AGHW’s public entity practice group has developed a practice that encompasses the breadth of public entity defense litigation. From civil rights lawsuits against public entities, tort liability claims from the mundane to the complex, to the defense of public entities for alleged design defect and dangerous condition, the team has the experience and successes in resolving cases before trial, succeeding on summary judgment, and prevailing in trial.
In this fast-evolving area, AGHW provides private for profit employers, non-profit employers, and public entities employers with services across a broad spectrum. This includes guidance in the creation of legally-compliant policies and handbooks, as well as advice on virtually every type of personnel situation faced -- hiring, promotion, leave, wages, discipline and termination. Clients also rely on AGHW to represent them before federal and state administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). When a lawsuit is filed, the goal is to rapidly assess the strength and weakness of the case, both in terms of liability and damages, and prepare the case for motions, settlement, and trial, if necessary, efficiently.
AGHW brings over 100 years of combined experience to defending and trying a wide variety of civil lawsuits, covering all types of claims. This significant experience includes defending negligence and premises liability claims (often involving death or catastrophic injuries), claims for fraud, business torts, unfair competition, defamation, privacy violations, as well as disability and housing discrimination. AGHW has represented both policyholders and insurers in coverage matters, as well as defending insurance brokers and agents.
Within their areas of expertise, several of AGHW’s attorneys regularly serve as court-appointed or private mediators. These attorneys draw on their considerable experience as trial attorneys to assist the parties in reaching a satisfactory outcome to the dispute. AGHW attorneys have mediated claims alleging violations of civil rights, employment harassment, discrimination, termination, as well as wrongful death and personal injury claims.
In addition to expertise defending sexual harassment claims arising in the workplace, AGHW has substantial experience advising clients confronted with claims alleging sexual misconduct arising in non-workplace situations, such as public or private schools, pre-schools, parks and recreation districts, and religious organizations. This includes both claims alleging adult misconduct with a child or children engaged in sexual misconduct with other children. The depth of our experience assists clients with complying with mandated reporting obligations, communicating with law enforcement investigating the matter, and responding to the media and the public. When lawsuits are filed, AGHW attorneys quickly gather information, interview witnesses, and provide an early assessment of liability and potential damage exposure. Though such cases often settle, AGHW has successfully obtained dismissals of such claims through summary judgment and obtained defense verdicts at trial.
AGHW represents public transportation districts, including heavy and light rail systems, throughout Northern California in a wide variety of litigation matters, including catastrophic injury, premises liability, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), employment, and police/civil rights. AGHW also specializes in defending private trucking, paratransit, bus, limousine, and taxi companies with respect to claims involving bodily injury and property damage, employment, contract disputes, and interpretation of state and federal regulations.
The Police Civil Liability Practice Group specializes in defending police officers and departments. Our four attorneys possess a breadth of experience defending a variety of claims, including: First Amendment free speech claims, Fourth Amendment false arrest and excessive force claims, officer involved shootings, Eighth Amendment custody issues, and allegations of unconstitutional customs, policies, practices and procedures (i.e. Monell claims).