Justin is a partner and appellate attorney at CR&D. He defends law enforcement officials, public employees, and public entities across the state of California in a wide range of matters including federal constitutional civil rights, dangerous condition of public property, labor and employment, and complex litigation. Justin has briefed and argued innumerable appeals and writs before the California Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeal.
From 2012-2017, Justin was selected by Super Lawyers Magazine and Thompson Reuters as a “Rising Star” in the area of appellate law and municipal defense.
Justin has written a novel of historical fiction entitled “The Laureate,” a cycle of Shakespearean sonnets, and numerous feature length screenplays. In addition, Justin is an avid photographer, a musician, and tennis enthusiast. He graduated cum laude from UCLA in 2000, obtaining a B.A. degree in English Literature. Justin is a proud alumnus of Loyola High School of Los Angeles and is a father of two.
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 2000
J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, 2003
United States Supreme Court
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Central District of California
Southern District of California
Haghnazarian v. City of Glendale (B257501) (2016) – Second District, Division 2. Affirmed summary judgment in favor of the City of Simi Valley, a case alleging a constitutionally defective search and seizure of a residence.
Vance v. Apple Valley Unified Sch. Dist. (E059632) (2015) – Fourth District, Division 1. Affirmed summary judgment in action against school district bus driver relating to allegations of teenage drug overdose following inappropriate sexual relationship with public employee.
Jacobson v. Palmdale School District (B239582) (2013) – Second District, Division 4. Obtained reversal of trial court’s denial of Anti-SLAPP special motion to strike under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. Drafted appellate brief and presented oral argument before the Court of Appeal.
Wattar v. Palmdale School District (B242050) (2013) – Second District, Division 7. Affirmed sustaining of demurrer to Second Amended Complaint, due to failed compliance with California Tort Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 910, et seq.)
Kreitenberg v. Los Alamitos Unified School District (G043933) (2012) – Fourth District, Division 3. Holding that parents do not have standing under the Unruh Civil Rights Act to recover tuition costs incurred as a result of voluntarily transferring son from public school to private school in light of allegations that son was subject to environmental discrimination.
Robert White, et al. v. City of Santa Ana (G045757) (2012) – Fourth District, Division 3. Affirming the trial court’s grant of a special motion to strike (Anti-SLAPP) in favor of City of Santa Ana in class action litigation, involving allegations that the City of Santa Ana and City Manager failed to comply with notice provisions of Vehicle Code § 21455.5, regarding its municipal red light traffic camera program.
Lindsay v. Kiernan (Ninth Circuit Case No. 09-55652) (2010) – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Affirming entry of summary judgment on behalf of peace officer accused of excessive force through use of X26 taser, on grounds that force applied was objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
McDonald v. Antelope Valley Community College District (S153964) (2008) – California Supreme Court. Analysis of equitable tolling doctrine in the context of a litigant’s pursuit and then abandonment of an internal grievance procedure with the Community College Chancellor’s Office, pursuant to the California Code of Regulations.
Carrillo v. City of Baldwin Park (B199425) (2007) – Second District, Division 3. Palma notice issued by California Court of Appeal following successful filing of writ petition relative to trial court’s misapplication of peace officer use of force standards in the State of California; induced settlement in excessive force matter involving clerk of the Superior Court and traffic stop initiated by peace officers from City of Baldwin Park.
Aderele v. City of Culver City (B188656) (2006) – Second District, Division 3. Palma notice issued by California Court of Appeal following successful filing of writ petition relative to trial court’s misapplication of peace officer use of force standards in the State of California; induced settlement in wrongful death matter involving police officer related shooting of mentally ill suspect.
Leadership, Membership & Honors
Mr. Sarno has been selected by Super Lawyers, Rising Stars from 2012-2017.