Jesse is an experienced trial lawyer. He counsels and represents clients in all phases of litigation and in their efforts to avoid the substantial burdens imposed by litigation. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, business disputes and employment litigation. He has significant experience handling false claims act matters, trade secret and non-compete litigation, the defense of claims of unfair competition, including claims arising under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and statutory discrimination claims. Jesse has also defended businesses in consumer class action matters, including a current putative class action involving the California Automobile Sales Finance Act. Jesse began his legal career at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, and he has substantial first-chair experience in the courtroom, arbitrations and before administrative panels.
Jesse also has significant experience with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and he counsels employers regarding military leave law issues arising under USERRA and analogous state laws. With his background as an attorney and professional Soldier, Jesse offers his clients a unique capability.
Jesse previously served as deputy practice group leader for the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group.
Pro Bono & Civic Engagement
Jesse's pro bono work representing Soldiers in need has received national attention. In January 2010, Jesse was awarded a Jefferson Award for his outstanding commitment to public service through his pro bono work and military service. Established in 1972, The Jefferson Awards are a nationwide program to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public service and community efforts. In 2007, Jesse was named a "Pro Bono Star" during Reed Smith's Sean Halpin Awards. His efforts pursuing benefits for a wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran were featured on National Public Radio and in front-page stories in the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. The American Lawyer selected Jesse’s work on this matter as a pro bono case of the year for 2007, and later featured Jesse’s work on several other pro bono matters in a piece on top military cases. In 2009, a Reed Smith trial team won a jury verdict in Arizona on behalf of an aggrieved combat veteran who was victimized financially while convalescing at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Jesse’s commentary on military and Veterans’ issues have also been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Corporate Legal Times, The Daily Journal, Lawyers Weekly USA, The Baltimore Sun and on Military.com.
Jesse is a decorated Infantry officer whose military career has spanned nearly 25 years. He is currently assigned as the Executive Officer for the California Army National Guard, a two-star general officer command with over 16,000 assigned soldiers. Jesse has served in a number of other key leadership assignments including commander of the 1-18th Cavalry Squadron (2012-2014), Operations Officer for the 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (2010-2012), and Deputy Joint Operations Officer for the California National Guard (2014-2015), which is the largest National Guard force in the United States with nearly 23,000 soldiers and airmen.
Jesse is what is known as a "Citizen Soldier." This means that his military duties come in addition to those of his civilian career and family responsibilities. Jesse joined the Army as an enlisted soldier and later was commissioned as an Infantry officer after attending Officer Candidate School. During his military career, Jesse has served as a key leader during a number of contingency operations and state emergencies. Following the events of 9/11, Jesse's infantry unit was mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and he commanded a 160-man rifle company in Kuwait for six months.
Jesse is a graduate of the prestigious U.S. Army War College. The War College’s mission is to prepare senior military and civilian leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership and the role of landpower in achieving national security objectives. In 2001, Jesse deployed to the Middle East as the commander of an enhanced rifle company conducting security force missions for ARCENT. In 2005, Jesse deployed to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as part of the military relief effort serving as the operations officer for Joint Task Force - California. In 2007, Jesse deployed to San Diego at the onset of the Southern California wildfires serving on the primary staff of a Brigade sized task force made up of over 2,200 Soldiers and Airmen. In December 2009, Jesse's unit returned from a one-year deployment to the Balkans where it conducted peace enforcement operations as part of the NATO-led Kosovo Force. During the mission, Jesse served as the executive officer and second-in-command of an Infantry battalion task force.