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Advocacy at a Higher Level

Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.

Justin R. Sarno

Justin R. Sarno

Partner - Los Angeles Office

How Justin Helps Clients

Justin draws on decades of experience to defend public entities, manufacturers, and corporations defend against high-stakes litigation. He has been certified as an appellate specialist by the California State Bar's Board of Legal Specialization, has briefed cases before the United States Supreme Court and has argued appeals before the California Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and all districts within the California Courts of Appeal.

For 15 years, Justin was a trial and appellate attorney, representing government entities across Southern California, including the City of Pasadena, Santa Ana, Manhattan Beach, Arcadia, Anaheim, Simi Valley, Culver City, Upland, and County of Los Angeles. In this role, Justin litigated in state and federal court on behalf of police departments, school districts, community colleges, chiefs of police, and public employees in cases related to constitutional civil rights, anti-SLAPP, wrongful death, labor and employment (Title VII, Title IX, and FEHA), class action, ADA compliance, administrative mandamus, internal affairs investigations, government contracts and regulations, and premises liability.

Thereafter, Justin was an appellate attorney at Dentons and DLA Piper, two of the largest law firms in the world. He represented large private corporations in appeals across three litigation sectors, including government regulation and investigations, products liability and class actions, and business and commercial disputes.

Justin is an elected member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers (CAAL), an election-only organization devoted to excellence in appellate practice.

Representative Matters

Anthony Perez, et al. v. City of Fresno, et al. (2024) [prior firm]
Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of qualified immunity under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 in favor of paramedic and ambulance services provider in case alleging excessive force regarding care, custody, and transport of victim.

Elliott, et al. v. Tyerman, et al. (2022) [prior firm]
Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s partial denial of an anti-SLAPP motion to strike with respect to causes of action for trade libel/slander and intentional interference with prospective economic relations in a scope of rights dispute regarding a filmmaker’s production of a documentary film regarding Aretha Franklin called “Amazing Grace,” which utilized dormant and unused raw footage shot by Academy Award winning director Sydney Pollack.

Debbie L. Viale v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. (2021) [prior firm]
Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment concluding that plaintiffs had failed to overcome the presumption of non-liability in favor the hirer of an independent contractor under the Privette doctrine.


  • Southwestern University School of Law
    J.D., 2003
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    B.A., 2000

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

Professional Associations