An Executive Interview with Partner Rene L. Farjeat
Rene Farjeat being interviewed on camera.
Written By Alexandra Applegate
August 21, 2020

Q: What is your background?

I was born in Mexico City, Mexico, moved to the United States at age 8, and grew up in San Dimas, California. I obtained a full-tuition academic scholarship from the University of Southern California (USC) and graduated magna cum laude with a political science degree. Upon graduating from USC’s Gould School of Law, I became a proud member of the California Bar.

Prior to joining Silver & Wright LLP, I served as the Lead Attorney in several civil litigation departments at a prominent Orange County commercial litigation firm. Since joining Silver & Wright four years ago, I have become the firm’s youngest Senior Associate and now Partner.

Q: What are your practice areas?

My practice areas include code enforcement, receiverships, police services, land use, zoning and planning, municipal law and litigation, nuisance and graffiti abatement, administrative law, business law and litigation, constitutional law, and tort defense.

Q: Why did you decide to join Silver & Wright as a partner?

My goal as an attorney has always been to use my law license to make a positive impact on the community. One of the most rewarding aspects of working at this firm is that I am able to protect the health and safety of the community and general public.

Q: How does your experience add value for clients?

I firmly believe that Silver & Wright is the top firm in the State in several areas of law related to code enforcement and municipal litigation, especially in Health and Safety Code receiverships. I am proud to say that I have personally obtained the appointment of numerous court receivers throughout the State to rehabilitate substandard and dangerous properties. It is this tremendous experience in a very specialized field that allows our firm to continue to grow and provide excellent representation for our clients.

Q: What competitive advantages can Silver & Wright offer to local governments and the businesses with which they partner?

Our tireless dedication to ensuring the public’s health and safety differentiates us from other firms. This work allows us to have a positive impact on the community. In particular, the cases Silver & Wright handles—especially Health and Safety Code based receivership actions—are highly specialized and complex cases. These actions are typically used when all other collaborative and expedient code enforcement methods have failed. 

As such, this type of litigation is rare and often requires local governments to hire attorneys with special skills in this area, like my colleagues at Silver & Wright. We have litigated dozens of successful receivership actions and hundreds of municipal code enforcement actions throughout California. Our experience and commitment to public safety set us apart from the rest.

In addition, we understand that our partnership with our clients is a key component to achieving great results for the community. Our cases are always a team effort, and our clients play integral roles in the victories we obtain to protect the public’s health and safety.

Q: What’s a recent project of which you’re particularly proud?

I am very proud of the results myself and my team at Silver & Wright have recently obtained for the cities of Banning and Oxnard.

In Banning, we successfully obtained the appointment and reappointment of a court receiver to rehabilitate multiple properties that were occupied by transients, who had converted the substandard structures on the properties into living units, used illegal drugs on the properties, started numerous fires on the properties, among other crimes. In addition to obtaining the appointment and reappointment of the court receiver, we also successfully defeated the owner’s attempt to use federal bankruptcy laws to derail the City’s enforcement efforts. Thanks to the great work of our team at Silver & Wright and City staff, the rehabilitation of the formerly dangerous properties is now almost complete.

In Oxnard, we successfully obtained the appointment of a court receiver who will now rehabilitate two large lots with multiple substandard structures that have been illegally used as an auto dealership, are riddled with hundreds of dangerous violations of State and local laws, and are routinely occupied by transients and vandalized. Recently, a fire broke out at the properties, which was exacerbated by exposed and dangerous electrical wiring and excessive amounts of junk, trash, inoperable vehicles and vehicle parts as well as other debris stored throughout most exterior and interior areas of the properties. Fortunately, thanks to the work of our team and City staff, the court receiver is now in possession of the properties and in the process of rehabilitating them.

The cities of Banning and Oxnard are safer places thanks to the great efforts of Silver & Wright and our clients.

Q: How has your experience acting as a City Attorney informed your work at Silver & Wright?

Although litigation is one of my greatest passions, I also greatly enjoy City Attorney work. It allows me to work more directly with our clients and with the community. City Attorney work, particularly preparing ordinances for cities on a wide range of topics, has helped me become a great litigator as well. In particular, drafting laws and regulations has helped me interpret and apply other laws more successfully, which allows me to obtain results for our clients in litigation.

Q: As a graduate of USC, what does it mean to you to be part of the Trojan family?

The Trojan family and network have had a tremendous impact in my life, both professionally and personally. I will always be thankful to USC for awarding me the scholarships that allowed me to achieve my goal of becoming an attorney. I have also made invaluable friendships and professional relationships with fellow Trojans throughout the years that extend to today.

In fact, Founding Partner Curtis Wright is a fellow Trojan, and Partner John Fujii’s daughter currently attends USC. USC taught me to never give up, to strive to reach my goals, and to always remember that I have an obligation to help my fellow citizens. Above all, USC taught me to always Fight On!

Q: What challenges and new developments do you predict in your field?

One of the most exciting aspects of our work is that the law constantly evolves and changes. This challenges us to always stay on top of changes in the law in order to remain the best firm in our field. In particular, I expect laws regarding enforcement of cannabis regulations to continue to evolve over the next couple of years. I look forward to continuing to represent cities in adopting ordinances to enforce cannabis regulations in compliance with State laws.

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