Celia McGuinness is a seasoned disability rights trial lawyer. With approximately 30 federal and State trials under her belt, as well as arguments before the Ninth Circuit and California Courts of Appeals, she is a committed advocate ready to pursue her clients’ interests in any venue. Celia has expanded the law of disability access with published opinions including Tamara v. El Camino Hospital, the first case in the nation to rule that service dogs may not be excluded from a locked psychiatric unit (964 F.Supp.2d 1077 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 2, 2013)).
Celia has been a visiting clinical professor at the University of San Francisco Law School as well as an adjunct professor of Moot Court and Legal Writing at Hastings College of the Law. She has published scholarly and opinion articles in the Hastings Women’s Law Review and California Lawyer Magazine, among other journals. She is a frequent speaker on disability rights issues.
Celia has served two terms on the California Commission on Disability Access and recently was appointed to a third term by Governor Jerry Brown, pending Senate approval. CCDA’s mission is to promote disability access in California through communication and collaboration with the disability and business communities and government. She is vice-chair of the Research Committee and a member of the Legislative Committee.
Well-versed in all aspects of disability rights, Celia has developed a particular specialty and love for assistive animal cases. She handles a wide variety of such cases, protecting service animals in public, assistance animals in the workplace and emotional support animals at home. She speaks and educates groups and organizations about the scope of assistive animal rights and responsibilities.
In her free time, Celia volunteers with the Bay Area Urban Debate League, a policy debate program for students in public schools. She is a member of the Disability Rights Bar Association and Women Lawyers of Alameda County, as well as a sustaining member and past Board Member of the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association.