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William E. Manning
William E. "Bill" Manning
Of Counsel

A very active trial attorney since 1985, Bill Manning has successfully represented his clients in a broad range of jury trials, court trials, arbitrations, administrative hearings, mediations, class actions, military hearings, summary judgments and summary dismissals, as well as extraordinary writs and appeals, throughout California in State, Federal, and Military courts.  Mr. Manning has extensive litigation, trial, writ, and appellate experience in a wide variety of cases, including professional liability, business disputes, construction defect, personal injury, OSHA matters, First Amendment issues, premises and restaurant liability, and the defense of municipalities, police and special agencies and districts.  He has also researched and authored numerous insurance coverage opinions.  The breadth of Mr. Manning’s three decades of experience enables him to advise his clients about the wisdom of early case resolution, or a carefully crafted litigation strategy through trial and appeal.

Mr. Manning represents Dentists, Physicians, Optometrists, Nurses, and Attorneys in malpractice claims, state board licensure and disciplinary matters, peer review and credentials inquiries, managed care disputes, discipline hearings for military medicine, and practice-related legal matters, including professional practice issues, practice sales, and transitions. Mr. Manning has lectured nationally and internationally on Risk Management and other legal issues for Dentists and Dental Auxiliaries, and to the Dental Managed Care industry.  Mr. Manning is also a court-qualified expert witness in legal malpractice cases.

Mr. Manning also advises parties in a variety of business transactional matters, mechanic's liens, and routine estate planning and probate matters.  In the Aviation arena, Mr. Manning represents airport districts, pilots, mechanics, fixed base operators, and aviation insurers. 

Mr. Manning’s product liability practice ranges from aircraft and motor vehicles, to large and small consumer products, tires and wheels, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices.  Mr. Manning represents national motor vehicle manufacturers in Product Liability and Consumer Warranty (i.e., "lemon law") litigation throughout California.

Mr. Manning’s non-legal experience is also a strong asset to his clients.  He has several years of engineering and technical writing experience in the fields of nuclear engineering, marine engineering, and motor vehicle and consumer product manufacturing, and decades of experience in aviation as a Commercial Pilot and Certificated Flight Instructor.  Military service: United States Navy, Vietnam era veteran.

Representative Trials and Appeals

Dental Board of California v Richard C. Griswold, DDS.  In a very unique but troubling case in 2000, Mr. Manning represented a Dentist who was charged with, and bound over for trial of, manslaughter after the death of a dental patient thirty hours after Dr. Griswold extracted numerous teeth.  The Dental Board brought an emergency dental license revocation case against Dr. Griswold alleging forty (40) substantive charges of negligence, gross negligence, and incompetence.  Based on his thorough investigation, including discovery of two rolls of undeveloped film taken by law enforcement authorities, and interviews with numerous lay and medical witnesses, Mr. Manning convinced the Coroner to reverse his original opinion as to cause of death in trial.  All Dental Board charges were dismissed after a three (3) week trial before an Administrative Law Judge, which the District Attorney attended.  The El Dorado County Superior Court subsequently dismissed all criminal charges upon request of the District Attorney.

Pacific States Aviation v Simon Motors, Inc.  Again in trial in 2000, and in one of his rare plaintiff’s cases, Mr. Manning prevailed in a three (3) week jury trial of a Malicious Prosecution action following his successful defense of the underlying aviation suit.  On Directed Verdict during trial, the Superior Court found that the original suit was brought without Probable Cause.  After closing argument on the issue of malice, the jury awarded monetary damages to Plaintiff.  Defendants lost their subsequent appeal on all issues, but Mr. Manning won his cross-appeal, and the First District Court of Appeal ordered a new trial to allow plaintiff to seek punitive damages.

Revland v Winnebago Industries. In 1997, Mr. Manning prevailed in the Fifth District Court of Appeal, following his successful summary judgment in the trial court of the first "lemon dumping" trial in California.  The jury awarded plaintiff nearly $500,000 against the other defendants.

Marin v City of Antioch. In 1996, Mr. Manning prevailed in the First District Court of Appeal, following his successful judgment in favor of law enforcement personnel who were sued by a surviving wife in a multi-death police misconduct suit.  Plaintiff’s husband (whom she was divorcing) had taken all their children hostage in their home, and later murdered them and killed himself, during a SWAT Team stand-off.  Mr. Manning prevailed on summary judgment in the trial court establishing that the police were not negligent.

Professional and Civic Activities:

Licensed to practice law in California since 1985, Mr. Manning is also a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and Federal District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California.  He is a longtime member of the American Bar Association, and is affiliated with numerous divisions and sections of the ABA and the State Bar of California.  Mr. Manning’s volunteer legal activities include acting as a State Bar Special Master, and a Legal Fee Dispute Arbitrator.  He also acts as a Judge Pro Tem, Judicial Mediator, Arbitrator, and Settlement Mentor for the Contra Costa County Superior Court.  Mr. Manning was the long-time Chairman of the Contra Costa County Airport Land Use Commission and served as the Secretary to the Contra Costa County Aviation Advisory Committee, and he served the City of Concord as Vice-Chair of the Board of Appeals.  Mr. Manning was the (1996/97) President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, holding numerous Chamber positions for several years. 

For Mr. Manning's Complete CV download

Education
B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1980
J.D., UCLA School of Law, 1985
 
 
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William E. Manning
Of Counsel
wmanning@vanlevylaw.com
Tel: (925) 934-6102
Fax: (925) 934-6060
Practice Areas:
Business & Commercial
Construction Law
Estate Planning
Personal Injury
Products Liability
Professional Liability
Transportation Law
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