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Risa S Christensen

Senior Associate

Riverside, California
(951) 686-4800
(951) 686-4801

I was admitted to the State Bar of California in December 2003. Since joining Wagner & Pelayes in 2005, her practice has been devoted to civil litigation, primarily public entity defense with a focus on civil rights and the defense of police officers in excessive force cases. She has years of experience in law and motion practice in both the state and federal courts.

I have experienced great success in appellate cases with many of trial court judgments being affirmed in the state courts of appeal and the 9th Circuit, including Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment issues, use of force, use of deadly force, Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement cases, as well as issues arising out of employee lawsuits relating to alleged discrimination and employment law issues.

Prior to joining Wagner & Pelayes, I worked as a Staff Attorney for the California Department of Social Services, where I represented the Department in enforcement actions and administrative hearings to protect clients in day care facilities, foster care, group homes, and other community care facilities.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


  • California Southern Law School, Riverside, California
    • J.D. – 2003

Honors and Awards

  • VIP Mentor of the Year – San Bernardino County Chapter, 2007

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Riverside County Bar Association
  • San Bernardino County Bar Association
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