Law Office of Roderick P. Bushnell



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Mr. Bushnellís partnership and/or practice has tried in excess of 100 cases, mostly in the Bay Area. In addition, the firm has in excess of 75 published appellate opinions. A number of their cases resulted in landmark opinions.

Some examples:

Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co
., 7 Cal.4th 1057 (1994)

In Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Bushnell, Caplan & Fielding, LLP, along with co-counsel, sued R.J. Reynolds over their use of the Joe Camel advertising campaign. They asserted that this campaign enticed minors to smoke in California, and therefore caused a violation of California Penal Code ß308 which prohibits the sale of cigarettes to minors. The California Supreme Court agreed that counselís theory was viable and allowed them to proceed with the case against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The California Supreme Court stated, "Congress left the states free to exercise their police power to protect minors from advertising that encourages them to violate the law. Plaintiff may proceed under that aegis." The litigation ultimately resolved and R. J. Reynolds agreed to phase out its Joe Camel advertising campaign.

Kasky v. Nike
, 27 Cal.4th 939 (2002) cert. granted (2003) 537 U.S. 1099, cert. dism. as improvidently granted (2003) 123 S.Ct. 2554

In Kasky v. Nike the firm represented the plaintiff who sued, acting on behalf of the General Public, alleging that Nike responded to public criticism of its labor practices overseas and induced consumers to continue to buy its products by making false statements about its label practices and about working conditions in factories that made its products. The California Supreme Court held that Nike's comments were commercial speech, and allowed the case to go forward. The case was settled with Nike agreeing to investments designed to strengthen workplace monitoring and factory worker programs. Nike agreed to make additional workplace-related program investments totaling $1.5 million. Nike agreed that the funds would address increased training and local capacity building to improve the quality of independent monitoring in manufacturing countries, for worker development programs focused on education and economic opportunity, and a multi-sector collaboration to advance a common global standard to measure and report on corporate responsibility performance among companies. Nike also agreed to maintain its existing funding commitment to its after-hours worker education programs in its footwear facilities and micro-loan programs at a minimum of $500,000 for two (2) years.

Hudgins v. Nieman Marcus Group, Inc
., 34 Cal.App.4th 1109 (1995)

In Hudgins v. Nieman Marcus, the Court agreed with the firmís theory that a department that paid sales persons by commission could not deduct from their paid commissions any amounts for customer returns of merchandise for which the particular sales person could not be identified. The policy of the department store violated California Labor Code ß221, which prohibits an employer from collecting or receiving from an employee any part of wages previously paid to the employee. This code section is declaratory of strong public policy against fraud and deceit in the employment relationship. This was an important decision for employees working on a commission basis.

Welsh v. City and County of San Francisco
, 887 F. Supp 1293 (N.D. 1995)

In Welsh v. City and County of San Francisco, the firm represented a San Francisco police officer against the Chief of Police of San Francisco and the City and County of San Francisco in a sexual harassment case. The five‑week jury trial resulted in a verdict for the firmís client against the City and County of San Francisco based on a theory of retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment.

People v. Arcega
, 32 Cal.3d 504 (1982) (death penalty reversed), People v. Ramos (I), 30 Cal.3d 553 (1982); People v. Ramos (II), 37 Cal.3d 136 (1984) (death penalty reversed)

People v. Arcega
and People v. Ramos were capital cases where the trial court imposed the death penalty. In People v. Arcega the California Supreme Court appointed Roderick P. Bushnell to represent the appellant; in People v. Ramos the California Supreme Court appointed Alan M. Caplan to represent the appellant. The firm was successful in reversing the imposition of the death penalty in both cases.


The firm has also handled other high‑profile sexual harassment cases, including a case against the movie actor Don Johnson. The firm has obtained six and seven figure verdicts and settlements in employment cases on behalf of terminated and harassed employees.


Other Noteworthy Cases:


People ex rel. Lungren v. Superior Court, 14 Cal.4th 294 (1996)

Day v. AT&T Corp.
, 63 Cal.App.4th 325 (1998)

Walker v. Blue Cross of Calif.
, 4 Cal.App.4th 985 (1992)

Mahroom v. Defense Language Institute
, 732 F.2d 767 (9th Cir. 1984) Gallagher v. Frye, 631 F.2d 127 (9th Cir. 1990)

U.S.A. v. Flewitt
, 874 F.2d 1320 (9th Cir. 1989)

In re Harris
, 49 Cal.3d 131 (1989)

U.S.A. v. Whitworth
, 856 F.2d 1268 (9th Cir. 1988)

In re Winn
, 13 Cal.3d 694 (1975)

People v. Brown
, 11 Cal.3d 784 (1974)

Beentjes v. Placer County Air Pollution Control District
, 397 F.3d 775 (9th Cir. 2005)

DuCharme v. Int. Brotherhood of Elec Workers
, 110 Cal.App.4th 107 (2003)

Koponen v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company
, 165 Cal. App. 4th 345 (2008)