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Jivaka Candappa, Esq.

Managing Attorney

Jivaka Candappa, Esq.

Managing Attorney

Jivaka Candappa, Esq.

Managing Attorney

Jivaka Candappa is an aggressive and passionate trial lawyer with over a decade of litigation experience in civil rights, education, employment, personal injury and criminal defense. He has tried over 50 trials to verdict in federal and state courts. In 2012 and 2013, Jivaka was named a Rising Star by the Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor that recognizes only 2.5% of attorneys in California for attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Jivaka was formerly a Deputy Public Defender with the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office in Northern California, where he maintained an excellent track record as a trial attorney. In cases that he tried before juries, Jivaka obtained better results for his clients than the plea bargains offered by prosecutors and the courts.

Jivaka has also provided pro bono representation on select First Amendment and criminal defense cases through the National Lawyers Guild.

Jivaka is a graduate of the Hastings College of the Law. He was a member of the Hastings Moot Court Team that won the Traynor State Moot Court Championship. Jivaka also won the best brief, runner up overall advocate, and runner up oral advocate awards at the Hastings Snodgrass Moot Court competition.

In his spare time, Jivaka spends time with his wonderful wife, and enjoys reading and following sports, especially cricket and baseball.

Jivaka’s recent cases:

Civil Rights

  • Secured $1 million monetary settlement for economic losses suffered by a drug treatment center in a disability discrimination case against the City of San Jose.
  • Secured $775,000 monetary settlement on behalf of three African-American students in a federal lawsuit against the City of Antioch and Antioch Unified School District. Case involved racial profiling, unlawful arrest, use of excessive force, and violation of due process rights. Also secured consent decree requiring school district to revise its policies to combat race discrimination.
  • Secured $300,000 monetary settlement on behalf of three plaintiffs who were beaten and arrested in their own home by two City of Antioch police officers and subsequently assaulted in custody by several deputies employed by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Secured six-figure pre-lawsuit settlement on behalf of University of California medical student in disability discrimination case against UC Regents and UC medical school.
  • Secured six-figure monetary settlement on behalf of two union organizers who were unlawfully arrested by Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies for peacefully picketing on a public sidewalk. Also secured agreement requiring the Sheriff’s Office to train its deputies on the rights of unions to engage in union activity on public property.
  • Secured six-figure monetary settlement on behalf of an African-American woman against the Oakland Police Department in a case involving use of excessive force.
  • Secured monetary settlement on behalf of a client against the City of Hayward and a private security company in a case involving unlawful arrest and use of excessive force.
  • Secured monetary settlement on behalf of an African-American woman against the Contra Costa County Housing Authority in a case involving race discrimination and violation of due process rights. Also secured injunctive relief requiring the Housing Authority to comply with federal and state laws protecting the confidentiality of juvenile records.

Criminal Defense

  • Obtained acquittal of client charged with vehicular manslaughter. A Contra Costa County jury acquitted the client despite damaging prosecution testimony from several eye witnesses and police officers who blamed the client for the fatal collision.
  • Obtained dismissals of wrongful charges against four Occupy Oakland demonstrators who were charged with misdemeanor crimes including battery on police, resisting police, vandalism, and obstructing a street or sidewalk.


  • Won readmission of student who was expelled by the San Francisco Unified School District for alleged residency violation. In response to a petition for a writ of mandate, the San Francisco Superior Court ordered the student readmitted. Jivaka’s success resulted in the School District voluntarily staying the expulsion of two other students.
  • Succeeded in overturning the expulsions of three African-American students by the Antioch Unified School District. The students were expelled in connection with an incident involving Antioch Police Department officers at a private business. Jivaka, in association with ACLU of Northern California, filed writs of mandate in the Contra Costa County Superior Court, which overturned two expulsions. A third expulsion was overturned by the County Board of Education.


  • Secured six-figure pre-lawsuit confidential settlement on behalf of a woman in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination case.
  • Secured monetary settlement on behalf of an African-American man in a wrongful termination and race discrimination case.