Steve Cikes

Steve Cikes

t: 415.678.3810


Mr. Cikes joined the firm in 2005. His practice is focused primarily on representing and advising public agencies and non-profit organizations on labor, employment and government law matters. He also represents the firm’s clients in affirmative, public interest litigation – including, for example, severing a counsel for representatives of a municipal entity subclass in In Re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig. Mr. Cikes has extensive litigation experience, having handled a variety of cases before state and federal courts, administrative tribunals and arbitrators. He has successfully litigated cases involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VII and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. He also has significant experience dealing with traditional and administrative writs of mandate, federal/state preemption issues, fiscal emergencies and the vesting of public employee pension and retiree medical benefits.

Related Experience

During law school, Mr. Cikes served as a judicial extern for United States District Court Judge William H. Alsup (Northern District of California), a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division in San Francisco, and an editor of the law review.

Representative Published Decisions

  • City of El Centro v. Lanier, 245 Cal.App.4th 1494 (2016)
  • County of San Luis Obispo v. San Luis Obispo Government Attorneys’ Union, PERB Decision No. 2427-M (2015)
  • Epstein v. Superior Court, 193 Cal.App.4th 1405 (2011)
  • Retired Employees Assn. of Orange County, Inc. v. County of Orange, 52 Cal.4th 1170 (2011)
  • International Assn. of Fire Fighters, Local 188 v. Public Employment Relations Bd., 51 Cal.4th 259 (2011)
  • County of Sonoma v. Superior Court, 173 Cal.App.4th 322 (2009)
  • U.S. Western Falun Dafa Assn. v. Chinese Chamber of Commerce, 163 Cal.App.4th 590 (2008)
  • Martin v. City of Richmond, 504 F.Supp.2d 766 (N.D. Cal. 2007)

Selected Articles and Presentations

  • Co-Author, “Labor and Employment Voter Initiatives: Legal Pitfalls and Hurdles in Seeking Reform at the Ballot Box,” A Public Law Group White Paper (September 2015)
  • Co-Author, “Can the State Use its Spending Powers to Circumvent Charter Cities’ Home Rule Authority?,” California Public Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer 2015)
  • Panelist, “Post-Employment Benefits: Vesting, Impairment, and Bankruptcy,” California State Bar – Labor & Employment Section, 19th Annual Public Sector Conference (May 2013)
  • Co-Author, “Declarations of Fiscal Emergency: A Resurging Option for Public Entities Attempting to Deal With the Current Economic Climate,”California Public Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Winter 2011)

Awards and Honors

  • Named “Rising Star” by Northern California Super Lawyers and San Francisco Magazine – 2013, 2014
  • Graduated Law School with Highest Honors (Top 5%)
  • Editor, Golden Gate University Law Review
  • Recipient, The Helen A. and John A. Garfield Endowed Scholarship
  • Recipient, CALI Award – Civil Procedure II
  • Recipient, Witkin Award – Professional Responsibility
  • Recipient, Witkin Award – Writing and Research II