Duane Bennett is the former City Attorney for the city of Oceanside and retired General
Counsel for the Port of San Diego. He also served as an Assistant City Attorney, Police Legal Advisor and criminal prosecutor with broad based legal experience in civil rights, civil litigation, contracts, employment, environmental, public liability and real property.
Since retiring from the Port of San Diego in 2012, he has expanded his private law practice
and is an experienced arbitrator, mediator and litigator handling employment and
commercial disputes involving governmental agencies, financial institutions, hotels, restaurants,
resorts and retailers. He has served as a mediator for the California Department of
Fair Employment and Housing, Orange County Superior Court and as Judge Pro Tem for the
San Diego Superior Court.
He currently arbitrates and mediates for the American Arbitration Association, County of
Riverside, Riverside County Sheriff’s Association and San Bernardino Civil Service Commission. He also serves as a hearing officer for employee retirement associations in Kern County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and San Diego County.
He has advised and represented several law enforcement agencies, and served as an instructor
or consultant for numerous law enforcement and public safety agencies including police
departments for the cities of Banning, Cathedral City, Coachella, Oceanside, Palm Springs,
Rock Island, Santa Ana, and the San Diego Harbor Police. He has served as legal advisor for fire
departments in the cities of Oceanside, Santa Ana and Vista. He has served as an instructor at police and fire academies throughout Southern California and within the states of Arizona, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.
Mr. Bennett has litigated several matters related to civil rights, due process and equal
protection. He has been involved in several civil rights actions involving police departments and public safety agencies. His work has included constitutional claims for violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
He is an experienced trial and appellate litigator in state and federal courts. He has litigated in excess of fifty cases in state and federal courts. His employment law practice includes ADA, collective bargaining, FEHA, FLSA, FMLA, Title VII and employment disciplinary matters.
He served as an adjunct professor for California Western School of Law from 2009-2016,
and has also served on teaching faculties for the National College of District Attorneys and
National Association of Attorneys General.