Attorney Profile

Posted on December 5, 2013

2000-present Law Offices of Tony J. Tanke
1994-2000 Member of Tanke & Willemsen, Appellate Advocates, a Professional Association

  • Member, California Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Specialization in Civil Appeals and Legal Issues
  • Lead counsel in over 200 civil appeals, petitions for review, writ petitions, and other appellate proceedings in state and federal courts.
  • Six cases in the California Supreme Court
  • Five cases in the federal appellate courts
  • Participation as counsel in 36 officially published appellate and trial court decisions in the state and federal courts
  • Cases in all six California appellate districts
  • Cases include complex issues in business and commercial law, health care regulation, consumer law, family law and marital property, secured commercial lending, product liability, employment law, state and federal constitutional law, and class actions
  • Member of the Mediation Panel of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District
  • Barrister, Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court, Sacramento, California, 2003-2004
  • Charter member, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Historical Society
1989-1994 Senior Judicial Staff Attorney to Chief Justice of California Malcolm M. Lucas

  • Wrote memoranda and opinions for the Chief Justice
  • Advised the Chief Justice on questions of law and judicial policy
1980-1989 Private Civil Litigation Practice, San Francisco
1977-1980 Associate Attorney, Litigation Department, Morrison and Foerster, San Francisco
1976-1977 Law Clerk to Judge William W. Schwarzer, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
1976-1976 Law Clerk to Associate Justice Fallon Kelly, Minnesota Supreme Court
Legal Education
2005 LL.M., Cambridge University

  • Coursework in International Commercial Litigation, International Sales, Comparative Constitutional Law, Legal History
1975 J.D., University of Minnesota School of Law

  • Graduated Magna Cum Laude, top 5% of class
  • Editor, Minnesota Law Review
  • One of four members in a class of 250 elected to Order of the Coif, the National Legal Honor Society
Academic Appointments
1997-1999 Adjunct Professor of Commercial Law, University of San Francisco

  • Taught the Sales and Banking Course
1997-1999 Adjunct Professor of Law and Religion, Graduate Theological Union Berkeley

  • Taught the Law and Religion Course

Selected Published Appellate Cases

California Supreme Court

  • Moshonov v. Walsh (2000) 22 Cal.4th 771 — Judicial review of arbitration awards for errors of law appearing on the face of the arbitrator’s award
  • Salgado v. County of Los Angeles (1998) 19 Cal.4th 629 — Application of the California Medical Injury Compensation Recovery Act of 1978 (MICRA)
  • Calvillo Silva v. Home Grocery (1998) 19 Cal.4th 716 — Interpretation of tort liability immunity provisions of California Civil Code section 847 governing actions against real property owners arising from felonies committed on their land
  • Ghirardo v. Antionioli (1996) 14 Cal.4th 39 — Remedy for mistakes in pay-off demands in secured real estate loan transactions
  • In re Marriage of Burgess (1996) 13 Cal.4th 25 — Landmark decision regarding the rights of divorced parents to relocate the residences of their children

California Court of Appeal

  • Collins v. State of California (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1112 — Disqualification of attorneys following contact with opposing side’s expert
  • Finnegan v. Schrader (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 572 — Violation of conflict-of-interest law regarding appointment of board member as district manager
  • Cochran v. Cochran (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 283 — Statute of limitations for support agreement and fraud
  • In re Marriage of Barneson (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 583 — Sufficiency of stock transfer instructions as transmutation of separate property between spouses
  • Logacz v. Limansky (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1149 — Application of concurrent cause instruction in medical malpractice action
  • Campbell v. Parker-Hannifin Corp. (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1534 — Application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens to Australian plane crash
  • Cochran v. Cochran (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1115 — Statute of limitations for “palimony” actions
  • Thomas v. City of East Palo Alto (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1084 — Constitutionality of a general excise tax under Article XIII of the California Constitution
  • Grahn v. Tosco Corp. (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1373 — Property owner’s liability to employers of independent contractor performing work on premises


  • Tanke, Elizabeth Decker, & Tanke, Tony J. “Getting off a slippery slope: Social science in the judicial process.” 34 American Psychologist 1130 (1979)
  • Putz, C. Delos, Jr. & Tanke, Tony J., “Use of lands patented under the Stock-Raising Homestead Act for construction and operation of geothermal power plants.” (Development of Geothermal Resources: a Symposium) 14 Natural Resources Lawyer 725 (1982)
  • Wallerstein, Judith S. & Tanke, Tony J. “To Move or Not to Move: Psychological and Legal Considerations in the Relocation of Children Following Divorce.” 30 Family Law Quarterly 305 (1996)

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