Wes is an experienced attorney with a background in litigation, workplace compliance, and transactional matters that he brings to Proper Defense’s Civil Division. Wes believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to workplace and employee matters. He regularly advises businesses both large and small on legal compliance to avoid lawsuits if possible and to put his clients in the most defensible position if one can’t be avoided. As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and Wes is also there to vigorously defend his clients when they wind up on the wrong side of a lawsuit. Wes has defended large class action lawsuits, wage claims involving more modest dollar amounts, and many others in between. In every situation, he recognizes the importance of the case to the individual client and fights for the client’s best interest.
Wes is always excited to try new things and learn something new. As an attorney, he is eager to study different areas of law to benefit his practice and his clients. Wes first developed a specialty in labor and employment law with a focus on litigation defense and employer compliance. His practice included handling employment issues of all kinds, from payment of wages, to preventing harassment and discrimination in the workplace, navigating complex leave of absence issues, accommodating employee disabilities, and employee terminations. Eventually, Wes began working with public entities with a focus on municipal law. Wes served as the city attorney representative for several Planning Commissions, advised city staff and officials on a variety of different legal matters, and developed an expertise in land use, planning, and housing issues. Wes worked with public entity clients on various topics such as contracts, public works projects, and board governance and ethics issues, to name a few. Wes is also a skilled investigator and has conducted numerous in-house and outside investigations for clients.
It should be little surprise that Wes came to Proper Defense to work with Justin and Sally. The three attended San Joaquin College of Law together, with Wes and Justin graduating the same year. Wes and Sally wrote for the San Joaquin Agricultural Law Review and were published in the same edition. There was also a friendly rivalry in the Hopper Moot Court Competition, with Wes edging out Sally for Best Oral Advocate, while Sally and Justin were finalists for Best Brief. Wes and Sally also competed as teammates for SJCL at the Traynor Appellate Moot Court Competition. Wes graduated from SJCL with High Honors. Oh, and Wes and Justin worked together for some time as attorneys at a boutique law firm, and their legal secretary was none other than Linda Gentry! It’s nice to have the band back together.
Wes is a Valley native and still lives in Kingsburg where he grew up and where his family has lived for more than 100 years. Farming and agriculture are a big part of who he is. As a young man, Wes worked on the family farms with his brother and cousins and raised pigs for the Fresno Fair. Wes was involved in the FFA Chapter at Kingsburg High School, then earned a degree in Ag Business from Cal Poly. While in law school, Wes worked for a non-profit that advocates for the agriculture industry locally and at the state and national level. Wes also serves his community as a Trustee of the Kingsburg Cemetery District and through Kingsburg Community Church.
For some reason, Wes’s office looks like an art gallery mixed with a toy store. He will carry on a conversation entirely in movie quotes if you let him. Wes usually has a solid dining recommendation at the ready and will go the distance for a great meal. His trivia game is strong and he thoroughly enjoys pub quiz events. When he gets some free time, Wes likes fishing and travelling, and sometimes travelling to go fishing. Wes is fortunate to have his family nearby and he enjoys spending time with his niece and nephews.