Mr. Wynder is one of two named partners who formed the Firm in early 2003 to be a full-service municipal law firm. Since those heady days, our Firm has tripled its client base making us one of the fastest growing public law firms in California. We now have more public lawyers than all but a handful of municipal law firms. Professionally, Bill has specialized in the fields of municipal governance, land use & zoning law, general public law, municipal litigation, constitutional torts, and election matters for nearly 40 years. Most recently, Mr. Wynder assisted the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in the acquisition of 96 acres of scenic coastal land to forever protect the Lower Filiorum and Plumtree properties from threats of development. Bill is a 1978 cum laude graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, and earned the Best Advocate award in its annual Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition. Following graduation, Bill clerked for the Honorable Harry Phillips (dec.), then-Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Bill began his legal career in 1979 with the international law firm of Latham & Watkins. He later joined the firm of Rutan & Tucker to try the then-largest municipal law litigation in Orange County. (See, Golden West Baseball Co. v. City of Anaheim (1994) 25 Ca1. App. 4th 11.)
Mr. Wynder was part of a team of litigators who obtained a landmark published ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversing a nearly $8 million trial verdict against firm client the City of Carson.
He further briefed and argued an appeal involving in a dispute, spanning almost 13 years, and two trips to the California Court of Appeals. In response to Bill’s arguments, the California Court of Appeals, in a published opinion reported at Carson Harbor Village v. City of Carson (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 56, acknowledged the error of its prior opinion and ruled in favor of the City.
Mr. Wynder has extensive appellate experience and has acted as counsel (or amicus) in more than a dozen published state and federal appellate decisions, including:
Mr. Wynder succeeded in expanding the protections afforded taxpayers and every public agency in California under Government Code § 1090 (one of the State’s important conflict of interest statutes).
In Carson Redevelopment Agency v. Padilla (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1323, the Court of Appeals extended the reach of Section 1090 to include a governmental decision to award a contract to private party defendant who was the victim of extortion by a corrupt public official (the court declared the contract void and required the private party defendant to disgorge $1 million in financial benefits back to the local municipality).
Mr. Wynder protected the independence of local administrative agencies in Carson Gardens, LLC v. City of Carson (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 856.
In two other important cases affecting local governments in California, he succeeded in: (1) defending the authority of a City Council to remove from office an elected City Clerk due to his lack of residency within the city (Nicolopolus v. City of Lawndale (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 221), and (2) persuading the Court of Appeals that cities do not owe a “special duty” to warn visitors to their public parks of the possible presence of gang members (Muñoz v. City of Carson, Second Appellate District (2013) Case No. B-237951). The national implications of the latter case were considered in a January, 2014, issue of “Parks & Recreation” (www.nrpa.org) in an article entitled, “Website Invitation to ‘Dangerous Park.’”)
• City Attorney & General Counsel, City of Glendora & Housing Authority
• City Attorney & General Counsel, City of Rancho Palos Verdes & Housing Authority
• State Bar of California
• United States Supreme Court
• US Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
• US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
• US District Court, Central, CA
• US District Court, Eastern, CA
• US District Court, Northern, CA
• US Tax Court
From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Wynder was asked to take a sabbatical from his law practice to serve as the Director of the Historic Kirtland Visitors’ Center, and related sites, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This sprawling complex, located in Northeastern Ohio, hosts some 75,000 visitors annually. During his tenure, Mr. Wynder supervised a staff of 50 docents in publicly exhibiting a “restored” Village of Kirtland, and he coordinated with the work of forensic archeologists, archivists, and site restoration specialists in the Church’s on-going historic site acquisition, provenance, and preservation activities in this early Mormon community established in the 1830s. Since his return to the Firm, he and his wife return twice a year to serve as volunteer docents at the Kirtland Temple, guiding visitors through this 182 year old historic structure which was the first of the restoration era temples.
• Pepperdine Univ Law School, JD, 1978, cum laude, Editor-in-Chief, Pepperdine Law Review &Chair Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Program
• Best Advocate, Vincent S. Dalsimer Moot Court Competition, 1977
• University of Utah, BA, 1975, magna cum laude
• Law Clerk, Honorable Harry Phillips (dec.), Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, 1978-1979