ExperienceLitigation (Trial, Appellate & Administrative)

We have litigated a number of ground-breaking cases in the various practice areas discussed on this website, including: Administrative Law, Ballot Measures, Education Governance & Organization, Election Law, Ethics Enforcement, Gaming & Horseracing, Indian Gaming, Property Rights & Rent Control, State & Local Tax Advocacy, and Voting Rights & Redistricting.  However, in addition to the various cases discussed in other practice areas descriptions, the following is a sample of other significant cases that Nielsen Merksamer attorneys have also litigated:

  • In St. John’s Well Child & Family Center v. Schwarzenegger, 50 Cal. 4th 960 (2010), the firm represented former Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis; the California Chamber of Commerce; the California Taxpayers’ Association; and the California Business Roundtable as amicus curiae in support of Governor Schwarzenegger’s use of the line-item veto. See pp. 983 & 987 n.24 (quoting our amicus brief).
  • In W. J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd. v. Superior Court of Sacramento County, No. C064038 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 2010), we represented a national wine distributor in a dispute regarding a national marketing agreement. Following arbitration in which we defeated a $40 million claim for breach of the agreement and obtained a multi-million dollar award on a cross-claim, a superior court judge declined to enforce the award, but we successfully obtained a writ of mandate from the Court of Appeal reinstating the award.
  • In Shaw v. Chiang, 175 Cal. App. 4th 577 (2009), the firm successfully challenged the state Legislature’s diversion of over $1 billion in revenues dedicated by the voters to local and state public transportation projects to the state General Fund.
  • Representing amici curiae in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen, 212 Cal. App. 4th 1298 (2013), the firm successfully argued that the state Legislature cannot use the budget process to adopt bills on a majority vote that the state Constitution otherwise requires to be adopted by a two-thirds vote.
  • In Pala Band of Mission Indians v. Board of Supervisors, 54 Cal. App. 4th 565 (1997), the firm successfully defending the legality of a San Diego County initiative establishing zoning and general plan amendments for a major sanitary waste facility.
  • In Rhomberg v. Wilson, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 3052 (9th Cir. 1997), we successfully defended the Governor’s 1991 Inaugural Committee in a two-week jury trial alleging civil rights violations brought by persons arrested for protesting—a verdict that was unanimously affirmed on appeal.
  • In Stiesberg v. State of California, 80 F.3d 352 (9th Cir. 1996), we successfully obtained the dismissal, affirmed on appeal, of civil rights claims against our client, the head of the California Highway Patrol.
  • In California Correctional Peace Officers Assn. v. Schwarzenegger, 163 Cal. App. 4th 802 (2008), the firm represented former Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis as amici curiae, successfully supporting the authority of Governor Schwarzenegger to issue an emergency proclamation authorizing the state to contract with out-of-state private prisons to house some of California’s inmates.
  • In Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association v. Deukmejian, 227 Cal. App. 3d 663 (1991), the firm successfully challenged Proposition 105, the so-called Public’s Right to Know Act, which prescribed regulatory disclosures for a whole host various activities, on the ground that it was adopted in violation of the California Constitution’s single subject rule.