Professional Liability Defense

View alphabetical listings of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek attorneys practicing in Professional Liability Defense below:

Gerald L. McMahon Chairman of the Firm & Litigation Department Chair

Mr. McMahon is chairman of the board and head of the firm’s Litigation Department. Mr. McMahon’s practice emphasizes civil litigation. He has tried in excess of 100 cases before juries, judges, arbitration panels and administrative law judges.

The more than 100 cases he has tried include matters in the disparate areas of anti-competitive practices, family law, construction, corporations, eminent domain, employment, insurance, intellectual property, limited liability companies, partnerships, personal injury, planning and zoning, products-liability, professional malpractice, real estate, and securities, among others.

Education

Mr. McMahon received his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Southern California in 1956, and was awarded Order of the Palm as the outstanding graduating senior. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1964, where he was the Notes Editor of the San Diego Law Review. While attending law school, Mr. McMahon was designated the St. Thomas More Scholar for the highest grade-point average in his class, and was named to the Order of the Coif.

Employment Background

Mr. McMahon was a naval aviator and, later, before entering the practice of law, held the position of Chief of Contracts for General Dynamics Corporation’s Centaur Space Vehicle Program.

Representative Matters

  • Represented manufacturer of medical device in patent infringement action against manufacturer of competing device
  • Defended international software maker against putative class action alleging defects in the software
  • Represented national fast-food chain in trade name infringement action
  • Represented national hospital corporation in defense of wrongful termination-of-employment action by several plaintiffs alleging dismissals in violation of public policy
  • Represented national chain of warehouse clubs in defense of anti-competitive practice claims by former supplier and in defense of a securities class action brought by shareholders
  • Defended law firm that had rendered tax opinion for a tax-shelter offering against investors’ claims
  • Represented developer of 340-unit condominium in defending against class action brought by homeowners
  • Represented religious leader before a jury of 550 of his peers
  • Represented building owner in construction-defects action against architect, general contractor and subcontractors
  • Represented national manufacturing corporation in defending class action brought by its California franchisees
  • Represented corporate majority shareholder in action against minority shareholder for usurpation of corporate opportunity
  • Represented spouse of principal in money management firm in dissolution-of-marriage proceeding
  • Arbitrated, before a tribunal of the International Court of Arbitration, royalty-sharing issues between holder of wireless telephone technology patent and an agency of a foreign government
  • Represented national trader of electric energy in putative class actions alleging unfair competition
  • Co-defense liaison counsel in coordinated California tobacco litigation proceedings
  • Represented several judges in individual matters

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern and Central Districts of California
  • U.S. Claims Court
  • Co-Chair, San Diego County Bar Association Conference on Diversity and Advocacy (1995)
  • University of San Diego School of Law (Chairman, Board of Visitors, 1980, 1996-1998)
  • Chairman, Drafting Committee, San Diego Civil Settlement and Trial Manual (1978)
  • Judge Pro Tem, San Diego Superior Court (1978 to date)
  • Member of the American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators
  • Judicial Arbitrators Committee, San Diego Superior Court (Arbitrator and Member, 1979 to date)
  • Chairman, Drafting Committee, San Diego Civil Settlement and Trial Manual (1978)
  • California State Bar District No. 9 (Disciplinary Referee Pro Tem, 1976-1978)
  • Adjunct professor of law and Assistant Director, Staff of Trial Techniques Course, University of San Diego School of Law (1969-1972)
  • Barristers (Member, Board of Directors, 1969-1970)
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter (Master Barrister)
  • San Diego Inns of Court, Inc.
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Vice President and Director, 1974-1977)
  • State Bar of California (Litigation and Family Law Sections)
  • American Judicature Society
  • Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity

Community Affiliations

  • Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (former Member, Board of Trustees)

