For the past 35 years, Mr. Bragg has pursued a varied and successful litigation career that has made him one of the most respected trial attorneys in Northern California. His cases have proven to be both high profile and complex and his versatility has resulted in his counsel and litigation skills being sought by both claimants and persons defending against claims.
In the civil arena he has successfully represented classes of people that could get representation nowhere else. He represented college students against their university and obtained reimbursement of over one million dollars when the university refused to acknowledge the deteriorated living conditions created by construction in their dorms. He obtained healthcare benefits for retired teachers when their district refused to honor previous contractual agreements. He successfully represented a large lumber company in complex litigation arising from the company’s stock ownership plan and is presently involved in defending claims arising from the failure of the County’s local creamery.
His trial skills have been put to equal advantage in criminal defense. Homicide cases are of a particular interest to him and his record of acquittals and favorable resolutions is unmatched on the North coast. His skill became a matter of general knowledge in the community when he obtained an acquittal after a six month trial in a double homicide death penalty case in the late 80’s. Since that time he is the one that public figures ask to intervene when circumstances lead to their prosecution. He has represented former chiefs of police, former district attorneys and given advice to government officials. He has successfully represented former City Council persons and members of autonomous commissions when proceedings have been pursued to remove them from office. Similarly, he has represented local businesses in the successful defense of anti-trust allegations.
This broad experience has caused Mr. Bragg to be recognized as an attorney that can analyze difficult and complex business and governmental situations and provide good counsel. The City of Eureka asked him to be interim City Attorney from September 2010 for the year it took for the City to search and successfully find a new permanent City Attorney. He has represented the County of Humboldt on a number of varied cases including civil rights cases brought against the Sheriff’s Department and defense of the County in challenges to the development of elements of its General Plan. He has also represented the Humboldt County Waste Management District in complex litigation, involving solid waste disposal.
The stature that Mr. Bragg has reached and the respect given him within his profession is reflected in the ratings he has received and organizations he has been asked to join based upon the judgment of his peers. He was awarded an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the most prestigious peer review organization in the nation, at age 38, one of the youngest attorneys ever to receive that rating. He is, also, an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an organization strictly limited to exceptional trial attorneys whose membership only comes from a rigorous review followed by personal invitation from its members.
Mr. Bragg’s career success, in retrospect, was fully expected following his college graduation in 1972 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he graduated third in his class followed by a stellar law school career where he participated in the school’s law journal and was honored with a membership in “Order of the Coif” which is limited to the top 10% of the graduating class. He followed graduation with 2 ½ years in the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office.
Along the way, Mr. Bragg has developed a deep appreciation for the members of the community that, for whatever reason, have fallen through the cracks and find themselves unjustly persecuted. He has devoted many, many hours providing free representation when justice dictates.
What Others Say
I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Bragg as a colleague, adversary, and friend for over thirty years. Quite simply, he is among the most gifted and accomplished attorneys I have ever known. His knowledge, advocacy, and formidable trial skills make him an ideal lawyer, willing and able to achieve the absolute best results for his clients.
In the community, Bill enjoys an excellent reputation for both legal ability and integrity. My own experience confirm that such reputation is well-earned. Having observed him—for many years—both in and out of court, I could attest to numerous examples of his creative (and successful) approaches to complex legal issues. At the same time, his personal honesty and devotion, above all, to his clients’ interest has constantly been of the highest order.
To the potential client I would say this: Bill Bragg is the consummate advocate who will always vigorously pursue your claim, with great skill and devotion. You will be in good hands.
James J. Steinberg
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, CA
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