Our mission is to provide
competent, creative and honest legal counsel, service and
advocacy to our clients. We will ethically, diligently and
efficiently represent our clients, striving to provide the best outcome
PETE E. ALMEIDA was admitted to the California bar
in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from Chapman
University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University in
Mr. Almeida began his career specializing in premises liability,
automobile accidents, insurance bad faith, attorney malpractice,
property and third party subrogation. His reputation in the legal
community led to his speaking extensively throughout Southern
California about third party subrogation.
In 1997, Mr. Almeida joined the firm of Tobin & Louie. Mr. Almeida
was made a partner within six months and upon Mr. Tobin’s departure in
2000, the firm was renamed to Louie, Almeida & Stettler. In 2000,
Mr. Almeida was named the managing partner. The firm grew from 10
attorneys in 2000 to 29 attorneys and 3 offices by 2004.
Mr. Almeida’s focus throughout his career has been to separate cases
into those that should be taken to trial and those that should be
pushed to a successful, early resolution. He is comfortable with
complex medical and legal issues having handled cases involving
hematological, neurological (including massive brain trauma),
orthopedic and psychiatric/psychological issues. As a result of Mr.
Almeida’s expertise he has been able to confront opposing counsel with
hard facts while refuting grossly inflated injury claims resulting in
fair reasonable settlements or “take nothings” from the WCAB. Mr.
Almeida has successfully settled workers’ compensation matters that
included a resolution of the employees other civil claim resulting in
untold savings to the employer.
PETER CROSSIN brings a unique and practical
perspective to his practice of law with a considerable background in
litigating civil matters on both sides of the Plaintiffs’ and Defense
Bar. A New Jersey native, Peter earned his BA degree in Political
Science from the University of South Carolina and his JD from the
Whittier College School of Law. Prior to entering law school Mr.
Crossin worked several years trading municipal bonds on Wall Street at
the brokerage firm Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc.
Mr. Crossin has held lead positions on the Plaintiffs’ Steering
Committees for the California In Re Intraocular Lens and Latex Glove
coordinated litigations and has represented defendants in the In Re
Welding Rod coordinated litigation. Mr. Crossin has prosecuted and
defended a myriad of cases involving toxic torts, catastrophic injury,
warranty claims, product liability, premises liability (with a
particular emphasis in premises security litigation), construction
defect, and contract disputes. He has arbitrated and mediated hundreds
of cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.
Mr. Crossin has extensive brief and law and motion writing and oral
argument experience. He has had articles published in legal periodicals
and seminar and convention syllabuses. Along with his trial court oral
argument experience, he has argued cases successfully before the
California Court of Appeal.
CYRIL CZAJKOWSKYJ joined Veatch Carlson in 2001,
bringing his extensive experience in all phases of civil litigation. He
was a principal with Knapp, Peterson & Clark, for more than 16
years, specializing in insurance defense, products liability,
professional malpractice, employment termination, business litigation,
libel, insurance bad faith and civil rights litigation.
Mr. Czajkowskyj's experience includes jury and bench trials and
appellate litigation. Reported appellate opinions include Reid v. State
Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 557 [218
Cal.Rptr. 913], National Metal & Steel Corp. v. Colby Crane &
Manufacturing Co. (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 1111 [246 Cal.Rptr. 435],
Robertson v. Chen (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1290 [52 Cal.Rptr.2d 264], and
Melikian v. Aquila, Ltd. (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1364 [74 Cal.Rptr.2d
He joined the California State Bar in 1978. He is also admitted to
practice in the United States District Court, Central and Northern
Districts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. After
obtaining his B.A. from Northwestern University, he earned his M.A.
degree from the University of Chicago, and his J.D. from the University
of San Francisco.
JAMES C. GALLOWAY, JR. was admitted to the
California Bar in 1970 and to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. He
received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1964 from the University of
Southern California and his Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern
University in 1969. He has served as the Firm's Managing Partner, and
currently is a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Galloway maintains an extremely active litigation and trial
calendar specializing in the defense of professional liability matters
including dental, medical and real estate, multi-party construction
defect matters, product liability, auto and governmental tort actions.
His keen sense of the issues and incisive analysis has earned him the
reputation as an aggressive no-nonsense litigator.
