Peter P. Edrington - partner - Bachelor of Arts Degree, cum laude, University of California at Los Angeles, 1972. Juris Doctor Degree, Hastings College of Law, University of California, 1976. Mr. Edrington's practice is in public entity defense throughout the greater Bay Area, including counties, cities, school districts, BART, East Bay MUD, sanitary and water districts, park and recreation districts, housing authorities and utility districts. He has handled numerous high profile and politically sensitive cases. Cases tried to verdict include wrongful death claims, catastrophic automobile accidents, dangerous condition claims against numerous public entities, civil rights, landslide, property damage, construction, discrimination as to employment, hostile work environment as well as gender/race/sexual preference, whistleblower claims and cases alleging violations of FAPE, 401 Plans, IEPs as well as IDEA. He has represented police departments throughout the Bay Area as well as state and county law enforcement agencies. He has provided advanced officer training to police in the area of civil liability, excessive force, racial discrimination, high-speed pursuits, report writing, and has taught at the Los Medanos Police Academy. He has represented numerous public officials, including Superior Court Judges, School Superintendents and Board Members, the District Attorney, Chiefs of Police, Mayors and Councilpersons. He has lectured at the annual Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA) Conference on developments in recent case law concerning county, municipal and school district liability. He has spoken before the Association of Bay Area Governments, County Risk Managers and Public Works Directors as well as East Bay Adjusters on dangerous condition of public roads, highways and sidewalks. He has addressed Northern California PARMA on a variety of litigation issues, and has been the featured speaker for the Bay Area City Attorneys (BACA) and the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO). He has lectured county department heads on sexual harassment in the workplace as well as hostile work environment. Mr. Edrington has tried numerous cases to juries in both State and Federal courts and has had hundreds of court trials and judicial arbitrations. He has argued cases in both State and Federal Courts of Appeal. He has an AV Preeminent rating through Martindale-Hubbell and, for many consecutive years prior to his retirement, was honored as a Northern California Super Lawyer, a distinction limited to only 5% of lawyers in Northern California.
Keith R. Schirmer - partner - Bachelor of Arts Degree, Stanford University, 1976. Juris Doctor Degree, University of San Diego, 1979. Admitted to California Bar, 1979. Mr. Schirmer’s practice emphasizes defense of serious personal injury, commercial liability, construction defect and public entity actions. His public entity practice includes defense of claims of dangerous condition of public property involving wrongful death, claims of civil rights violations against public employees, claims of alleged excessive force against police officers, including police shooting cases and claims against municipalities for alleged dangerous daycare practices. His practice includes all Bay Area Superior courts, resolving hundreds of cases through mediation and arbitration, including complex, multi-party mediation work with special masters, with over fifteen jury trials and briefing and oral argument in the California Court of Appeal. Mr. Schirmer has been an invited presenter at the annual NorCal ReLiEF Defense Counsel Summit on the topic of school district molestation claims. His volunteer work has included sitting as a Trial Judge for the local high school moot court competitions. Mr. Schirmer has also served as Judge Pro Tem, Contra Costa Superior Court, and as Arbitrator for the Contra Costa Superior Court.
TIMOTHY P. MURPHY
Timothy P. Murphy - partner - Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1982. Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1985. During law school, Mr. Murphy earned membership in the prestigious McAuliffe Honor Society, and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award for highest grade in Constitutional Law. He was admitted to the California Bar in December, 1985. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court, Northern, Central and Eastern Districts. Mr. Murphy's practice emphasizes defense litigation in areas including dangerous conditions of public property, alleged excessive force by police or correctional officers, employment discrimination, alleged civil rights violations, premises liability, including commercial establishments and public accommodations, construction site accidents and automobile accidents. He regularly represents public school districts and their employees, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation and its employees, cities, contractors, developers and individuals involved in civil litigation. He has represented clients throughout the State and has successfully resolved cases in jury trials in State and Federal courts, in court trials, through dispositive motions, in binding arbitration, in mediation and through direct negotiations. Recent trial successes include a defense verdict in United States District Court in an inmate excessive force case involving an inmate who lost an eye, a defense verdict in a Contra Costa County case involving two Hispanic employees who sued for race discrimination and harassment and a defense verdict in an Alameda County Superior Court case involving a former tenant suing for violation of her civil rights. Mr. Murphy has successfully briefed and argued cases in the California Court of Appeal. He has lectured and provided training to various groups, based on his areas of practice. He has an AV Preeminent rating through Martindale-Hubbell and has been annually selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2011, a distinction limited to only 5% of lawyers in Northern California. He has also been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants.
