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Tristan G. Pelayes Esq.


Riverside, California
(951) 686-4800

By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward litigation, I have consistently obtained outstanding results for many clients over the years, both defending and prosecuting civil rights, employment, and personal injury cases.

Prior to forming Wagner & Pelayes LLP, I was a Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Bernardino. Due to my extensive law enforcement background, I was assigned to the county’s litigation unit, representing the County of San Bernardino’s Sheriff’s Department and its deputies in all aspects of civil litigation. This included the defense of excessive force, wrongful arrest and wrongful prosecution allegations, officer-involved shootings, and other types of police misconduct. I have also represented other county departments such as the District Attorney’s Office and Probation Department against allegations of civil rights violations and other related state torts. In addition, I have extensive jury trial experience in both the state and the federal courts.

Before becoming an attorney, I served as a Detective for the County of San Bernardino. My assignments included corrections, patrol, narcotics, SWAT, homicide and the department’s civil liabilities division. I was also an investigator for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2001, the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association awarded me the honor of the Latino Lawyer of the Year. I have also twice been the recipient of the Wiley Manuel Award from the California State Bar for my pro bono work within the Inland Empire.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2010
  • District of Columbia, 2011
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2011


  • California Southern Law School, Riverside, California
    • J.D. – 1999
  • California Southern Law School, Riverside, CA, USA
    • B.S. – 1998
    • Major: Law
  • Crafton Hill College, Yucaipa, CA, USA
    • A.S. Pre-Law – 1995


  • Instructor, Civil Liabilities, San Bernardino Sheriffs Academy

Honors and Awards

  • “Latino Lawyer of the Year” by Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association, 2001
  • Twice Recipient of “Wiley Manuel Award” by California State Bar

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • City of Adelanto, Council Member, Mayor, 2000 – 2003
  • California State Bar
  • Federal Bar Association, Inland Empire Chapter
  • Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association
  • California Council of School Attorneys
  • California School Boards Association


  • Spanish
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