Upon entering the legal profession, Mr. Galloway served with house
counsel at Farmers Insurance Group before joining the Firm. Since 1980
he has volunteered as a Judge Pro Tem on the Los Angeles Municipal
Court and is active as an Arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court
Arbitration Panel. Additionally, he is a member of the National Panel
of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association and a Diplomat
of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Mr. Galloway has
participated as a member in the Los Angeles County and American Bar
Associations, the American Judicature Society and the Association of
Southern California Defense Counsel. He has been admitted to practice
before the U.S. Supreme Court since 1977.
WILLIAM J GLAZER received his B.A. in history and
theater arts from U.C.L.A. In 1972. After graduating with honors from
Loyola University School of Law in 1975, Mr. Glazer went to work as a
Deputy Attorney General for four years handling all types of civil
liability and condemnation matters for the State of California, its
agencies and employees. He was a member of two Attorney General Task
Forces regarding tort reform and governmental liability, both of which
proposed and implemented legislation. He subsequently took a position
with an insurance company as senior trial counsel where he handled all
manner of large exposure cases. It was there that Mr. Glazer first
became involved in the development of a program specifically aimed at
the deterrence of fraudulent claims.
Mr. Glazer joined a larger, well-known west side defense firm in 1982
and became a partner in 1985. He was one of the two senior partners in
charge of the casualty coverage and litigation unit. He handled myriad
insurance and defense matters, including first and third party
coverage, auto and trucking cases, declaratory relief actions, suspect
and fraudulent claims (property and casualty), multiparty, serious
injury and high exposure cases, premises liability and products
liability from inception through trial and appeal.
Mr. Glazer subsequently opted to work in a smaller firm environment and
specialized in product liability and toxic tort defense with two firms
before reuniting with Mr. Weinstein, with whom he attended law school
and served in the Attorney General’s Office, at Veatch Carlson.
Mr. Glazer is a member of the California state and federal bars and was
admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980. He
currently serves as a Special Master for the Los Angeles County
Superior Court, is a member of the Defense Research Institute (serving
on the Product Liability Committee), the Los Angeles County Bar
Association and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
and a former member of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance
Practice Section. He lives in Calabasas with his wife, Rea, and has two
KEVIN R. LUSSIER was admitted to the
California bar in 1989. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree (with
High Honors) in Political Science from the California State University,
Fullerton in 1986, and a Juris Doctor from the University of
California, Davis in 1989.
Mr. Lussier is the Director of
the Firm’s Intellectual Property Department. A civil litigator with
deep experience across all categories of business disputes, his
practice primarily focuses on intellectual property litigation,
including trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition,
false advertising, misappropriation of trade secrets, and commercial
disparagement. Mr. Lussier also has represented Fortune 500 companies
in many types of complex litigation, including employment, antitrust,
product liability, environmental, and contractual disputes. In addition
to representing clients in trial courts, Mr. Lussier is an experienced
appellate lawyer, having obtained victories for clients in the
California Court of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit.
Mr. Lussier joined Veatch Carlson
in 2014. He spent the first 10 years of his career in the litigation
department of the international firm of Jones Day. Subsequently, Mr.
Lussier became a name principal in the Los Angeles boutique litigation
firm of Berry & Lussier, APC, where he practiced all manner of
business litigation for 14 years.
Mr. Lussier resides in South
Pasadena with his wife Andrea and has two daughters. In addition to
being involved in community activities, Mr. Lussier serves as a Trustee
of the Pasadena Methodist Foundation.
MARK M. RUDY received a Bachelor of Arts degree in
History from the University of Santa Clara where he was a four-year
member of the University Honors Program. He received his Juris
Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in
May 1986. He served as Associate Articles Editor of the Hastings
International and Comparative Law Review in 1985 - 1986. He is a member
of the American Bar Association; the Association of Southern California
Defense Counsel; and the Southern California Association of Healthcare
He joined Veatch Carlson after admission to the Bar in December of
1986. Since that time, Mark has practiced primarily in the area of
medical and dental malpractice defense. During his tenure with the
firm, Mark has tenaciously litigated a multitude of complex matters in
the medical malpractice arena.
