Wendy C. Lascher


Though Wendy Lascher is one of California’s best-known appellate lawyers, her work on behalf of clients often begins well before an appeal. By crafting motions and consulting on trial strategy, Wendy helps clients to either avoid appeals in the first place, or be well-positioned to win cases on appeal.

After nearly four-decades at her appellate-focused boutique, Lascher & Lascher, Wendy moved her practice to Ferguson Case Orr Paterson in 2011. She brought with her a California State Bar-certified appellate specialty in which she has represented clients in front of the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, and in every California Court of Appeal district. She has also handled cases in state and federal trial courts.

Wendy has handled a wide range of appeals involving multinational corporations, municipalities and other government entities, complex family law, death penalty and other criminal cases, employment, real estate development, bankruptcies and other matters.

Previously a president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, she regularly features in Los Angeles Magazine‘s roundups of top lawyers as well as its listings of the “Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers” and “Top 50 Women Super Lawyers.” She is AV- rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Wendy regularly speaks about appellate law and other matters for a variety of legal organizations. After many years as editor of CITATIONS,the newsletter of the Ventura County Bar Association, Wendy has become co-editor and intends to continue in that role while doing more writing.

Wendy has been a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Ventura County, served as a board member at First National Bank of Ventura, Channel Counties Legal Services, the KCLU advisory board, and the Planned Parenthood Ventura Advisory Council. When not working or volunteering, Wendy enjoys gardening, early morning gym workouts, hiking, and spending time with her family. She is a licensed private pilot and is half owner of a Cessna 172F.

