ClickCease Douglas S. Saeltzer
Meet Douglas

Douglas S. Saeltzer


Mr. Saeltzer specializes in resolving large cases on behalf of seriously injured people by way of trial or settlement. He prides himself on holding powerful entities responsible for the wrongs they committed.

Mr. Saeltzer’s meticulous approach to the preparation and trial of cases has resulted in over $100,000,000 in jury verdicts and settlements for his clients.

Mr. Saeltzer began his legal career as a prosecutor in the United States Army. After graduating from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law in 1994, Mr. Saeltzer accepted a direct commission into the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps. After attending the U.S. Army Airborne School, he was selected for the 82nd Airborne Division and assigned responsibility for prosecuting criminal cases.

Client Testimonials

Mr. Saeltzer and his team assisted and guided me through the whole process with care and professionalism.

I was fortunate enough to be recommended to WMKS by a friend and a former very satisfied client of the firm. I knew I had made the right decision. Mr. Saeltzer and his team assisted and guided me through the whole process with care and professionalism. I felt safe, secured, protected to have had someone fighting for me to get the most compensation for what I have been through.


Mr. Saeltzer is an outstanding personal injury lawyer.

Mr. Saeltzer is an outstanding personal injury lawyer. He represented my teen-aged daughter who had sustained a severe burn. He was very empathetic to her situation, spent a lot of time with us explaining procedures and strategy and was completely accessible when we needed to ask him any questions. He did not give us any false hope about the outcome. He prepared us very well for the depositions and the settlement meeting. I was extremely impressed with his knowledge of the law, his ability to accurately interpret the intent of the law and his strategy when dealing with the lawyers from the insurance company.


Doug and Christian were meticulous, responsive, and true advocates.

When our son suffered an injury as an infant at the hands of his medical providers, we were so devastated. Doug’s experience and Christian’s medical background (he is also a board certified doctor!) put us at an advantage. Doug and Christian were meticulous, responsive, and true advocates. We had favorable results and we could not have been more satisfied with their representation!


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 a 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.

Verdicts & Settlements

  • Widow and Children v. Landowner – Negligence/Wrongful Death, $20,000,000 Settlement
  • Liou v. State of California – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $12,200,000 Jury Verdict
  • Van Fleet v. City of Oakland – Vehicular Negligence, $12,000,000 Settlement
  • City v. Pedestrian – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $11,000,000 Settlement
  • Husband and Child v. Construction Companies and Utility Company – Worksite Negligence, $9,300,000 Settlement
  • 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
  • Renteria v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Bus Negligence, $4,000,000 Jury Verdict
  • 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

Community Involvement

From the founding of our firm in the 1960s up through the present, Walkup team members have consistently contributed to the welfare and improvement of the people and communities of the Bay Area and Northern California.

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Areas of Practice

    • Products Liability
    • Injury and Death Cases
    • Elder Abuse
    • Medical Negligence
    • Vehicular Negligence
    • Construction Site Injuries
    • Government Liability


    • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
      • Law Journal: Constitutional Law Quarterly
    • University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
    • Classes/Seminars
      • Assistant Professor, Personal Injury Litigation, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
      • Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy

Court of Appeal Decisions

  • Smock v State of California (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 883

Honors and Awards

    • Meritorious Service Medal, United States Army

Past Employment Positions

    • United States Army, JAGC, 82nd Airborne Division, Prosecutor

Professional Associations and Memberships<

    • American Association for Justice, Member
    • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
    • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member