Sacramento: (916) 446-5297
San Rafael: (415) 266-1800

Alison Berry Wilkinson, Of Counsel

With over 30 years’ experience representing law enforcement officers in civil, criminal, disciplinary, and collective bargaining matters throughout the State of California, Alison has handled a multitude of cutting-edge police cases in federal, state, and administrative proceedings.

Alison was recognized for her outstanding work with the twin honors of being named a 2021 “Lawyer of Distinction” in Police Liability Law, and also being rated by her peers as a 2020 “Super Lawyer” for her work defending police officers. Yet, Alison’s most treasured honors remain those bestowed by her clients, including being named the “Person Most Likely to Fix Just About Anything” when she was awarded the coveted “Duct Tape Award” from the Novato Police Officer’s Association, as well as the “Snow White Award” by the Sonoma County Deputy Sheriff’s Association for her work defending their retirement benefits, and an “Excellence in Service” Award from the Berkeley Police Association for her years of dedicated work on their behalf.

In addition to practicing law, Alison regularly teaches on a variety of law enforcement topics as a certified instructor for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Regional Training Center. Additionally, Alison currently serves as an adjunct professor for Las Positas College Administration of Justice Bureau (2012 to present), previously taught for the San Jose State University Administration of Justice Bureau (1992-2012), and, after being certified by the Force Science Institute in 2009, has taught a variety of courses on Human Factors and Video Analytics.

After graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1984, Alison earned her law degree in 1988 from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She began her career with Carroll, Burdick & McDonough in 1987 as a member of the Public Sector Labor Group, and was a founding partner at the law firm previously known as Rains, Lucia & Wilkinson before establishing the Berry Wilkinson Law Group in 1999. Alison joined Messing Adam & Jasmine as "Of Counsel" in November 2021.

The daughter of an elementary school teacher, Alison was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. When she is not defending and prosecuting the rights of public safety employees throughout the state, Alison resides in San Rafael, California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and sailing, and can often be found exploring the natural wonders of Tuolumne County and the Stanislaus National Forest.
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D. 1988
University of California at Santa Cruz, B.A. in Politics 1984
State Bar of California
Member, Bar of the United States Supreme Court
Member, Marin County Bar Association
Lawyer of Distinction, in Police Liability Law 2021, 2022
Super Lawyer 2020, for defending police officers in civil rights cases 2020
Excellence in Service Award, Berkeley Police Association
Force Science Certification, 2009
Certified Instructor for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and
Training, 1992 to Present
Las Positas College, Adjunct Professor, 2012 to present
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center, 2012 to Present
Peace Officer’s Research Association of California, Inc., 1991 to present
Administration of Justice Bureau, College of Applied Arts and Sciences, San Jose State
University, 1992 to 2012
PORAC Impact Symposium: “The Trouble with Texting (and Other Woes of Modern Forms of Communication)” (2022)

California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CalPELRA), “Pre-Discriplinary
Process: Basics for Skelly in the DEI Era” (November 2021)

PORAC, “Internal Affairs Investigations” (October 2021, Upcoming: February 2023)

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center, “Internal Affairs Investigations”
(Quarterly since 2012)

CaIPELRA Panelist 2017-2021: Risk Management of Critical Incidents; Collective
Bargaining, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Police/Firefighter Rights in Disciplinary
Investigations, Pre-disciplinary Hearings, and Public Employee Free Speech Rights

“Key Concepts in Evaluating Video Evidence: Human Factors and Camera Technology”
(Ongoing since 2018 – Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Center; Peace
Officers’ Research Association of California)

County Counsel Conference, “Post-Skelly Strategies for Success” (Spring 2020)

American Bar Association, “First Amendment Rights of Public Employees” (2017)

PORAC Issues Symposium: “What Every Board Members Needs to Know to Stay Out of
Trouble” (April 2018)

Force Science Institute Certification Course (November and July 2016)

PORAC Conference, “Shots Fired, Union Down: MAPE v. MCERA and Other Legal Assaults on Public Sector Unions (November 2016)

PORAC Conference, “Confidentiality: the Next Frontier” (November 2015)

Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund (REMIF) Workshop – “Hot Topics in Law
Enforcement” (2014)

League of California Cities MLI Conference – “Crisis in the Public Workplace” (2014)

PORAC Issues Symposium: “Managing the Brady Bunch” (2014)

Public Agency Risk Management Association [PARMA]: “The Perfect Storm – Risk
Management of Critical Incidents” (2012)

Oakland Police Department: “A Supervisor’s Guide to Internal Investigations” (2012)

State Bar of California, Public Sector Conference: "The Rights of Firefighters" (2010)

PORAC Conference: “A Fair Days Pay for a Fair Day’s Work” – Essentials of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (2009)

League of California Cities: “Firefighters’ Procedural Bill of Rights Act” (2008)

California Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights, California Professional Firefighters (2008)

Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department: “The Disciplinary Process for Civilian Employees”

PORAC: “Freedom of Speech and Right to Privacy” (2005)
Co-author with Scott P. Thorne, “Alameda Officers Found ‘Not Criminally Liable’ in Prone Restraint Death,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (May 2022)

Featured, “Small but Mighty,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (May 2021)

Featured, “Officers in Alameda death used ‘lowest degree of force,’ attorney says,” KTVU News (April 28, 2021)

Featured, “Mario Gonzalez death: Attorney for Alameda officers shares their side,” KRON4 News (April 28, 2021)

Featured, “First for San Francisco, DA Chesa Boudin charges police officer who shot Keita O’Neil with homicide,” San Francisco Chronicle (November 23, 2020)

Featured, “Vallejo cops accused of bending badges to mark kills may be bulletproof from consequences,” San Francisco Chronicle (August 9, 2020)

Featured, “Officers in Vallejo, California, bent badges to mark each fatal police killing, ex-captain says,” NBC News (July 31, 2020)

Author, “Attorney General Agrees: Livingston Cop was Wrongfully Convicted,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (February 2018)

Featured, “Confidentiality Agreement Violated in Police Brutality Case, Settlement Forfeiture Demanded,” The Silicon Valley Voice (October 11, 2017)

Author, “Truth or Consequences: Choose the Road that Avoids Career Disaster,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (February 2017)

Author, “The Trouble with Texting,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (January 2017)

Featured, “Video shows tense moments before Fremont police officer was shot,” San Francisco Chronicle (June 3, 2016)

Author, “Reinstated (Again): Arbitrator Finds Grover Beach Officer Fit for Duty,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (May 2016)

Author, “California Supreme Court Narrows Right to Review Supervisor Log Notes,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (October 2015)

Author, “San Joaquin Sheriff’s Sergeant Ordered Reinstated,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (December 2014)

Author, “San Luis Obispo POA Wins Back Interest Arbitration,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (October 2014)

Author, “Honesty is the Best Policy,” PORAC Symposium Publication (April 2014)

Author, “Know Your Rights,” PORAC Symposium Publication (April 2014)

Author, “Ninth Circuit Restores First Amendment Protections to Officers Reporting Co-worker Misconduct,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (October 2013)

Author, “Court Rejects Dishonesty and Excessive Force Charges, Grover Beach Police Officer Reinstated,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (April 2013)

Featured, “Berkeley Probes Chief for Leaning on Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle (March 17, 2012)

Author, “Dangers for Unauthorized Computer Use,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (July 2011)

Featured, “Fired Marin deputy, acquitted in robbery case, gets retirement settlement,” Marin Independent Journal (July 19, 2018)

Author, “BART Officer’s Termination Overturned: The Fruitvale Platform from a Different Perspective,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (March 2011)

Featured, “Scapegoat Cop Wins Back Job with Force Science Help,” Force Science News (December 2010)

Author: “Facebook Posting Case Settles,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (October 2010)

Featured, “Impasse hearing ends with drama,” Bakersfield News (April 7, 2010)

Featured, “Berkeley loses appeal on police reviews,” San Francisco Chronicle (October 8, 2008)

Author, “FTO Status Restored and Suspension Rescinded,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (2008) 

Featured, “Dressed to Collect: Police mimic meatpackers in suits seeking pay for putting on gear,” The Recorder (February 22, 2007)

Featured, “Berkeley Hearings on police to be kept from public,” San Francisco Chronicle (February 13, 2007)

Co-Author with Kelli L. Sager, “Dust Up” Series on Officer Privacy Rights versus the Public’s Right to Know, Los Angeles Times (June 2007)

Featured, “Hearings on Police to be Kept from Public,” San Francisco Chronicle (2007)

Featured, “Former Sergeant Wins Case Against East Palo Alto Police,” Palo Alto Daily News (May 2007)

Featured, “Bonds to sue over book’s use of grand jury docs,” ESPN News Services (March 23, 2006)

Featured, “Protecting and Defending Police is Full-Time Job for 15-Lawyer Firm”, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 20, 2006)

Author, “Cities Must Pay Officers for Donning Gear,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 2006)

Author, “Two Down, One to Go in the Bad Attitude Battle,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (2006)

Featured, “Former Sergeants File Claim Against City Manager,” Menlo Park Almanac (June 22, 2005)

Author, “Court Orders 3309.5 Sanctions for POBR Violations,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (2004)

Featured, “Oakland to Cover Goofs of Oracle: City to Reimburse Workers’ Legal Costs,” Oakland Tribune (February 2001)

Author, “How to Handle Polygraph Examination Requests,” PORAC Law Enforcement News (April 1996)

Featured, “When an officer is the suspect,” Police Times: The Voice of Professional American Law Enforcement (March 1996)

Contributing author to The Labor Beat, Messing Adam & Jasmine’s periodic publication and alerts highlighting topics germane to public sector labor and employment

Contributing author to the PORAC Law Enforcement News, a publication focusing
on issues important to peace officers throughout California

© Messing Adam & Jasmine LLP