Sherman M. Spitz
Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney in Irvine, CA
Sherman M. Spitz is one of the most experienced trial attorneys in California, having tried more than 90 cases to jury verdict. A particular focus of his practice is substituting into cases at the eleventh hour and getting excellent results in the courtroom. Sherman is rated A.V., the highest rating, by Martindale Hubbell.
Sherman is well-versed in all aspects of litigation at the pretrial, trial, and appellate levels in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.
Representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Sherman has successfully litigated a wide range of civil litigation cases, including business litigation, insurance bad faith, employment, and personal injury litigation. He also has handled legal malpractice, healthcare-provider negligence, and police abuse cases.
Sherman has extensive experience in defending insurance carriers in litigated, as well as non-litigated, matters.
In addition to being named to the list of 2016-present Best Lawyers, from 2012-present he has been named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers, with recognition to the lists of “Top 50″ Orange County Super Lawyers from 2013-present, and “Top 100″ Southern California Super Lawyers in 2015 and again in 2017.
Over the years, he has developed a niche specialty in protecting the insurance carriers’ interests in arson and/or fraud claims, including defending the carriers in bad faith litigation, pursuing declaratory relief actions and conducting examinations under oath.
In select cases that have not presented a conflict of interest, Sherman has also represented insureds against insurance carriers. He has lectured on numerous topics related to claims investigation and good faith claims handling.
Sherman has achieved a number of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of plaintiffs, including a $7.5 million settlement in a wrongful death action and a $6.5 million settlement in an employment discrimination case. He has also obtained numerous defense verdicts.
From 1979 to 1981, Sherman served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he conducted scores of jury trials and hundreds of preliminary hearings. Sherman is one of two founding partners of Berger Kahn’s Orange County Office, which was opened in 1984.
- Top 50: 2018 Orange County Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers
- Top 50: 2017 Orange County Super Lawyers
- Top 50: 2016 Orange County Super Lawyers
- Top 100: 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers
- Top 50: 2015 Orange County Super Lawyers
- Top 50: 2014 Orange County Super Lawyers
- Top 50: 2013 Orange County Super Lawyers
About Sherman M. Spitz
First Admitted: 1978, California
Professional Webpage: http://bergerkahn.com/our-people/sherman-m-spitz/
- Sherman is AV rated (the highest legal rating) by Martindale Hubbell., AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers 2022 | Litigation – Insurance, and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2022
- 2021 Southern California Super Lawyers , Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2021
- Best Lawyers in America 2021, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2021
- 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2020
- Best Lawyers 2020 | Litigation – Insurance, and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2020
- Best Lawyers 2019 – Litigation – Insurance, and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2019
- 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2019
- Best Lawyers 2018 – Litigation – Insurance and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2018
- 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2018
- With only 100 recognized by this award, Sherman Spitz has been named among “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.” To qualify, attorneys must have litigated high-value cases and met the criteria of a comprehensive multi-phase selection process identifying exceptional attorneys. Read more about the award…, “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators” Lifetime Achievement Honor, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, 2018
- With only the top 1% of attorneys garnering this honor, Managing Partner Craig Simon and Shareholders Sherman Spitz and David Ezra are designated Lifetime Achievement members to the “America’s Top 100 Attorneys” list in Southern California. It is the mission of “America’s Top 100” to recognize the most qualified and accomplished professionals by invitation-only after a multi-phase selection process including third-party research and statistical analysis of a candidate’s professional experience, achievements, significant results, community impact, peer reputation, consumer satisfaction, and other proprietary factors specific to each profession. Membership is limited to the Top 100 professionals from each state in each category of practice who best exhibit excellence and the highest ethical standards in their respective professions. Berger Kahn congratulates our three attorneys admitted to “America’s Top 100 Attorneys” where they join the ranks among the most highly esteemed practitioners of the law. Read more…, “America’s Top 100 Attorneys” Lifetime Achievement Honor, America’s Top 100 Attorneys, 2018
- With only 100 recognized by this award, Sherman Spitz has been named among “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.” To qualify, attorneys must have litigated high-value cases and met the criteria of a comprehensive multi-phase selection process identifying exceptional attorneys. Read more about the award…, “America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators 2018”, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, 2018
- 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2017
- Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers – 2017, Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers, Legal Leaders, 2017
- Best Lawyers 2017 – Litigation – Insurance, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2017
- Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers – Personal Injury, 2016, Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers – Personal Injury, Legal Leaders, 2016
- 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers, Southern California Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers, 2016
- Best Lawyers 2017 – Litigation – Insurance, Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, 2016
- Southwestern University School of Law, JD, 1978
- B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1974
Other Outstanding Achievements
- Sherman was featured in the inaugural issue of The Legal OC Blog, in "Profile: 11th Hour Trial Lawyer." , 2011
- Sherman was quoted in the March 10, 2012 article "Grand Prix fire attorney cleared in claim" in the Claremont Courier, on his recent defense verdict win, clearing his client of an alleged $540,000 claim in the Los Angeles Superior Court Pomona. http://www.bergerkahn.com/news.php/2/504, 2012
- Lead trial attorney Sherman Spitz and Dale Amato obtained a defense verdict in a federal court lawsuit seeking $1M in insurance policy benefits. Following a suspicious business fire, the insured’s claim for $1 Million in policy benefits was denied principally because the insured lied about matters pertaining to the security system in place at the business premises including security cameras, monitors, a missing DVR and the fire alarm system. After a three-day trial, the court agreed and determined that the insured violated the concealment/fraud provisions of the insurance policy by making multiple intentional material misrepresentations of material fact to the insurance carrier during its investigation of the fire loss, thereby vitiating coverage. Spitz and Amato successfully repelled a motion to introduce post-trial evidence and a motion for new trial. An appeal has been filed. The trial was presided over by Judge George Wu in the US District Court Central District., 2021
- Berger Kahn Principal Sherman Spitz represented a large company in a case that was subsequently defended upon appeal years later, thanks, in part to the groundwork laid by Spitz in the initial case. Kmart Corporation v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company is a result arising from Spitz’s original trial. In it, the judge ruled that the insurer had breached its duty to defend by not agreeing to defend. The appellate court reversed the trial judge’s decision denying the insurers request to be reimbursed for the defense fees it paid. Kmart Corporation v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company defended the appeal, and also won its cross appeal and recovered around $100,000 in defense fees., 2013
- Obtained a complete defense verdict for Hartford Fire Insurance Company after a 10 day jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. Case No. BC399191 -- Kmart v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and related cross actions. The plaintiff alleged damages in excess of $1 million. Type of case -- insurance breach of contract and bad faith., 2011
- Obtained a $1.2 million personal injury settlement during trial on behalf of a 60-year-old Orange County auto mechanic. The case involved complicated legal issues of contractual obligations involving maintenance of facilities, liability, negligence, and workers' compensation., 2011
- Won a $7.5 million settlement for a plaintiff in a wrongful death action, 2008
- Achieved numerous defense verdicts as a trial lawyer
- Achieved a $6.5 million settlement for a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case.
- Sherman Spitz of Berger Kahn Accepted Into American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) IRVINE, Calif., June 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sherman M. Spitz, an esteemed trial attorney and Shareholder at Berger Kahn, was recently accepted into the elite membership of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an association of experienced and professional trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the conservation of the civil jury trial and the rights of the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. Membership is by invitation only, requires a good standing with the Bar, and a strong record of jury trial experience. Spitz is also frequently involved in supporting the next generation of trial attorneys, with recent lectures at O.C. Bar Association College of Trial Advocacy on opening and closing arguments at trial, and with an appearance at the Southwestern School of Law Moot Court where he served as the “Chief Justice.” Says Managing Partner Craig Simon of Spitz’s recognition, “Sherm and I opened this law firm more than three decades ago together. He is a stellar individual, an impeccable trial attorney and a person I’m proud to call my partner and my friend.”ABOUT BERGER KAHN: Berger Kahn is a California-based law firm with practice areas including insurance coverage and litigation, business litigation, labor and employment, serious personal injury and wrongful death, and subrogation. The firm has offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area.http://www.bergerkahn.comhttps://www.facebook.com/BergerKahnLaw?sk=infohttps://twitter.com/BergerKahnLawABOUT SHERMAN SPITZ: Sherman M. Spitz is a shareholder at Berger Kahn’s Orange County office and is one of the most experienced trial attorneys in California having tried more than 90 cases to jury verdict. He has obtained multi-million verdicts and settlements, including a $1.2 million settlement during trial on behalf of a brain injured man, a $6.5 million settlement for a plaintiff in an employment discrimination case, and a $7.5 million settlement for a plaintiff in a wrongful death action. Mr. Spitz is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell, Best Lawyers 2016-present and was named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers from 2012-present. http://bergerkahn.com/our-people/sherman-m-spitz/ABOUT ABOTA: ABOTA seeks attorneys who display skill, civility and integrity, to help attorneys achieve a higher level of trial advocacy and to educate the public about the vital importance of the Seventh Amendment. https://www.abota.org/, 2017
- Speaker, MCLE course with the Orange County Bar Association Insurance Law Section, "Trying the Insurance Bad Faith Claim: Creating and Developing Themes for the Case," 2013, 2013
- Speaker, MCLE course with the Orange County Bar Association, "The Anatomy of Bad Faith Claims"
- Member, Orange County Bar Association.
Last Updated: 6/23/2022