Publication & Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association Masters of Advocacy Seminars (1986, 1989, 1991)
  • Speaker, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association, “Keys to Victory at Trial (or Some Good Excuses if You Lose)” (1989)
  • Demonstrator, American Board of Trial Advocates/San Diego County Bar Association seminar “Trial of a Sexual Harassment Case” (1992)
  • Demonstrator, State Bar of California Convention, “Comparative Cross Examination” (1993)
  • Demonstrator, U.S. Department of Justice United States Attorney’s Advocacy Institute, “Cross-Examination” (1994)
  • Speaker, The Rutter Group, “Punitive Damages, Preparation & Trial” (1996)
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Creating and Implementing a Discovery Plan”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Civil Discovery”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “How to Make the Law of Evidence Work for You”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Law and Motion Practice”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “How to Prepare for Trial”
  • Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar program, “Effective Jury Voir Dire”
  • Panelist, California Association of Business Trial Lawyers Seminar (2001)
  • Founding Director, lecturer, demonstrator and workshop leader for San Diego Inns of Court, an Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Lecturer at California Western Law School on the use of expert witnesses and the art of taking a deposition

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Designated as Distinguished Alumnus, University of San Diego School of Law (1976 and 1980)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, San Diego Chapter (President, 1981)
  • Recipient of Daniel T. Broderick, III Memorial Award, bestowed by representatives of the San Diego Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Association, Defense Counsel Association and Bar Association, upon “an attorney with substantial litigation experience who epitomizes the principles of civility, integrity and professionalism” (1991)
  • Best Lawyers in America in Business Litigation, Family Law and “Bet-the-Company” Litigation categories (1988-current)
  • Named as one of three lawyers for 2010 in Southern California, based upon their particularly high level of peer recognition
  • University of San Diego School of Law, 2010 Hughes Career Achievement Award
  • San Diego Super Lawyers – 2014, 2015 (Business Litigation)
  • Named as one of the “10 Best” Attorneys in California by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (2015)

 

Andrea N. Myers Shareholder

Ms. Myers is a shareholder with the firm.  She has litigated in state and federal courts on a wide variety of issues at both the trial and appellate levels.  Her practice emphasizes complex business and commercial litigation, with particular concentration on real property, professional liability, and employment disputes.

Education

Ms. Myers received her B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College in 2003, and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2008. While in law school Ms. Myers received multiple honors in legal research and writing, and the award for excellence in oral advocacy. She was also the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Law of the American Democracy.

Employment Background

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Ms. Myers worked as an analyst for Mercer Consulting. Ms. Myers was a summer associate at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek in 2007.

Representative Matters

  • Defended several firms in complex malpractice, fraud and conversion cases involving issues of professional responsibility, privileges, and attorney duties
  • Represented an international corporation in a commercial contract dispute through trial and obtained a successful defense verdict
  • Represented a developer against a large international corporation in a commercial real property dispute through the first phase of trial and obtained a successful settlement
  • Defended a corporate tenant in a commercial lease dispute through the first phase of trial and obtained a successful settlement
  • Represented various clients from Fortune 500 companies to local companies in complex business disputes through trial and arbitration
  • Defended a national retailer in a consumer protection action involving Federal and State Fair Debt Collection Practices and obtained a defense verdict after jury trial and an award of punitive damages on a cross-complaint
  • Represented several local developers, business owners, individuals, and lending institutions in various real property litigation matters ranging from landlord / tenant disputes, title disputes, mechanic’s lien matters, and commercial unlawful detainers
  • Represented financial institutions, business owners, and individuals in judicial and non-judicial actions
  • Defended guaranty enforcement actions and proceedings
  • Defended various local and international law firms in professional malpractice and malicious prosecution claims
  • Defended a national corporation against wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation and fraud claims
  • Defended an international company against sexual harassment claims
  • Defended an international retailer against wage and hour claims
  • Counseled an international wholesaler in general labor relations matters
  • Represented various trustees and beneficiaries in trusts disputes and probate litigation

