The Impact Litigation and Social Justice Section conducts affirmative litigation on behalf of the County, drafts local ordinances, and develops novel policies and programs to advance the County’s goal of securing social and economic justice for all its residents. Our current cases include an action to hold lead paint manufacturers liable for the public nuisance they created by marketing lead paint as a safe product, two actions against pharmaceutical companies that marketed dangerous products to public hospitals and the public, and a lawsuit against the State for its failure to reimburse counties for mandated medical services for the indigent. In the last year, we have also filed amicus curiae briefs in lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration law, drafted local ordinances addressing predatory lending, and worked with County departments to develop policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants. We also have a number of active investigations that we expect will result in litigation. In all our work, we strive to advance local, state, and national public policy reform through progressive local government action.
Starting in 2008, the County Counsel’s Office has sponsored a fellowship program that selects talented new lawyers and trains them as local government litigators and advisors, whose goal is to advance social justice in the County and beyond. The fellow will help to shape a growing movement to use the power and unique perspective of local government to drive long-lasting social change. As an integral part of the Impact Litigation and Social Justice Section, the fellow will identify and develop new cases for our public-policy-oriented impact litigation docket; conduct legal research and analysis; draft pleadings, ordinances, resolutions, memoranda and opinions; and participate in all aspects of ongoing litigation. The fellow also will be assigned special projects in the General Government section of the County Counsel’s Office. Past fellows also have helped teach courses about social change through local government law at Stanford and Santa Clara Law Schools and have supervised interns. Special attention is paid to the professional development of attorneys in the fellowship program to foster a lifelong commitment to public service and a focus on local governance. For a list of past fellows, click here.
The Impact Litigation and Social Justice Section does not currently have any open fellowship positions. Instructions for applying to the fellowship beginning in September 2014 will be posted here when available.
The County of Santa Clara is an Equal Opportunity Employer