Joshua Piovia-Scott

Joshua Piovia-Scott

Pasadena, California

Joshua Piovia-Scott is a partner at the civil rights litigation firm of Hadsell Stormer & Renick, LLP. Mr. Piovia-Scott specializes in both class action and individual civil and constitutional rights cases involving harassment and discrimination, police misconduct, slavery and human trafficking, retaliation for whistleblowing, the right to free speech and wage theft by employers. Mr. Piovia-Scott has practiced in both state and federal court, and has represented clients at all stages of litigation.

Mr. Piovia-Scott has worked on a wide range of high profile cases, including De La Trinidad v. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in which the Sheriff's Department paid $5.3 million to the family of a man shot and killed by Sheriff's deputies, Ruiz v. Jackson, in which a jury awarded $1.6 million against a Sony Executive for coercing a Filipino woman into service as a domestic slave and Navarro v. Pacifica, a wage and hour class action on behalf of low wage hotel workers that settled for $6.5 million.

Mr. Piovia-Scott is also one of the lead counsel in Keunang v. LAPD, a case on behalf of the family of an unarmed homeless man whose videotaped killing by the LAPD was seen by millions of people around the world and Morad v. Long Beach Police Department, a case on behalf of the family of an accomplished college student who was shot and killed by the Long Beach Police Department despite the fact that he was unarmed and seriously injured.

Mr. Piovia-Scott secured a published appellate court victory for the First Amendment right to political speech in 2011. He was one of the lead counsel in the case of former Orange County Sheriff Jeff Bardzik, who alleged that he was retaliated against by then-Sheriff Michael Carona for supporting Carona's opponent in the election for County Sheriff. Mr. Piovia-Scott successfully opposed defendants' summary judgment motion and then briefed and argued the case in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On March 28, 2011, the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion holding that Bardzik could proceed to trial on his First Amendment right to political speech claim and that Carona was not entitled to qualified immunity for his retaliation. Bardzik. Bardzik v. County of Orange, 635 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2011). The case later settled for $950,000, one of the largest settlements of this kind in the history of Orange County.

Mr. Piovia-Scott received the 'Religious Liberty Award' from the ACLU of Southern California in June of 2012 for his work on a case challenging the United States government's surveillance of Muslim Americans solely on the basis of their religion. Fazaga, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigations, et al., SACV11-00301CJC (VBKx).

Mr. Piovia-Scott has been selected as a "Rising Star" by the Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine for each year since 2005. He is frequently asked to speak about civil rights litigation by legal organizations, law schools and universities, including the UCLA School of Law, Loyola Law School and Occidental College.

Mr. Piovia-Scott graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2002 as part of the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and was a member of the second class of the law school's Concentration in Critical Race Studies. While in law school, Mr. Piovia-Scott worked for the ACLU of Southern California, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. He spent his first law school summer in Guatemala helping prepare a case on behalf of families of people who had been "disappeared" during that country's civil conflict and his second summer in Geneva, Switzerland working on the World Conference Against Racism.

Mr. Piovia-Scott graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and from Berkeley High School.

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 2002
  • University of California San Diego, San Diego, California
    • B.A.
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Law and Society

Published Works

  • Bardzik v. County of Orange, 635 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 2011)


  • Litigating Human Slavery Cases, Loyola Law School, 2012 - Present

Honors and Awards

  • “Rising Star” by the Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine , 2005 - 2015
  • "Religious Liberty Award" from the ACLU of Southern California, June 2012

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California Employment Lawyers Association
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • National Police Accountability Project


  • Spanish