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GMSR partner Tim Coates has been with the firm from almost the beginning, and in over twenty-five years 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. Tim has lectured and published articles on civil rights topics for the Practicing Law Institute, Matthew Bender Publications and Lorman Educational Services, and is co-author of the chapter on federal civil rights liability in the CEB publication California Government Tort Liability Practice (4th ed. 2004). 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.
Tim’s broad federal appellate practice has also included cases concerning trademark and copyright, interpretation of collective bargaining agreements under the Labor Management Relations Act and claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
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, 11-460 (argued December 4, 2012). 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.
Tim has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of appellate practice for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. 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,” again named him one of the Top 100 Lawyers in 2011 for “blazing quite a trail to the U.S. Supreme Court,” and once more named him one of the Top 100 Lawyers in 2012 for his continued success in the U.S. 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 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. Prior to turning to law, Tim honed his verbal skills as a studio tour guide, standup comedian and labor union official. Tim is an avid reader, with a particular interest in history, and devotes most of his spare time to family activities with his wife and three children.
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