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Serena M. Warner

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Serena M. Warner
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Since joining Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff, LLP in early 2010, Ms. Warner has developed an emphasis in employment litigation, and defense against DFEH complaints and wage and hour claims. In 2021, she tried a 14-day jury trial in Solano County involving allegations of sexual harassment and disability discrimination resulting in a complete defense verdict. With Partner Carolee Kilduff, Ms. Warner tried a ten-week age discrimination trial in 2014 and an eight-week retaliation and disability discrimination trial in 2016. She was also lead arbitration counsel in a 7-day wage and hour arbitration in 2018. Although her focus is on employment litigation, Ms. Warner also handles cases with claims of defamation, excessive force, and personal injury, charges of unconstitutional child removals, challenges to nuisance regulations, SLAPP suits, and appeals. Ms. Warner has argued before the Ninth Circuit and California Third District Court of Appeal. She was recognized as a Rising Star among Northern California attorneys by Super in 2016-2021 and a Top Lawyer in Sacramento Magazine from 2017-2021.

In 2019, Ms. Warner graduated from the TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy. Held annually at the National Judicial College, the Trial Academy allows practicing attorneys to hone their trial skills by competing against other attorneys from around the country.

Ms. Warner is a California-native, raised locally in Elk Grove, CA. She received her bachelor of arts with high honors from the University of California Santa Barbara and graduated law school, cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She is the President of the Sacramento Filipino American Lawyers Association (Sac-FALA), Vice-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee for the Sacramento County Bar Association, and a member of the Federal Bar Association, National Filipino American Lawyers Association, and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Ms. Warner volunteers her time judging for the annual Sacramento County Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition, a program she previously coached from 2013 to 2020. Ms. Warner is also the proud mom of a strong-willed, sweet-spirited five-year old and a hard-charging toddler. Although mom-life has monopolized the majority of her time outside of work in the past few years, she finds time to read or take an occasional yoga class. She also hopes to be able to resume her hobby of beer-brewing in the near future.

Practice Areas:

  • Public Entity Defense
  • Employment Litigation
  • Constitutional Cases
  • Police Practices Defense
  • Wage & Hour Defense
  • General Torts

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California

Past Positions

  • Health Law Consortium, Legal Research Fellow, 2009 to 2010
  • Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, LLP, Summer Associate, 2008
  • Honorable John Noonan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Extern, 2007


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. – 2009
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Hastings Public Interest Honoree
    • Honors: Best Moot Court Oral Argument Award Recipient
    • Honors: Moot Court Team Competitor & Brief Editor
    • Honors: “Pilipino” American Law Society, President, Historian and Social Chair
    • Honors: Independent Scholar for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
    • Honors: Legal Research and Writing and Moot Court Teacher’s Assistant
    • Law Journal: Race and Poverty Law Journal, Outreach Editor & Senior Articles Editor
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
    • B.A. – 2004
    • Honors: With High Honors


  • Rising Star,, 2016 – 2020
  • Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine, 2017

Classes & Seminars

  • “It Doesn’t Always Add Up: Navigating Procedural Complexities in Employment Litigation” for the CAJPA Litigation, Insurance, and Tort Liability Program (May 2021)
  • “Hiring 101” for the California Association of Parks and Recreation Districts Conference (May 2019)
  • “To Make Matters Worse – the Ever-Evolving Employment Claim” for Trindel Insurance Fund (Oct. 2018)
  • “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: How to Assess Lawsuit Allegations, Defend the Case, and Live to Tell About It” for the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (Aug. 2018)
  • “Wrongful Termination: When Termination Is Just the Beginning” for the California Association of Recreation and Parks Districts (May 2018)
  • AB 1234 Public Service Ethics Training for the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority Conference (May 2018)
  • “Avoiding Stumbles Along the Interactive Process Path” for UC Davis Health Services (May 2017)
  • Effects of the Ban the Box Movement on CA Parks & Rec Districts for the California Association for Parks & Recreation Indemnity (Aug. 2014)
  • Co-Presenter on the issue of police liability for the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority Conference (May 2012)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • TIPS/ABOTA Trial Academy Graduate, 2019
  • Coach, Mira Loma HS, Sacramento County Office of Education, Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition (2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-20); Drafted fact pattern for competition 2015-16, 2016-17
  • Participant, Sacramento County Bar Association Kids Law Day (Feb. 2018)
  • Participant, Run to Feed the Hungry (Nov. 2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, UC Davis Fall Intraschool Moot Court Competition (Nov. 2014)
  • Participant, 2nd Annual Officer Kevin Tonn Memorial 5K Fun Run (July 2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, National Ethics Trial Competition (2013-2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, Sacramento County Office of Education, Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition (2011-2013)
  • REI Volunteer, Indigenous Habitat Restoration, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (2012)
  • Volunteer Judge, New York Bar Association and American College of Trial Attorneys’ National Moot Court Competition (Nov. 2012)
  • REI Volunteer, Indigenous Habitat Restoration, Dry Creek Conservancy (2011)
  • Volunteer Judge, UC Davis Law School Intra-school Moot Court Competition (Oct. 2011)
  • Volunteer Judge, National Moot Court Competition (2010)

Published Works

  • Attack of One Does Not Rule All: Case Summary of Curley v. City of North Las Vegas
  • The Importance of Immediacy: A Discussion of the Narrow Set of Circumstances the Could Support the Warrantless Removal of a Child
  • Harris v. City of Santa Monica: Damages Exit at the Mixed-Motives Bus Stop
  • Case Law on Use of Tasers

Representative Cases

  • Kunz v. County of Solano, et al (2021) Case No. FCS052527 – Trial (2-weeks)
  • Bonilla-Chirinos v. Maggiano, et al. (9th Cir. 2019) Case. No. 18-15260
  • On v. Vannucci, et al. (AAA 2019) Case No. 01-18-0000-4409
  • Fishbaugh v. City of Auburn (2019) Placer County Case No. SCV0039348
  • Junaid v. Placer County Office of Education (2018) Placer Superior Case No. SCV0039771
  • Milan v. City of Vallejo (2016) Solano Superior Court Case No. FCS042585
  • Jeffries v. City of Galt (2014) Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 34-2011-00115333
  • Westfall v. City of Crescent City (N.D. Cal. 2011) 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101710
  • Richards v. Prieto (E.D. Cal 2011) Case No. 2:09-CV-01235-MCE-DAD — Summary Judgment, affirmed by Peruta v. San Diego and Richards v. Prieto (Ninth Circuit 2016) Case Nos. 10-56971 & 11-16255 en banc

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Sacramento Filipino American Lawyers Association, Vice President
  • National Filipino American Lawyers Association
  • National Asian Pacific Bar Association
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association