Serena M. Warner

Contact Me: 916-564-6100 -Ext. 235

Fax: (916) 564-6263


Since joining Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff, LLP in early 2010, Ms. Warner has developed an emphasis on employment defense from pre-litigation through trial. Her recent victories include a 2023 four-week jury trial in Sacramento County on claims of retaliation and race and sex discrimination and a 2021 14-day jury trial in Solano County involving allegations of sexual harassment and disability discrimination. Additionally, Ms. Warner has litigated employment cases encompassing age discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, employer assessment of non-conviction criminal charges, and defamation. Although her focus is on employment litigation, Ms. Warner’s practice includes defense of constitutional claims under the First Amendment for alleged free speech and familial association violations, Second Amendment gun control litigation, SLAPP suits, charges of negligent or unconstitutional child removal, excessive force actions, and personal injury cases. Ms. Warner has argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit and California Third District Court of Appeal. In 2023, she was recognized as a Super Lawyer among Northern California attorneys by Super and as a Rising Star prior to that from 2016-2022. She was named as a 2023 Wonderful Woman Honoree by the Lawyers of Color organization and has been identified as a Top Lawyer in Sacramento Magazine from 2017-2022.
In 2019, Ms. Warner graduated from the TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy, an annual event held at the National Judicial College, where practicing attorneys refine their trial skills through competitions with peers from across the United States.
A native of California, Ms. Warner was raised in Elk Grove, CA. She earned her bachelor of arts degree with high honors from the University of California Santa Barbara and graduated cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She is the Immediate Past President of the Sacramento Filipino American Lawyers Association (Sac-FALA), Regional Governor of the National Filipino Lawyers Association, Vice-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee for the Sacramento County Bar Association, and a member of the Federal Bar Association, National Filipino American Lawyers Association and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Ms. Warner generously donates her time as a judge for the yearly Sacramento County Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition, where she served as a coach for the program from 2013 to 2020.
Ms. Warner is also the proud mom of a strong-willed, sweet-spirited seven-year-old and a hard-charging three-year-old. Although mom life has monopolized the majority of her time outside of work in the past few years, she finds time to read or take an occasional yoga class. She also hopes to be able to resume her hobby of beer-brewing in the near future.

Practice Areas

  • Public Entity Defense
  • Employment Litigation
  • Constitutional Cases
  • Police Practices Defense
  • Wage & Hour Defense
  • General Torts

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California

Past Positions

  • Health Law Consortium, Legal Research Fellow, 2009 to 2010
  • Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, LLP, Summer Associate, 2008 to 2008
  • Honorable John Noonan, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Extern, 2007 to 2007


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. – 2009
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Hastings Public Interest Honoree
    • Honors: Best Moot Court Oral Argument Award Recipient
    • Honors: Moot Court Team Competitor & Brief Editor
    • Honors: “Pilipino” American Law Society, President, Historian and Social Chair
    • Honors: Independent Scholar for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
    • Honors: Legal Research and Writing and Moot Court Teacher’s Assistant
    • Law Journal: Race and Poverty Law Journal, Outreach Editor & Senior Articles Editor
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
    • B.A. – 2004
    • Honors: With High Honors


  • Super Lawyer,, 2023
  • Wonderful Woman Honoree, Lawyers of Color, 2023
  • Rising Star,, 2016 – 2020
  • Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine, 2017

