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William W. Wynder

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(310) 527-6667
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(310) 532-7395
William W. Wynder
 

Mr. Wynder has specialized in the field of public law, public sector litigation and constitutional torts, and labor and employment law for over 35 years.  Mr. Wynder currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Glendora, located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, located atop the Palos Verdes Hills and bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Prior to taking a two-year religious-service sabbatical, Mr. Wynder had served as City Attorney for the cities of Carson (over 11 years), Cypress (over 16 years), Lawndale (13 years), and as Assistant City Attorney for the cities of Signal Hill, Irwindale, and Palm Springs.

Mr. Wynder has also served as General Counsel to the Palmdale Water District, the Rossmoor Community Services District (10 years), and as special counsel to the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation (the successor entity to the old Los Angeles Film Board) during a particularly challenging period when the political decision was made to transition from a quasi-public agency to a private film industry entity.  He has served as counsel to the Carson Mobilehome Park Rent Review Board (10 years)  and the Palm Springs Rent Review Commission (over 11 years).

In addition to his City Attorney and General Counsel expertise, Mr. Wynder has an active litigation practice.  Most recently, Mr. Wynder was part of a team of firm litigators who obtained a landmark ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversing a nearly $8 million trial verdict against firm client the City of Carson in a case styled Colony Cove v. Carson, Ninth Circuit Case No. 16-56255 (2018).  In a unanimous published opinion, the Federal Court of Appeals reversed a trial court ruling that application of the City’s rent control law violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution by “taking” the park owner’s property without just compensation, concluding instead that the City’s Rent Control Review Board acted lawfully in rejecting two requests to greatly increase the rents on over a thousand residents, many of whom are senior citizens, living at the Colony Cove Mobile Estates mobilehome park in Carson.

In 2015, Mr. Wynder briefed and argued an appeal involving the forced conversion of another mobilehome park in the City of Carson.  This dispute, spanning almost 13 years, and two trips to the California Court of Appeals, involved an attempt by this park owner to avoid the protections of the Carson Rent Control ordinance.  In response to Bill’s arguments, the California Court of Appeals, in a published opinion reported at Carson Harbor Village v. City of Carson (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 56, acknowledged the error of its prior opinion and ruled in favor of the City.

Mr. Wynder has extensive appellate experience and has acted as counsel (or amicus) in more than a dozen published state and federal appellate decisions, including: 218 Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 182; Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 840; Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates, LLC v. City of Los Angeles (2012) 55 Cal.4th 783 (as amicus curiae); Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (9th Cir. 2011) 640 F.3d 948; Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 1487; and El Dorado Palm Springs, Ltd. v. City of Palm Springs, 96 Cal.App.4th 1153 (2002).

Mr. Wynder succeeded in expanding the protections afforded taxpayers and every public agency in California under Government Code § 1090 (one of the State’s important conflict of interest statutes).  In Carson Redevelopment Agency v. Padilla (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1323, the Court of Appeals extended the reach of Section 1090 to include a governmental decision to award a contract to private party defendant who was the victim of extortion by a corrupt public official (the court declared the contract void and required the private party defendant to disgorge $1 million in financial benefits back to the local municipality).

Mr. Wynder protected the independence of local administrative agencies in Carson Gardens, LLC v. City of Carson (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 856.  In two other important cases affecting local governments in California, he succeeded in:  (1) defending the authority of a City Council to remove from office an elected City Clerk due to his lack of residency within the city (Nicolopolus v. City of Lawndale (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 221), and (2) persuading the Court of Appeals that cities do not owe a “special duty” to warn visitors to their public parks of the possible presence of gang members (Munoz v. City of Carson, Second Appellate District (2013) Case No. B-237951).  The national implications of the latter case were considered in a January, 2014, issue of “Parks & Recreation” (www.nrpa.org) in an article entitled, “Website Invitation to ‘Dangerous Park.’”)

Mr. Wynder is a 1978 cum laude graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law.  He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, and earned the “Best Advocate” award in its prestigious Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition.  Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Harry Phillips (dec.), Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.  Mr. Wynder began his career in 1979 with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins.  He later joined the firm of Rutan & Tucker to work on the six-year dispute between the City of Anaheim, the then-California Angels, and the then-Los Angeles Rams over the rights and obligations of the parties in Anaheim Stadium.  (See, Golden West Baseball Co. v. City of Anaheim (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 11.)

From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Wynder was asked to take a sabbatical from his law practice to serve as the Director of the Historic Kirtland Visitors’ Center, and related sites, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This sprawling complex, located in Northeastern Ohio, hosts some 75,000 visitors annually.  During his tenure, Mr. Wynder supervised a staff of 50 docents in publically exhibiting a “restored” Village of Kirtland, and he coordinated with the work of forensic archeologists, archivists, and site restoration specialists in the Church’s on-going historic site acquisition, provenance, and preservation activities in this early Mormon community established in the 1830s.