I became a lawyer to help people. I was raised in Southern Illinois by parents who taught me about justice and equality, and I knew that becoming a lawyer would be the best way for me to serve those ideals. I also grew up singing and acting and realized that my stage experience would serve me well in the courtroom.
I began my career as a prosecutor, seeking justice for crime victims and honing my skills as a trial lawyer. I loved that job. I was good at that job. I helped a lot of people in that job. But I knew I wasn’t yet living my best life. Northern California was calling me to a greater purpose and a fuller, richer life for my family.
My wife and I decided to move to California to chase our dreams. I strategically joined a prominent national law firm with offices in Illinois and San Francisco, took and passed the California Bar Exam while working full-time, and persuaded my bosses to allow me to transfer to the San Francisco office. To learn what I needed to learn, I worked for insurance companies defending the types of cases I now prosecute on behalf of injured people and their families. Having watched how insurance companies evaluate cases, I now know what it takes to obtain the best possible results for my clients.
In 2014, I accepted a position with a premier personal injury firm and furthered my training, obtaining justice on behalf of people who had been injured by the acts of others. I tried cases. I won cases. I won awards for trying cases. But I wanted more. I wanted to be part of my own firm, partnering with other warriors committed to fighting for justice in our community.
That’s who we are. That’s what we do. And I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this firm doing this work.
State Bar of California
State Bar of Illinois (Inactive)
United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
University of Illinois,1992, BA in English / Pre Law
Southern Illinois University, 1995, JD
- Dean’s Fund Scholarship recipient
- Freshman Moot Court Finalist
- Corpus Juris Secundum Award for Torts
President of the Board of Directors of the Marin School of the Arts
President of the Theater Boosters at Marin School of the Arts
Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Marin
Board of Directors of the Marin County Bar Association
Board of Directors of the Consumer Attorneys of California
Blue Ribbon Parcel Tax Committee
Golden Gate Illini Club, Treasurer, 2003 – 2006
Hamilton Elementary School PTA, Volunteer, 2002 – 2016
Hamilton Elementary School Watch D.O.G.S., Co-Chair, 2007 – 2016
St. Clair County CASA, Treasurer & Board Member, 1998 – 2002
MTLA and MCBA Moderator, 2022
I Should Have Said Something. Presenter, 2022
GET LOADED! Understanding Your Case, Presenter, 2020
Monterey County Women Lawyers. Presenter, 2021
SFTLA Cause Challenge, Moderator, 2021
CAOC NLD Speaker, 2021
CAOC’S Hawaii Seminar Moderator, 2022
CAOC Palm Springs Seminar, “Get Loaded”, May 2019
CAOC Travel Seminar, Moderator, November 2017
CAOC Travel Seminar, “Unintended Death Sentences: Prosecuting Prisoner Suicide Cases”, October 2008
Speaker, Marin County Bar Association, “The Realities of Working with a Trial Consultant…No ‘Bull”, November 2016
Speaker, CAOC Hawaii Travel Seminar, “Avoiding the Voidable; How to Ensure That Your Contingency Fee and Fee-Sharing Agreements Are Enforceable And Sufficiently Protect Your Interests”, November 2016
Speaker, West Legal Ed center webinar: “Disaster Response & Recovery”, December 2014
Speaker, Santa Clara County Bar Association seminar: “The Ethics of Social Networking: Avoiding Pitfalls and Exploring Opportunities”, September 2013
Speaker, West Legal Ed center webinar: “Recent Developments in the Debate Over Screening”, January 2012
Speaker, Professional Insurance Associates seminar: “If You Are Sued, These Are the Top 10 Questions Your Attorney Will Ask You”, October 2010
Speaker, West Legal Ed center webinar: “Lawyers’ Liability for Intentional Torts” Speaker, December 2008
The continuing viability of the consumer expectation test in defective seat back cases, May/June 2019
Ask the Expert, Organized Labor, September 2017
What Not to Share, Plaintiff Magazine, September 2017
Unintended Death Sentences, Plaintiff Magazine, November, 2016
Ask the Expert, Organized Labor, October, 2016
Legal Malpractice: Proving The Case-Within-A-Case, Plaintiff magazine, November, 2015
Avoiding the Voidable: Ensuring Contingency Fees and Fee-Sharing Agreements are Enforceable, December, 2014
I hurt myself at work recently while I was operating a stand up lift truck with the forks trailing, such that the rear of the truck was facing forward. As I was slowing down, I lost my balance and my leg moved outside of the operator compartment, causing it to be crushed between the truck and a fixed metal shelf. The rear of the truck was open, meaning that there was nothing preventing my body from falling out of the truck.
Am I entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for my injuries? If I do receive workers’ compensation benefits, will I be prevented from suing the manufacturer of the truck for failing to equip the truck with adequate safety measures?
Since you were injured at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Even more importantly, however, the fact that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits does not necessarily prevent you from suing the manufacturer and supplier of the truck. Although the workers’ compensation system is designed to provide necessary medical treatment and lost wages to injured workers, it often does not provide an injured worker with a full and complete recovery of emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other similar damages suffered by an injured worker and his or her family. Those types of damages would only be available in a lawsuit against the companies that were involved in the manufacture and sale of the truck.
For additional advice as to what you should do in your specific situation, you should consult with attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims as soon as possible, because both of these types of claims have strict rules and time limits to follow.
-David L. Winnett, Attorney