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Richard R. Terzian, Esq.

Richard Terzian spent most of his 55 years in practice handling litigation involving employment, civil rights, governmental matters and school district operations issues for public agencies in state and federal court at the trial and appellate level and before local and state administrative agencies. He also regularly rendered advice to public agencies on personnel and other matters, primarily while serving as the contract attorney for the cities of Azusa, Calabasas, Malibu, Rolling Estates and South Pasadena and as special counsel for the Torrance Unified School District. Mr. Terzian has also served  as a volunteer mediator with Los Angeles County Superior Court.



Employment, including discrimination, harassment and retaliation; civil rights claims, including police excessive force and denial of First Amendment rights; local government-related claims, including land use decisions, governance and contracts; and school district operations, including student abuse and financial issues


Mr. Terzian was a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorenson, LLP for more than three decades. In his role as contract attorney for numerous Southern California municipalities and  special counsel for a school district, he litigated hundreds of disputes, including dozens that reached the appellate courts. His representative  cases include:
Employment claims by firefighters and police officers involving gender, disability, sexual orientation, race and age discrimination as well as retaliation and wrongful termination;
Civil rights claims involving unlawful entry and searches by police officers and other First Amendment-related lawsuits;
Land use matters involving regulation of state property, environmental impact reports, conditional use and rezoning

A wide variety of other cases involving jury bias, school district fees, fair housing laws, pensions, water rights and other similar claims involving state and federal agencies




Lecturer at seminars and panels conducted by the League of California Cities, City Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles County and other organizations on a variety of employment and First Amendment topics

Published articles in Los Angeles Lawyer, Public Law Journal, Fiscal Report and Western City on government and public agency-related topics

Member: Commission on California State Government, Organization and Economy, known as the “Little Hoover Commission” (1986-2003; Chair, 1994-2001); Board of Visitors of Pepperdine Law School (2001-2006); Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar (1993-1995); State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (1985-1988); and State Bar Executive Committee Disciplinary Board (1976-1979)

President, City Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles County (1995)


J.D., University of Southern California

A.B., Dartmouth College

Mr. Terzian is available throughout California.

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