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Meet Richard

Richard H. Schoenberger


Richard H. Schoenberger has enjoyed remarkable success in his 37 year legal career. His outstanding skills and presence in the courtroom have made him one of the most highly respected trial lawyers in California.

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.”

At various times he has held or shared the record for the largest verdict in particular case types in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo and Sonoma Counties. Thirteen of his many jury verdicts have been for at least one million dollars and most have been for multiple millions, including eight figures. In August of 2023, Rich’s clients received a $16.1 million verdict against the State of California, Department of Transportation, believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in Sonoma County history. In the last few years alone, Rich has resolved individual cases for $20 million, $18.5 million, $19 million and $24.5 million, with the last constituting the largest known settlement of a medical malpractice case in California history. In the past five years alone, Rich has achieved results, either through verdict or settlement, that total more than $325 million, including more than 40 million and multi-million dollar recoveries. He has tried to verdict or settled well over 100 cases for a million dollars or more, including more than 20 eight figure cases.

Client Testimonials

"You are very fortunate if Richard Schoenberger agrees to represent you. Richard is incredibly smart, asks thoughtful questions to understand your case and really listens. He and his team will work tirelessly to win your case. On top of these qualities, Richard is one of the finest human beings that I’ve been lucky to know. If you find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, I highly recommend Richard Schoenberger of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger."


“We recently resolved our case thanks to the professional and personal manner provided by Richard Schoenberger at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger Law Offices. Our case involved the death of a loved one and Rich's genuine and respectful style during an extremely difficult period helped us immensely. The personal approach, while maintaining the professional management of the case, helped guide us through the unfamiliar legal process for a successful outcome. We are forever grateful and highly recommend this firm to anyone in need of these type of services.”


"Choosing Richard Schoenberger and Matthew Davis to handle our case was one of the best decisions we have ever made and we remain in awe of their expertise (not to mention their kindness and sensitivity). They are quality attorneys and, even more, quality people! Mr. Schoenberger is one of the best lawyers I have had the pleasure of knowing and as a former police officer I have known quite a few. He is not only forthright but he is honest and fair."


“I was in a serious motorcycle accident that was life altering and the compassion I received from Rich Schoenberger and his firm was beyond my expectations. They truly do care about their clients. This being my first time dealing with not only major injuries but also a lawsuit of any kind I was very nervous and overwhelmed but Rich and his firm made me feel comfortable and confident that his team would do their very best for me so I could concentrate on my recovery."


"Other attorneys either thought my case was less valuable, or in other ways didn't understand the situation well. Rich Schoenberger and Jeff Clause offered me a custom solution that perfectly fit my needs. They have all the patience, honesty, professionalism, experience, relationships and work ethic you could hope for."


"Richard Schoenberger, Matthew Davis and Brian Robbins were absolutely professional while at the same time being amazingly supportive, personable and RESPONSIVE. Although several years have passed by since we interacted with them constantly we never forget what they have meant to our lives. Choosing them to handle our case was one of the best decisions we have ever made and we remain in awe of their expertise (not to mention their kindness and sensitivity). They are quality attorneys and, even more, quality people!"


"From the moment Rich took over my case, he worked like a bull. Not only is he an excellent lawyer, working hard for his clients, he is extremely personable with a great sense of humor. Throughout the process, he genuinely cared about myself and my children and always kept us abreast of what was going to happen, answering any questions we all had so that we were entirely comfortable."


In December of 2022, Rich received the prestigious Don E. Bailey Award given to a distinguished San Francisco ABOTA member who continually exemplifies civility, professionalism, and integrity in the practice of the law while always vigorously, courageously and expertly advocating his clients’ causes. Most recently, Rich was named one of Daily Journal’s 2023 Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California, recognizing his exceptional trial advocacy and placing him among the state’s most accomplished legal professionals.

Rich has been selected Best Lawyers in America Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” in the San Francisco area four separate times – in 2016, 2019, 2022 and 2024 – twice for Personal Injury Litigation and twice for Medical Malpractice Litigation. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year”. Rich has been nominated several times and selected as the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and in 2021 was a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Marin Trial Lawyers Association. He has been recognized as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Northern California for the past 12 years, is “AV” peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell, has been included in the national publication The Best Lawyers in America for the past 18 years and has been a Super Lawyer in Northern California for every year the designation has existed. For the past three years, he has been selected as one of the top 500 Lawyers in America by Lawdragon. In 2021, Rich was named to The American Lawyer’s list of West Trailblazers for his impactful resolutions that resulted in policy and design changes which improved public safety.

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, where he serves as the Northern California State Committee’s Chair; the International Society of Barristers, where he serves on the Foundation Board; and the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he served as President for the San Francisco Chapter during its 50th Anniversary year.

As a highly sought after trial advocacy teacher on a national and international level since the early 1990s, a partial list of where Rich has been invited to teach includes the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; the Judicial Council of California’s Judicial Studies Program; dozens of programs for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy; Emory Law School’s renowned Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program in Atlanta, Georgia; the Republic of Georgia where he taught advocacy to 24 selected attorneys whose government had only recently allowed the right to a jury trial; Northern Ireland solicitors in Belfast; and trial lawyers in Sarajevo. This year, Rich was an invited faculty member of the ABOTA National Trial College at Yale Law School.

