Attorney Manolo Olaso
Mr. Olaso's focus is civil litigation and civil rights, particularly hard-fought and controversial sexual harassment cases and police misconduct cases. Mr. Olaso is admitted to practice in the following United States District Courts in California: Eastern District, Northern District, and Central District. He is a member of the State Bar of California. He is licensed to practice in all California Superior Courts.
In addition to civil litigation, Mr. Olaso also represents clients in licensing hearings, including driver's license suspension hearings. He is also responsible for the office's appellate practice. He has argued and/or prevailed in front of California's Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
The following is a small sample of Mr. Olaso's noteworthy cases:
Eastern District of California: Litigated large settlement for former Sheriff’s Department correctional officer who sued the County of Yolo for sexual harassment after she alleged that the elected Sheriff (Edward G. Prieto) repeatedly hugged and kissed her over many years despite her complaint to supervisors about his unwelcome behavior and his penchant for hugging women in the workplace. (Zetwick v. County of Yolo; settled 2018)
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal: Filed appeal of dismissal of sexual harassment case, fully briefed case, and argued in front of three-judge panel. Result: won unanimous reversal of district court’s ruling in favor of County of Yolo’s and Sheriff Edward G. Prieto’s motion for summary judgment, thereby fortifying protection for women in the workplace. In its reversal, the Ninth Circuit (1) gave explicit expression to a previously tacit rule that pervasive, unwelcome hugging and kissing in the workplace is illegal sexual harassment, (2) flatly rejected defense's contention that the hugs were the same type of non-sexual, innocuous greetings that you would give to a friend or family member, (3) re-emphasized that harassment by a high-ranking workplace member (supervisor) can be more severe than harassment by a low-ranking workplace member (non-supervisor), and (4) fortified the rule that a harasser’s harassment of multiple women in the workplace is directly relevant to the issue of whether a plaintiff's work environment is hostile. Won reversal and publication despite the Ninth Circuit’s historically low rate of reversal and publication. Because it is a published opinion, it is binding precedent in all federal district courts of the nine western States within the Ninth Circuit's jurisdictional boundary, and may be used as persuasive authority in all American courts. This case has caught the attention and scrutiny of human resources advisors nationwide. (Zetwick v. County of Yolo, 850 F.3d 436 (9th Cir. 2017))
Eastern District of California: Litigated favorable settlement for woman who alleged she was falsely arrested and subjected to unreasonable, excessive force (tasered and punched) by police officer in Northern California (resulting in black eye). The woman alleged that the police officer then lied about the encounter, and that the police department had an official policy or practice of keeping officers on the force despite knowing officers had a history of/propensity for using unreasonable, excessive force against the public. (2020)
Eastern District of California (agreed-upon district for potential private arbitration): Negotiated large settlement for two women, formerly employed at Sacramento-area automobile dealership, who claimed sexual harassment and retaliatory termination after they said management ignored their complaints that a salesman was repeatedly making sexually suggestive comments and sexual advances. (2017)
Eastern District of California: Litigated favorable settlement for computer engineering college student/Intel Corporation intern (Folsom) who claimed false arrest and excessive force (taser) by law enforcement officers from the City of Rancho Cordova/County of Sacramento. (2014)
Northern District of California: Litigated favorable settlement for California correctional officer who claimed racial discrimination by his supervisors at San Quentin prison when he said they engaged in a sustained campaign of unwarranted discipline and disparagement of his work in an effort to deny him promotion and get him to quit his career. (2014)
Northern District of California: Litigated large settlement for former desk clerk at well-known San Jose/Silicon Valley hotel who claimed sexual harassment when she said her supervisors repeatedly stared at her in a sexual manner, made sexual comments, criticized her work because she had rejected sexual advances, and attempted to kiss her. (2012)
Yolo County Superior Court: Litigated large settlement in parents' wrongful death claim after their adult son, who was suffering a mental health crisis, died in the custody of City of Woodland police officers who had tasered and tackled him. (2009)
Department of Motor Vehicles: Set aside driver's license suspension for motorist who allegedly drove with a 0.25% blood alcohol level (over three times legal limit). (2019)
Department of Motor Vehicles: Set aside driver’s license suspension for motorist who allegedly drove under the influence of alcohol on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (2015)
Sacramento County Superior Court: Filed petition for writ of mandate and set aside DMV's indefinite-term driver's license suspension which was based on the DMV's unsupported finding that driver was a habitual drug user/drug addict. (2002)
Third District Court of Appeal: Filed appeal and overturned erroneous criminal sentence handed down in Sacramento Superior Court, thereby winning an 8-month sentence reduction in a felony burglary case. (2012)