Carl J. Calnero


Having tried over 50 jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, Carl is most comfortable in the trial setting. He believes in the old legal adage that "cross examination is the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth."

Carl has been with Porter Scott since 1983.  He began working at the firm as a law clerk, helping to pay for law school. Upon passing the bar in 1985, Carl immediately developed an early reputation as a trial attorney in civil rights, products liability, dangerous condition of public property and vehicle accident cases. Through the decades, his practice has broadened to include a range of litigation experience in real estate, business litigation, and corporate disputes. Carl now focuses primarily on complex business litigation, complex corporate disputes and catastrophic personal injury matters.

Carl achieved Associate status in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 1998. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the local Sacramento Valley Chapter of ABOTA, and thus remains a staunch defender of the jury trial system. His clients include local businesses and individuals, as well as national and multi-national corporations.


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D. , 1984)

  • Colgate University (B.A., 1981)
Practice Areas Admitted to Practice
  • All California State Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California

Professional Memberships & Awards

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Associate
    • Sacramento Valley Chapter President, 2017
    • Sacramento Valley Chapter Executive Committee, Member 2012-2014
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Northern California Super Lawyer (2004, 2006 – 2008, 2010 – 2018)

Presentations & Seminars

  • Cross Examination: Techniques and Evidentiary Issues or the Experienced Litigator, CEB Programs (2008)
  • Preparing for the Unexpected in Depositions: Hostile Counsel and Runaway Witnesses, Sacramento Barristers’ Club (2007)
  • Expert Testimony, Sacramento Barristers’ Club (2006)
  • What Goes On in the Mind of a Defense Attorney Regarding Case Evaluation?, Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association (2006)
  • Masters Ultimate Trial Notebook, Program Chair and Moderator, Sacramento Valley ABOTA Masters in Trial (2002)
  • Products Liability Litigation, CEB Programs (2000)
  • Fundamentals of Civil Pre-Trial Practice, CEB Programs (1999)

Representative Trials

Carl has recently been successful in obtaining a $9.1 million verdict on behalf of a local Sacramento beverage distributor in a breach of contract action against a national supplier.

In addition, Carl has recently achieved a defense verdict in a catastrophic brain injury case filed on behalf of a plaintiff against the University of California.

Carl has also recently successfully concluded handling a series of corporate disputes and trials, including allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in disputes involving varying businesses such as 1031 exchanges, recycling companies, law firms, real estate development companies, and concerning investment counselors.

A full list of the 50+ trials that Carl has tried is available upon request.