(510) 832-5411

Experienced Trial Lawyers

Gary Gwilliam

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Gary Gwilliam

Shareholder

Gary Gwilliam is considered one of the best consumer trial attorneys in the state. His reputation and skill in representing seriously injured plaintiffs is well known. He has tried over 180 jury cases, of which more than 150 were personal injury cases. He has handled major cases in every area of consumer law, including serious automobile and construction accidents, products liability, medical malpractice, bad faith insurance, civil rights (including police misconduct), wrongful termination and employment discrimination and harassment, and has recently specialized more in employment law.

His results on behalf of his clients include:

  • A $6.1 million jury verdict for a 29-year-old man who suffered quadriplegic injuries when the roof of his Corvette was crushed in a roll-over accident. This was the largest single injury verdict in Contra Costa County history.
  • A multi-million dollar settlement for 80 plaintiffs in their insurance bad faith suit against their automobile insurance company for failure to pay medical benefits covered by the plaintiffs’ policies.
  • A $5.5 million jury verdict for a 19-year-old man who suffered severe hand injuries caused by a press machine at his place of work. This was the largest hand injury verdict in the United States and the largest single injury verdict in Alameda County history.
  • A $5 million jury verdict for the family of a man who was killed by police officers when he was threatening suicide. This was the largest police shooting misconduct verdict in Northern California history.

Gary is a former president of the Consumer Attorneys of California and was nominated Trial Lawyer of the Year in 1995 and 1996 by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Gary is also a recipient 2001 of the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award for employment law, and the Prestigious Public Justice Champion of Justice Award in 2009. A noted lecturer and motivational speaker, he has conducted seminars and workshops around California and the United States for many years. His ethics seminar, “How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life,” won him a Consumer Attorneys of California Presidential Award in 1994. He is the author of numerous articles on California consumer law and is frequently called upon to serve as an expert witness on the standard of care for lawyers’ conduct. He frequently lectures on the topics of substance abuse, stress reduction, improving the quality of life as well as topics related to his practice.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Consumer Law
  • Serious Motor Vehicle and Construction Accidents
  • Product Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Bad Faith Insurance
  • Civil Rights (Including Police Misconduct)
  • Wrongful Termination and Employment Discrimination and Harassment
  • Premises Liability
  • Whistleblower Claims
  • Employment Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Plaintiffs Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1982
  • Product Liability, Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Consumer Attorneys of California

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1963

Education

  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California
    1. LL.B. – 1962
      Honors: Phi Delta Phi
      Honors: Member, Boalt Hall Moot Court Board, (1961-1962)
      Honors: Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, (1995-1996)

  • Pomona College, Pomona, California, USA
    1. B.A. – 1959
      Major: Psychology

Published Book:

  • Getting a Winning Verdict in My Personal Life: A Trial Lawyer Finds His Soul, Pavior Publishing, July 3, 2007
    1. Qualifies for a California CLE Credit in Substance Abuse

