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Public Sector Litigation

Public Sector Litigation

Our team of seasoned trial and appellate attorneys has prosecuted and defended some of the most challenging, complex, and high-profile cases involving governmental agencies and the public sector. Drawing upon decades of collective experience, we guide clients through the process of both defending and bringing lawsuits on behalf of public entities.

The public sector as a whole, and local public agencies in particular, face many legal, political, and policy issues that do not arise in the private sector. Hanson Bridgett has specialized knowledge and experience in handling these matters, and are sensitive to the fact that our public agency clients are often accountable to multiple boards, the public and community at large, the media, elected officials, and other constituents. Our clients depend on our specialized understanding, local knowledge, and keen instinct for practical solutions. We are particularly skilled in thwarting and aggressively defending high profile, high impact litigation and working with elected officials and staff to seek creative solutions to resolve public controversies.

Whether through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation, we handle all types of disputes facing the public sector, from First Amendment and voting rights suits, to the right to acquire property for a public project, or defend against a catastrophic personal injury claim.  


We litigate individual, multi-plaintiff, and class action claims involving a broad spectrum of issues. Below are some recent examples of types of matters we are litigating:

  • Breach of contract, including Joint Powers Agreements and inter-agency Memoranda of Understanding
  • Challenges to fees, charges, assessments, and taxes
  • Eminent domain and inverse condemnation
  • Environmental claims, including under the California Environmental Quality Act and the Hazardous Substances Account Act, as well as their federal counterparts (see our Environmental page)
  • Labor and employment actions, particularly wage and hour claims 
  • Employee benefits matters, including pension and retiree benefits
  • Constitutional and administrative claims, including class actions involving California Government Code §11135 and Title VI (42 U.S.C. § 2000d), 42 U.S.C. § 1983
  • Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, including civil rights challenges pertaining to the delivery of medical and mental health care in correctional settings
  • Right to privacy under the U.S. and California Constitutions
  • Personal injury and catastrophic loss suits
  • Real estate, including boundaries, encroachments, and land use disputes
  • Public works of construction claims 
  • Energy, and water resource matters
  • Civil rights claims
  • Challenges to local ordinances
  • Enforcement of local ordinances and permits
  • Voting Rights Act matters
  • Americans with Disabilities Act compliance
  • Appellate challenges 

Key Contacts

Alexandra Atencio
Alexandra Atencio
Walnut Creek, CA

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