Overview of Services
Hanson Bridgett is actively engaged in the prosecution and defense of the most challenging and complex cases involving governmental agencies and the public sector. Led by a team of seasoned trial and appellate attorneys, our firm has and is ready to face cases that threaten the very existence and reputation of local and state governments. To say that cases prosecuted and defended by our attorneys are high stakes and high profile is an understatement, particularly because the outcome of these actions can threaten the continued existence of government and the confidence constituents have in their elected officials.
Public sector clients rely on our specialized expertise and expansive knowledge to advise them on the unique challenges they face. Representing public agencies requires experience, savvy, and keen instinct. We are trusted by our clients to deliver not only proven litigation skill, but also a depth of understanding of the unique issues facing the public sector as a whole and public agencies in particular, who are often accountable to multiple boards, the public and community at large, the media, elected officials, and other constituents. We consistently deliver the insight and requisite acute subject-matter expertise to assist public entities in evaluating and resolving disputes, while considering the unique legal, political, and policy issues that are often involved in public sector litigation.
Our litigation team draws upon years of collective experience to guide clients through the travails of crises that can interfere with and disrupt the governing process. When an emergency arises, our clients depend upon us to be there to advise on practical solutions no matter how devastating or difficult the storm of events. We achieve this end by providing cool-headed advice, legal know-how and tough investigating. We work to resolve problems and disputes using negotiation, mediation or litigation, if necessary. Whether we are defending a class action claim based on civil liberties or personal injuries, a suit arising from First Amendment rights, or an action challenging the ability of an agency to levy taxes or assessments, our attorneys have experienced it all and have protected the life, continuity and reputation of public agency clients over decades of practice.
Our team is involved in every type of public sector litigation, and is particularly skilled in thwarting and aggressively defending class action litigation. The stability and reputation of public sector agencies can be undermined by challenges from individuals, classes of individuals, groups, and regulators. Class actions, in particular, can be a "bet-the-agency" proposition ranging from challenges to local laws and policies, to efforts to undermine the tax base, to actions to prevent proper governing.
Our experience includes individual, multi-plaintiff, and class action claims involving a broad spectrum of issues ranging from business and commercial disputes; to labor and employment actions, particularly wage and hour claims; to employee benefits matters, including pension and retiree benefits; to 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, the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments (including civil rights challenges pertaining to the delivery of medical and mental health care in correctional settings), as well as the right to privacy under the U.S. and California Constitutions. We also handle personal injury and catastrophic loss suits; real estate, construction, energy, and water resource matters; civil rights claims; and, criminal-related actions and proceedings. Our firm has represented the State of California, the Regents of the University of California, state and local leaders, and state and local agencies and municipalities in pre-litigation disputes, at trial, during the remedial phase, and throughout the appellate process in the Ninth Circuit and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
News & Resources
California Court Reaffirms that Litigation Threat Letters Should be Treated as Claims Under the Government Claims Act
Fourth District Court of Appeal Wades Into Government Claims Act Split and Warns Public Entities To Treat Litigation Threat Letters as Claims or Risk Waiving Defenses
Inadequate Government Claims Act Notice Sinks Proposition 218 Water Rate Challenge
The Plata v. City of San Jose court decision found that the late charges were not governed by Proposition 218.
New California Court of Appeal Decision Upholds Decisions Made By County Retirement System During Great Recession
O’Neal v. StanCERA, et al. provides helpful guidance to public retirement boards about the considerations relevant to the discharge of their fiduciary duties.