My practice focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury and consumer class actions. I have represented seriously injured people, families that have lost a loved one, or individuals taken advantage of by dishonest practices.  I was born and raised in San Francisco, attended schools here, and have practiced throughout California for over 35 years.  We believe in preparing our cases for trial to put our clients in the strongest possible position to obtain the best possible result for their case, whether through settlement or trial.  In my career I have tried numerous cases including 19 trial verdicts ranging from one million to over one billion dollars in addition to over 200 settlements in excess of one million dollars.

I have taught Trial Practice at the University of San Francisco School of Law since 2003 and was named Professor of the Year in 2010. Also I have authored multiple published legal articles and I frequently serve as a speaker for CLE and other professional programs, including those outside of the legal profession.

My wife and I have been married since we were college students.  We have two adult sons and an amazing granddaughter.  I am active in sports and follow all of the local teams faithfully with frustration and occasional joy.

I have tried numerous cases to verdict in 18 counties in State courts in California, in two Federal courts, and in arbitration in the areas of traditional personal injury, aviation, consumer remedies,  products liability, dangerous condition of public property, defective drugs and devices, employment, and class actions and represented people in over 30 of California’s counties.  Below are some of the verdicts I have obtained for our clients:

$29,277,391.12 verdict against the State of California for an action involving the absence of a median barrier on SR 12 (Hutchinson v. State of California, Solano County Superior Court, FCS030143).

$2.3 million verdict in San Luis Obispo county for the death of a Mexican national involving the negligent installation of two new tires (Garcia v. Santa Maria Tire, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, CV031186).

• $15.2 million verdict in San Luis Obispo County for a brain injured teenager due to a defective road in Morro Bay (Donville v. North Coast Engineering, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court, CV980098).

$15 million dollar verdict in San Francisco County for the wrongful death of a 44 year old woman and 4 children under 6 in a fire due to inadequate maintenance in a public housing unit (Evans v. San Francisco Housing Authority, San Francisco County Superior Court, 999850).

$25 million dollar verdict on behalf of a college student who suffered serious brain injury (TC vs. State, Santa Clara County).

$1 million verdict in Santa Clara County for the family of a 64 year old woman killed in a small plane crash due to a defective engine crankcase (Sherman v. Avco Lycoming, Santa Clara County Superior Court).

$2 million dollar verdict involving a glider accident of a military pilot where I established the manufacturer had falsified the records of its rope, passing as safe ropes that did not meet testing requirements (Peterson vs. Wellington Puritan Mills, San Francisco County Superior Court No. 874032).

$1.25 million verdict in a declaratory relief action for insurance proceeds from a life insurance policy involving the death of 7 year old Jessica Dubroff who was attempting to become the youngest cross country pilot in US history  (Dubroff v. Hathaway, San Mateo County Superior Court, CIV000400534).

$12 million dollar verdict for a young woman with serious internal injuries after establishing the State failed to meet its own design criteria in striping a transition area on SR 1 (Burkowski vs. State, San Mateo County Superior Court, CIV481154 consolidated)

Successfully tried the last two Dalkon Shield cases in the country in San Francisco, ($1,000,000 and $700,000, San Francisco County Superior Court CGC-94-817493 and CGC-94-963768).

The California  Vioxx case in Los Angeles to a nearly three month mistrial due to inability to reach a verdict (Arrigale v. Merck & Co., Los Angeles County Superior Court No. 05CC03136).

A San Francisco jury awarded a verdict of $1,382,000,000 in a class action against the Bank of America for misuse of Social Security benefits directly deposited for their checking account customers (Miller v. Bank of America, San Francisco County Superior Court No. 301917).

In consumer actions, numerous courts have appointed me to lead counsel positions or leadership positions on the Plaintiffs’ Committees. I have been court appointed in the following matters to serve on behalf of plaintiffs:

Dalkon Shield class action matters in Virginia.

The Plaintiffs’ Management Committee in the California Diet Drug Litigation (Fen-Phen).

The Plaintiffs’ Management Committee in the Alaska Airlines crash litigation and the asbestos creditor’s claimants committee in the bankruptcy proceedings involving USG and W.R. Grace & Co.

A Court appointed member on Executive Committees in Yaz, Fosamax, Actos, and Vioxx.

I tried one of the two California Vioxx cases, the last Dalkon Shield case in the United States, a case in the Welding Rods Litigation, and a class action vs. Bank of America.

In  2010, Federal Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman appointed me lead counsel for retail sales representatives of Hershey and San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer appointed me lead counsel in the Zicam litigation.

  • Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame Inductee 2016 – State Bar of California’s Litigation Section
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year – Consumer Attorneys of California and Nominated on Three Other Occasions
  • National Trial Lawyer of the Year – Nominee, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Honorary Counsel of the Republic of Slovenia
  • American Slovenian Educational Foundation – Chair
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year – 5-Time Nominee – San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • Robert E. Cartwright Award – Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • Top 500 Lawyers in America – Lawdragon
  • Distinguished Alumni of the Year – University of San Francisco

  • American Board of Trial Advocates, (ABOTA), San Francisco Chapter
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Consumer Attorneys of California – Past President
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association – Past President
  • St. Ignatius Legal Society – President
  • Judicial Council Civil Litigation and Small Claims Committee – Appointed by Chief Justice Ronald George
  • Bar Association of San Francisco – Past Director
  • Italian American Bar Association – Member and “Golden Salami” Award Recipient
  • Bar Association of California Judicial Evaluation Committee
  • Bar Association of California Commission for Access to Justice
  • American Association for Justice – Member
  • Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts on the Fair and Efficient Administration of Civil Cases for the Administrative Office of the Court of the Judicial Council of California.

  • San Jose State University
  • University of San Francisco School of Law

  • California
  • All Federal Courts in California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims