Ms. Renne heads the firm’s public interest litigation and elder financial abuse practice. She brings together public interest plaintiff coalitions of multi-governmental or governmental and non-governmental agencies or individuals. Ms. Renne pioneered this model when she was San Francisco City Attorney and is known in legal and governmental circles for transforming the traditionally defense-oriented practice of municipal law by pioneering an affirmative litigation program that won significant victories for cities and counties in California. She is well-known and well-respected nationally and often testifies before federal, state, and other governmental bodies. She also is frequently requested to conduct impartial investigations for school, municipal and county governments.
Some of the cases Ms. Renne has directed include:
- A certified national class (250,000 victims) and national and state putative class actions and individual lawsuits involving elder financial abuse. These suits are brought on behalf of senior citizens against insurance companies, banks and other entities for the sale of inappropriate annuity products to seniors.
- A lawsuit on behalf of African-American employees in private industry for race discrimination, retaliation and harassment.
- Numerous class-action suits that asserted local agency legal prerogatives against energy producers, tobacco companies, national banks, gun manufacturers, auto insurers, and escrow companies.
Ms. Renne was previously a founding partner in Renne & Holtzman. Prior to that time, Ms. Renne was San Francisco City Attorney for 16 years, responsible for providing legal expertise and services to more than 60 operating departments and commissions providing both city and county services. She modernized the city attorney’s office, establishing it as a national leader in the practice of public law. She created a vigorous and enterprising 200-lawyer city department of litigators, negotiators and regulatory attorneys, attracting top talent from private sector firms, law schools and judicial clerkships nationwide. She energized and streamlined its advice function, building widely respected legal expertise in every area of municipal operations ranging from traditional fields such as land use and public protection to the cutting-edge areas of energy regulation and telecommunications.
Ms. Renne was appointed city attorney by Mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1986 to fill the unexpired term of her predecessor, who died in office. She was subsequently elected to three full four-year terms. Her prior experience includes:
- Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for 8 years, where she was chair of the Finance Committee.
- California deputy attorney general for 11 years. She served in the environmental and criminal divisions, and argued on behalf of the state before the California and United States Supreme Courts.
- Private practice for 2 years and was a staff attorney in the general counsel’s office at the Federal Communications Commission for 3 years.
- Ms. Renne served as General Counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District where she led the effort to combat corruption existing at the time and establish a legal department.
- She also served as City Attorney for the City of Richmond
- Allies United for Children, Chair, Board of Directors
- San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, Board of Directors
- San Francisco Police Commission, former President
- Volunteers of Laguna Honda Hospital, former member, Board of Directors
- American Cancer Society, San Francisco Chapter, former member, Board of Directors
- Friends of the Children, San Francisco Chapter, former Chair, Board of Directors
- PGA’s First Tee program, former member, Board of Directors
- California Regional Water Quality Control Board former member
- Golden Gate Bridge District, former Board of Directors
- California Women Lawyers, former President