Published Works

  • Lessons from Losing, San Francisco Daily Journal, Verdicts and Settlements Section, Winter, 1999
  • Are Trial Lawyers Becoming Extinct? A Look at Civil Litigation in the Next Millennium, American Board of Trial Advocates, Voir Dire, Winter, 1999
  • An Historical Perspective of Consumer Attorneys of California and Me, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, December, 1999
  • Scott Morris v. Weibel Wineries, Inc. – From Client to Friend, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine, February/March, 2000
  • Peak Performance in Litigation Through Relaxation Techniques, Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company, 1999-2000
  • Techniques for Arguing Damages to a Jury, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine (ATLA), April, 1999
  • The Art of Losing, American Board of Trial Advocates, ATLA, November, 1998
  • The Art of Losing, Trial Magazine (under Reflections), May, 1998
  • The Art of Losing, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, March, 1999
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life (The Soul of a Trial Lawyer), American Board of Trial Advocates, Voir Dire Vol. IV, Issue 4, Fall, 1997
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life (The Soul of a Trial Lawyer), Institute of Noetic Sciences, Connections Magazine, No. 6, January, 1999
  • Go Easy on Yourself, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine (ATLA) Page 84, November, 1998
  • In Memory of Bob Beloud, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, March, 1998
  • A Practical Presentation of the Use of Jury Consultants in Trial Preparation In Trial, (With Karen Jo Koonan), Consumer Attorneys of California, 36th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1997
  • How to Argue a Hand Injury Case, Consumer Attorneys of California, 35th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1996
  • CSAA Made to Pay, Verdict, Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, June, 1995
  • CSAA Made to Pay, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum Magazine, 1995
  • Holistic View of Witness Creditability, National Employment Lawyers Association, June, 1995
  • Punitive Damages in Wrongful Termination Cases, California Trial Lawyers Association, 29th Annual Tahoe Seminar Syllabus, April, 1994
  • Ethics-How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life, California Trial Lawyers Association, 27th & 28th Annual Tahoe Seminars Syllabuses, 1992 and 1993
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, Fiji Law Society Syllabus, July, 1993
  • Arguing Damages: Turning Emotion Into Money, California Trial Lawyers Association Syllabus, December, 1991
  • Power Anticipation, Trial Excellence, Vol. 2, No. 6, June, 1990
  • Power Anticipation, Republished in Top Courtroom Performance
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life, California Trial Lawyers Association, Forum Vol. 20, No. 7, September, 1990
  • Power Anticipation, (Forward to Book by James Scott Bell), Compendium Press, Woodland Hills California, 1994
  • Proposition 51: The Effect of the Abolition of Joint and Several Liability, California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, Vol. XVI, No. 3, April, 1986
  • Dental Malpractice, Who Cares? (Fundamentals of Dental Practice), California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, Vol. XV, No. 3, April, 1985
  • Liens for Medical Expenses in Personal Injury Actions, California Continuing Education of the Bar Program Material, March/April, 1980
  • Personal Injury Liens for Medical Expenses, California Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Vol. L6, #2, 1977
  • Commitment to Justice, The History of the Consumer Attorneys of California, (Editor and Interviewee), 1999

Representative Clients

  • Representing Plaintiffs in Every Aspect of Civil Litigation

Classes/Seminars

  • Stress Management, (How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life), PLI, 2000 – 2002
  • Faculty Member, Hastings College of Trial Advocacy, 1981
  • Frequent Presenter for Attorney Credits, Continuing Education Your Way:
    1. “Ethical Advice from a Trial Lawyer”, CLE Program, May 2014
      “Inebriation, Intervention and Insight: A Trial Lawyer Finds His Soul”, CLE Program, July 2012
Honors and Awards
  • Consumer Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) for Employment, 2001-2002
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1995 – 1996
  • Consumer Attorneys of California Presidential Award, 1994
  • Super Lawyers: 2004 – 2005, 2007 – Present
  • Public Justice, Champion of Justice Award, 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), President, 1988
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), Member, Board of Governors, 1983 – Present
  • Alameda-Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1974 – 1975
  • Alameda-Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1970 – Present
  • Alameda County Lawyers Club, Lawyer of the Year Award, 1986
  • American Arbitration Association, Member, Panel of Arbitrators
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Diplomat, 1976
  • American Association for Justice
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, President, 2003
  • Public Justice (Formerly Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board), Member, Board of Directors, 1996 – Present
  • Public Justice, Executive Committee, 1999
  • Public Justice, Secretary, 2000
  • Public Justice, Vice President, 2002
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), Chairman, Long Range Planning Committee, 1990 – 1994
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Treasurer, 2001
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, President-Elect, 2002 – 2003
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, President, 2003 – 2004

Past Employment Positions

  • Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer, a P.C., Founder and President- 1978- Present
  • Nichols, Williams, Morgan & Digardi, Partner, 1966 – 1978
  • District Attorney’s Office, Ventura County, CA, Chief Trial Deputy, 1962 – 1966
Fraternities/Sororities
  • Phi Delta Phi
  • Kappa Delta