James M. Marzan - partner - Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of San Francisco, 1984. Juris Doctor Degree, Hastings College of Law, University of California, 1987. Admitted to California Bar, 1988. Mr. Marzan’s practice emphasizes insurance defense and public entity defense, including the defense of cities, counties, school districts, community college districts, sanitary districts and BART. Cases he has litigated include dangerous condition/premises liability, civil rights violations, serious personal injury and wrongful death claims, negligent supervision/child abuse/sexual assault cases, Title IX cases, claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, claims brought pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act/ , employment discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wrongful termination, wage and hour labor actions, complex litigation involving asbestos personal injury, construction defect and breach of construction contract/delay claims, stop notice related matters and insurance declaratory relief/contribution actions. Handled the landmark Vandal Watch Litigation for the Fremont Unified School District, obtaining a 12-0 defense verdict. He has represented several housing authorities in unlawful detainer actions. Mr. Marzan has successfully tried numerous cases on behalf of government entities and individual clients and has argued in the California Court of Appeal. Admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
CODY L. SAAL
Cody L. Saal - associate - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Washington, 2009. Juris Doctorate, Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, 2012. Graduated earning Certificates with distinction in both Litigation and Criminal Law. Admitted to the California Bar, 2012. During law school, Ms. Saal participated in Mock Trial, competing in a national competition, and took first place in the Spring 2011 Appellate Advocacy Competition. She also earned several academic awards, including the Witkin Award for the highest grade in Evidence. As an attorney, Ms. Saal’s practice emphasizes insurance defense and public entity defense, primarily on behalf of school districts, handling cases involving personal injury, sexual abuse, alleged civil rights violations, excessive force, cases involving special education issues, negligent supervision, dangerous condition of public property, employment discrimination and harassment. She has extensive successful motion practice experience, including demurrers, motions to strike, and motions for summary judgment and/or adjudication. Most notably, Ms. Saal co-chaired a $24 million dollar multi-defendant personal injury/dangerous condition of public property jury trial in Santa Clara County involving a minor plaintiff with catastrophic injuries as a result of a motor-vehicle-pedestrian accident, and obtained a defense verdict on behalf of the driver. Ms. Saal also handles complex litigation cases involving school district compliance with Education Code statutes, as well as appellate matters.
VANCE R. WILLIAMS
Vance R. Williams - of counsel - Bachelor of Science Degree, cum laude, Saint Mary's College of California, 1986. Master in Business Administration, University of Southern California, 1988. Chancellor, Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity. Juris Doctor Degree, John F. Kennedy School of Law, 1992. American Jurisprudence Award Constitutional Law. Admitted to California Bar, 1993. Mr. Williams’ practice emphasizes insurance defense, public entity defense and landlord tenant law. This includes personal injury, premises liability, construction defect litigation and landlord tenant disputes. His practice includes trials, arbitrations and mediations in California court actions. Mr. Williams also acts as an arbitrator for the California Better Business Bureau.
JAMES H. LY
James H. Ly - associate - Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California, Berkeley, 2007. Juris Doctorate, Santa Clara University, 2012. Admitted to the California Bar in 2013. During law school, Mr. Ly clerked for the Honorable Socrates P. Manoukian, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Mr. Ly has successfully prepared and argued a Motion for Summary Judgment in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against a local police department and its officers for alleged civil rights violation, which resulted in dismissal of all claims. He has served as first chair counsel in an unlawful detainer trial, which resulted in an eviction of the tenant and complete recovery of all damages demanded. He has prevailed in an Anti-SLAPP Motion against a plaintiff that filed a lawsuit to chill the free speech of community organizers and other civic groups. He has represented numerous defendants in tort litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout California, including obtaining a dismissal for the defendant in a multi-vehicle collision in exchange for waiver of attorneys’ fees and costs. Mr. Ly also has experience in litigating real property issues involving title disputes.
JORDAN C. MEYER
Jordan C. Meyer - associate – Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California, Berkeley, 2003. Juris Doctorate, Santa Clara University, 2009. Admitted to the California Bar in 2009. During law school, Mr. Meyer externed at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office where he worked on a special circumstances murder trial. As an attorney, Mr. Meyer’s practice has focused on public entity representation, and specifically representation of school districts. Mr. Meyer’s emphasis is in labor and employment, special education, public contracting and bidding, and general tort liability. Mr. Meyer has handled cases involving teacher dismissals, employment discrimination and harassment, alleged civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C § 1983 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, abuse and negligent supervision, sexual abuse, and alleged violations of the Education Code and Labor Code. Mr. Meyer twice argued before the California Court of Appeal and has extensively represented clients on appeals from administrative agency decisions in federal district courts and California superior courts. Mr. Meyer has also independently represented clients or served as co-counsel before the Public Employment Relations Board, the Department of Industrial Relations, and Commissions on Professional Competence. Mr. Meyer has an extensive motion practice, including motions to dismiss, demurrers, motions to strike, and motions for attorneys’ fees.
MEGAN M. SYMONDS
Megan M. Symonds - associate - Native of Contra Costa County- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2002. Juris Doctorate, with Highest Honors from Golden Gate University in 2006. Admitted to the California Bar in 2007. Ms. Symonds clerked for Justices Patricia Sepulveda and Maria Rivera, State of California, First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. Ms. Symonds has over ten years’ experience as an insurance defense attorney, representing Corporate entities and public agencies. For the past three years, Ms. Symonds was one of the managing attorneys of the Law Offices of Santana, Vierra & Symonds. As part of her practice, Ms. Symonds has successfully won several motions for summary judgment in third party criminal conduct cases, premises liability and products liability cases. Ms. Symonds has successfully tried cases to verdict as a first chair. Ms. Symonds obtained a defense verdict in a binding arbitration, wherein her client was accused of causing millions of dollars in property damage. Currently, Ms. Symonds handles insurance defense and public entity defense primarily on behalf of cities and school districts.
KATHRYN Y. MIGNANI
Kathryn Y. Mignani - associate - Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California, Berkeley, 1984. Paralegal Certificate, 2015. Juris Doctor Degree, John F. Kennedy University, 2019, Magna Cum Laude, first in class; Witkin awards in Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Criminal Procedure, and Trial Advocacy. Admitted to California Bar, 2020. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Mignani served as the firm’s paralegal for three years. She served as co-leader of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) student section from 2016-2018 and currently serves on the education committee. Ms. Mignani is also an adjunct professor at John F. Kennedy University, teaching legal writing in the undergraduate program.