Wanger Jones Helsley PC’s mission is to provide high-quality representation and advice to the firm’s clients in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our attorneys specialize in a broad range of practice areas, including the representation of management in employment and labor matters; commercial, business, and real estate litigation; environmental law and land use; insurance coverage/bad faith litigation; and white collar criminal defense. On any given day, you may find the attorneys at Wanger Jones Helsley PC preparing for trial, advising employers on sensitive labor and employment issues, presenting oral arguments to state or federal courts of appeal, analyzing new employment or environmental regulations that affect local businesses, or advocating before administrative tribunals. The attorneys at Wanger Jones Helsley PC thrive on new challenges, and take great pride in vigorously representing the interests of the firm’s clients. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that the firm enjoys an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating possible from this well-respected national lawyers’ directory.

EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION / LABOR RELATIONS

We provide management with ongoing advice and training in employment matters, while representing employers before the National Labor Relations Board, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Cal-OSHA, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We also represent clients in employment litigation matters in both state and federal court such as claims of harassment, employment discrimination, wage and hour, retaliation, and wrongful discharge matters.

CONSTRUCTION DISPUTE AND DEFECT LITIGATION

Our construction litigation attorneys assist clients with disputes in state and federal courts involving all manner of private and public works projects.  Clients of our construction practice include developers, designers, builders, general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers.  We have extensive experience in litigated matters, as well as those proceeding through arbitration or mediation before the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service (JAMS), among others.  In addition to representing clients in breach of contract, construction defect, and SB 800 matters, our attorneys handle mechanic’s lien, stop notice, and Miller Act claims; delay and disruption claims, including changed conditions and requests for equitable adjustment (REA); defense of design professionals, including architects and engineers; Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB) proceedings, including citations, accusations, and license suspension, revocation, or denial matters; and insurance coverage, bad faith, and declaratory relief actions involving residential and commercial construction defect cases.

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

The firm’s commercial litigation practice focuses on business, agricultural, and real estate disputes; creditors’ remedies; products liability; trade secrets; unfair business practices; corporate and partnership disputes; and insurance coverage bad faith claims. The firm’s commercial litigation partners have extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts.

ENVIRONMENTAL, REAL ESTATE AND LAND USE LAW

The firm’s environmental, real estate and land use attorneys work with developers and local governments throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and assist the firm’s clients with a wide variety of land use approvals; compliance with environmental regulations such as the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and the Endangered Species Act; the negotiation of development agreements; and the review and negotiation of fees and exactions. Our attorneys also handle a wide range of environmental, real estate and land use litigation in both state and federal courts and administrative tribunals, including environmental actions arising under State and federal statutes such as CERCLA, RCRA, and Proposition 65; the defense of mandamus petitions challenging development approvals; boundary, title and easement disputes; and disputes involving commercial and agricultural lease/purchase agreements.

WHITE COLLAR CRIME

The firm’s criminal defense practice provides representation to individuals and businesses in a wide range of charges.

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SELECTED CASES

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Central Green Co. v. United States (2001)
531 U.S. 425, 121 S.Ct. 1005

Central Green sued the United States of America under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damage to Central Green’s pistachio trees caused by water leaking from a federal water project. In a landmark decision argued by Timothy Jones, the United States Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding the Federal Flood Control Act was not a bar to plaintiff’s claims.

Affordable Housing Development Corp v. City of Fresno (2006)
433 F.3d 1182

In this case the firm successfully defended individuals who asserted their first amendment rights and were sued for $27,000,000. This case was important in establishing first amendment rights of individuals to petition their Government for redress.

Mergerdigian v. Western Farm Service (1986)
788 F.2d 760

In this case the firm successfully defended against an employee’s claim for wrongful discharge and age discrimination in the trial court, and this result was affirmed on appeal.

POET, LLC v. California Air Resources Board (2013)
218 Cal.App.4th 681

In this case, attorneys Timothy Jones, John P. Kinsey, and Daren A. Stemwedel successfully argued that the California Air Resources Board violated multiple provisions of CEQA and the APA when it adopted the Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulation, a major component of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Fifth District Court of Appeal set aside the approval of the regulation, directing the Air Resources Board to comply with CEQA and the APA.

Baker v. Boland (2009)
Cal. App. Unpub. Lexis 3569

In this case, Scott D. Laird successfully obtained reversal of “prevailing party” determination and attorney fees award on appeal, overcoming the “abuse of discretion” standard.

Artesia Dairy v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board (2008)
168 Cal.App.4th 598

In this case the firm successfully argued that the ALRB erred in failing to count the ballots of three employees in an agricultural election. The Court of Appeals ordered that the challenged ballots be opened and agreed that the ALRB had improperly construed the statute to exclude relatives of the owner of the dairy from voting.

Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Mendes (2008)
160 Cal.App.4th 136

In this case the firm successfully defended claims that Mendes Calf Ranch violated various statutes pertaining to the raising of livestock. The firm successfully defended the case and succeeded in convincing the Court that the Plaintiff lacked standing to sue under the Unfair Business Practice scheme set forth in California Business and Professions Code §17200.

Westamerica Bank v. MBG Industries, Inc. (2007)
158 Cal.App.4th 109

In this case, Scott D. Laird successfully defended appeal and made new law regarding California Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 Offers.

North American Bldg. Maintenance, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. (2006)
137 Cal.App.4th 627

Patrick D. Toole and Scott D. Laird successfully argued that the insurance company, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, wrongfully denied its insured coverage for a claim of false imprisonment in an underlying class action lawsuit.

City of Fresno v. People Ex Rel Fresno Fire Fighters (1999)
71 Cal.App.4th 82

In this case the firm successfully represented the City of Fresno in a labor case involving an action brought by the Police Officer’s Union and the Fire Fighter’s Union seeking to set aside the repeal of the City Charter provisions which set forth the employee’s wages based upon an eight city average. In this complex case arising under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, it was successfully argued at both the trial and Appellate Court level that the actions taken by the City of Fresno were proper and that the City of Fresno properly fulfilled its bargaining obligations with the labor unions.

Quinn Company (1984)
273 NLRB No. 107, 118 LRRM 1239

In this case the National Labor Relations Board upheld the decertification of the union that had represented the work force of the firm’s client. The board’s opinion is often cited for the proposition that a bargaining unit supervisor properly may participate in the decertification process.

Joe A. Freitas & Sons v. Food Packers,
Processors and Warehousemen Local 865,
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1985)

164 Cal.App.3d 1210, 211 Cal.Rptr. 157

In this case the firm obtained the reversal of an adverse arbitration award, in the process establishing important precedent regarding the validity and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements under California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act.