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J. Gary Gwilliam

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Oakland, CA

Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer
1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1600
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-823-0323
Fax: 510-832-1918
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2005, 2007 - 2009, 2014 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 1963
Practice Areas: Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Civil Rights, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Civil Litigation: Plaintiff
Attorney Profile

As a founding partner of Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, Gary Gwilliam is dedicated to representing clients in Oakland and throughout Northern California. He focuses his practice on handling personal injury, consumer and employment law cases that involve:

• Discrimination
• Employment discrimination and harassment
• Whistleblower claims
• Wrongful termination
• Civil rights, including police misconduct
• Serious motor vehicle and construction accidents
• Product liability and premises liability
• Medical malpractice
• Bad faith insurance

In 1959, Mr. Gwilliam graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Pomona College. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Laws from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 1962.

For decades, Mr. Gwilliam has represented people through some of their most trying times. He knows how a personal injury or employment issue can compromise someone's well-being, as well as his or her financial situation. Taking a compassionate approach to his clients and an aggressive approach to advocacy, Mr. Gwilliam has tried more than 180 cases before a jury.

He settled an employment case for over $37 million for 130 individual clients who were wrongfully terminated from the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratory. The case was in litigation for over seven years and required two 60-day jury trials before it was settled in Oct. 2015. In one case, Mr. Gwilliam obtained the largest single injury jury verdict in Contra Costa County, securing $6.1 million for a man who became a quadriplegic following a rollover car accident. He has had over $12 million verdicts. For his steadfast commitment to his clients, Mr. Gwilliam has received the Presidential Award from the Consumer Attorneys of California; he holds an Avvo "Superb" rating; he has been selected for inclusion with the Esteemed Lawyers of America; and Public Justice named him a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year.

A published author and frequent lecturer, Mr. Gwilliam is highly involved in the legal community. He is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, California Employment Lawyers Association, the Consumer Attorneys of California, the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Practice Areas
  • 40%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 30%Civil Rights
  • 20%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 10%Civil Litigation: Plaintiff
Focus Areas

Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Employment Law - Employer, Americans with Disabilities Act, Police Misconduct, Disability, Discrimination, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Defense

Selections

14 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2005, 2007 - 2009, 2014 - 2022

Certificates and Credentials

About J. Gary Gwilliam

First Admitted: 1963, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.giccb.com/Our-Firm/J-gary-Gwilliam.shtml

Verdicts/Settlements

  • A $5.5 million jury verdict for a 19-year-old man who suffered severe hand injuries caused by a press machine at his place of work
  • A multi-million dollar settlement for 80 plaintiffs in their insurance bad faith suit against their automobile insurance company for failure to pay medical benefits covered by the plaintiffs' policies
  • A $6.1 million jury verdict for a 29-year-old man who suffered quadriplegic injuries when the roof of his Corvette was crushed in a roll-over accident
  • $5 million jury verdict for the family of a man who was killed by police officers when he was threatening suicide

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1982

Educational Background

  • Pomona College, Pomona, California, USA B.A. - 1959 Major: Psychology

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • CSAA Made to Pay, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum Magazine, 1995
  • CSAA Made to Pay, Verdict, Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, June, 1995
  • How to Argue a Hand Injury Case, Consumer Attorneys of California, 35th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1996
  • A Practical Presentation of the Use of Jury Consultants in Trial Preparation In Trial, (With Karen Jo Koonan), Consumer Attorneys of California, 36th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1997
  • In Memory of Bob Beloud, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, March, 1998
  • Go Easy on Yourself, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine (ATLA) Page 84, November, 1998
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life (The Soul of a Trial Lawyer), Institute of Noetic Sciences, Connections Magazine, No. 6, January, 1999
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life (The Soul of a Trial Lawyer), American Board of Trial Advocates, Voir Dire Vol. IV, Issue 4, Fall, 1997
  • The Art of Losing, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, March, 1999
  • The Art of Losing, Trial Magazine (under Reflections), May, 1998
  • The Art of Losing, American Board of Trial Advocates, ATLA, November, 1998
  • San Mateo Bar CLE, 2015
  • Techniques for Arguing Damages to a Jury, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine (ATLA), April, 1999
  • McGeorge Annual Alumni MCLE, 2015
  • Peak Performance in Litigation Through Relaxation Techniques, Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company, 1999-2000
  • ABOTA Civility Matters Presentation, 2014
  • An Historical Perspective of Consumer Attorneys of California and Me, Consumer Attorneys of California, Forum, December, 1999
  • CAOC Specialty Credits Presentation, 2014
  • Ethics CLE, 2014
  • Are Trial Lawyers Becoming Extinct? A Look at Civil Litigation in the Next Millennium, American Board of Trial Advocates, Voir Dire, Winter, 1999
  • Trial Techniques in Employment Litigation, 2014
  • Lessons from Losing, San Francisco Daily Journal, Verdicts and Settlements Section, Winter, 1999
  • Frequent Presenter for Attorney Credits, Continuing Education Your Way: “Ethical Advice from a Trial Lawyer”, CLE Program
  • Commitment to Justice, The History of the Consumer Attorneys of California, (Editor and Interviewee), 1999
  • Frequent Presenter for Attorney Credits, Continuing Education Your Way: “Inebriation, Intervention and Insight: A Trial Lawyer Finds His Soul”, CLE Program
  • Scott Morris v. Weibel Wineries, Inc. – From Client to Friend, American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Magazine, February/March, 2000
  • Stress Management, “How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life” PLI, 2000 – 2002
  • Am I Drinking too Much is a Rhetorical Question!, 2008
  • Personal Injury Liens for Medical Expenses, California Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Vol. L6, #2, 1977
  • Lessons from losing: How to beat defeat, 2008
  • Liens for Medical Expenses in Personal Injury Actions, California Continuing Education of the Bar Program Material, March/April, 1980
  • Old Warriors, 2009
  • “Professional Stress- Inebriation, Intervention and Insight, 2009
  • Dental Malpractice, Who Cares? (Fundamentals of Dental Practice), California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, Vol. XV, No. 3, April, 1985
  • Getting a Winning Verdict in My Personal Life: A Trial Lawyer Finds His Soul, Pavior Publishing, 2007
  • Proposition 51: The Effect of the Abolition of Joint and Several Liability, California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, Vol. XVI, No. 3, April, 1986
  • Power Anticipation, (Forward to Book by James Scott Bell), Compendium Press, Woodland Hills California, 1994
  • How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life, California Trial Lawyers Association, Forum Vol. 20, No. 7, September, 1990
  • Power Anticipation, Republished in Top Courtroom Performance
  • Power Anticipation, Trial Excellence, Vol. 2, No. 6, June, 1990
  • Arguing Damages: Turning Emotion Into Money, California Trial Lawyers Association Syllabus, December, 1991
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, Fiji Law Society Syllabus, July, 1993
  • Ethics-How to Get a Winning Verdict in Your Personal Life, California Trial Lawyers Association, 27th & 28th Annual Tahoe Seminars Syllabuses, 1992 and 1993
  • Punitive Damages in Wrongful Termination Cases, California Trial Lawyers Association, 29th Annual Tahoe Seminar Syllabus, April, 1994
  • Holistic View of Witness Creditability, National Employment Lawyers Association, June, 1995