Appellate Opinions

  • Duke Gerstel Shearer, LLP v. Pursiano (2016) 2016 WL 7322452
  • Estate of Blevins (2016) 2016 WL 1291882
  • Safari Associates v. Superior Court (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 1400
  • Duke Gerstel Shearer, LLP v. Pursiano (2012) 2012 WL 471202

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Board of Governors & Executive Committee
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter, Barrister
  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Community Affiliations

  • Urban Discovery Academy Board of Trustees
  • San Diego Bowl Game Association Red Coat
  • Junior League of San Diego
  • The Bishop’s School Alumni Association
  • Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association San Diego Chapter Leader

Professional Awards & Honors

  • 2017 Top 40 Under 40, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2015-2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star (Business Litigation), Super Lawyers
  • 2016 Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) Award Honoree, YWCA
  • 2014 Top Young Attorney, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2014 Young Influential, San Diego Daily Transcript
  • 2014 “Law and Junior League Cast a Spell Over Andrea Nelson Myers,” La Jolla Light
  • 2013 Woman Who Moves the City, San Diego Magazine
  • 2013 Woman of the Year, San Diego Magazine
  • 2013 Top Young Attorney, San Diego Daily Transcript

Reginald A. (Reg) Vitek Shareholder

Mr. Vitek practices in the area of complex business litigation.  He also has considerable experience in defense of professional liability claims against lawyers and is certified by the State Bar of California as a Legal Malpractice specialist.

Education

Mr. Vitek received his B.A. from San Diego State College in 1964. He earned his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1967.

Representative Matters

  • Represented several former officers and directors of failed banks in defense of litigation prosecuted by the FDIC and RTC
  • Represented several banks and financial institutions in defense of lender liability cases
  • Represented several law firms and individual attorneys, through trial, in defense of professional malpractice claims
  • Represented several Japanese-owned entities in resolution of problem investments in California and Arizona properties—including the obtaining of a defense jury verdict in favor of two Japanese-owned corporations against a $30 million claim of fraud and breach of contract
  • Represented several companies in cases involving claims of trade secret misappropriation
  • Represented many Superior Court judges in proceedings before the Commission on Judicial Performance
  • Represented San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (“SDCERS”) in a multitude of civil lawsuits and governmental investigations arising out of San Diego’s pension under-funding crisis
  • Represented military defense contractors in diverse civil lawsuits involving claims such as trade secret misappropriation, defects in military combat aircraft and bribery in the military procurement process
  • Served as lead counsel for a national professional organization in defense of an anti-trust suit involving the right of a professional medical specialty society to regulate advertising and promotion by its members
  • Represented a national bank in the prosecution and trial of a civil RICO claim in U.S. District Court arising out of judicial corruption in another court system
  • In one of the longest civil jury trials in San Diego history (six months), successfully defended a major aircraft manufacturer against charges that the ventilation system in hundreds of commercial airliners was defectively designed so as to permit the accumulation of toxic gases in the cockpit
  • Served as lead trial counsel for a group of plaintiffs in a Warsaw Convention case tried in U.S. District Court in New York arising out of the terrorist hijacking of Pan American Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • Admitted in several U.S. District Courts throughout the country
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Certified Specialist-Legal Malpractice, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter (Founding Member of the Board of Governors)
  • ABA Committee on Commercial Litigation, Litigation Section (Former Co-Chair)
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh San Diego Chapter (Master, Member of Executive Board)
  • Founding member of California State Bar Legal Malpractice Advisory Commission

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Panel member on California Continuing Education seminar on “Suits Against Business Entities”
  • Panel member on ABA/PLI seminar on “Competence in the Law Firm”
  • Panel member on Professional Liability Underwriting Society seminar on professional liability
  • Lecturer for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Participant in several ABTL trial demonstrations
  • Panel member in several ABA National Legal Malpractice Conferences

Professional Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Listed, since 1995, in The Best Lawyers in America specializing in Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation
  • Listed in Super Lawyers since 2007, including as one of San Diego’s top 50 lawyers (2008-2016) and as one of San Diego’s top 10 attorneys (2009-2010)