Claudia J. Gorham
Claudia Gorham has developed a practice focused on both litigation and non-litigation legal support and counsel for public agencies, primarily in the areas of land use, right of way and eminent domain/inverse condemnation. She joined the firm in 2006, bringing with her significant experience and success advising and representing public agencies in such matters.
Claudia has successfully represented agencies in eminent domain actions to acquire property for redevelopment activities; public transportation and rail expansions; drainage and utility infrastructure and facilities construction; utilities; wells; and water pipelines, facilities and tanks. She counsels public entities on the right of way process, including precondemnation offers, negotiations, relocation and settlement. She has also litigated breach of contract and Proposition 218 cases. She is experienced with both jury and bench trials.
Public agencies for whom Claudia has provided counsel, pre-litigation advice and litigation support include Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Bodega Bay Public Utility District, Redevelopment Agency of the City of Oakland, City of Dublin, City of Petaluma, City of Pittsburg, City of Modesto, Novato Sanitary District, Santa Clara Valley Water District, County of Alameda, Alameda County Flood Control District and Napa Valley Flood Control District. In addition, she represents private entities, individuals and business owners.
Before joining Meyers Nave, Claudia represented public agencies in eminent domain matters, public entity tort defense, employment and civil rights litigation. She was often called upon to defend public agency employers in high-stakes litigation arising from labor disputes pertaining to the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. She has represented both public and private employers, including the County of Alameda, First Healthcare Corporation and individual plaintiffs.
Claudia litigates in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. She is admitted to practice in all of the courts in the State of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Presentations and Publications
- Panelist, “Sub-surface Easements,” Appraisal Institute, May 2013
- Speaker, “Precondemnation and Transparency in the Electronic Information Age,” International Right of Way Association, 2011
- Speaker, “Working with Your Relocation Expert,” CLE International Eminent Domain Institute’s 10th Annual Eminent Domain Conference, 2008
- Speaker, “The Future of Eminent Domain in California: Propositions 98 and 99’s Impact on Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings,” 2008
- Speaker, “Trial Tactics,” Continuing Legal Education International, 2007
- Speaker, “Williamson Act Contracts and Changes to Eminent Domain Law,” Lorman Education Service, 2007
- Co-Author of Article/Presentation: “Temporary Takings and Perplexing Valuation Issues,” 2006
- Author, California Special Districts Association Article: “Proposition 90 Seeks to Amend California Constitution and Restrict the Use of Eminent Domain by Public Entities But Reaches Far Beyond,” 2006
- Note Editor, Communications and Entertainment Law Journal
- Feature Writer, Hastings Law News
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, American Bar Association
- Past Member and Board Member, Earl Warren American Inn of Court (2000 – 2007)
- Member, Alameda County Bar Association
- Member, International Right of Way Association (Chapters 2 & 27)
- Past Member, California Redevelopment Association
- Past Board Member and “Judge,” McCullum Youth Court
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, JD, 1989
- University of Missouri at Columbia, BA, Radio-Television-Film, cum laude , 1984