Mr. Rudy has tried cases to verdict involving claims of death, birth
injury, and permanent neurological damage in matters alleging medical
malpractice. Favorable trial results have been achieved for insureds of
various insurance companies including Truck Insurance Exchange, Shand
Morahan & Co., Caliber One Indemnity Co. and Southern California
Physicians Insurance Exchange. Mr. Rudy has also handled cases
involving allegations of sexual harassment/battery against healthcare
providers. He has additional trial experience in the areas of premises
liability and motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Rudy has presented lectures
on the medical-legal aspects of nursing at several Los Angeles-area
BRUCE L. SCHECHTER having joined the firm in 2010,
has over 25 years of trial experience, and is a proud member of the
American Board of Trial Advocates. He has established himself as a
trusted defense attorney with litigation cases ranging from wrongful
death to product liability and personal injury. Mr. Schechter has a
track record of successes which make him the lawyer of choice for
clients requiring an aggressive defense for catastrophic injury claims.
His success rate in effectively defending clients in jury trials, where
damages sought exceeded eight figure sums, has earned him the
prestigious AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest
that can be achieved. Mr. Schechter’s ability to consistently win
defense verdicts has saved his clients well over $1 billion in damage
claims. Many corporations, insurance carriers and business owners turn
to this expert defense counselor when faced with high expense cases.
His proven method of detailed preparation and tenacious defense gives
him an advantage when protecting his client’s rights.
In addition to the courtroom, Mr. Schechter also uses his specialized
skills in the classroom. Since 2008, he has been helping to expand the
horizons of countless young law students as an Adjunct Professor of Law
at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California.
Mr. Schechter graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors
of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Business
Administration. He earned his Juris Doctor from the California Western
School of Law. He has been a member of the State Bar of California
since 1981 and a member of the State Bar of Utah for almost 25 years.
MARK A. WEINSTEIN received his Bachelor's degree
(cum laude) at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1972 and
his Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from Loyola Marymount University School
of Law in 1975. After remaining on the Dean's List throughout law
school and earning entry into the Saint Thomas Moore Law Society, he
was admitted to the California Bar in 1975. A member of the Los Angeles
County Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates
(ABOTA), Mr. Weinstein serves as an Arbitrator for the Los Angeles
County Superior Court in the field of personal injury.
Mr. Weinstein came to the firm in 1986 from the Office of the
California Attorney General. During nine years of practice he was
promoted to the highest rank of Deputy Attorney General IV. Mr.
Weinstein practiced in the Tort and Condemnation section, representing
various state agencies such as the Department of Corrections,
California Highway Patrol, Department of Mental Health, Department of
Parks and Recreation, and the Department of Insurance. He had full
responsibility for multi-party complex litigation including Newman v.
Stringfellow, where over 5,000 plaintiffs sued the State and others for
damages allegedly resulting from toxic materials deposited at the
Stringfellow disposal site in Riverside County; and Sinaloa Homeowners
Association v. State of California, an inverse condemnation action
filed in Federal Court because of the Department of Water Resources
decision to breach a privately owned dam causing property damage to 40
His most recent high-profile civil rights trial, a federal police
misconduct action, was successful on appeal--and that is no surprise.
In Allen v. Singer, Mark defended before the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals the CHP officer who pulled over Rodney King's white Hyundai on
the night of his arrest. This case represented a successful conclusion
to the civil rights challenges of King and his passengers.
Over the years, Mr. Weinstein has established himself as a preeminent
authority in public entity defense with an array of government tort
cases, resulting in over 20 published appeals that have, in some
circumstances, virtually redefined the scope of public entity liability.
In addition to Allen v. Singer, et al., Mr. Weinstein has to his credit
published opinions such as Clemente v. State of California; Chevlin v.
Los Angeles Community College District; Kuykendall v. State; State of
California v. Meyer; Truong v. James; Guess v. State of California; and
Leader v. State, in which Mr. Weinstein persuaded the Court of Appeals
to revise the law of collateral estoppel. Mark's meticulous handling of
the Leader case at trial laid the groundwork for appeal, furnishing the
appellate court with a sound legal and factual basis for changing the
Mr. Weinstein’s trial and appellate work in another case, Hacker v.
