Christopher E. Platten



Mr. Platten joined Wylie, McBride, Platten & Renner in 1983 and is now the sole Shareholder. His practice focuses on labor law, wrongful termination, wage and hour enforcement and employment discrimination.  He anchors the law firm’s public sector labor organization practice.
At the age of 20, he was elected a union representative and officer of Retail Clerks Local Union 1222, at the time the largest single private sector labor union in San Diego County.   Since 1975 he has directly engaged in collective bargaining on behalf of private and public sector labor organizations, including multi-union and multi-employer units covering up to 55,000 employees.
In his career, Mr. Platten has negotiated hundreds of agreements.  He has prosecuted hundreds of grievance arbitrations, interest arbitrations, administrative hearings, jury trials and writ actions on behalf of his clients.
He has argued a wide range of labor and employment cases, many of which are published.
  • Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Raised in San Diego, California
  • Married over 30 years with one son
  • Interests include Green Bay Packers, reading, gardening and classic movies
  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D. with honors, 1983
    Honors/Activities: Candidate, Law Review; 1st Place Winner, John L. Brennan Award, Trial Competition, 1982; 1st Place Winner, Advocate of the Year Advanced Moot Court Competition, 1981; Member, USF National Moot Court Team, 1981-82; Editor, The Forum, law student newspaper, 1981-82; Best Brief Award and Best Oral Argument Award, First Year Moot Court Competition, 1981
  • San Diego State University, B.A., philosophy, 1980
    Honors/Activities: National Intercollegiate Freshman Debate Champion, Piercelle Belle Scholarship
  • Speaker Labor Relations and Information System: “Grievances Arbitration”, “Principles of Just Cause and Disciplinary Grievances”; “Rights of Firefighters”; “Personnel Issues for Public Safety Employees”, 1999 – 2017
  • Speaker, International Association of Firefighters Attorneys Conference: “The FBOR”, 2009; “Interest Arbitration”, 2006; “Financial Emergencies in Collective Bargaining”, 2012
  • Speaker, California Professional Firefighters: “Firefighter Bill of Rights”, 2008; “System Approach to Collective Bargaining”, 2003; Parliamentarian, CPF 40th Convention, 2006
  • Speaker, NALEO 31st Conference: “Future of Public Pensions”, 2014
  • Panelist, Municipal Law Institute of the League of California Cities: “Crisis in the Public Workplace:  Cutting Edge Issues in Personnel and Labor Relations”, 2014
  • Speaker, San Francisco County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section: “Public Sector Bargaining”, 2014
  • California State Bar Labor & Employment Law Section Annual Public Sector Conference:  “Public Sector Labor Relations”, 2012
  • Speaker, State Bar Public Sector Labor & Employment Law Program: “Legal Decisions”, 2007
  • Panelist, Santa Clara County Bar Association: Labor & Employment Law Section, “Using Arbitration Agreements to Make Your Workplace Lawsuit  Proof”, 2001
  • Speaker, California Public Employee Relations Association (CalPELRA) Conference: “Are the Pension Wars Over?”, 2014; Filmed Interview “Factfinding Process”, 2012; “The Great Debate:  The Future of California Pensions and Retiree Medical Benefits/Part 1 – Pension”, 2011; “Labor and employment issues”, 2006; Annual Training Conference on Binding Arbitration Case Study,
  • Panelist, Hastings College of the Law & The Municipal Law Institute of the League of California Cities, 4thAnnual Symposium on Current Issues in Municipal Law:  “Interest Arbitration in the Public Sector”, 2000
  • Speaker, National Academy of Arbitrators Seminar, “Interest Arbitration”, 2007
  • Speaker, AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Conference, “Public Sector Financial Records”, 2006
To request a complete list of Mr. Platten’s published opinions or speaking engagements, archived back to 1987, please e-mail
  • State Bar of California
  • All California state courts
  • California Court of Appeal
  • Appellate Court, New Mexico
  • United States District Court, Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeal
  • California Supreme Court
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers’ Association
  • AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating
  • Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • Committee Member, Santa Clara County Measure A (2016 Housing Bond) Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee,  2017 – Present
  • Commissioner, City of San Jose Planning Commission, 2002 – 2012
  • Commissioner, Santa Clara County Redistricting Commission, 2011
  • Principal, National Fire Protection Agency, Technical Committee 1710,  1999 –  2011
  • Instructor, San Jose City College, Labor Studies Program, 1985 – 1990
  • Member, National Lawyers Guild, 1980 – Present
  • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association, 1996 – Present
  • Member, California Employment Lawyers Association, 1990 – Present
  • Member, Executive Board, Labor & Employment Law Section, California State Bar, 1997-1998; Treasurer 1998-2003
  • International Association of Firefighters, Local Union 230 v. City of San Jose, 195 Cal.App.4th 1179 (2011)
  • DiQuisto v. County of Santa Clara, 181 Cal.App.4th 236 (2010)
  • City of San Jose v. International Association of Firefighters, Local 230, 178 Cal.App.4th 408 (2009)
  • Klem v. County of Santa Clara, 208 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Las Cruces Professional Firefighters v. City of Las Cruces, 123 N.M. 239, 938 P.2d 1384 (1997)
  • Las Cruces Professional Firefighters v. City of Las Cruces, 123 N.M. 329, 940 P.2d 177 (1996)
  • County of San Bernardino v. City of San Bernardino, 15 Cal. 4th 909 (1997)
  • In Re: Bridgett R., 41 Cal.App.4th 1483 (1996)
  • Scott v. Pacific Gas & Electric, 11 Cal. 4th 454, 46 Cal.Rptr. 427 (1995)
  • Baker v. City of Pomona, 1 Wage and Hour Cases (C.D. Cal. 1993)
  • Keeling v. Sheet Metal Workers, Intl. Assn., Local Union No. 162, 937 F.2d 408 (1991)
  • Sheet Metal Workers, Intl. Assn. Local 162 v. Jason Mfg., 900 F.2d 1392 (1990)
  • Sheet Metal Workers Intl. Assn. Local 162 v. B.J. Heating & Air Conditioning, 695 F. Supp. 485 (E.D. Cal. 1987)
  • Co-Editor, California Public Sector Employment Law (Lexis/Nexis 2014, 2011)
  • Article, “Declarations of Fiscal Emergency:  A “Dead on Arrival” Means of Limiting Public Pension Costs and Impairing Local Agency MOUs”  CPER Journal (September 2011)