Christian Abasto has been the Managing Attorney of the Civil Rights Practice Group of Disability Rights California since March 2017. Christian has been zealously advocating for the poor and persons with disabilities for over 20 years. Christian ran his own private practice litigating complex cases. He was the Director of Litigation at the Public Law Center from 2011 to 2015 where he supervised 18 high-performing attorneys in complex litigation and policy advocacy matters and partnered with the Executive Director to manage the organization. Under his leadership the organization tripled its impact advocacy matters.
Christian worked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles from 1997 until 2011 where he rose through the ranks from Staff Attorney to Managing Attorney of the Housing and Eviction Defense Units. He handled appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the California Court of Appeal, and the Appellate Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Christian was lead counsel in the 9th Circuit published decision, Barrientos v. 1801-1825 Morton LLC, 583 F.3d 1197 (2009). The decision established positive precedent regarding federal preemption, Section 8 vouchers, and local rent control laws. As the Managing Attorney of the Housing and Eviction Defense Units he supervised nine high-performing attorneys, one project coordinator, five social workers, and four paralegals. Under his leadership the Housing and Eviction Defense Units obtained a $10 million grant to provide coordinated legal services, social services, and rental assistance to low income Angelinos. He also played a lead role in the development of an eviction defense representation project in the Los Angeles Superior Court, which was awarded an $8 million grant by the State Bar of California.
Christian received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and his J.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1997. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.