Noteworthy Matters

  • Proctor v. California (1992) 4 Cal. 4th 499; aff’d sub nom. Tuilaepa v. California, 512 U.S. 967, 129 L.Ed.2d 750, 1994 U.S. Lexis 5084, 114 S. Ct. 2630 (1994). Wendy Cole Lascher argued this death penalty case to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Caperton v. A. T. Massey Coal Co. (2009) U.S. 173 L.Ed.2d 1208, 129 S.Ct. 2252. [principal author of amicus curiae brief on behalf of American Academy of Appellate Lawyers].
  • Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 894 (Authored amicus brief for California Academy of Appellate Lawyers). Holds that time to appeal does not start to run until trial court serves a single document satisfying rules of court.
  • Scher v. Burke (2017) ___ Cal.5th ___ (with Joshua Hopstone). Holds that under Civil Code 1009, no implied dedication arises from nonrecreational us of private noncoastal property.
  • City of Goleta v. Superior Court (2006) 40 Cal.4th 270. Holds that developer did not qualify for safe harbor provision re subdivision map approval and city not estopped to deny approval.
  • Amelco v. City of Thousand Oaks (2002) 27 Cal.4th 228. Holds construction contractor’s abandonment theory of liability cannot be asserted against a public entity because it is inconsistent with competitive bidding. Reversed contract damage award under “total cost” theory because contractor failed to connect particular breach to particular damages.
  • In re Marriage of Pendleton and Fireman (2000) 24 Cal.4th 39. First California case to hold spouses may waive spousal support in a properly drafted prenuptial agreement.
  • Morehart v. County of Santa Barbara (1994) 7 Cal.4th 725. Clarifies appealability of judgments on separately tried issues; upholds judgment invalidating zoning ordinance on preemption grounds.
  • Ranch at the Falls LLC v. O’Neal (2019)  38 Cal. App. 5th 155. Overturned judgment awarding plaintiff express, prescriptive, and/or equitable easement over defendant’s residential property.
  • City of Imperial v. Ferguson (2019, unpublished). Rejected city’s claim that manufacturer’s warranty disclaimer and damage limitation violated public policy.
  • R.W. v D.P. (In re D.W.) (2018, unpublished). Upheld presumed father finding over objection of adoptive parents.
  • David v. Hernandez (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 682). Upheld jury verdict on retrial despite exclusion of defense expert opinion for lack of foundation. Differentiates between admissibility of multiple hearsay evidence and its sufficiency to support damage award.
  • In re Marriage of Schu (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 394. Held that reservation of jurisdiction to award support “until” a certain event count not be interpreted the same way as a reservation of jurisdiction to a specific date.
  • David v. Hernandez (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 578. Held trial court denied new trial improperly by making an incorrect legal assumption about legal causation in an auto accident case.
  • Finberg v. Manset (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 529. Held statue allowing grandparent to seek visitation with grandchildren did not violate equal protection rights of adoptive parent.
  • Southern California Edison v. City of Victorville (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 218. Upholds superior court jurisdiction over personal injury action because public utility’s tariff did not control placement of street light.
  • Pedeferri v. Seidner Enterprises (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 359. Holds that a commercial vendor owes a duty of care to third persons on the roadway injured by the vendor’s negligence in loading and securing cargo on a vehicle in a way that distracts the driver.
  • Integral Design v. Anderson (2013, unpublished). Holds that doctrine of equitable subrogation does not wipe out right of mechanic’s lienholder to surplus proceeds of foreclosure sale where mechanic’s lien is senior to rights of party who acquires right to foreclose by equitable subrogation.
  • Rich v. Thatcher (2011) 200 Cal.App.4th 1176. Establishes that clear and convincing evidence is necessary in grandparent visitation cases to overcome presumption that a fit parent acts in child’s best interest.
  • Theiler v. Ventura County Community College Dist. (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 852. Confirms proper calculation methodology for determining full-time equivalent hours for community college faculty.
  • County of Kern v. Jadwin (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 65. Upholds judgment on arbitration award based on finding county’s False Claims Act claim was filed to harass former employee
  • Garcia v. Becker Bros. Steel Co. (2011) 194 Ca.App.4th 474. Holds occasional seller of used machinery owed no duty of care to employee of downstream purchaser.
  • Airport Ranch Co. v. Beserra (2011, unpublished). Affirms injunction requiring removal of illegal rock groin and dirt berm from Santa Clara River.
  • Laabs v. Southern California Edison (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1260. Reverses summary judgment; plaintiff entitled to present further evidence concerning utility’s duty to drivers.
  • People v. Rosenberg (2009, unpublished). Reverses second degree murder conviction; prosecutor opted not to refile charges.
  • Nelson v. American Apparel, Inc. (2008) unpublished. Held that defendant entitled to order compelling arbitration of breach of settlement agreement despite court’s reluctance to compel arbitration of underlying sexual harassment dispute.
  • In re Corona (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 315. Paroled sex offender could not be required to waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege as to his privately retained psychotherapist.
  • Ferguson v. Lopeteguy (2008) unpublished. Reversed order denying grandparent visitation because trial court applied wrong standard.
  • Department of California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 726. Establishes that violations of Motorcycle Helmet Law are correctable citations, though not for the specific client before the court.
  • Sondermann Ring Partners-Ventura Harbor v. City of San Buenaventura (2008, unpublished). Rejected developer’s challenge to City’s environmental impact statement for revision of its general plan.
  • Estate of Burden (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 1021. Holds that father’s statements during his lifetime about identity of his son meets test of “openly hold[ing] out” child as one’s own for purposes of Probate Code §6453’s definition of “natural parent.”
  • Finkbeiner v. Gavid (2006) 136 Cal.App.4th 1417. Trustee of an inter vivos trust may appear in court in propria persona to modify and terminate the trust.
  • ECC Construction, Inc. v. Oak Park Calabasas Homeowners Assn. (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 994. Holds that appellant could not appeal from judgment on cross complaint while bankruptcy stay in effect as to judgment on complaint involving the same parties.
  • ECC Construction, Inc. v. Oak Park Calabasas Homeowners Assn. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 1031. Holds that Bankruptcy Code §108(c) extends time for filing ruling on motion for new trial, and thus time for filing notice of appeal.
  • Sanchez v. Hillerich & Bradsby (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 703. Holds that athlete does not assume the risk of injury resulting from equipment which increases the danger inherent in the sport.
  • Guardianship of Elan E. (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 998. Reversed attorney fees to appointed counsel where no statutory authorization for award.
  • Kessel v. Leavitt (1998, ordered de-published). Upheld enforcement of out-of-state fraud judgment in favor of biological father against adoption lawyer who conspired to keep the father from challenging adoption.
  • Steinberg v. Prudential (1998, unpublished). Overturned summary judgment for health insurer which refused to authorize the only treatment available.
  • Parsons v. Parsons (1996) 49 Cal.App.4th 537. Held that probate court may not award family allowance against family trust.
  • Cohan v. City of Thousand Oaks (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 747. Upheld rights of landowners to develop property after City Council tried to overturn a favorable Planning Commission decision.

