Skip to Content

Ten CGS3 Partners Recognized in Legal System’s Preeminent Guide

August 18, 2023 CGS3, Robert “Bob” Bell, Thomas Crosbie, Sean Gaffney, Ray Gliner, Phil Jelsma, Brian Kintz, Gregory Markow, Steven E. Otto, Dana Schiffman, Craig Swanson CGS3 Team

SAN DIEGO (August 18, 2023) – Ten partners at Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson (CGS3) –  Robert J. Bell, Thomas B. Crosbie, Sean GaffneyRay B. Gliner, Phil L. Jelsma, Brian Kintz, Gregory Markow, Steven Otto, Dana I. Schiffman and Craig D. Swanson – have been recognized in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a prestigious national ranking of attorneys selected through an exhaustive annual peer-review process. 

This year continues a long history of CGS3 attorneys that are recognized in this high-profile source for legal referrals.  For 2024, Bell is listed under the Real Estate Law and Construction Law categories while Jelsma is featured under Tax Law.  Crosbie Gliner, Kintz, Otto, Schiffman and Swanson are all ranked under Real Estate Law.  Gaffney is recognized in both the Real Estate Law and Construction Litigation categories, and Markow is recognized for Construction Litigation and Real Estate Litigation.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publication in the legal profession.  Because of the exacting methodology involved, the annual ranking is regarded as the industry’s definitive guide to legal excellence.  For three decades, Best Lawyers has become a resource for both lawyers and clients looking for top legal talent.

The featured partners all have extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, construction and tax law:

  • Bell focuses his practice on real estate development/construction, investment and brokerage matters. His career spans the spectrum of real estate development, investment, construction and brokerage matters including multi-family, urban infill, mixed-use, hospitality, industrial, retail, office and land transactions.
  • Crosbie has extensive experience in a broad variety of commercial real estate areas, including acquisitions and dispositions, financing, leasing and construction in connection with commercial, residential, industrial, retail and mixed-use projects for local, regional and national real estate developers and investors.
  • Gaffney is a skilled litigator and successfully represents both plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of trial work and alternative dispute resolution. He is frequently able to settle difficult matters in a cost-effective manner, but he is equally adept at litigating aggressively where necessary to protect his clients’ interests.
  • Gliner represents landlords in various complex lease provisions, including lease takeover provisions, extensive overlapping expansion and contraction rights, and build-to-suit work letter/construction and related commencement date issues.
  • Jelsma is chair of the tax practice team at He is widely recognized as one of the state’s leading joint venture and tax attorneys, with a more than 30-year background in real estate exchange transactions, syndications, nonprofit corporations and international tax planning.
  • Kintz focuses his practice on a broad range of commercial real estate deals, including leasing, purchase and sale transactions, ground leases, and financing – with an emphasis on complex commercial lease transactions involving industrial, retail, office, life science, and mixed-use asset types.
  • Markow heads up CGS3’s busy litigation practice, representing commercial real estate investors, developers, owners, and property management companies looking to minimize risks that lead to litigation and defending them forcefully when disputes cannot be avoided.
  • Otto is adept at structuring complex transactions, with a unique ability to handle out-of-the-box ideas. His experience spans the acquisition, development, leasing, licensing and sale of office, industrial and retail portfolios and mixed-use office/retail projects. 
  • Schiffman is well versed in a wide range of acquisition, development, leasing and financing matters for a variety of commercial real estate projects. His experience includes large portfolio sales, development agreements, CC&Rs, complex ground leases, build-to-suit leases and anchor retail leases. 
  • Swanson specializes in the acquisition, disposition, development, leasing and financing of commercial and mixed-use projects, with clients including some of the nation’s leading real estate companies.

About Best Lawyers

Since 1983, Best Lawyers has compiled lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting extensive peer-review surveys in which thousands of top lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.  Because attorneys do not pay a fee for the listing, Best Lawyers has gained respect as the country’s most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals.  In addition to the print version, Best Lawyers in America is posted online at

About Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3)

CGS3 is a recognized leader among a new generation of commercial real estate law firms with practice areas covering the entire commercial real estate life cycle, including finance, acquisition/disposition, entity formation, tax, development, land use, leasing, distressed asset workouts and dispute resolution.  Earning a reputation as one of California’s leading commercial real estate law firms, CGS3 continues to recruit some of the state’s top real estate attorneys from both large corporate firms and senior in-house positions.  For more information, visit