Areas of Practice
Public Entity Defense
Our firm has specialized for more than thirty years in representing public entities in complex and challenging cases throughout Northern California. Because of our expertise, hard work and the efficient results we achieve, our client base of public entities is diverse and extensive. Over the past twenty years, we have represented twenty five different cities and counties. In that same time, we have litigated more than seven hundred cases for public entity clients in a wide variety of matters in both State and Federal Court, including actions brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, primarily in defending law enforcement agencies and officers in excessive force and related claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the Bane Act (Civil Code Section 52.1), inverse condemnation claims under the California Constitution, and numerous tort claims under the California Tort Claims Act including dangerous condition of public property, defamation, quiet title, and wrongful termination. In the past five years alone, we have represented eighteen different public entities located in five different Northern California counties (Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, and Napa) in approximately 150 tort defense cases.
Over the past twenty years, we have tried twenty cases to a verdict (jury trial) or judgment (trial court) on behalf of public entity clients. In every single one of those twenty public entity cases we have tried, we have prevailed on behalf of our client. Seventeen out of those twenty cases resulted in defense verdicts. Three trials resulted in verdicts in favor of plaintiffs, but in amounts which were so small and/or below the amount statutorily offered that the amount of recoverable costs awarded to the defense exceeded the plaintiff’s verdict.
We have a unique breadth and depth of experienced, exceptionally qualified principals/partners, associate attorneys, and paralegals who routinely work on public entity cases. Because we represent so many public entities, we have developed many meaningful relationships and contacts with department heads and key players in public entities throughout Northern California. Due to our years of experience, we also know and have relationships with the key expert witnesses on common issues which arise in public entity cases.