Our attorneys are highly experienced in the area of insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. We represent insurers and policyholders in all matters of insurance litigation, whether the dispute is simple or complex and high-stakes. We work with our clients in the insurance industry or those with insurance-related problems to understand the specific underlying issues of each case. Once we understand what is driving the case, our attorneys are able to apply their extensive knowledge of the insurance industry to vigorously and efficiently represent each client. We are often brought in to insurance cases when they become so complicated and convoluted that another firm could not handle it. In these cases, with thousands of documents and limited amounts of time, our success comes from our ability to quickly organize and make sense of what others could not. Our trial attorneys who handle insurance litigation are unique in the amount of trial experience and success they have. However, when trial is not the best avenue for the case, our trial attorneys are also able to zealously represent each client’s interest in alternative dispute resolution forums.

We have represented some of the largest insurance companies on issues involving coverage and bad faith, and provide legal analysis and opinions. We provide the same skill and expertise to insurers as we do to our policyholder clients. Our firm’s insurance litigation practices covers a wide range of insurance areas, including personal injury, property damage, bad faith, errors and omissions, directors and officers, entertainment, and business tort.

The attorneys at Hager & Dowling have garnered much experience and success in the area of general tort litigation. Our success is the result of careful planning and analysis at the outset of the case, recognizing that early case assessment is the key to reaching a preferable outcome. Because of our experience in the area of general tort litigation, we are extremely knowledgeable of the intricacies of what it takes to either reach a settlement through alternative dispute resolution methods or to successfully take the case to trial, including an extensive network of medical and scientific experts. Whether we are on a case from the outset or brought on later in the game, our attorneys are able to evaluate a case and determine the most efficient strategy for the client.

Our general tort litigation practice encompasses a wide range of torts, including personal injury, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, premise liability, professional liability, errors and omissions, malicious prosecution, automobile liability, general negligence, and employment related torts. Regardless of the type of tort involved, our attorneys approach each case with the same care and expertise, allowing our clients to be assured their interests are being represented.

The attorneys at Hager & Dowling have the skills necessary to take on a case at any time, whether following a case we have had since the inception, or receiving the case after an unfavorable judgment or ruling at the trial level.

While most lawsuits are resolved at the trial level, some proceed to the Court of Appeal. When this happens, our firm is prepared to take on the case. Our success at the appellate level arises from our ability to understand and clarify even the most complex litigation. Once we have identified the underlying issues, we focus in on those issues that will be most persuasive at the appellate level. All of our attorneys have exceptional writing and analytical skills, both crucial to a successful appellate practice. Because appellate decisions influence the rights and liabilities of future litigants, we constantly keep in mind the precedent-setting effect of our appellate work. Through our appellate practice, Hager & Dowling is influencing the development of the law.

Some recent successes at the Court of Appeal include

  • Graciano v. Mercury General Corp. (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 414
  • Grebow v. Mercury Insurance Company (2015) Cal.App.4th 564
  • Reid v. Mercury Insurance Company (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 262

Our commercial and business litigation practice is highly successful because we are able to look at a case not only from a legal perspective, but also see it from the business perspective. When representing a commercial client, our attorneys constantly re-evaluate the risks and benefits, always keeping the company’s bottom line in mind. We understand and cater to the needs of businesses by keeping the client informed at all times and making sure we address all matters in a timely manner.

We have represented large and small businesses in a wide range of commercial litigation, including contracts, class action defense, product liability, and mass tort. We approach each case with the same tenacity, whether you have a start-up or a well-established business. Our Santa Barbara trial attorneys provide advice and custom-tailored analysis to help you make the right litigation decisions for your business.

Construction litigation is typically characterized as document intensive with numerous related parties. Our firm is able to approach these cases in a way that makes sense of the confusion not only for our attorneys but also for the client. Once the case is organized, our attorneys are able to focus in on the driving issues. We realize that in construction cases, as more time passes without resolution, more and more problems begin to arise. Our quick organization and experienced attorneys and staff allow us to make swift moves toward a resolution that benefits our client, avoiding the piling on of unnecessary problems. When the best resolution for our client involves taking the case to trial, our extensive trial experience leads to a high-level of success for our clients.

While our construction and real estate practices focuses mainly on construction defect cases, we have represented clients in all areas of construction and real estate law through our representation of insurance companies. Our attorneys have tried cases in both residential and commercial construction and real estate projects.

Hager & Dowling handles a variety of landlord-tenant disputes involving residential and commercial lease agreements. The firm’s vast knowledge of contracts and insurance help guide cases for either landlords or tenants.

California has a distinct set of statutes that apply to litigation involving public entities. The attorneys at Hager & Dowling are well versed in those laws, and have experience representing public entities in litigated matters. Our public entity practice includes representation of public entities throughout the Central and South Coast, including cities and educational facilities, in employment, government tort liability, and eminent domain matters.

Employment litigation in California is different from other kinds of business litigation. An employment lawsuit can call a business, its managers and its entire culture into question. Hager & Dowling’s attorneys have a proven track record of favorable outcomes on a wide range of employment claims from sexual harassment to discrimination to trade secrets and non-competes in both state and federal courts. We recognize that there are times when a vigorous approach is required and others when an early resolution is more desirable. Hager & Dowling evaluates cases to determine the right tools to use to achieve favored results taking both legal and business considerations into account.

In addition to litigation services Hager & Dowling provides advice and counsel on emerging areas of employment law and difficult employment decisions to minimize risk and to avoid litigation before it happens.

Hager & Dowling provides legal defense in DUI cases. Every county has individualized approaches to handling DUI cases based on an analysis of the circumstances, including blood alcohol level and aggravating factors (such as an accident or prior offenses). We guide our clients through the process of arraignment, hearings, negotiations, plea bargaining and trial. We work with district attorneys to obtain the best possible results for our clients.

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