Because of my civic and political engagement, during the more than 43 years I have practiced law folks have frequently asked me to help them with election law matters. Annually I have provided advice and counsel, and when needed representation in court or with agencies concerning elections , and related Constitutional civil rights and freedom of speech issues in court.
I have always viewed my Bill of Rights and Elections legal work as preserving or enhancing the framework within which all sides can effectively conduct the ongoing debates that make the democratic-republican form of government crafted by the nation’s founders possible. My legal work has been for the
benefit of partisans in both major political parties, as well as individuals without party preferences. Here are some of the cases I am proud to have handled:
Wilson vs. San Luis Obispo Democratic Central Committee (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 489 (Petition for Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, denied 559 U.S. 1006 ), a seminal decision defending the County Democratic Party which establishes the rights of political parties to determine their own internal membership, structure and disciplinary rules free from governmental interference.
Wilson vs. San Luis Obispo Democratic Central Committee (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 918, another seminal decision which expands the private attorney general doctrine to enforcement broad political rights.
SLO Homeless Alliance vs. City of San Luis Obispo, Superior Court CV 12-0204, 7/3/2012, preliminary injunction protecting due process & human rights of unhoused citizens.
Torres vs. Brennler, Superior Court CV 13-0145, 9/6/2013, anti-SLAPP dismissal of suit determined by the court have been filed to stifle freedom of the press.
Barta vs. Bowen, Cal. Secretary of State, Superior Court CV 11-0665, 9/1/2013, Elections Code provisions mandating particular oaths were held unconstitutional, resulting in statute repeal by the Legislature of the offending statute within a short period of time.
Compton vs. Gong, Superior Court, 2018, 18CV-0358, action for enforcement of equal protection treatment of voters presenting different types of defective signatures on Vote By Mail ballot envelopes. Ultimate result was Legislative amendment to statute imposing equal treatment by Election Officers.
Farmer vs. Bureau of Cannabis Control, Superior Court 19 CV-0597, 1/11/2021, Writ of Mandate enforcement of ban on cannabis billboard advertising adopted by voters in Proposition 64.
People v. Carter, early 1980s. As a member of the Port San Luis Harbor Commission, was responsible for the investigation of a Public Integrity matter which resulted in the conviction and removal of a Commissioner for violation of the Elections Code (vote fraud and perjury charges).