Jenny L. Riggs
Jenny Riggs is a Principal in the Trial and Litigation, Commercial Litigation, First Amendment, and Labor and Employment Practice Groups. She has extensive state and federal court litigation experience on behalf of municipalities, counties, special districts, businesses and non-profit organizations. Her complex litigation experience also includes multi-district cases and civil litigations that are intertwined with criminal actions.
Jenny’s expertise includes single- and multi-plaintiff cases involving constitutional law, government corruption, land use, zoning, catastrophic disasters, eminent domain and inverse condemnation, coastal issues, environmental claims, Public Records Act and Brown Act compliance, Americans with Disabilities Act, employment law, and civil rights claims for violations of substantive and procedural due process.
Jenny handles pre-trial litigation (including dispositive motions), pre-trial discovery, various stages of motion practice, and trial. In addition to her skills in the courtroom examining witnesses and arguing motions, and her expert aptitude for taking and defending depositions, Jenny leads the development and management of Meyers Nave’s systems and protocols for discovery plans in complex matters and document intensive litigation.
Jenny is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and all U.S. District Courts in California.
- Represent the Consolidated Oversight Board of the Second District of Los Angeles County, which includes the Inglewood Successor Agency of the Redevelopment Agency, in litigation relating to a dispute over a potential new home for the Los Angeles Clippers. Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG), which owns the Forum, alleges that the City of Inglewood and its mayor tricked MSG into giving up its long-term lease and purchase option on 15 acres of parking space near the Forum because the City and the mayor were secretly negotiating with the Clippers to build a new and competing arena on that land less than 1.5 miles from the Forum. The lawsuit’s allegations include violations of the Brown Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.
- Represent the County of Santa Barbara in a dispute with Southern California Edison (SCE) regarding potential liability for the 2017 Thomas Fire and subsequent Montecito debris flow. SCE sued various public entities alleging that “negligent acts and omissions of the public entities” contributed to or exacerbated the injuries, deaths and multi-million dollar losses incurred by plaintiffs that are suing SCE for causing the fire. The matter includes 200 lawsuits, 3000 plaintiffs, and 70 plaintiff law firms asserting billions of dollars of liability against the County.
- Represented the County of Los Angeles in a lawsuit brought to stop the illegal dumping of waste material in the unincorporated county. Successfully obtained an order amending an existing preliminary injunction after the defendants violated it, and later obtained summary judgment against the defendants that operated the dump.
- Represented the City of Chula Vista in obtaining a permanent injunction to close a strip club that violated zoning codes. The court also granted the City’s cost bill. The case validated the constitutionality of the City’s adult zoning and licensing ordinance that Meyers Nave drafted.
- Defended the City of Palmdale in actions brought by more than 30 plaintiffs involving inverse condemnation, nuisance, negligence, and trespass claims as a result of a massive 2015 rain storm that caused substantial flash flooding and debris flow. The storm was rated to have a “return frequency” of 1000 years and overwhelmed the City’s public improvements. Successful resolutions included (1) negotiating the dismissal of Palmdale from one action within a few months of the filing of the action, (2) winning a dispositive motion for summary judgment in another case for judgment based on establishing that the epic storm was an intervening factor that broke the causal chain for liability, and (3) obtaining a definitive legal ruling on a summary judgment motion that served as the catalyst to get the remaining cases settled and involved payment by the pooling entity with a minimal contribution from the City.
- Represented the City of Oceanside in obtaining dismissals of claims pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute in a dispute regarding the City’s rejection of an application to operate a digital billboard on a City right-of-way. At the end of public hearings, the City Council voted to deny approval of the applicant’s digital billboard project.
- Represented the Assessor in defending against various challenges to the assessment of property taxes.
- Represented a municipality in its response to federal and local investigative subpoenas relating to a confidential matter.
- Represented the County of San Bernardino in federal court litigation involving the ADA, and specifically the issue of whether County Hospital medical personnel provided effective communication to hearing impaired individuals who were treated at the Hospital. Settled the case, both with the plaintiff and with the Department of Justice, on terms beneficial to the County. Also settled a second case to the benefit of the County in which the plaintiff, a paraplegic, alleged in a federal action that he was denied on‐street parking accessibility to a store because the County failed to install an angled parking space and curb ramp that would enable him to access the store.
- Provided cities, including Modesto and Ventura, with legal advice on revisions to adult use ordinances, including urgency and moratorium ordinances.
- Defended the City of Modesto against federal claims brought by the owner/operator of a proposed strip club, obtaining dismissal before discovery began.
- In a matter relating to leases for operating a tourist train, successfully opposed the tenant’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent a county transportation commission from terminating the tenant’s leases, and then successfully settled the case.
- Defended the County of Los Angeles in a series of lawsuits in federal and state courts brought by a married couple asserting land use, civil rights/takings, and First Amendment retaliatory claims. The original case settled after a Rule 68 offer. Remaining cases are on appeal following successful motions to dismiss or for summary judgment.
- Represented a transit agency in an employment matter in which the former Director of Human Resources alleged retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of FEHA. The matter settled on favorable terms for the agency.
- Represented an international English language instruction college in an employment matter in which a former employee filed a claim with the California Labor Commissioner alleging violations of the California Labor Code and applicable wage orders, as well as a claim alleging violations of the California Labor Code related to retaliation. The matter settled very favorably for the client with the former employee subsequently releasing his claims against the employer and dismissing the claims with prejudice.
- Defended a transit agency in litigation involving competing claims brought by a tunneling contractor, and the agency’s own cross-claims. The action involved disputes over differing site conditions, defective specifications, delay, liquidated damages, and chemical grouting costs.
- Brought suit on behalf of a water district seeking rescission of an interest rate derivative swap transaction, disgorgement of fees earned by defendants in those transactions, and fraud damages.
- Defended a multinational company in a five month toxic tort trial in Los Angeles brought by multiple foreign plaintiffs, obtaining a split verdict that was later overturned on appeal due to plaintiffs’ fraud.
- Defended a microelectronics company in a four month trial in San Jose, California, obtaining a unanimous defense verdict, subsequently recognized as a “Top Defense Verdict of the Year.”
- Represented a third party defendant against indemnity claims arising out of the client’s IPO.
- Defended a respirator manufacturer in numerous personal injury/product liability actions throughout California, including defending against claims of successor liability.
- Provided pro bono representation to women seeking domestic violence restraining orders.
- Provided pro bono representation to a California state prisoner in a religious discrimination case, seeking to enforce his First Amendment rights.
Honors and Awards
- 2010 Volunteer of the Year, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Presentations and Publications
- Presenter, “e-Discovery,” 17th Annual Eminent Domain Conference, CLE International, 2015
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, California Women Lawyers
- Member, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
- Northwestern University School of LawJD, cum laude, 1999
- University of DallasBA, cum laude, 1992