For the second year in a row, McManis Lands on Leading Lawyer List
For the second consecutive year, James McManis has been honored as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” by the Daily Journal, the state’s largest legal news provider. This listing highlights 100 attorneys whose work has had the widest impact and has changed an industry, the law, or society as a whole. McManis was selected from hundreds of nominations from law firms, nonprofits, universities and in-house counsel.
This year, McManis obtained a jury verdict vindicating his client’s constitutional rights. Dr. Chang, a female Chinese-American Ph.D. and Registered Nurse, was violently arrested after declining to sign a traffic citation for “driving too slowly.” Although Dr. Chang was not legally required to sign, the recordings from the deputies’ dash cams showed taunting by the deputies. When Dr. Chang requested to speak with a supervisor, the deputies ripped her out of her car and pushed her head against the side of the vehicle. Following a week of trial and three days of deliberations, the jury unanimously found both deputies used excessive force and that Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith ratified their conduct.
In another highly-watched case, McManis currently represents a class of San Jose residents in a lawsuit against the City of San Jose alleging the City misappropriated more than $33 million dollars from its water utility in violation of the California Constitution. The suit claims that rather than using fees collected from customers to maintain or improve the utility, as required by state law, the money was instead transferred to the City of San Jose’s general fund. Initially filed in 2014, this past year, McManis successfully achieved class certification after defeating a number of motions filed by the City to dispose of the case.
In addition, McManis is defending CC-Palo Alto in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 500 residents, believed to be the first of its kind in the Bay Area, challenging a continuing-care retirement community's financial practices. The class action alleges that CC-Palo Alto inflated residents’ monthly fees and illegally transferred hundreds of millions of dollars in repayable entrance fees to its parent company without establishing a reserve. The U.S. District Court judge has twice dismissed the case. In the most recent ruling, the judge dismissed with prejudice 10 of the 15 claims, leaving only five open to amendment. A third motion to dismiss is under submission.
A seasoned trial lawyer and member of the bar for 50 years, McManis handles cases in both the commercial and intellectual property arenas. He also represents individuals in a wide variety of other matters, including civil rights actions, employment disputes, family law, and criminal defense. McManis earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (1967) and his B.A. in History, with Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford University (1964).