Firm History

Our First Century

The history of Baker Manock & Jensen is an integral part of California judicial history from the turn of the 20th Century until now. Our family tree began when two men established practices in California: Henry E. Barbour, a New Yorker, and William A. Sutherland, a San Franciscan.  Mr. Barbour had a private practice, and Mr. Sutherland worked as an assistant district attorney in Fresno County. In 1906 the two men formed a partnership that lasted for seven years. The two branches split in 1914 and remained separate until they again merged in l955.

In those early years, the Messrs. Barbour and Sutherland became the two main branches of our family tree. Henry E. Barbour, a prominent Fresno lawyer, may be most remembered for his seven terms in the U.S. Congress. In those days, the job of congressmen was part-time and Mr. Barbour maintained his law practice. William A. Sutherland was a true Renaissance man who was a prominent lawyer, a banker, author of the then leading practice guide for California lawyers, a politician, a civic leader, and a world traveler.

In the 20s, William Sutherland joined with Gilbert H. Jertberg, a former deputy district attorney, to form a partnership.  Mr. Jertberg was later appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve as U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of California. Judge Jertberg’s first law clerk was Kendall L. Manock; his last law clerk was Douglas B. Jensen.

In the late 50s, Kendall Manock, a nationally renowned expert on agricultural marketing orders, agricultural cooperatives, and reclamation law, teamed up with John H. Baker, one of Fresno’s top trial lawyers, to lead our firm’s transformation from a small partnership to one of Fresno’s largest law firms. What is today known as Baker Manock & Jensen was established in l974, and in l979 the partnership was transformed into a corporation.

Today, our primary focus is on serving private businesses, their owners and executives. We are known for our expertise in a variety of industries such as agriculture, food processing and manufacturing, and in disciplines such as water, tax, trusts and estates, and for our commitment to quality and integrity. Although we are located in Fresno, many of our specialty practices are statewide. With over 35 practicing attorneys, Baker Manock & Jensen is one of the largest and most well respected law firms in Central California.

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