Federico Castelan Sayre is a distinguished trial attorney who has been practicing in the state of California for the last forty-two years. He is a plaintiff's lawyer at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, LLP in Irvine, California where he specializes in assertive litigation for a variety of cases relating to civil rights, personal injury, mass toxic tort, wrongful death, products liability, medical malpractice, and traffic accidents. Although he's tried more than 200 cases before a jury, Mr. Sayre is perhaps best known for his representation of Rodney King in one of Los Angeles’ most iconic civil rights lawsuits. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and has been selected to the California Super Lawyers® list every year since 2008.
Driven by his zealous dedication to justice, Mr. Sayre has always planned on pursuing a career in the legal field. In his words:
I knew I wanted to be a lawyer when I was an undergraduate, but I received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to go to Princeton for two years of a master's program, so I did that before heading to law school.
Mr. Sayre received his bachelor’s degree in law and government in 1969 from the University of Arizona. During his undergraduate career he was listed in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and was a founding member of the Mexican-American Liberation Committee. Following graduation, he headed to Princeton University as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and earned his master’s degree in public affairs in 1971. He received his Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1975, where he was the chief editor of notes and comments for the California Law Review. During his time as a law student, he founded a legal services program for migrant farm workers and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to research “Future Alternatives for Farm Workers in Response to Technological Change in Agriculture.”
Mr. Sayre was admitted to the California State Bar in 1975 and headed for the Central Valley to build a practice that was committed to representing the little guy against large conglomerates such as insurance companies and government corporations. He is perhaps most notable for winning a $3.8 million verdict for Rodney King in a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles. Mr. Sayre is dedicated to representing plaintiffs against a well-funded bureaucracy and works with an extensive roster of clients, from illegal female immigrant victims of sexual assault by California police officers, to Muslim organizations claiming religious discrimination by their landlord. His firm is the official law firm of the Mexican consulates in Orange County and Los Angeles.
Amid a constantly shifting legal landscape, Mr. Sayre devotes his time to keeping up with local and national trends in order to maintain the highest level of quality representation. Commenting on the challenges of funding trials against insurance companies, he says:
Insurance companies have become harder for plaintiffs to deal with: I think in the past, cases were settled more readily and I think there tend to be more trials nowadays than there have been in the past. Part of what keeps us in the game is the ability to finance our cases, and there are a variety of different agencies and companies that have emerged, trying to assist in the financing of cases.
As a passionate member of the local legal community, Mr. Sayre has served on the boards of several professional and community service organizations. He is the past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County and a founding member of the Mexican-American Bar Association in Los Angeles. Every January, Mr. Sayre holds a course through the continuing education of the Mexican-American Bar Association where he discusses the past year’s most significant cases, and he also speaks at yearly conventions for the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and the California Trial Lawyers Association.
Looking forward to continuing his reputation for vigorous and effective legal representation throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties, Mr. Sayre intends to focus on his sub-specialty in police abuse and civil rights violation cases. He is passionate about protecting the Hispanic and Mexican American communities, advocating for them and communicating with them to achieve a just future ahead. With no plans of slowing down until he is forced to, Mr. Sayre continues to be a devoted litigation attorney with a glowing reputation in the legal community.
Education & Certification
California State Bar #67420
Professional Memberships & Community Involvement
State Bar of California • Attorneys for Justice • American Association for Justice (AAJ) • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles • California Trial Lawyers Association • Los Angeles Trial Association • Orange County Bar Association • Los Angeles County Bar Association • American Bar Association • Orange County Hispanic Bar Association • Mexican-American Bar Association in Los Angeles • Institute of the Mexicans in the Exterior • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
Awards & Honors
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence, Martindale-Hubbell® (2017) • California Super Lawyer (2008 - 2017) • Superb Avvo Rating, Top Attorney in Personal Injury • Superb Avvo Rating, Top Attorney in Civil Rights • Orange Coast Magazine, Best Lawyers (1998 - 2008)