Government Tort Liability

» Back to Practice Areas

It is not possible to effectively handle a lawsuit for damages against governmental agencies without understanding the procedural rules and immunity provisions that govern these actions. Success depends on careful planning, good use of discovery and persuasive motion work. I’ve had very significant success in defending public agencies against these claims:

While working for the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, I was one of the attorneys representing the City of Oakland in a consolidated action by several hundred property owners whose homes were destroyed in the Oakland Hills fire of 1991. I was responsible for a motion challenging all claims arising out of the contention that the fire started on city property and was in a dangerous condition due to overgrowth. The court granted the motion on the ground that the city was entitled to legislative immunity for the decision to keep the property as open space.

I represented the County of Santa Clara in a defamation action brought by correctional officers who claimed that the director of their department had made slanderous statements about them concerning an incident in which an inmate was seriously injured. I obtained summary judgment on the ground that the director was immune from liability because the statements were covered by the “official duty” privilege.

I was trial counsel for the City of Oakland where the jury returned a defense verdict in an action alleging that he suffered serious injuries in a traffic acceded caused by improperly programmed traffic signals.

» Back to Practice Areas