed and are always treated with respect.