Publications and Presentations

  • Article, “Retiring at My Own Speed.” American Bar Association Second Acts for Small Firm Lawyers (2019)
  • Article, “Game Not Over,” American Bar Association Voice of Experience  (2019)
  • Article, “No Golden Tickets” and Panelist, “Economics of Appellate Practice,” Defense Research Institute (2018)
  • Panelist for various Pincus Professional Education programs (2016-2019)
  • Article, “Appeals and Writs,” California Litigation Review, State Bar of California
  • Article, “Waste Not, Want Not: Is it Safe to Donate Leftovers,” Edible Ojai & Ventura County (Fall 2014), p. 46
  • “Legal Writing: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,” (Speaker, Various Bar Associations, 2013-2014)
  • “Appellate Law for Trial Lawyers,” Beverly Hills Bar Association, Barristers Workshop, July 24, 2013
  • Speaker, “How to Win an Appeal Before You Get to Fresno,” (Tulare County Bar Association, 2013)
  • Speaker, “The Appellate Process in 60 Minutes or Less,” (Barristers Club, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2013)
  • “Becoming An Accidental Big Sister,” (GPSolo, American Bar Association, January/February 2012), vol. 29, no. 1.
  • Panelist, “Advanced Appellate Roundtable,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2012)
  • Panelist, “Appeals (Civil): Winning Strategies from Start to Finish,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2011)
  • Speaker, “Beyond the Basics: Legislative History, Judicial Notice, Legal Scholars and the Internet,” (California Appellate Defense Attorneys, 2011)
  • Article, “Unmasking Judgments,” (Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 22, 2011, p. 4)
  • “Arbitration after Burlage,” (Citations, March 2010)
  • Panelist, “Handling Contractual and Evidentiary Issues on Appeal,” ( Pincus Professional Education, 2010)
  • Panelist, “Challenging ‘Settled’ Precedent and Using Legislative History on Appeal,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2010)
  • Panelist, “The Complete Appeal Conference: Strategies from Start to Finish,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2009)
  • Speaker, “Putting City of Hope v. Genentech in Context,” (Intellectual Property Section, Santa Barbara County Bar Association, 2008)
  • Author, “Staying Judgments on Appeal,” (California Litigation, 2008)
  • Speaker, “Judgments and Statements of Decision,” (Ventura County Business Trial Lawyers, 2008)
  • Panelist, “Winning Your Appeal at the Trial Court Level,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2007)
  • Panelist, “90 Days Between Judgment and Appeal,” (Pincus Professional Education, 2007)
  • Panelist, “The Right Stuff for Appellate Lawyers: How to Avoid Going over the Ethical Edge,” (State Bar of California, October 2006)
  • Author, “A Vision of California?” (California Supreme Court Historical Society newsletter, Summer 2006)
  • Speaker, “Developments After Rojas,” (Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, January 2006)
  • Speaker, “The Nuts and Bolts of Filing an Appeal,” (Kern County Bar Association, April 2005)
  • Panelist, “Will and Wendy on Writs,” (Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association, 2005)
  • Panelist, “Federal Appellate Practice,” (Orange County Bar Association College of Appellate Advocacy, 2004)
  • Panelist, “The State of Appellate Practice: A Panel Discussion on Marketing and Managing,” (American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2004)
  • Panelist, “An Inside Look at Bell v. Farmers Insurance Exchange,” (National In-house Counsel Forum on Wage and Hour Law, 2004)
  • “Motions: Why and How to Make Them,” (Ventura County Barristers Bridging the Gap, 2004)
  • Panelist, “Impact of Rojas,” (Southern California Mediation Association, 2003)
  • Lascher, Wendy and Brogna, Denise, “Pillow Talk Is Back: Postmarital Agreements in a Postmodern World,” Family Law News (Vol. 26, No. 1)
  • Speaker, “Winning in the Long Run: Improving the Odds in Criminal and Civil Cases,” ( Santa Barbara County Bar Association Bench-Bar Conference, 2003)
  • Panelist, “How to Defend Civil Appeals and Writs,” (California State Bar Conference, 2003)
  • Lascher Wendy, “Babylonic Cuneiform and the Mysteries of the Writ,” California Litigation, (Vol. 16, No. 3)
  • “Looking Ahead: How to Increase the Chances of Winning on Appeal,” Family Law News, (Vol. 25, No. 3)
  • Speaker, “Making a Federal Case of It: Getting from State to Federal Court,” California Public Defenders Association, (May 2003)
  • Panelist, “The Art of Exercising Discretion,” California Judges Association, (May 2003)
  • Speaker, “Appeals, What Every Young Lawyer Should Know,” (State Bar Conference, 2002)
  • Panelist, “Finding Your Place In the Sun,” (Second Annual Conference of the ABA Council on Appellate Lawyers, Reno, 2002)
  • Speaker, “90 Days After Trial,” (various locations and groups, April 2001-October 2002)
  • Speaker, “10 Tips for Winning Appeals,” (State Bar Conference, 2001)
  • Co-Author, “Prevailing Prize,” (Los Angeles Daily Journal, February 2, 2001)
  • Speaker, “How to Win Your Appeal at Trial,” (Ventura County Bar Association, 1999)
  • Speaker, “Provocations and Provocateurs on Appeal,” (State Bar Convention, 1998)
  • Speaker, “Post Trial Civil Procedure,” (State Bar Convention, 1997)
  • Speaker, “New Trial Motions,” (Consumer Attorneys of California Annual Seminar, 1997)
  • Author, “Hearing and Decision on Appeal,” (Matthew-Bender, California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Vol. 5, Ch. 51)