City of Glendale, was instrumental in focusing the development of the
defense of primary assumption of the risk. Mr. Weinstein's ability to
litigate complex and sensitive tort cases has also earned him a
reputation in the areas of negligent security, foster care liability,
harassment, discrimination, and other similar high-exposure cases. As
one of the Firm's primary trial attorneys, his practice also includes
medical malpractice defense, truck accidents, construction disputes,
products liability, and intellectual property. Mr. Weinstein also heads
the Firm's appellate practice group.
Recently Mr. Weinstein served as co-instructor of several courses
including C.E.B.'s "How to Handle a Government Tort Liability Claim,"
and a series of classes presented by Veatch Carlson on basic
investigation and litigation techniques.
DAVID A. AUSTIN was admitted to the State Bar of
California in 2009. He attended law school at McGeorge School of Law,
receiving a Juris Doctorate degree in 2009. He attended the University
of California Riverside where he received a bachelor’s degree in
History/Business Administration in 2004.
While in law school Mr. Austin participated in several internships,
including internships with the McGeorge immigration clinic, the
Stanislaus County Public Defender’s Office, and the California
Department of Insurance. After law school Mr. Austin began practicing
insurance defense at a small sized firm in the Inland Empire before
making the move to Veatch Carlson in 2011. He currently practices in
the law and motion department.
BERNHARD E. BIHR is a 1969 graduate of California
State, Los Angeles, and a 1973 graduate of Loyola Law School.
Since his admittance to the California Bar, Mr. Bihr has specialized in
insurance defense law, focusing primarily in the areas of construction
defect litigation, toxic torts, products liability, real estate errors
and omissions and legal malpractice. Mr. Bihr has tried well over
twenty Superior Court jury trials and has been a court appointed
arbitrator having heard over 200 cases.
He has served as the managing attorney for the Los Angeles staff
counsel office of The Home Insurance Company. While in that capacity,
Mr. Bihr was actively involved in law firm audits throughout the
Western United States.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bihr's focus in defense litigation has been
the successful, early resolution of matters in an effort to achieve
favorable results for his clients in the most expeditious and economic
ROSE L. CARTER graduated from Western State
University of Law in 1997. Ms. Carter is admitted to practice before
all the California Courts and the United States District Court, Central
District of California.
Ms Carter brings a unique background to the firm. Before entering the
practice of law, she graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College of
Nursing. Ms. Carter worked in primarily teaching hospitals for many
years, in a variety of settings including Emergency Room, Pediatrics,
After graduating from law school, Ms. Carter brought her nursing
background to a well known Los Angeles area medical malpractice defense
firm, where she worked for 10 years handling the defense of physicians
and public entity hospitals.
Ms. Carter’s practice emphasis at Veatch Carlson is general civil
defense litigation, with an emphasis on public transit defense.
DEAN L. CHALAMIDAS graduated with a Bachelor of
Arts degree in English Literature from California State University, at
Long Beach. After graduation, he operated several large legal support
companies. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Western State
University College of Law in December of 1998.
Mr. Chalamidas has practiced insurance defense litigation, emphasizing
in Special Investigation Unit claims for several large insurance
carriers. Mr. Chalamidas also specialized in handling Examinations
Under Oath for fraudulent claims against insurance carriers as well as
Small Claim Appeals. He has acted as Corporate Counsel for large
homeowner’s associations and practiced Real Estate Law and
transactional law. He has experience in debtor-creditor law wherein he
has obtained numerous large judgments against debtors. He is licensed
to practice before all courts in the State of California, as well as
the United States District Court, Central District of California.
Mr. Chalamidas has ten years experience in all phases of litigation,
including personal injury, motor vehicle negligence, premises
liability, construction defect and general liability claims. He has
considerable courtroom and deposition skills and ADR experience,
including jury trials and bench trials. He has successfully arbitrated
and mediated hundreds of civil cases on behalf of defendants.
DAVID DEMSHKI obtained a bachelor ‘s degree with
majors in political science and economics from Claremont Mckenna
College (cum laude) in 1982. After a varied career in government that
included positions as a Scholar at the Hoover Institute studying anti
terrorism and several positions with the California State Senate and
Assembly, where he was among other things the Senate’s Principal
Consultant regarding Workers’ Compensation legislation, Mr. Demshki
found himself graduating from Hastings College of the Law in 1994.