Classes & Seminars

  • “Navigating the Employment Currents and Surviving the Revival Tidal Wave” for Trindel Insurance Fund (April 2023)
  • “It Doesn’t Always Add Up: Navigating Procedural Complexities in Employment Litigation” for the CAJPA Litigation, Insurance, and Tort Liability Program (May 2021)
  • “Hiring 101” for the California Association of Parks and Recreation Districts Conference (May 2019)
  • “To Make Matters Worse – the Ever-Evolving Employment Claim” for Trindel Insurance Fund (Oct. 2018)
  • “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: How to Assess Lawsuit Allegations, Defend the Case, and Live to Tell About It” for the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities (Aug. 2018)
  • “Wrongful Termination: When Termination Is Just the Beginning” for the California Association of Recreation and Parks Districts (May 2018)
  • AB 1234 Public Service Ethics Training for the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority Conference (May 2018)
  • “Avoiding Stumbles Along the Interactive Process Path” for UC Davis Health Services (May 2017)
  • Effects of the Ban the Box Movement on CA Parks & Rec Districts for the California Association for Parks & Recreation Indemnity (Aug. 2014)
  • Co-presenter on the issue of police liability for the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority Conference (May 2012)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • TIPS/ABOTA Trial Academy Graduate, 2019 to 2019
  • Coach, Mira Loma HS, Sacramento County Office of Education, Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition (2013null4, 2014null5, 2016-20); Drafted fact pattern for competition 2015null6, 2016null7
  • Participant, Sacramento County Bar Association Kids Law Day (Feb. 2018)
  • Participant, Run to Feed the Hungry (Nov. 2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, UC Davis Fall Intraschool Moot Court Competition (Nov. 2014)
  • Participant, 2nd Annual Officer Kevin Tonn Memorial 5K Fun Run (July 2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, National Ethics Trial Competition (2013-2014)
  • Volunteer Judge, Sacramento County Office of Education, Gordon D. Schaber Moot Court Competition (2011-2013)
  • REI Volunteer, Indigenous Habitat Restoration, Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area (2012)
  • Volunteer Judge, New York Bar Association and American College of Trial Attorneys’ National Moot Court Competition (Nov. 2012)
  • REI Volunteer, Indigenous Habitat Restoration, Dry Creek Conservancy (2011)
  • Volunteer Judge, UC Davis Law School Intra-school Moot Court Competition (Oct. 2011)
  • Volunteer Judge, National Moot Court Competition (2010)

Published Works

  • Attack of One Does Not Rule All: Case Summary of Curley v. City of North Las Vegas
  • The Importance of Immediacy: A Discussion of the Narrow Set of Circumstances the Could Support the Warrantless Removal of a Child
  • Harris v. City of Santa Monica: Damages Exit at the Mixed-Motives Bus Stop
  • Case Law on Use of Tasers

Representative Cases

  • Bonilla-Chirinos v. Maggiano, et al. (9th Cir. 2019) Case. No. 18-15260
  • On v. Vannucci, et al. (AAA 2019) Case No. 01-18-0000-4409
  • Fishbaugh v. City of Auburn (2019) Placer County Case No. SCV0039348
  • Junaid v. Placer County Office of Education (2018) Placer Superior Case No. SCV0039771
  • Milan v. City of Vallejo (2016) Solano Superior Court Case No. FCS042585
  • Jeffries v. City of Galt (2014) Sacramento Superior Court Case No. 34-2011-00115333
  • Westfall v. City of Crescent City (N.D. Cal. 2011) 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101710
  • Richards v. Prieto (E.D. Cal 2011) Case No. 2:09-CV-01235-MCE-DAD — Summary Judgment, affirmed by Peruta v. San Diego and Richards v. Prieto (Ninth Circuit 2016) Case Nos. 10-56971 & 11-16255 en banc
  • Holston v. Regents of the University of California (2023) Case No. 34-2020-00278899 (4 weeks)
  • Freitas v. Salazar, et al (2020) Case No. STK-CV-UOE-2019-8253 – Anti-SLAPP
  • Wagner v. County of Plumas, et al (2022) Case No. 2:18-cv-03105-KJM-DB – Bench Trial (2 weeks)
  • Kunz v. County of Solano, et al (2021) Case No. FCS052527 – Trial (2 weeks)
  • Khatami v. Roseville Joint Union School Dist. (2022) Case No. SCV-44602 – Trial (7-days)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Sacramento Filipino American Lawyers Association, Immediate Past President
  • National Filipino American Lawyers Association, Regional Governor
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee Vice-Chair
  • National Asian Pacific Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association