Michael C. Wenzel is a partner of the firm, and joined the firm in 2002. His practice is focused on the defense of public entities, including cities, counties, school and community college districts, in the areas of employment and civil rights defense. He regularly represents public entities and their employees in cases alleging employment discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation, and police departments in cases alleging excessive force, false arrest and related civil rights claims. Mr. Wenzel further represents public entities in the defense of personal injury claims, including dangerous condition of public property and negligent supervision claims, as well as inverse condemnation claims, administrative hearings, writs and appeals. In his twenty years of practice, Mr. Wenzel has defended virtually every type of claim confronted by public entities.
Mr. Wenzel earned his B.A. degree in History and Economics from Syracuse University in 1992 and his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University – Camden School of Law in 1995, where he was awarded with Dean’s List honors. Following law school, Mr. Wenzel completed a clerkship for the Honorable Edward R. Schwartz of the Superior Court of New Jersey and an externship for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas of the of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Mr. Wenzel practiced civil litigation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for five years before his admission to the California Bar. His practice extends to all state and federal Courts in California, and he is admitted to practice in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California, the District of New Jersey, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. Wenzel has briefed and argued numerous cases in the California Court of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. He argued the matter of Gordon v. City of Oakland before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that a public entity’s training reimbursement program for safety employees did not violate the minimum wage standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The decision ratified the right of public entities throughout California to utilize training reimbursement programs for public safety employees.