Mr. Demshki has practiced Workers Compensation law exclusively since
2002. He was an associate with the firm of Gray and Prouty until 2007.
After a period as house counsel for Liberty Mutual, he came to Veatch
Carlson in 2010. In his career he has developed a reputation for
effective evaluation of medical issues and cross examination of
physicians. He also has a high rate of success in appellate practice
before both the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and the California
Court of Appeal.
BRETT C. DROUET received his Bachelor of Arts from
Cal State University of Los Angeles in 1994 and his Juris Doctor in
1997 from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Mr. Drouet’s
focus throughout his career has been to separate cases into those that
should be taken to trial and those that should be pushed to a
successful, early resolution. His knowledge and skills with complex
medical and legal issues have proved invaluable in handling cases from
catastrophic injuries to the mundane.
Brett’s focus is defending claims for catastrophic injuries and
wrongful death actions arising from product liability, automobile
negligence, motorcycle and pedestrian negligence, slip and falls,
premise liability, and assault and battery. From personal injury, to
product liability, he has either won decisive verdicts in his client's
favor, or negotiated settlements at small fractions of the original
He has worked as a trial attorney for over 15 years. In addition, he
has successfully arbitrated and mediated hundreds of civil cases. He is
admitted to practice in U.S. Central District Court and all of the
California state courts.
GREGG A. FOWLER graduated from the Colorado State
University of Fort Collins in 1996, received multiple degrees and
thereafter completed his Juris Doctorate degree at the University of
Quinnipiac, in 1999.
He began his practice litigating serious personal injury cases on
behalf of plaintiffs and criminal cases on behalf of defendants, in
both State and Federal Courts. He holds licenses in New York and
California. He has worked as a litigation attorney for the defense law
firm of Early, Maslach & Rudnicki, where he handled high exposure
cases. In addition, he has successfully arbitrated and mediated
hundreds of civil cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.
His current focus is litigation in the following areas: worker’s
compensation, labor law and civil litigation. He has handled cases
which have included, worker’s compensation, automobile negligence,
motorcycle and pedestrian negligence, slip and falls, premise
liability, employment, products liability, assault and battery,
malpractice, civil rights, fraud, libel/slander, property loss,
landlord tenant, employment and wrongful death.
GINA GENATEMPO was admitted to the California bar in
2000. She received her Juris Doctorate degree cum laude in 2000 from
Chapman University School of Law where she was honored as a member of
the law review, and received multiple honors for top academic
achievements in contracts, torts, criminal procedure, and bankruptcy.
She has a 1989 B.A. in Journalism from Pepperdine University where she
was a news editor for the award-winning school newspaper, and
contributed to the university’s 50th Anniversary publication.
Having worked with reputable plaintiffs’ litigation firms in other
roles prior to law school, including for a former Orange County
Superior Court judge, Ms. Genatempo applied her research and litigation
skills to practicing law on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in
all facets of civil litigation, including personal injury, business
litigation, contractual disputes, and risk management. Her appellate
work includes an appellate decision which precipitated a change to the
procedure for statutory offers to compromise in Bias v. Wright (2002).
In 2003, Ms. Genatempo focused on bad faith insurance defense when she
joined the firm of Hollins Schechter and defended insurance carriers
including Farmers Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange. Her
successful law and motion work resulted in another appellate decision
to defeat claims on multiple insurance policies, Davis v. Farmers
Insurance Group (2005).
Genatempo joined Veatch Carlson in 2009 as an associate specializing in
law and motion. Her work continues to assist trial attorneys to
strategically position complex cases for resolution and trial.
S MARTIN KELETI received his Bachelor’s degree from
the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Juris Doctor degree
from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. In addition
to his admission to practice in all the courts of the State of
California, he is a member of the bar of the Court of Appeals of the
District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California, the U.S. District Court of the Northern
District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the
U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Keleti has concentrated in the areas of intellectual property law
and entertainment law, bringing his expertise in these fields to the
Firm’s growing practice in such areas as copyright, trademark, unfair
competition, false advertising, anticybersquatting, trade secret, trade
libel, injurious falsehood, defamation, and intentional and negligent
interference with contract or prospective business advantage. He also
has practiced in a broad spectrum of other legal fields, with cases as
in such diverse areas as real estate, civil rights, family law, estate
planning and probate. He has experience representing both plaintiffs
and defendants. An experienced litigator, he has handled cases from
pleadings through discovery to trial or alternative dispute resolution,
as well as appeals in state and federal courts all the way to the U.S.
