For 40 years, GMSR has been a leader in representing public entities and their employees in the appellate courts, including winning seven cases in the United States Supreme Court.

Whether on appeal, assisting at trial, or advising government officials contemplating legislative action, GMSR provides unique insight into the complex laws that impact public entities.

GMSR is the firm that our government leaders are turning to for advice on sensitive legal issues surrounding public health and safety.

A Full Range of Expertise
  • Constitutional Law.  GMSR combines a scholarly approach to research with a pragmatic understanding of how constitutional issues affect the day-to-day operations of public entities.  GMSR has litigated high-profile constitutional cases in the appellate courts and assisted trial counsel with law and motion matters in the trial courts.  It has addressed a wide range of topics, including Fourth Amendment excessive force and search-and-seizure claims; First Amendment claims involving billboard regulation, free speech and religion; and Fourteenth Amendment due process and takings claims arising from land-use and licensing decisions.
  • Regulatory Claims.  GMSR has represented public entities on appeal and provided valuable advice at the pre-litigation and trial levels in matters involving the California Public Records Act, state and federal clean water laws, charter school licensing, and special fee assessments, as well as local and state land-use regulations.
  • Government Tort Liability.  GMSR has unrivaled expertise in the broad range of unique tort claims applicable to the government, including liability for dangerous conditions on public property, employment and discrimination, and other claims and immunities under the California Government Claims Act.
Unique Perspective

Having represented public entities in over 300 appellate matters, GMSR’s lawyers combine a profound knowledge of the appellate courts with a broad and deep understanding of the special issues that confront state and local governments.  As a result, GMSR attorneys are uniquely able to craft arguments that strongly articulate the public interest underlying government action – a key reason for their success on appeal.


GMSR understands the unique obligations and responsibilities of governing. Whether litigating in the highest courts, or counseling elected officials concerning a proposed decision, GMSR is mindful that its advice must always focus on what best serves the public.


In the U.S. Supreme Court, GMSR secured tougher standards for imposing injunctions on public entities (County of Los Angeles v. Humphries (2010) 562 U.S. 29); and broadened immunity for police officers who (1) execute search warrants (Messerschmidt v. Millender (2012) 565 U.S. 535) (2) enter a residence in hot pursuit of a suspect (Stanton v. Sims (2013) 571 U.S. 3), and (3) use force to handcuff a knife-wielding suspect (Rivas-Villegas v. Cortesluna (2021) 595 U.S. 1 (per curium)).

In the appellate courts, GMSR obtained affirmance holding that public utilities and municipalities owe pedestrians no duty to provide adequate street lighting (Pham et al. v. Southern California Edison Company (May 2, 2023, B316026) 2023 WL 3189810); and obtained reversal of an injunction barring the County from enforcing a Covid-19 pandemic outdoor restaurant dining ban (County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (2021) 61 Cal.App.5th 478).