James R. Parrinello

Office: San Francisco Bay Area
2350 Kerner Boulevard
Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94901

James Parrinello is the senior litigation partner and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Mr. Parrinello counsels clients and litigates issues involving the constitutionality of governmental regulations, the legality of state and local initiatives and referenda, property rights and rent control, government licensing, Indian gaming and voting rights. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of the state and federal courts including the United States and California Supreme Courts.

He has extensive trial and appellate experience in regulatory, elections, government and constitutional law and complex litigation, and represents clients in regulatory and licensing proceedings on the state and local levels of government.

He was a Governor’s appointee to the California Citizens Commission on Ballot Initiatives, has served on the faculty of the Hastings Trial and Appellate Advocacy program and has been a guest lecturer at Berkeley Law and Stanford Law School.

Mr. Parrinello holds Martindale-Hubbell’s highest (AV) rating. He is a member of the Litigation and Government Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association and the California Political Attorneys Association.

  • A precedent-setting United States Supreme Court victory upholding, by an 8-1 vote, the First Amendment rights of citizens to make campaign contributions supporting or opposing state and local initiatives and referenda, in Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley, 454 U.S. 290 (1981)
  • Invalidating a 2013 San Francisco ordinance which imposed a ten-year ban on unit mergers as preempted by the Ellis Act, in San Francisco Apartment Assn., et al., v. City & County of San Francisco, 3 Cal. App. 5th 463 (2016).
  • Striking down a California Fair Political Practices Commission regulation restricting contributions to candidate controlled ballot measure committees, because it exceeded the Commission’s statutory powers, in Citizens to Save California v. California Fair Political Practices Commission, 145 Cal. App. 4th 736 (2006).
  • Invalidating key provisions of San Francisco’s “anti-harassment” ordinance for violating the judicial powers clause of the California Constitution and the First Amendment, in Larson v. City and County of San Francisco, 192 Cal. App. 4th 1263 (2011).
  • Invalidating Proposition 105, the so-called Public's Right to Know Act, for violating the California Constitution’s single subject rule, in Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association v. Deukmejian, 227 Cal. App. 3d 663 (1991).
  • Representing local governments in negotiations and arbitration proceedings requiring meaningful mitigation of impacts to local services and infrastructure as a condition of construction of proposed Indian gaming facilities and casinos.
  • Pre-election invalidation of an initiative petition for containing false representations to prospective signers, in San Francisco 49ers v. Nishioka, 75 Cal. App. 4th 637 (1999).
  • Represented amici curiae in briefing and oral argument before the California Supreme Court in an important elections law case reaffirming the Stanson v. Mott doctrine, in Vargas v. City of Salinas, 46 Cal. 4th 1 (2009).
  • Representing licensees in licensing and accusation proceedings before the California Gambling Control Commission and the Bureau of Gambling Control
  • Striking down a Municipal Services Agreement entered into between an Indian Tribe and the City of Plymouth for violating CEQA, in County of Amador v. Ione Band of Miwok Indians, 149 Cal. App. 4th 1089 (2007).
  • Representing amicus in a successful takings challenge to a 2014 San Francisco ordinance requiring owners to pay evicted tenants two years rent differential between their prior and new housing units
  • Defending the legality of a San Diego County initiative establishing zoning and general plan amendments for a major sanitary waste facility, in Pala Band of Mission Indians v. Board of Supervisors, 54 Cal. App. 4th 565 (1997).