Our California Offices
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Solving legal
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since 1950




We defend clients in a variety of personal injury matters, including:

Premises Liability Claims: accidents at construction sites and other premises, including trip-and-fall and slip-and-fall claims
Vehicle accidents: auto, trucking, motorcycle and bicycle accidents
Contamination Claims: food poisoning claims
Business Torts: defamation, trade libel, copyright and trademark infringement.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a unanimous jury verdict for major national retailer in Santa Cruz Superior Court. The firm's client was sued for racial profiling and assault and battery arising out of a shoplifting incident. During a scuffle with the retailer's employees, the plaintiff sustained a head injury and suffered the complete traumatic loss of his sight in one eye. Ericksen Arbuthnot attorney was able to persuade the jury that the store acted reasonably in detaining the plaintiff pursuant to the shopkeepers privilege and found no evidence of discrimination.
  • While defending a case arising out of a freeway accident that took the life of a truck driver, the jury awarded $300,000 to the surviving wife and two minor children. The plaintiffs' attorney had asked the jury for $500,000.
  • Provided defense for a case involving an oil field explosion and fire, the jury awarded the two surviving minors $352,000, after the plaintiffs' attorney had asked them to return a verdict for $20,000,000. This verdict was even below the pre-trial CCP 998 offers, allowing the defendant to recover costs.


Expedited Jury Trials: The Why, When and How of the New California Law

Effective January 1, 2011, California has enacted statutes for Expedited Jury Trials (EJT). Sharon Hightower, assistant managing partner of Ericksen Arbuthnot's San Jose office, has prepared a seminar to explain this new statute to attorneys, clients and insurance carriers. She will explain what types of cases are best suited for EJT and how cases are selected for this alternative trial option. Her presentation includes the following topics:
  • Background of the new law
  • Pre-trial procedures
  • Rules
  • Selection process for cases
  • Trial procedures:
    • Admissibility of evidence
    • Voir dire
    • Challenges
    • Required deadlines

For more information about EJT, see "California Offers a New Trial Option."

Personal Injury Case Documentation and Development of Best Practices

Several practice group members speak on documenting complaints of food-borne illnesses, documenting circumstances of in-house injuries, and developing best practices for maintaining safe work environments.


Sharon Hightower, Assistant Managing Partner of the San Jose office, has written "The Challenge to Hanif Deductions Continues." To read the entire article, visit the News section of the site.