We are pleased to announce that Doug Saeltzer and Matthew Davis have been elevated to partner status. Both are skilled advocates who have demonstrated superior litigation skills across a wide variety of case types.
Doug originally joined our firm in 1998, following a distinguished career with the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps. Assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division (based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina), Doug amassed substantial litigation experience in the prosecution of a variety of criminal cases ranging from drug offenses, arson, rape and attempted homicide. While in the military, Doug received the Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a prosecutor.
After joining our firm, Doug assumed responsibility for a case load that included government liability, product liability, medical negligence and premises liability cases. Among the cases he has successfully tried is Brock v. Bonifacio, which involved issues of vehicular negligence. The plaintiff, who suffered degloving injuries to her left arm, as well as multiple fractures and lacerations, was awarded $2,800,000 following a three week trial in San Francisco Superior Court.
Doug most recently obtained a verdict against CalTrans in a dangerous condition of public property case involving the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes at the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. His 6-figure verdict in that case came in the face of a nominal offer.
Doug has also tried medical negligence and premises cases. In addition to his significant trial results, he has also obtained 7-figure settlements for clients injured because of auto defects (including rollovers and crashworthiness), high school and junior high school students paralyzed during school-related activities, and patients who have been the victims of significant medical negligence, including
untimely diagnoses and botched surgeries.
In 2001, Doug received an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at U.C. Hastings College of Law, where he currently teaches a 2-unit class entitled "Personal Injury Litigation." He has also taught on the faculty of the Western Regional Trial Skills Program for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
Born and raised in Sacramento, Doug obtained his undergraduate degree from UCLA, and graduated from Hastings in 1994.
Matthew Davis, who joined our firm in 2001, attended Boston University and obtained his law degree from Hastings in 1989. Matthew practiced in a commercial litigation boutique until 1992, when he was recruited by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office to assist then-City Attorney Louise Renne in the prosecution of the office's Consumer Protection and Government Fraud lawsuits.
While with the City Attorney's Office, Matthew was co-counsel in an action against Bank of America which recovered $1,870,000.
In 1997, he was lead counsel in actions brought by the City against California's largest title insurers, alleging that consumers had been defrauded. Those cases resulted in verdicts and settlements totaling more than $75,000,000.
In 2002, one year after joining our firm, Matthew and John Echeverria successfully concluded a class action case against the Hilton, obtaining compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $25,000,000 from a jury. The action, brought on behalf of more than 1,000 Hilton guests, obtained damages for the casino's violation of state sanitation laws and illnesses produced as a result.
In 2003, together with Rich Schoenberger, Matthew obtained a 7-figure verdict in San Joaquin County on behalf of a client whose back was fractured.
In 2005, he concluded settlements in two different wrongful death actions, each in excess of $2,500,000. Matthew has also been active in pro bono matters, most recently representing a group of concerned citizens in a threatened taxpayer action against the City and County of San Francisco to compel the City to follow through on pledges for the reconstruction of Laguna Honda Hospital.
Matthew currently manages the firm's class action litigation and is involved in the nationwide litigation of Vioxx claims. His area of expertise includes government liability, premises and construction site injuries, business torts and medical negligence.
We congratulate Doug and Matthew on their elevation to partner status, and look forward to their future success on behalf of the firm's clients.