Donna Silver’s appellate work over the last thirty plus years has involved the resolution of significant legal issues in the field of civil litigation, including general negligence, insurance bad faith, products liability, construction accident litigation, governmental entity liability, premises liability, and maritime law.
Her role in the handling of our cases often starts well before a case ever actually goes up on appeal. Because she is part of our litigation team, Ms. Silver consults with each of the trial attorneys at every stage of a case in order to pinpoint potentially appealable issues and ensure that the necessary record is made by properly briefing and preserving the issues for later review by an appellate court. This is a great advantage to our clients, who benefit from appellate counsel who is already thoroughly familiar with the procedural and factual aspects of their cases, and the proper issues for appellate review, when and if the time comes that review is sought in a higher court.
Her work has generated a number of published opinions, including Ray v, Silverado Constructors (involving hirer’s retention of control on highway construction project); Baptiste v. Chevron Shipping (establishing an injured seaman’s right to seek punitive damages against a shipowner under general maritime law); Knight v. Alefosio (involving an insurer’s subrogation and intervention rights in connection with insurer’s payment of income continuation benefits); and Gonzales v. Carmenita Ford Truck Sales (establishing a party’s right to jury instructions on a strict liability failure to warn theory against a retailer in a products liability action).
Ms. Silver is our firm’s “goal keeper,” successfully advocating to uphold verdicts obtained by the firm’s trial lawyers when those verdicts are challenged by defendants. For example, Ms. Silver kept secure a $4.8 million-plus verdict in Amaral v. Double “P” Concrete Plumbing (defective boom – construction site accident); a $4.2 million-plus verdict in Hashimoto v. Republic Insurance Co. (insurance bad faith); a $3.4 million-plus verdict in Mohareb v. Briggeman Disposal Services, Inc. (wrongful death – negligent operation of a garbage truck); a $15 million verdict in Tomlinson v. City of Long Beach (brain injury – negligently conducted police pursuit); and a $1.7 million-plus verdict in Yeager v. L.A. Unified School District (brain injury – school district negligence).
Ms. Silver also turns cases around at earlier, pre-trial stages by successfully appealing and/or seeking extraordinary writ relief from improper summary judgment and other rulings made by the trial courts that would otherwise serve to prematurely limit the scope of a case or terminate it altogether. She has achieved reversals of adverse rulings in a number of cases, allowing those cases to thereafter proceed to successful settlement or trial, including Escobar v. University of Southern California (fall from dormitory window – premises liability and negligence); Merritt v. The Dia-Log Company (general negligence); and Ray v. Silverado Constructors (wrongful death – highway construction site accident).
Because of her exposure to so many legal issues and her writing ability, Ms. Silver is called upon by the trial attorneys to write briefs in important law and motion matters involving the cases handled by the firm including Motions for Summary Judgment and discovery motions. Her successes in these motions often contributes to more substantial settlements and judgments for our clients.
Phone: (562) 548-7515
Fax: (562) 912-2657
Areas of Practice:
Admiralty & Maritime Law
Personal Injury — Plaintiff
Products Liability Law
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
U.S. Federal Courts, 1979
U.S. Supreme Court, 1991
University of Southern California Law Center, Los Angeles, California, 1979; J.D.; Honors: Moot Court Finalist
University of California, Los Angeles, California, 1976;
B.A.; Honors: Summa Cum Laude
Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Superior Court (Williams), 286 Cal.Rptr. 323 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1991)
Knight v. Alefosio, 205 Cal.Rptr. 42 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1984)
Baptiste v. Superior Court for Los Angeles County, 164 Cal.Rptr. 789 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1980)
Wilkinson v. Hicks, 179 Cal.Rptr. 5 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1981)
Theys v. Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 234 Cal.Rptr. 380 (Cal.App. 2 Dist. 1987)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association Member
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Phi Beta Kappa