Supreme Court. Several published opinions come from cases he has
handled. In addition to appearing in state and federal courts, he has
appeared before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the
California Labor Commissioner. His work on behalf of applicants for
trademark registrations has taken him to the Trademark Trial and Appeal
Mr. Keleti enjoys teaching as well as practicing law. He has taught
International Copyright Law at Whittier Law School, and has lectured on
copyright and other intellectual property doctrines at UCLA Extension,
the Association of Independent Music Publishers, the National
Conference of Law Reviews, and Trebas Institute. He also has served as
an expert witness in the area of attorney fee applications.
He is a member of several bar associations which reflect his
professional interests and many of the geographical areas in which he
has practiced, including the Los Angeles Copyright Society. His pro
bono activities in the legal community have included serving as a judge
for the National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition, a panel
attorney for California Lawyers for the Arts, and volunteer attorney
for the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s AIDS Legal Service Project.
ROBERT T. MACKEY graduated from the State
University of New York in 1996 and thereafter completed his Juris
Doctorate degree at the University of Quinnipiac, formerly the
Bridgeport Connecticut School of Law, in 1999.
While in Law School, he argued misdemeanor trials while interning with
the Connecticut District Attorney’s office in New Haven. In addition,
he captained his Mock Trial Team, which competed on a national level.
He began his practice, litigating serious personal injury cases on
behalf of plaintiffs and criminal cases on behalf of defendants, in
both State and Federal Courts. He holds licenses in New York,
Connecticut and California. He has worked as a trial attorney for the
defense law firm of Early, Maslach & Rudnicki, where he tried over
20 jury trials, procuring 18 consecutive defense verdicts. In addition,
he has successfully arbitrated and mediated hundreds of civil cases on
behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.
His current focus is jury trials and his cases have included automobile
negligence, motorcycle and pedestrian negligence, slip and falls,
premise liability, employment, products liability, assault and battery,
malpractice, civil rights, fraud, libel/slander, property loss,
landlord tenant, employment and wrongful death.
SCOTT S. MIZEN graduated from the University of
Illinois in 1987 and earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Pepperdine
University School of Law in 1990. Mr. Mizen is admitted to practice
before all the California Courts and the United States District Court,
Southern District of California. He is also a member of the Southern
California Association of Defense Counsel and the Orange County Bar
Mr. Mizen has practiced general civil defense litigation, emphasizing
construction defect and personal injury matters for more than a decade.
His primary specialty at Veatch Carlson is personal injury and property
damage defense. He is a seasoned litigator with numerous trials to his
ROBERT J. RICE is a 1984 graduate of University of
Utah and 1987 graduate of McGeorge School of Law, University of the
Pacific. Mr. Rice is admitted to practice before all California State
Courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and all districts of the
United States Federal Courts in California.
Mr. Rice has substantial trial experience as a defense attorney
including all phases of civil litigation in representation of surety
companies, contractors, builders, home owner associations, landlords,
and business owners. Mr. Rice has extensive arbitration, mediation, and
trial experience in complex litigation throughout California
STEVE C. ROBINSON has demonstrated professional and
unyielding representation of his clients for over 20 years. In case
after case, he has consistently shown his ability to find the heart of
a matter and bring unassailable defense arguments to bear in order to
assert his client's rights.
Mr. Robinson has successfully represented clients in a wide cross
section of defense issues. From personal injury, to product liability,
to employer defense and employment discrimination, he has either won
decisive verdicts in his client's favor, or negotiated settlements at
small fractions of the original damage claimed. Even in cases involving
claims of wrongful death or grievous bodily harm, Mr. Robinson is
always able to make sure that the facts of a case, and not the
emotional color of the claim, remain the criteria by which the jury's
conscientious deliberation is conducted. Outside of the courtroom, Mr.
