Chris Skinnell is a partner practicing law and civil litigation relating to elections, state and local initiative and referenda, redistricting and voting rights, campaign finance, tribal gaming, and general constitutional and government law issues. He advises clients and litigates on a broad range of election, government, and political law related matters, including serving as the firm’s lead partner on conflict-of-interest issues. He also serves as the firm’s General Counsel.
Mr. Skinnell has considerable expertise in redistricting and voting rights. He has advised scores of counties, cities, school districts and special districts, as well as the New Mexico Citizens Redistricting Committee, on compliance with state and federal laws governing redistricting; has counseled many additional public entity clients regarding the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act, the California Voting Rights Act and the FAIR MAPS Act; has represented public entity defendants in several leading CVRA cases; and has represented amici curiae in several leading voting rights and redistricting cases before the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Skinnell has also litigated a number of constitutional issues related to campaign finance regulations, property rights, the use of public funds in connection with ballot measure campaigns, and the legality of various electoral systems.
He has also served as counsel to a number of ballot measure committees, independent expenditure committees, and political action committees.
Mr. Skinnell is a member of the Board of Governors of the Rose Institute of State & Local Government at Claremont McKenna College.
In 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, Mr. Skinnell was selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer, and he was the subject of a feature article in the 2020 edition of Super Lawyer magazine entitled “The Electioneer.” He had previously been named a Rising Star five times, from 2013-2017. Only the top 5 percent of all attorneys in California are named as Super Lawyers. They are selected through peer nominations and evaluations along with third-party research.
Sacramento magazine selected Mr. Skinnell for inclusion in its list of Top Lawyers of 2015. Attorneys were selected for inclusion on the list through a survey of Sacramento-area attorneys conducted for Sacramento magazine by Professional Research Services. Sonoma Magazine likewise chose Mr. Skinnell as one of its “Lawyers of Distinction” in 2021.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Skinnell worked as a political consultant to several California legislative and initiative campaigns; as a research associate at the Rose Institute; and as the chairman of a successful initiative campaign in Southern California.