After one year as a trial counsel, his Commander appointed him Senior Trial Counsel responsible for overseeing all 82nd Airborne Division criminal prosecutions. Mr. Saeltzer was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain, and his military achievements include receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a prosecuting attorney.
After leaving the Army Mr. Saeltzer returned to San Francisco and brought his extensive trial experience to Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger where he has been representing seriously injured clients since 1998. In 2011 he was honored as the ” Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association for a $12,200,000 jury verdict obtained on behalf of a teenage girl left in a coma following a tragic accident. The pretrial settlement offer, in that case, was less than one-tenth of the eventual jury award. Mr. Saeltzer has also been successful in creating law that protects people who are injured through the carelessness of others. Following a successful jury trial in 2006, Mr. Saeltzer fought to protect his client’s recovery at the California Court of Appeal and changed the law so that all injured workers are now assured full recovery for their lost wages.
Mr. Saeltzer’s experience and legal abilities are also sought outside of the courtroom. He is currently an assistant professor on the faculty at the University of California at Hastings College of the Law, where he has taught personal injury litigation since 2003. He also serves on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy training new lawyers in courtroom skills and advocacy. Mr. Saeltzer has been an invited lecturer for the Continuing Education of the State Bar of California, San Francisco Bar Association, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and the USLAW Network’s annual client conference. He has also served as an expert witness on case valuation and served a court-appointed mediator.
Mr. Saeltzer has been continuously selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2010. Mr. Saeltzer was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2010. Since 2011 he has been voted as one of The Best Lawyers in America by his peers. He is also “AV” peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, which is the highest such ranking for legal ability and ethics available to an individual attorney. He is also an active member of the American Association for Justice, Consumer Attorneys of California and the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association.
Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Saeltzer can be found spending time with his wife and three children.
Court of Appeal Decisions
Smock v State of California (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 883
Verdicts & Settlements
- Liou v. State of California – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $12,200,000 Jury Verdict
- Anderson v. County of Stanislaus – Government Liability – Motor Vehicle, $8,250,000 Settlement
- Confidential v. Confidential – Negligence, $6,500,000 Settlement
- Worker v. Property Management Company – Construction Site Negligence, $6,000,000 Settlement
- Child v HMO – Birth Injury/Medical Negligence, $4,750,000 Settlement
- Bicyclist v. Product Manufacturer and Negligent Driver – Product Liability and Vehicular Negligence, $4,331,250 Settlement
- Patient v. HMO – Medical Negligence, $4,000,000 Settlement
- LaRocca v. Diablo Contractors, Inc., et. al. – Construction Negligence/Vehicular Negligence, $3,050,000 Settlement
- Boilermaker v Refinery Owner – Industrial Negligence, $2,800,000 Settlement
- Brock v. Bonifacio, et. al. – Vehicular Negligence/Products Liability, $2,800,000 Jury Verdict
- Motorcyclist v. Automobile – Motor Vehicle Accident, $2,100,000 Settlement
- Confidential v. Confidential – Products Liability, $2,000,000 Settlement
- Minor Child v Hair Salon – Negligence, $2,000,000 Settlement
- Decedent’s Family v. Delivery Company, Roadway, and Estate of Negligent Driver – Wrongful death, Trucking negligence, $1,900,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. Driver and Owner of Vehicle – Vehicular Negligence/Negligent Entrustment, $1,500,000 Settlement
- Marquez v. Transportes Azteca De Oro – Bus Accident/Wrongful Death, $1,100,000 Settlement
- Patient v. HMO – Medical Negligence, $1,100,000 Settlement
- Driver v. Truck Company and Vehicle Manufacturer – Vehicular Negligence/Products Liability, $1,030,000 Settlement
- Patient v. Doctor and Hospital – Medical Negligence, $1,000,000 Settlement
- Student v. School District – Government Liability, $1,000,000 Settlement
- O’Brien v Wheatley – Auto Accident, $431,569 Jury Verdict
- Ludwig v. Yellow Cab – Vehicle Negligence, $416,894 Jury Verdict
- Bradley v. Les Driving & Traffic School – Vehicular Negligence, $355,000 Jury Verdict
- Smock v. State of California (Caltrans) and Driver – Dangerous Condition of Public Property; Vehicular Negligence, $288,000 Jury Verdict
Honors and Awards
- Meritorious Service Medal, United States Army
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Association for Justice, Member
- Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- United States Army, JAGC, 82nd Airborne Division, Prosecutor