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Timothy T. Coates

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Los Angeles, California 90036
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Over the past thirty years GMSR partner Tim Coates has briefed and argued more than 250 matters in the state and federal appellate courts, ranging from the California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the United States Supreme Court. Tim devotes a substantial portion of his practice to representing public entities in a wide variety of matters, including tort liability, land use, inverse condemnation, public utility regulation, labor and employment proceedings, with a particular emphasis on federal civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has also represented managed care organizations and other healthcare providers in medical malpractice actions, breach of contract and bad faith claims, and regulatory matters under the Medicare and Medicaid Acts.

Among the highlights of Tim's career are his five arguments before the United States Supreme Court, most recently in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. Natural Resources Defense Council, __U.S. __, 133 S.Ct. 710 (2013). Tim had previously argued Messerschmidt v. Millender, __U.S. __, 132 S.Ct.1235 (2012), Los Angeles County v. Humphries, 562 U.S.__, 131 S.Ct. 447 (2010), John Van de Kamp, et al. v. Thomas Lee Goldstein 556 U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 855, 2009 U.S. LEXIS 1003 (2009) and County of Riverside v. McLaughlin, 500 U.S. 44 (1991), the latter argument recounted in the article First Arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States, a Collection of Essays for The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Volume 5/Number 1, Spring 2003. The title of Tim's essay, I Couldn't Wait To Argue, succinctly summed up Tim's delight with the experience and enthusiasm for appellate advocacy and oral argument in particular. In November 2013, Tim won his sixth case in the United States Supreme Court, this time by summary reversal without oral argument, in Stanton v. Sims, 571 U.S. __, 34 S. Ct. 3 (2013), where the Court held that Tim’s client, a police officer, was entitled to qualified immunity for pursuing a fleeing misdemeanant into a residence.

Based on his repeated success in representing public entities in the United States Supreme Court, Reuters News identified Tim as a “Top Petitioner” and one of the elite 66 lawyers whose appeals were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the Court than were all others filed by private lawyers during the applicable period. Tim has also been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of appellate practice from 2007-2016. The Los Angeles Daily Journal included Tim in its list of the Top 100 Lawyers in California for 2009, describing Tim as a go-to lawyer “for a major federal appeal,” and again named him one of the Top 100 Lawyers in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for his continued success in the United States Supreme Court. California Lawyer magazine’s March 2010 issue named Tim as one of the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year for appellate law. Tim has also been named in The Best Lawyers In America (Appellate Law) (2014-2017).

Tim is a native Californian. He received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Southern California in 1979 and his law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1983, where he was a primary editor of the UCLA-Alaska Law Review.

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