Founded in 1926, when Sacramento was still a young burgeoning
metropolis, the three-lawyer firm of Downey, Brand & Seymour
constituted about three percent of the city's 100 or so attorneys.
Now with 82 attorneys of its own, Downey Brand ranks as the city's
largest law firm.
Notable in NorCal
Downey Brand handles most every type of civil matter, though its
practice reflects its location in the state's capital and in the
middle of the state's agricultural heartland. The firm's particular
strengths include business, litigation and natural resources. The
firm maintains an office in many of central California's other
major commercial hubs, including San Francisco and Stockton, as
well as an outpost in Reno, Nevada.
Litigating over Land--and Water
Downey Brand boasts a strong general commercial litigation
practice. Many of the region's leading companies trust their
most significant litigation to Downey Brand--with good reason.
Downey Brand's attorneys have a proven record of successfully
handling a wide variety of complex high-stakes commercial and
business cases, covering the waterfront for both plaintiffs and
defendants in business, employment, qui tam, class action,
securities, antitrust, shareholder and partnership disputes,
probate, healthcare, intellectual property, federal and state
investigations, construction, wild land fire, real estate and
environmental matters. As but one example of a recent
success, after four years of litigation, Downey Brand just obtained
what is likely the highest sanction award in California state
history--more than $32 million--against a state agency for
egregious discovery abuses and fraud in establishing an "off-book"
account without the approval of the Department of Finance.
The firm's environmental, land use and water litigation groups
also enjoy great success. In the summer of 2012, the firm
represented a group of local water districts and authorities in
defending against a challenge brought by the Natural Resources
Defense Council regarding water rights along the Sacramento River.
In upholding the historic water rights granted to several water
districts, the firm prevented massive contract renegotiations from