Richard H. Schoenberger
Richard H. Schoenberger
Richard H Schoenberger has enjoyed remarkable success in his thirty-year legal career. His outstanding skills and presence in the courtroom have made him one of the most highly respected trial lawyers in California. At various times he has held or shared the record for the largest verdict in particular case types in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Rich has nine million or multi-million dollar jury verdicts, most recently one for $8.3 million on behalf of a 46 year-old construction hoist operator against an elevator manufacturer. Two of his verdicts have been for substantially greater than $10 million.
In the past 5 years alone, Rich has achieved results, either through verdict or settlement, that total more than $100,000,000, including more than 25 million and multi-million dollar recoveries.
Rich was recently selected as the 2016 Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in the San Francisco area. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year”.
In 2011, he was selected as the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. It was his second nomination for this prestigious award.
For the past six years, Rich has been recognized as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Northern California, as evaluated by Super Lawyers.
He is “AV” peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Rich has been included in the national publication The Best Lawyers in America for the past eleven years and has been a Super Lawyer in Northern California for every year the designation has existed.
Owing to his many achievements in the courtroom, Rich is an invited member of the most prestigious trial lawyer organizations in the country: The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, The American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he recently served as President for the San Francisco Chapter during its 50th Anniversary year. He has recently chaired and presented at various Masters In Trial programs and other programs for ABOTA.
Rich has taught trial advocacy on a national and international level since the early 1990’s. In California, he spent years teaching Advanced Trial Practice as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). He has also served as a faculty member for the Judicial Council of California’s Judicial Studies Program. As a highly rated member of the faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Rich has been invited to teach advocacy at NITA’s rigorous National, Midwestern, Northwestern, Western and Pacific Regional programs as well as for private firms throughout the country. He is program director for NITA’s inaugural Western United States Advanced Trial Program. Rich has also served frequently as a team leader at Emory Law School’s renowned Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program in Atlanta, Georgia.
In June of 2004, The American Bar Association, in concert with the Department of Justice’s Central European Eurasian Law Initiative, invited Rich to the Republic of Georgia where he taught advocacy to 24 selected attorneys whose government had only recently allowed the right to a jury trial. In 2005, he was invited to lead a similar program in Sarajevo. In 2011, he led a trial advocacy program in Belfast for Northern Ireland solicitors.
After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1982, Rich attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He began practice in 1985 as a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted serious felonies. He joined the Walkup office in August of 1987 and became a partner in 1995. With Walkup, he has tried dozens of cases in more than ten counties throughout the state of California.
Rich is experienced in a wide variety of case types including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, workplace accidents, vehicular and bicycle negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, government liability, aviation disasters and wrongful death claims.
In an article printed in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, an opponent was quoted as follows: “Schoenberger is everything that a good plaintiff’s lawyer should be: ethical, professional and smart, and he works hard.”
As for life outside the law, beginning in 2013, and when not in trial, Rich teaches 6th grade English, Math and mock trial at Bridge the Gap, a wonderful Marin City school designed to prepare at risk youths for high school and college.
For years before that, Rich served as CYO Athletic Director at St. Patrick’s in Larkspur and as Minor League Rep for the Twin Cities’ Little League Board of Directors. Rich also used to be found on some field or court, having coached more than 30 of his three kids’ teams over the last decade. Now he just watches silently from the stands in full recognition that each of his kids is finally being coached by someone who knows what he or she is talking about.
Noteworthy Verdicts and Settlements
Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc.
Jury verdict – defective consumer product
Guest v. Hotel Chain
Settlement – Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Liou v. State of California
Jury verdict- dangerous condition of public property
Loh v. County of Alameda
Settlement – bicycle accident
Perry v. Budget
Jury verdict – automobile accident
Hotel worker v. Parking Garage
Settlement – Traumatic Brain Injury
Kammerer v. Alimak Hek AB
Jury verdict – construction accident/product liability
Law Student v. County
Settlement – Dangerous condition of public property
Driver/Passenger v. Chip seal/Paving Company
Settlement during jury selection – Traumatic Brain Injury
Widow v. National Package Delivery
Settlement – truck v. auto collision
Truck Driver v. General Contractor
Work place accident
Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car Company
Settlement – negligent operation of a vehicle
Window Contractor v. Scaffolding Company
Settlement – dangerous workplace
Motorcycle driver v. State Employee
Driver v. Vineyard
Settlement – course and scope of vineyard worker
Minor v. Valley Unified School District
Settlement – negligent school supervision
Receptionist v. Elevator Company
Settlement – premises liability
Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design
Settlement – product liability
Thornburgh v. City of Auburn
Settlement – dangerous condition of public property
Perez v. CCSF
Settlement – public transit liability
Quackenbush v. CSAA
Jury verdict – general negligence
Lown v. Mildenberger
Jury verdict – premises liability
Chu v. Bay Area Community Services
Jury verdict – psychiatric malpractice/premises liability
O’Cain v. Basu
Jury verdict – medical malpractice
Areas of Practice
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Government Liability
- Aviation Disasters
- Wrongful Death Claims
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- California, 1985
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
- Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California – 1982
- Liou v. State of California
- Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc.
- Loh v. County of Alameda
- Perry v. Budget
- Quackenbush v. CSAA
- Lown v. Mildenberger
- O’Cain v. Basu
- Beltram v. City and County of San Francisco
- Chu v. Bay Area Community Services
- Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car Company
- Window Contractor v. Scaffolding Company
- Minor v. Valley Unified School District
- Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design
- Thornburgh v. City of Auburn
- Perez v. CCSF
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
- Faculty Member, Judicial Studies Program, California Judicial Council
- Invited Speaker, Direct Examination, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office
- Member of Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
Honors and Awards
- Presidential Award of Merit, CAOC, 2001
- Nominated Finalist, SFTLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, 2001
Professional Associations and Memberships
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Board Member
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Deputy District Attorney