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Bruce William Nickerson

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Citizenship  United States
Name  Bruce Nickerson

Role  Attorney
Fields  Lawyer
Bruce William Nickerson
Born  June 21, 1941 (age 74) California (Modesto), U.S.A. (1941-06-21)
Residence  California (San Carlos), U.S.A.
Alma mater  Stanford University and Golden Gate University
Education  Stanford University, Golden Gate University

Bruce William Nickerson (born June 21, 1941) is a civil rights and gay rights attorney in California. He is also a leading authority on lewd conduct law in the United States. He currently operates a solo legal practice in San Carlos, California.


Nickerson is recognized as having "made a sort of mini-career out of defending these cases" on lewd conduct and police sting operations targeting gay men. Openly gay himself, he has argued in front of the California Supreme Court and U.S. Federal Circuit courts regarding civil rights issues affecting gay people. In the late 2000s, he was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on Fox News regarding a series of cases which he had been arguing on behalf of several hundred defendants related to a sting operation targeting gay men in Fresno, California.


Nickerson attended Modesto High School in Modesto, California. He holds an A.B. in Economics, with honors, from Stanford University and a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Golden Gate University. Nickerson was a champion debater while at Modesto.


Nickerson has operated a solo legal practice since his joining the California Bar, though has often affiliated himself with attorneys addressing civil rights issues and lewd conduct cases. His focus on lewd conduct emerged after pursuing several cases addressing such conduct and freedom of speech issues at adult bookstores in the early 1980s in and around the Bay Area of California.


Given Nickerson's stance and successful track record on gay issues and civil rights, he has been the subject of many critics, including Bill O'Reilly on Fox news. (YouTube Video Clip available at


Nickerson successfully argued Baluyut v. Superior Court, (1996) 12 Cal.4th 826, which established discriminatory prosecution as a defense in police sting operations which target gay public conduct and ignore identical straight public conduct.

Additional interests

Nickerson is an avid world-traveler and photographer, having visited six continents and dozens of countries. He has particularly keen interests in hiking, bridges, and waterfalls. He completed the entire John Muir and Inca Trails in the mid-1990s, most recently completed the Grand Canyon rim-to-river-to-rim hike in 2002, and rafted down the Grand Canyon in 2011 (for his 70th birthday). He also recently visited Indonesia (Borobodur) and Myanmar (Pagan) in late 2013. Additional travels include a trip in January, 2010, to central Guyana (to Kaiteur Falls); in September, 2010, to Nanga Parbat's Rupal Face in Pakistan and within 30 km of the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal (though had to turn back on the Annapurna Base Camp Trail due to his horse's inability to complete the journey); and in late 2011 to Manitoba for the annual Polar Bear Migration. His ability to complete these trips largely depends on his continued recovery from a coronary bypass operation and a car accident in May 2009, which affected his left lung. Nickerson is also an accomplished organist, a member of the U.S. National Society of Organists, and enjoys giving classical music concerts in his home which contains a pipe organ. The most recent of these concerts took place in his home in mid-2012, complemented by a reunion of close family members including his two ex-wives, ex-boyfriend, and ex-boyfriend's husband in April, 2013.


Bruce William Nickerson Wikipedia