Oakland ranks as the eighth largest city in California, with the 2010 census showing that Oakland had a population of 390,724 in that year. Oakland's first inhabitants were the Ohlone people. They inhabited the area until the Spanish settlers arrived and conquered it along with the rest of California for Spain in 1772. In the early 19th century, the Spanish crown deeded the East Bay region to Luis Maria Peralta, who established his Rancho San Antonio. In 1821 the area became part of Mexico after that country gained its independence from the Spain. Then in 1846 the area was once again conquered, this time by the American troops, during the Mexican-American War.
The Peralta property included a stand of oak trees that the family called an "encinal," which is the Spanish word for oak grove. The ranchland with the oak grove encompassed the area from present-day downtown Oakland to nearby Alameda, which was then a peninsula. The association with an oak grove and the loose translation from encinal was incorporated into the area's eventual name of "Oakland."
In the 1800s hundreds of people flocked to and settled in the area, hoping to make money from natural resources. The hills were rich not only with oak trees but also redwood trees, which were logged to help build San Francisco. Concurrently, the California Gold Rush stimulated a large-scale development of the area. On May 4, 1852, the Town of Oakland was incorporated, and on March 25, 1854, Oakland was reincorporated as the City of Oakland.
In the late 1800s, the construction of the railroads also caused Oakland to grow rapidly, and in the late 1860s and 1870s the city's rail station became a major terminal. During that period, the Central Pacific constructed the Long Wharf, which is what is known as today's Port of Oakland. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Oakland's population doubled, as many people from San Francisco were left homeless refugees who relocated to Oakland.
Shipbuilding and auto manufacturing thrived in Oakland during World War II, with the former's growth boosted by the war and the later earning the city the nickname the "Detroit of the West," but after the war both industries gradually disappeared. Many of the people who once worked in those industries and moved to Oakland to work in them decided to stay, and by the late 1960s Oakland had become a predominately poor city. Natural disasters have also tested the fortitude of the people of Oakland. In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed or severely damaged many buildings and other structures, and in 1991 a grass fire started a firestorm that swept through the Oakland-Berkeley hills, destroying 2,000 homes and killing 25 people. Despite all of this, Oakland continued to grow and is today one of the most vibrant cities in the East Bay.
The Willoughby Brod, LLP has a history of taking care of individuals and small businesses in and around Oakland and takes tremendous pride in representing the interests of all of our clients. The focus of the firm is to help our clients and meet their needs, which is our most important goal.
We are Oakland injury attorneys, and we work on a contingency fee basis in cases involving personal injuries. Unless there is a recovery, no legal fees are owed. We are Oakland business attorneys, and we do not represent insurance companies or large corporations. The Willoughby Brod, LLP takes pride in effectively and efficiently resolving disputes, while protecting our clients' legal and financial interests.
Our Oakland office is located at 1814 Franklin St., one block from Broadway, in between 17th and 19th streets.
Directions to our San Francisco office from Oakland are as follows: Take the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and exit at Fremont Street. Merge onto Fremont Street and turn left onto Mission Street. Turn right onto Anthony Street and take the first right onto Jessie Street. The office is at 96 Jessie St.