Robinson has proven himself to be one of the most articulate litigators
Mr. Robinson graduated from California Southern School of Law in
Riverside, California where he earned both his Bachelor of Arts and
Juris Doctor degrees.
DAVID H. RYAN received a B.A. in political science
from UCLA in 1974, and his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in
1977. While in law school, he published a Note in the Hastings
Constitutional Law Quarterly concerning Freedom of Speech. He was
admitted to the California State Bar in 1977. He practiced law as a
deputy district attorney for two and a half years, and has practiced
civil defense since.
Although he has handled files for about one-half of his legal career,
Mr. Ryan prefers legal research and writing. Over the years, he has
prepared numerous successful demurrers and motions for summary
judgment, leading him to conclude that a successful demurrer or a
motion for summary judgment brings the same satisfaction as a trial
victory. While never hesitant to bring a necessary motion on any issue,
Mr. Ryan has found that many legal disputes can be successfully
resolved amongst the parties through good faith meet and confer efforts
prior to resort to costly and time consuming court intervention.
Mr. Ryan joined Veatch Carlson in early 2012, and is happily a member
of its law and motion team.
KARIE E. SCHRODER received her Juris Doctorate
degree from Loyola LawSchool, Los Angeles in 1988. While earning her
degree, Ms. Schroder received honors in Trial Advocacy, Wills &
Trusts, and Evidence. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the
University of California, Los Angeles in March of 1985.
While attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Ms. Schroder
participated in the Trial Advocacy program following which she received
State Barcertification to practice law under the supervision of a
Deputy District Attorney. Thereafter she was assigned to the juvenile
division of the DA’s office in Compton where she conducted numerous
evidentiary hearings, and tried approximately 32 bench trials.
Ms. Schroder is also very dedicated to her community and has been a
volunteer domestic violence victim’s advocate with a local Police
Department for approximately 15 years.
Ms. Schroder has extensive litigation experience, focusing primarily on
personal injury, premises liability and general negligence matters. Her
primary focus is litigating and defending personal injury cases. She
joined the California State Bar in 1988, and is also admitted to
practice in the United States District Court, Central District of
California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
DANIEL E. SELARZ received his B.A. in Business
Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2009 and
continued on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law
School in 2012, where he earned Dean’s List honors each year. While in
law school, Mr. Selarz served as a staff member of the Southwestern Law
Review and competed on behalf of the school’s Trial Advocacy Honors
Program, where his team was a finalist in the American Association for
Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition.
Mr. Selarz worked as a law clerk for Veatch Carlson throughout his
final year of law school and, upon being admitted to the California
Bar, began working as an associate in the firm’s Law and Motion
Department in 2012. Prior to joining Veatch Carlson, Mr. Selarz
externed for the Honorable Otis D. Wright II of the United States
District Court, Central District of California and for the Los Angeles
City Attorney’s Complex Litigation Department. Mr. Selarz is admitted
to practice before all the California Courts and the United States
District Court, Central District of California.
KEITH WILEMAN has been AV rated by
Martindale-Hubbell since 1998, and has a quarter of a century of
litigation and trial experience. He has tried jury and bench trials to
victory in both federal and California state trial courts, argued
successfully in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit and the California Court of Appeal, and practiced in the
California Supreme Court, losing only one appeal in his entire career.
Keith has appeared in the Superior Court of the State of California in
a dozen California counties, and each of the federal district courts in
California. He has never lost a jury trial and has only lost one court
trial, for a sum less than the plaintiff’s demand. He has been lead
trial counsel in all but one of his trials, in which case he was
co-lead counsel and gave the opening statement and examined key
witnesses. He has tried short, one-week cases and longer cases lasting
weeks and even months.
The principal focus of Keith’s practice is business litigation and
intellectual property, including extensive defense work in copyright,
trademark and patent cases. His reported cases in copyright and
trademark include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. v. Fireworks
Entertainment Group, Inc., 137 F. Supp. 2d 1177 (C.D. Cal. 2001) and
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. v. Fireworks Entertainment Group,
Inc., 156 F. Supp. 2d 1149 (C.D. Cal. 2001). His intellectual property
clients have included studios, distributors, producers, writers, agents
and photographers, as well as Internet companies and traditional
broadcasters, and manufacturers accused of patent infringement. He has
represented both plaintiffs and defendants in intellectual property
His general business litigation experience includes a wide variety of
matters, including real estate, banking and mortgage issues,
distribution issues, breaches of contract, insurance coverage and bad
faith, and UCC Article 2 cases. His recent published decisions in
business litigation include La Sound, et al. v. St. Paul Travelers Ins.