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), Parliamentarian, 1986
  • The State Bar of California, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), Member, Board of Governors, 1983 - Present
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, President-Elect, 2002 - 2003
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Diplomat, 1976
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Secretary, 2000
  • Alameda-Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Governors, 1970 - Present
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, President, 2003 - 2004
  • Member, Boalt Hall Moot Court Board, 1961-1962
  • Faculty Member, Hastings College of Trial Advocacy, 1981
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), Chairman, Long Range Planning Committee, 1990 - 1994
  • California Trial Lawyers Association, Chairman, Political Action Committee, 1986
  • American Association for Justice
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Vice President, 2002
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Member, Board of Directors, 1996 - Present
  • American Arbitration Association, Member, Panel of Arbitrators
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), President-Elect, 1987
  • American Arbitration Association, Member, Panel of Arbitrators
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (Formerly California Trial Lawyers Association), President, 1988
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Treasurer, 2001
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Board, Executive Committee, 1999
  • Alameda-Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1974 - 1975
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • California, 1963

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice

Videos

  • Meet Gary Gwilliam, Founding Partner of Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer.   , Meet Gary Gwilliam, Plaintiffs, Employment Law, Civil Litigation, , 2019

Honors/Awards

  • J. Gary Gwilliam and Randall E. Strauss Colombo, et al. vs. BNC Mortgage, Inc., et al.JUSTICE FOR WOMEN WHO BLEW THE WHISTLE ON FRAUDULENT LENDINGSix women who worked at the Sacramento branch of BNC Mortgage, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lehman Brothers that specialized in sub-prime mortgages, eachcomplained to their   770 L STREET, SUITE1200, SACRAMENTO CA 95814916-442-6902915-442-7734 FAXWWW.CAOC.COMsuperiors about fraudulent lending practices in 2005. Each of them was told to look the other way and when they persisted in expressing their concerns, these women were subjected to retaliation, sexual harassment and other forms of abuse that was designed to force them to quit. The sexual harassment was inflicted by a supervisor as a direct response to their whistleblowing about fraudulent loan packages and was sanctionedby company officials as a way to force the women either to resign or to approve falsified loans in order to get the harassment to stop. These women were sounding an alarm that went unheeded. Lax and fraudulent underwriting packages led to the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, helping to precipitate the downfall of Lehman Brothers and with it the worldwide economy. Rather than being lauded as heroes for reporting practices that ultimately led to financial ruin for many thousands of Americans, each of these women were instead victimized by the company they were trying to protect. BNC closed its doors and Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in January 2008. After nearly 14years of litigation, with bankruptcy imposing a threat that no compensation would be possible, these six womenreceived a significant settlement. Each of them would say that they battled this corporate behemoth for so many years because of the harm caused to the public by BNC and Lehman Brothers’ actions.This case vindicated the rights of whistleblowers who were forced to resign after shedding light on corporate greed and wrongdoing, upheld the rights of sexual harassment victims in the workplace, and shed light on the fraudulent lending practices of one of the largest financial institutions in the world., CAOC Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist, https://s3.amazonaws.com/membercentralcdn/sitedocuments/ca/ca/0312/1716312.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIHKD6NT2OL2HNPMQ&Expires=1602200014&Signature=4mVo5uchNZ%2FDy88GjGbu0KlP2F0%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Award%20fin, 2020
  • Esteemed Lawyers of America, 2014
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Finalist, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1995 - 1996
  • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for Employment Law, 2001
  • Alameda County Lawyers Club, Lawyer of the Year Award, 1986
  • Public Justice, Champion of Justice, 2009
  • Consumer Attorneys of California Presidential Award, 1994
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004-Present
  • Consumer Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) for Employment, 2001 - 2002
  • Super Lawyers: 2004 - 2005, 2007 - Present
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Office Location for J. Gary Gwilliam

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1600
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510-823-0323

Fax: 510-832-1918

Last Updated: 7/29/2022

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