Downey Brand Elects Janlynn Fleener as its Next Managing Partner

December 14, 2022

(SACRAMENTO, CA) Downey Brand is pleased to announce that Janlynn Robinson Fleener has been elected managing partner of the law firm, effective January 1, 2023.

Fleener, who has served as chair of the Litigation Department at Downey Brand since 2014, was elected to the position of managing partner by a vote of the partners of the firm. She succeeds Scott Shapiro, who announced earlier in the year that he was stepping down from the position after nine years. Shapiro, whose practice focuses on flood protection, water, and public agency law, will return to the full-time practice of law.

“I am honored that my partners have selected me as the firm’s next managing partner, and humbled by the opportunity to lead this great law firm,” said Fleener. “We have a 97 year history of providing excellent client service and supporting the community, and those core principles will continue to guide the firm as we move forward.” Added Fleener, “I also want to thank Scott for his dedication and many years of service to the firm.”

“I have all the confidence in Jan to take Downey Brand into its next era,” said Shapiro. “She is among our most accomplished firm leaders and lawyers. Her work as chair of the firm’s Litigation Department reflects her collaborative, inclusive, and strategic approach.”

“Jan is going to be a terrific managing partner,” said Downey Brand Chairman Bill Warne. “For nine years, she has managed our Litigation Department with great skill. She will do the same as managing partner of the firm. She leads by example, is great with people, and has a real talent for building consensus and trust.”

Fleener is a trial attorney with nearly 30 years of experience representing businesses, individuals, and agencies in complex litigation and before appellate courts. Fleener earned her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1993, and joined Downey Brand as an associate attorney that same year. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America® for her expertise in commercial litigation and by Sacramento Magazine in its “2020 Most Powerful Business Leaders in Sacramento.” Fleener is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter, and since 2019, has served as the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis. Fleener will be the first woman managing partner at Downey Brand.

About Downey Brand

Downey Brand is a full-service law firm known for its litigation strength, deep industry knowledge in natural resources, and breadth of business practices. Founded in 1926, it is the largest law firm based in Sacramento, with over 100 attorneys, and has additional offices in San Francisco and Stockton. The firm provides counsel in more than 50 areas of civil practice including agriculture, bankruptcy, business planning, complex litigation, construction, employment, energy, environmental law, family law, intellectual property, real estate, tax, trusts and estates, and water law.

In the past eight years, Downey Brand has expanded from 69 to 105 attorneys, with strong growth in its San Francisco office. The firm is ranked by Vault Law in the top ten “Best Midsize Law Firms to Work For” and has been recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal for the last five years as one of the Sacramento region’s “Best Places to Work.”

Press Coverage

12/16/2022 Sacramento Business JournalDowney Brand Elects Janlynn Fleener as New Managing Partner

12/16/2022 Law360Downey Brand Picks Litigator as 1st Female Managing Partner (paywall)

1/5/2023 The Recorder/Law.comDowney Brand Appoints Litigation Leader as First Female Managing Partner (paywall)