Co., 156 Cal. App. 4th 1259 (Fourth Dist., Div. 3, 2007, rehearing
denied, review denied), and Firestone v. Hoffman, 140 Cal. App. 4th
1408 (Second Dist. 2006).
Keith’s most recent appellate victory was in a complex real estate
investment scam in which he represents the plaintiff. Upon the trial
court’s denial of a motion for trial setting preference without
prejudice to later renewal, he filed a writ petition which was granted
by way of an extraordinary Palma notice to the trial court, advising it
that the appellate court intended to overturn the trial court’s
decision unless the trial court entered a new and different order
granting the motion, which the trial court of course did.
Earlier in his career, Keith’s practice emphasized the defense of
product liability actions and transportation-related personal injury
and wrongful death litigation. When he first entered practice, Keith
worked exclusively on aviation and aviation insurance coverage cases.
He has defended airlines, manufacturers of fixed wing and helicopter
air frames, manufacturers of reciprocating and turbine aviation power
plants, fixed base operators, pilots and aviation insurers. In Belzer
v. SIAI Marchetti, he successfully represented the defendant aircraft
manufacturer against wrongful death claims. He has also had favorable
experience with the General Aviation Revitalization Act, including the
reported case of Lyon v. Agusta, 252 F. 2d 1078 (9th Cir. 2001).
Outside the aviation context, Keith has represented manufacturers of
automobiles, transmissions, wheels, tires, truck trailers, cranes and
other aerial devices, construction equipment, scaffolds, prescription
drugs and medical devices, chemicals, foods, food processing equipment,
and a wide variety of consumer goods and cosmetics. One prescription
drug/medical device trial victory was Lopez v. Voco, in which he
represented defendants whose products allegedly failed to detect the
presence of tuberculosis in an infant who developed meningitis and
severe brain injuries.
Much of his non-aviation product liability work has involved claims of
injury or death resulting from exposure to various products alleged to
be harmful or carcinogenic, such as organic solvents, petroleum
distillates and their products of combustion, isocyanines, vinyl
chloride compounds, adhesives and their components, volatile organic
compounds in paints, and chemicals used in film development. He has
also represented defendants in inhalation claims involving
asbestos-containing products, metallic and non-metallic particulates,
and smokes or vapors.
He also represented railroads in cases ranging from derailment disaster
litigation to Federal Employers Liability Act and cargo claims. While
engaged in railroad practice, Keith was a longstanding member of the
National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the defense lawyer
association for that industry, for whom he wrote and spoke on trial
technique and alternative dispute resolution, as well as serving as a
CLE program director for that organization.
KRISTINA F. WOO graduated from the University of
California at Los Angeles in 1994 with a degree in Political Science.
Mrs. Woo obtained her law degree from University of San Diego School of
Law in 1999. While in law school, Mrs. Woo clerked for the San Diego
City Attorney’s Office in 1997. In 1998, she clerked for the Office of
the General Counsel for the United States Navy in Washington D.C.
Following law school, Mrs. Woo has practiced in the areas of insurance
defense, medical malpractice business litigation and insurance
coverage. Mrs. Woo started practicing in worker’s compensation defense
in 2002. Since then she has practiced in this field at several
prominent defense firms throughout Southern California. During this
time, she has worked for a variety of clients such as Travelers,
AIG/Chartis Claims, Sedgwick, ESIS, Gallagher Bassett Services,
Broadspire, Liberty Mutual, TRISTAR, YORK, The Hartford, Crum &
Foster, and Zurich North America. Additionally, she has worked for
self-insured clients such as Disney World Wide Services and The 99
Cents Only Stores. Mrs. Woo also has extensive experience working with
the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, and
City of Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Veatch Carlson, Mrs. Woo worked at Manning & Kass,
Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester; Kegel, Tobin and Truce, and most recently
Adelson, Testan, Brundo & Jimenez.