Public Entity Representation

Public entities that employ, serve and interact with many members of the community are at greater risk of getting sued today. Measures must be taken to reduce legal risk, as a significant lawsuit can be devastating to a public entity’s budget and reputation. When a lawsuit cannot be prevented, working with an experienced law firm is crucial to secure the desired outcome.

Law enforcement agencies, fire departments and school districts have sought out Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs to represent them for more than three decades. We’ve established a reputation for aggressively defending California public entities in litigation matters, including:

  • General liability
  • Class actions
  • Employment litigation
  • Wrongful death
  • Excessive force
  • Negligence claims.

School Districts

School districts engage thousands of students, families and employees, and they face intense scrutiny from the community at large. It’s imperative that school districts be proactive about reducing the threat of litigation and respond aggressively when a lawsuit is impossible to avoid.

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs does a significant amount of general liability work for school districts in California. Our attorneys regularly represent some of the largest and most diverse districts in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Additionally, we handle government contracts and other transactional work on behalf of school districts.

Law Enforcement

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs represents some of California’s most prominent law enforcement agencies, which turn to us for assistance with a variety of legal matters. Our attorneys have experience handling both litigation and transactional matters for police and sheriff’s departments.

In the area of civil rights, our attorneys have successfully defended law enforcement agencies against claims of false arrest, excessive force, negligence and wrongful death.

Fire Departments

Fire departments serve an important purpose in their communities, but they can face challenging legal threats due to the high-stakes nature of their work.

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs assists fire departments with claims of civil rights violations, employment disputes and general liability. Like other public entities, fire departments must also contend with transactional matters related to compliance, contracts and internal policies.

Wrongful Death

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs has extensive experience representing public entities that have been accused of wrongful death. Over the last 30 years, we’ve been successful in securing dismissals, settlements and positive verdicts for our clients.

Our attorneys carefully analyze claims of wrongful death and determine the best defense strategy for each client we represent. Whether the case is mediated or goes to trial, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs will defend you aggressively to achieve the most positive outcome for your agency.

Class Actions

Our representation of public entities includes defending clients against class actions related to labor and employment, civil rights violations and general liability. Learn more about our Class Action Practice.


In addition to litigation, our attorneys assist public entities in a wide range of transactional matters. Our expertise in this area includes:

  • Negotiating government contracts
  • Advising public entities on governance and compliance matters
  • Drafting legally required forms
  • Creating personnel policies.

Oftentimes, handling transactional matters effectively is the key to preventing or limiting damage from liability lawsuits in the future. School districts, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other public entities rely on Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs to handle these matters.

Employment Defense

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs handles a range of matters related to labor and employment disputes, including wage and hour, discrimination and wrongful termination. Learn more about our Labor & Employment Practice.

General Liability

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs has litigated many types of tort claims on behalf of public entities. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in government code claim filing requirements and issues, and we frequently advise clients on employee defense and indemnification matters.

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs attorneys are esteemed litigators with a long track record of success. Each case we handle is based on a foundation of extensive research and smart defense strategy. Regardless of the general liability claim your public entity is facing, our firm has the skill to defend you effectively.

Medical Malpractice

If a patient or a patient’s family files a lawsuit or claim of medical malpractice, the action will disrupt your business, jeopardize your reputation and maybe your career. Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs has successfully defended public entities against medical malpractice claims through settlement negotiations and litigation, while protecting their reputation. As a medical professional, you’ve devoted your career to your patients. We will show that same dedication in defending you.

Our notable successes include:

  • Unanimous defense verdict on behalf of a public entity that was accused of wrongfully arresting and incarcerating an individual for 11 months.
  • Unanimous jury verdict on behalf of a public entity and its employee whom was accused of forcing an inmate to perform burpees, resulting in the inmate contracting compartment syndrome.
  • Unanimous jury verdict on behalf of a public entity and its employee whom was accused of brutally beating an individual during a traffic stop.
  • Defense verdict on behalf of a public entity that was being sued by a woman who claimed she sustained debilitating injuries after she slipped and fell on a train.
  • Unanimous jury verdict on behalf of a public entity and its employee whom was accused of shooting and killing an unarmed individual as the decedent fled.
  • Jury verdict on behalf of a public entity and its employees whom were accused of assaulting and battering an individual during a traffic stop and exhibiting racially related conduct toward the individual.