Practice Groups

Bar and Professional

  • State Bar of California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • Certified Specialist in Appellate Law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Super Lawyer,  2007 – to present
  • Top 50 Women Southern California Super Lawyers, Los Angeles Magazine, 2014, 2007
  • Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers, Los Angeles Magazine, 2007 – 2008
  • AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Citations, Managing Editor; Past President)
  • California Academy of Appellate Lawyers (Past President)
  • American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (Past President)
  • American Inns of Court, Ventura Chapter (former Board Member)
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers (former Board Member)
  • 2005 National Conference on Appellate Justice (Steering Committee)
  • State Bar of California, Appellate Law Advisory Commission (1994-1998)
  • California Litigation (Editorial Board, 1993-1996)
  • Lecturer, California Continuing Education of the Bar
  • Lecturer, Hastings Litigation Advocacy Program
  • Lecturer, Santa Barbara College of Law
  • Lecturer, Ventura College of Law


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1973
  • B.A., Stanford University, Political Science, with distinction, 1970
  • Cleveland High School, Reseda, California, 1967


  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Ventura County (Mentor, 2008 – Present)
  • Ventura County 99s (Member, 2017-)
  • First National Bank of Ventura (Board Member, 1992-2000)
  • Channel Counties Legal Services (Board Member, 1993-1996)
  • KCLU (Advisory Board Member, 1996-1998)
  • Planned Parenthood Ventura Advisory Council (Member, 1990-1996)

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