Dennis E. Wagner Esq.

Dennis E. Wagner Esq.

Managing Partner
Riverside, California
(866) 748-8753
(951) 686-4800
(951) 686-4801

Dennis E. Wagner, partner, has been practicing law since 1981 and has extensive experience in a wide range of legal areas. He has represented public entities since 1987.  While working with the law firm of Roberts & Morgan he represented the County of Riverside, City of Riverside, State of California and City of Corona.

Dennis served as Interim County Counsel for the County of San Bernardino Office of County Counsel in 2006.  As County Counsel he directed advice to the Board of Supervisors and to all Elected Officials and Department Heads for the County of San Bernardino.

Prior to forming the firm of Wagner & Pelayes, LLP, he was a Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Bernardino for 10 years. He has represented many of the County departments, department heads and their employees during that time including the representation of the Superior Court for the County of San Bernardino and members of the Judicial Bench.  During this time he tried a number of cases and has regularly appeared before the State Appellate Courts, 9th Circuit and the California Supreme Court.  He is a member of (ABOTA) American Board of Trial Advocates and served as the 2011 President of the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association.  He has tried many San Bernardino County cases with an outstanding record of verdicts on behalf of the County of San Bernardino.

He has served on a 9th Circuit’s screening panel for bankruptcy judges.  He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell.  He has defended many municipalities and has an accomplished record of verdicts.

As part of his legal practice, he firmly believes in providing  options and value to his clients. Although zealous advocacy is an absolute must, cost-efficiency is not disregarded. While some clients only care about the end result that is never presumed. In terms of both strategy and costs, clients are kept informed and invited to participate.

Areas of Practice

  • Trials and Appellate Practice
  • Police Civil Rights Defense
  • Business Law
  • Employment Law
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Municipal Liabilities Defense

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1981
  • California, 1981
  • Nevada, 1983
  • Texas, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2011


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 1981
  • Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
    • B.A. - 1977
    • Major: Criminal Justice


  • Active Instructor - Civil Liabilities, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, 1997 - Present
  • Various Topics, San Bernardino Community College District, 1997 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • County Counsel Association, 2001 - 2002
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Associate, 2002

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Bernardino County Bar Association
  • Inland Empire Federal Bar Association, Board Member, 2000 - Present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (Advocate)
  • California Council of School Attorneys
  • California School Board Association

Past Employment Positions

  • County of San Bernardino County Counsel's Office, Interim County Counsel, 2006
  • County of San Bernardino County Counsel's Office, Deputy County Counsel, 1994 - 2004
  • Roberts & Morgan, 1987 - 1994
  • Keefer, O'Reilly & Haight, 1982 - 1987