Risa Christensen was admitted to the State Bar of California in December 2003. Her work with Wagner Zemming Christensen (formerly Wagner & Pelayes) includes working with municipalities in the defense of their various departments in civil lawsuits such as Sheriff’s Department excessive force and unlawful arrest lawsuits, employment, FEHA, and labor code violations. She has successfully defended the County of San Bernardino, County of Orange, City of San Bernardino, City of Beaumont, and numerous judges of the superior court. Risa is well versed in law and motion practice before all courts and is specialized in civil rights and public entity defense. Risa has an outstanding record of law and motion practice in the state and federal courtsPrior to joining the law firm, Risa worked as a Staff Attorney for the California Department of Social Services, where she represented the Department in enforcement actions and administrative hearings to protect clients in assisted living facilities, day care facilities, foster care, group homes, and other community care facilities.
Before becoming an attorney, Risa worked as a Licensing Program Analyst for the Department of Social Services in connection with the licensing and monitoring of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly and conducted investigations of complaints against assisted living facilities and foster homes. She also served as a member of the C.A.R.E. team, a Riverside County based interdisciplinary group advocating against elder abuse.
Risa also has extensive experience in mental health services. From 1977 to 1997, she worked as a licensed Psychiatric Technician at several facilities, assisting troubled and disabled children and persons with developmental disabilities, as well as developing and implementing multiple behavior and social programs.
Risa is currently a member of the California State Bar, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, Riverside County Bar Association and the Inland Empire Federal Bar Association.