Roy C. Santos is an associate in the Central Valley office and is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Public Safety, Code Enforcement and Labor and Employment Practice Groups. His legal expertise is focused on all aspects of representing public agencies, including matters involving land use, code enforcement, writ of mandate actions, habeas petitions, eminent domain, unlawful detainer, PBOR, FBOR, Pitchess, employment law, civil rights and the Government Tort Claims Act.
Mr. Santos’ career and educational opportunities have provided him with a diversity of valuable legal experience. He began his legal career in 2001 as a litigation paralegal for one of the premier intellectual property and antitrust law firms on the west coast. Mr. Santos continued his work as a paralegal while attending law school at the University of San Francisco. After taking the bar in 2008, he was hired by that firm as a contract attorney to work on a multi-million dollar carbon fiber antitrust law suit.
Mr. Santos has extensive experience managing all aspects of a case, from its inception through trial. As part of his trial practice, Mr. Santos has defended and conducted depositions, prepared and argued pre-trial and post-trial motions and conducted negotiations, mediations and arbitrations. He has also conducted bench and jury trials in both state and federal courts. In addition to his trial practice, Mr. Santos has experience litigating numerous appeals, including successfully advocating on behalf of his clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Santos served as the City Attorney for Firebaugh, and as a Deputy City Attorney for the cities of Coalinga, Clovis, Fowler, Reedley, Sanger, Parlier, and Lemoore. He served as Deputy County Counsel for the County of Madera where he was the lead attorney responsible for litigation, code enforcement, public records act requests, habeas petitions and all legal matters relating to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Corrections, Department of Probation and Animal Services. As a City Attorney and Deputy City Attorney, Mr. Santos was the lead attorney responsible for code enforcement, subpoenas, Public Records Act requests and writ petitions. Additionally, Mr. Santos was responsible for the day to day advisory and transactional legal services of each city.
Mr. Santos co-authored an article published in the ADC Defense Comment, entitled “Qualified Immunity - Immunity with a Catch”, that focused on immunity in federal civil rights lawsuits, with regards to police officers’ and their conduct.
Mr. Santos has successfully resolved many litigation issues for his clients including the following:
- Kitchens v. County of Fresno et al. – Prepared briefing and conducted oral argument on behalf of Defendant Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Lt. Gary Johnson. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment for Defendant Lt. Johnson as to Plaintiff's Section 1983 Supervisor liability claim.
- Willis v. City of Fresno et al. – Prepared briefing on behalf of Defendant Officers, the City of Fresno and Chief Jerry Dyer. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to Plaintiffs' Monell claim asserted against Defendant City of Fresno and Plaintiffs’ Supervisor liability claim asserted against Chief Dyer arising from an officer involved shooting.
- Rodriguez v. City of Fresno et al. – Assisted in the preparation of the briefing and negotiations resulting in the settlement of Plaintiffs’ appeal of the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant Officer, the City of Fresno and Chief Jerry Dyer arising from an officer involved shooting.
- Hudson et al. v. County of Fresno et al. – Prepared briefing and obtained a writ of mandamus staying Superior Courts order to produce privileged investigative file.
- Kitchens v. County of Fresno et al. – On remand from the Ninth Circuit, obtained and order granting summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s Section 1983 Supervisor liability claim asserted against Defendant Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims arising from Plaintiff’s housing at the Fresno County Jail as a Sexually Violent Predator Civil Detainee. On September 22, 2016, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgement.
- O’Brien Development v. City of Clovis – Obtained an order denying Petitioner O’Brien’s writ of mandate petition seeking to force the City of Clovis to issue it a conditional use permit authorizing its proposed development project.
- Rock Haven Inc. v. State of California – Obtained an order granting summary judgment in favor of Rock Haven on its writ of mandate petition. Obtained a writ of mandate invalidating the State Department of Water Resources compliance order and restoring Rock Haven’s control of its water system.
- Palomo v. City of Sanger – Obtained an order granting Defendants former Mayor and City Manager’s motion to dismissing Plaintiff’s claims of retaliation and sexual harassment.
- Cotta et al. v. County of Kings et al., 79 F.Supp.3d 1148 (E.D. Cal. 2015) – Obtained an order dismissing Plaintiffs’ claims asserted Kings County Sheriff D. Robinson and Assistant Sheriff D. Putnam and dismissal of Plaintiffs’ Civil Code section 52.1 claims against all Defendants. Mr. Santos also obtained an order granting Defendant Classification Sergeant and Defendant County of Kings motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ Section 1983, Monell and Wrongful Death claims arising from the murder of an inmate while being housed at the Kings County Jail.
- Willis v. City of Fresno et al. – Defense verdict in favor of Defendant Officer as to Plaintiffs’ Section 1983 and Wrongful Death claims arising from an officer involved shooting. Prior to the defense verdict, Mr. Santos obtained an order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants Chief Dyer and the City of Fresno.
- Srabian v. County of Fresno et al. – Defense verdict in favor of Defendant Officer and the County of Fresno as to Plaintiff’s Section 1983, Battery and Vicarious Liability arising from an officer involved shooting. Prior to the defense verdict, Mr. Santos obtained an order granting Defendants’ motion for reconsideration of the Court’s order denying a portion of Defendants' motion for summary judgment and obtained an order partially granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
- Quinn v. County of Fresno et al. – At the conclusion of the jury trial Mr. Santos obtained an order setting aside a jury verdict finding liability against Defendant Probation Officer and the County of Fresno. The Court also set aside Plaintiff’s damages award of $425.000.00, plus attorney’s fees and cost. Negotiated settlement of all Plaintiff’s claims, including attorney's fees and costs, for significantly less than the prior damage award.
- Rodriguez v. City of Fresno et al. – Obtained an order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant Officer, the City of Fresno and Chief Dyer as to all of Plaintiff’s claims arising from an officer involved shooting.
- Lanier v. City of Fresno et al. – Obtained a dismissal of all Plaintiff’s claims arising from an officer involved shooting.
- Lema v. City of Modesto – Obtained dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims asserting violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and California Disabled Persons Act.
- Mendoza et al. v. County of Fresno et al. – Bench trial defense verdict in favor of Defendant City of Mendota as to all Plaintiffs and in favor of Defendant County of Fresno as to four of the five Plaintiffs on the issue of Plaintiffs failure comply with the Government Claims Act.
- Garcia et al. v. County of Fresno et al. – Obtained an order granting Defendant Officer and County of Fresno’s motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Plaintiffs’ Section 1983, False Arrest, Assault, Battery and Lose of Consortium arising from a high speed chase and arrest.
- Gremminger v. County of Fresno et al. – Obtained an order granting Defendant Employees of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Civil Unit demurrer as to all of Plaintiff’s claims. Negotiated settlement of all claims against Defendant County of Fresno for less than $11,000.00 when Plaintiff originally requested nearly $300,000.00.
- McBride v. City of Fresno et al. – Obtained an order granted Defendant County of Fresno’s demurrer without leave to amend. Mr. Santos also obtained an order granting Defendant City of Fresno’s motion to compel discovery responses and award monetary sanctions; granting their motion for terminating sanctions and entering judgment, including costs, in the City’s favor.