Roy A. Combs

Roy A. Combs is a partner in the firm’s Oakland office. He joined F3 in 2007. He serves as co-chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Group and previously served as the co-chair of its Governance & Leadership Practice Group. Mr. Combs brings extensive experience advising and counseling governing boards, agency senior executives and administrators on the full range of collective bargaining, labor and employment, certificated and classified personnel, governance, Brown Act, conflict-of-interest, facilities, construction, charter school, risk, and litigation matters. Mr. Combs frequently serves as an agency's lead negotiator in collective bargaining, including through impasse and post impasse proceedings and strikes. He has served as the appointed panel member in fact-finding proceedings under the EERA multiple times and frequently provides trainings to agency negotiators on collective bargaining.  Mr. Combs is also a CTA certified "Trainer of Trainers" in Interest-Based Bargaining and has conducted IBB negotiations and trainings for bargaining teams. Before joining F3, Mr. Combs served as General Counsel and Chief Labor Negotiator with the Oakland Unified School District for nearly ten years.

Mr. Combs is an experienced trial lawyer, having litigated construction, environmental, real estate, employment, including wrongful termination and disability discrimination, premises liability, personal injury, ADA, contract, and business and commercial matters - many through trial including by way of jury verdict, and he continues to represent firm clients in these and related litigation matters. Mr. Combs has actively represented school districts in significant litigation throughout the State involving public education matters, including Vergara v. State of California (Oakland USD and then ACSA as amicus counsel on appeal), Anaheim City USD v. Ochoa, Doe v. Antioch, Pittsburg Unified School District v. S.J. Amoroso Const. Co., and the Cal 200 litigation. In addition to trying many cases to verdict, Mr. Combs has appeared and argued in the California Court of Appeals and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Combs believes alternative dispute resolution procedures are often effective in resolving disputes and he has represented clients in hundreds of ADR proceedings. He also serves as a mediator on the mediation panel for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in addition to offering mediation services through the firm.

Mr. Combs has practiced law for over 33 years and is admitted to practice in the State of California and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Combs received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall), in 1985, and his double major from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982.


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