Joel Guerra focuses his practice on employment litigation and counsel. Joel has experience defending harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims; representing clients in administrative proceedings; and, handling wage and hour class and representative actions. Joel also advises and counsels public and private employers on employment matters.

Prior to joining Nossaman, Joel clerked for Magistrate Judge Valerie Cooke of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, where he worked on a wide variety of cases at all stages of litigation. In addition, he interned for Magistrate Judge Allison Claire of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and was selected as a Sacramento County Bar Association Summer Diversity Fellow at a Sacramento law firm specializing in labor and employment law.

As a law student, Joel served as Senior Articles Editor for the UC Davis Law Review, attained a tax law certificate, and received Witkin Awards for Academic Excellence (awarded to the highest grade in class) for Pension and Employee Benefits Law, Basic Finance for Lawyers, Pre-Trial Skills, and Mindfulness & Professional Identity.



Gargano v. Sacramento County Employees Retirement System. Defeated petition for writ of administrative mandate seeking to set aside denial of petitioner’s application for service-connected disability retirement benefits. The court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute.

Employment Matter. Defended against PAGA representative action seeking penalty for numerous alleged wage and hour violation. The case was resolved favorably through an out of court settlement.

Disability Retirement Matters. Represented Sacramento County Employee's Retirement System in several administrative hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings in which retirees seek enhanced disability retirement and/or service-connected disability retirement benefits.

Koszka v. California State Assembly. Defeated plaintiff’s wrongful termination claims alleging disability-discrimination and retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Family Rights Act, and California’s whistleblower retaliation statute. The jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant on all eight causes of action.



Community & Professional

Sacramento County Bar Association, Litigation and Labor & Employment Section

Schwartz/Levi Inn of Court, Reporter

Barristers' Club of Sacramento

U.C. Davis, School of Law Young Alumni Association

Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento


Honors & Recognitions

Witkin Awards for Academic Excellence

Scholarship, Schwartz/Levi Inn of Court, 2017

Olmos Scholarship, La Raza Lawyers Association, Central Valley Chapter, 2016

Fellow, Sacramento County Bar Association Diversity Fellowship Program, 2015

Judicial Intern, ABA Judicial Internship Opportunity Program (JIOP) and JRC-JTB Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project, 2016

Semi-Finalist, ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition, 2017




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