11246 Gold Express Drive, Suite 100
Gold River, CA 95670


11246 Gold Express Drive, Suite 100
Gold River, CA 95670


Meet The Attorney

Chris Whelan
Gold River, CA
(Sole Practitioner)


- BA Economics 1974 - UCLA
- JD 1978 - Hastings School of Law University of California San Francisco


Admitted to Practice: 1978 California.



State Bar of California; Sacramento County Bar Association, and a past member of its Executive Board for the Labor and Employment Section; Executive Board member of California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) for approx. eighteen (18) years; National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and head of NELA’s Sacramento chapter for approx. thirteen (13) years; Board of Directors of Capitol City Trial Lawyers (CCTLA) for approx. thirteen (13) years. American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), advocate level; Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.





Practice: Thirty-five years of practice in California. Thirty-two years specializing in Plaintiff-side employment and defamation trials and litigation.



Office: Law Offices of Christopher H. Whelan, Inc. 11246 Gold Express Drive Suite 100 Gold River, CA 95670; ph. 916-635-5577. A-V rated for over a decade.



Awards and Recognition: Northern California Super Lawyer 2005 to the present; Martindale Hubble AV since 1997; Martindale Hubble Preeminent since 2008; 2009 and 2014 Daily Journal’s Top 10 Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyers in California; Top Lawyers in Northern California, and Best Lawyer in America since 2006; CCTLA’s Advocate of the Year for 2000, and for 2011; Nominee for  CAOC’s 2012 “Street Fighter of the Year;” ABOTA’s 2012 Trial Attorney of the Year (Sacramento Valley Chapter; Top 25 Lawyers of Sacramento 2013; 2014 Sacramento Business Journal, Best of the Best; 2014 Joseph Posner award (founder of CELA).


Professional Contributions: Contributor to the defamation section of Wrongful Employment Termination Practice, CEB; participated in creating the California Judicial Council Employment Form Interrogatories; 2013 Contributing Editor to Chapter 5 (Employment Tort Claims), The Rutter Group’s, California Practice Guide: Employment Litigation. Authored numerous articles on defamation and employment issues. Frequent lecturer on defamation, employment and trial practice for NELA, CELA, CAOC, CCTLA, ABOTA and California State Bar.



Trial Work: Thirteen punitive damage awards in ten jury trials; thirteen jury verdicts/ judgments in excess of $1 million dollars, including: $1.1M Johnson v. EBI (defamation/wrongful termination); $1.4M Wilson v. Continental Cable (defamation/wrongful termination); $7.5M Boucher v. Foundation Health (defamation); $2.1M Hernandez v. Thasos (defamation); $2.6M Richards v. CH2MHill (verdict and fees)(disability); $4.3M Wallace and Vannucci v. Anheuser Busch (multi-plaintiff/verdict sexual harassment); $1.35M Bebensee v. Accubanc (verdict and fees) (sex harassment); $2.6M Mullins v. CalFarm (Lab. Code 970); $19M Roby v. McKesson HBOC(disability), the largest disability discrimination/ medical leave verdict in California history; $8.4M Johnson v. Sears ($5.2M verdict, plus $3.2M fees) (race harassment/ discrim.). $5.65M Sallustio v. Kemper (defamation) ($4.7M verdict + $0.9M interest).



Reported Cases: Krentz v. CIGNA (9th Cir. 1989) 886 F.2d 1177; Page v. Superior Court (3Net) (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 1206 (manager’s individual liability for harassment); Rains v. Criterion Systems (9th Cir. 1996) 80 F.3d 339; Richards v. CH2M Hill (2001) 26 Cal.4th 798 (landmark decision regarding continuing violation doctrine); State Dept. of Health Services v. Sup. Ct. (McGinnis) (2003) 31 Cal.4th 1026 (landmark decision adopting avoidable consequences defense to FEHA harassment claims); Olaes v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 1501 (important decision concerning non-applicability of anti-SLAPP statute to employment defamation claim); Roby v. McKesson HBOC (2009) 47 Cal.4th 686 (landmark decision regarding disability harassment, discrimination and punitive damages). Young v CBS (2012) 212 Cal. App. 4th 551(defamation and anti-SLAPP decision redefining public official). DesRosiers v. Hartford Ins., (2013) 979 F. Supp. 2d 1036 (disability discrim./ failure to accommodate).


Groups: California Bar; past Executive Board for Sacramento County Bar, Labor and Employment Section; CELA (California Employment Lawyers Association) Former Executive Board for approximately 19 years; head of NELA’s (National Employment Lawyer’s Association) Sacramento chapter for approximately 15 years; Board of Directors of Capitol City Trial Lawyers (CCTLA) for approximately 16 years; American Board of Trial Attorneys (ABOTA), Advocate level; Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. 

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