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, became a partner in 1995 and a named partner in 2005.

Since 2013, Rich has taught Mock Trial and other subjects 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. All three went on to play four years of Division I volleyball or baseball where they were coached by people who, unlike their dad, knew what they were talking about.

Noteworthy Verdicts and Settlements

  • Urban Tenant v. Real Estate Manager – Settlement – Property Defect / Traumatic Brain Injury, $26,662,000
  • Forman v. Various Health Care Providers – Pre and Post-Verdict Settlement – Negligent Obstetrical Care, $24,500,000
  • Minor Patient v. Trucking Company – Settlement – Trucking Accident, $20,000,000
  • Parents v. School – Settlement – Dangerous Condition of Property, $19,000,000
  • Pedestrian v. Bus Company – Settlement – Negligent Bus Operation, $18,500,000
  • Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc. – Jury Verdict – Defective Consumer Product, $17,000,000
  • Guest v. Hotel Chain – Settlement – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, $13,500,000
  • Liou v. State of California – Jury Verdict – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $12,200,000
  • Bicyclist v. Road Contractor – Settlement – Dangerous Condition / Paralysis, $12,000,000
  • Van Fleet v. City of Oakland – Settlement – Motorcycle Collision, $12,000,000
  • Patient v. Doctor – Settlement – Medical Negligence, $12,000,000
  • Driver v. Trucking Company – Settlement – Paralysis in Truck Collision, $11,000,000
  • City v. Pedestrian – Settlement – Dangerous Condition of Property, $11,000,000
  • Loh v. County of Alameda – Settlement – Bicycle Accident, $9,500,000
  • Surviving Spouse v. General Contractor – Settlement – Dangerous Crane Operation, $9,500,000
  • Perry v. Budget – Jury Verdict – Automobile Accident, $8,765,000
  • Hotel Worker v. Parking Garage – Settlement – Traumatic Brain Injury, $8,750,000
  • Kammerer v. Alimak Hek AB – Jury Verdict – Construction Accident/Product Liability, $8,340,000
  • Law Student v. County – Settlement – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $8,250,000
  • Patient v. Hospital – Settlement – Medical Malpractice, $8,000,000
  • Driver/Passenger v. Chip Seal/Paving Company – Settlement during jury selection – Traumatic Brain Injury, $7,900,000
  • Widow v. National Package Delivery – Settlement – Truck v. Auto Collision, $7,750,000 Settlement
  • Truck Driver v. General Contractor – Settlement – Workplace Accident, $7,000,000
  • Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car Company – Settlement – Negligent Operation of a Vehicle, $6,500,000
  • Window Contractor v. Scaffolding Company – Settlement – Dangerous Workplace, $6,000,000
  • Motorcycle Driver v. State Employee – Settlement – Roadway Collision, $5,750,000
  • Bruce v. Telfer Highway Technologies, Inc. et al. – Jury Verdict – Motorcycle Collision/Construction Zone, $5,510,000
  • Kim v. Zarour – Jury Verdict – Wrongful Death, $5,300,000
  • Driver v. Vineyard – Settlement – Course and Scope of Vineyard Worker, $4,750,000
  • Minor v. Valley Unified School District – Settlement – Negligent School Supervision, $4,500,000
  • Receptionist v. Elevator Company – Settlement – Premises Liability, $4,500,000
  • Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design – Settlement – Product Liability, $4,000,000
  • Thornburgh v. City of Auburn – Settlement – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $3,000,000
  • Perez v. CCSF – Settlement – Public Transit Liability, $3,000,000
  • Quackenbush v. CSAA – Jury Verdict – General Negligence, $2,500,000
  • Lown v. Mildenberger – Jury Verdict – Premises Liability, $1,072,000
  • Chu v. Bay Area Community Services – Jury Verdict – Psychiatric Malpractice/Premises Liability, $1,000,000
  • O’Cain v. Basu – Jury Verdict – Medical Malpractice, $1,000,000

Representative Cases

  • 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

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

    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Paralysis
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Product Liability
    • Government Liability
    • Aviation Disasters
    • Wrongful Death Claims

Honors and Awards

    • Lawdragon – Top 500 Lawyers in America: 2020, 2021, 2022
    • Best Lawyers – Lawyer of the Year: 2016, 2019, 2022
    • Best Lawyers – Best Lawyers in America: 2016-2022
    • Super Lawyers – Top 100 in Northern California: 2010-2022
    • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association – Trial Lawyer of the Year: 2011
    • The American Lawyer – West Trailblazers: 2021
    • Martindale-Hubbell – AV Peer Rated: 2005-2021
    • Consumer Attorneys of California – Presidential Award of Merit: 2001

Professional Associations and Memberships

    • American College of Trial Lawyers – Northern California State Committee Chair
    • International Society of Barristers – Foundation Board
    • American Board of Trial Advocates – Past President, San Francisco Chapter
    • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association – Board Member
    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers – Fellow

Past Employment Positions

    • Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Deputy District Attorney

Litigation Percentage

    • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation