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Diana P. Lytel

Attorney Profile

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in Santa Barbara, CA

Lytel & Lytel, LLP
225 East Carrillo Street, Suite 203
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-963-8100
Fax: 805-966-2281
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2022
Selected to Rising Stars: 2015 - 2019
Licensed in California Since: 2006
Practice Areas: General Litigation, Professional Liability: Defense, Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI
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Attorney Profile

Diana P. Lytel is a partner at Lytel & Lytel, LLP. She has been recognized for her legal excellence by Super Lawyers® and with an AV® Rating, holding the highest “Preeminent 5.0/5.0” in her profession. As a seasoned attorney with considerable experience, clients have benefited from her impressive record of courtroom successes and the myriad of positive outcomes in trial, mediation, arbitration and professional liability matters. Ms. Lytel demonstrates industry leadership by holding Executive Officer and Board of Director positions with several prominent legal organizations. Her practice focus is general litigation for businesses and individuals, professional liability, premises liability and commercial litigation. She has defended a wide variety of high-profile clients, including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, mutual funds and insurance entities. She also has an active, successful criminal defense practice and has been recognized as a "Premier DUI Attorney" with advanced level training by AAPDA.

Ms. Lytel previously worked in Morgan Stanley’s litigation department, served at regulatory agencies (NASD now FINRA & Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI)) and has held prominent roles with prestigious law firms recognized by Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers in America and AV Rating. She received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she also minored in Anthropology. Ms. Lytel received her J.D. in 2006 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Admitted to practice in the State of California, Ms. Lytel has experience in both federal and state courts.


Honors/Memberships/Service:

  • AV Rated | Highest Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell 5.0 out of 5.0 
  • 2020 - 2022 Super Lawyers® List | Southern California
  • 2015-2019 Super Lawyers® Rising Star | Southern California
  • 2019 Up & Coming 50 Women Attorneys | Southern California Rising Stars
  • Immediate Past President | Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) 
  • Board of Directors | California Defense Counsel (CDC) 
  • Co-Chair Annual Seminar Committee - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
  • Member | LACBA President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the Legal Profession
  • Vice President | Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL)
  • President | Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation (SBWLF)
  • 2020 Pacific Coast Business Times | Who's Who in Professional Services
  • Programs Chair | Santa Barbara Women Lawyers
  • Former Co-Chair | General Liability/Premises Liability Committee | ASCDC
  • Former Co-Chair |Diversity Committee |ASCDC
  • 2017 ASCDC President's Award Recipient
  • DRI | Civil Litigation Defense OrganizationMember 
  • Former DRI | Vice Chair of Retention | Retail & Hospitality Committee
  • Member | California Women Lawyers (CWL)
  • Member & Former Treasurer | Santa Barbara Defenders
  • American Bar Association
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association
  • Santa Barbara Barristers
  • Latina Lawyers Bar Association of Los Angeles 
  • Ventura County Bar Association
  • Ventura County Women Lawyers Association 
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association 

About Diana P. Lytel

First Admitted: 2006, California

Professional Webpage: https://www.lrmmt.com/diana-lytel

Newsletters

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Full defense verdict in case where we represented a moving company in a theft, negligence case.  Plaintiffs hired defendant moving company to move their furniture and personal belongings from their old residence in Brentwood to their new residence in Santa Monica, California. On the date of the move, employees of defendant arrived at plaintiffs Brentwood home to move among other things, a 2.5' x 2' x 2' safe. At around 2:00 p.m. on the same day, the employee defendants arrived at the plaintiffs Santa Monica residence to unload. Plaintiff was at the Santa Monica residence and watched while defendant employees moved the safe into the closet of the upstairs master bedroom. Later that evening at around 8:45 p.m., the employee defendants left for the day and told plaintiffs they would return on Monday to finish with the remainder of the move. Plaintiffs then left the premises at around 9:00 p.m. intending to return the next morning. During the night, the home was burglarized and the safe, along with all of its contents, was stolen. Plaintiffs alleged defendant’s employees had stolen the safe. Defendants denied any liability. After a 2.5 week jury trial, a verdict was rendered in favor of defendants.
  • Full defense verdict in wrongful death case arising our of a truck v. automobile accident. Plaintiff clipped the rear of defendants trailer while it was parked in a gore point between two major los angeles freeways. Jury deliberated less than 2 hours and came back with a defense verdict. A 998 was also in place and defendants recovered costs. 
  • Multi-million dollar settlement in catastrophic injury case for major Fortune 500 company. Plaintiff was severely injured when defendant's merchandiser fell asleep at the wheel and crossed a double yellow-line in a rural area of Victorville, California. This was a clear liability case for defendants. The only issue was that of damages.  Plaintiff was represented by a well known attorney and demanded over $8,000,000.00. Injuries included comoplex femur fracture (with open reduction and implementation of rod and hardware), ankle fracture (open reduction internal fixation), foot fracture and a fractured clavicle (open reduction internal fixation). Plaintiff spent 10 days in the hospital. Once released, he underwent 3 separate surgeries and had the hardware removed from his clavicle. He would go onto have a fusion of his left foot. 2 additional surgeries were recommended. As a result, plaintiff suffered from chronic pain and had to walk with a cane. He had been rated with a 64% whole person impairment.  The parties mediated the case and were able to reach a mutually agreeable resolution at $2,100,000.00. All parties were pleased with the result. 
  • Settlement just prior to jury selection where we were successful in excluding plaintiff's reconstruction expert. The case itself dealt with a box truck versus tractor-trailer accident in which plaintiff lost his leg.  On the date of the incident, both drivers were northbound on Interstate 605 experiencing medium to heavy traffic just south of Live Oak in the city of Irwindale, California. Defendant’s driver was operating a Peterbilt tractor-trailer in the #3 lane at approximately 35-40 miles per hour, along with the flow of traffic in his lane. At the same time, plaintiff was driving a bob tail truck in the #4 lane on his way to a thrift store in Covina, California. Plaintiff was not using his seatbelt in violation of the law and was approaching a Freightliner tanker truck, driven by a non-party, which was moving approximately 5 miles per hour along with the slower traffic of the #4 lane. Defendant driver noticed plaintiff’s bob tail truck ahead of him and to his right as he approached. As defendant continued in the #3 lane, and was within perhaps one car length of plaintiff, plaintiff swerved suddenly and partially blocked the #3 lane of traffic. Plaintiff had either not provided himself with enough time to stop in his own #4 lane or was attempting to move into the faster #3 lane. Defendant immediately applied his brakes but was unable to stop before colliding with the bob tail truck which had cut him off. The force of the collision propelled plaintiff to the right and the right side of the bob tail truck collided with a concrete abutment wall. Plaintiff swerved back into the #4 lane and he collided with the rear of the Freightliner’s tanker in front of him, causing his truck to turn over on its side. The investigating officer who completed the Traffic Collision Report, assessed statements and the physical evidence at the scene, and determined the cause of the collision to be plaintiff who was in violation of California Vehicle Code §21658(a) - unsafe lane change. Despite this, plaintiff persisted in his claim. We successfully challenged plaintiff’s reconstruction expert and at that point, settlement was achieved.

Educational Background

  • UCLA, 2002
  • Loyola Law School, 2006

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Vice Chair - Membership - Retail & Hospitality Committee - DRI, Civil Litigation Defense Organization, 2020
  • Vice Chair - Membership - Retail & Hospitality Committee - DRI, Civil Litigation Defense Organization, 2019
  • Vice Chair - Membership - Retail & Hospitality Committee - DRI, Civil Litigation Defense Organization, 2018

Honors/Awards

  • (ASCDC), President-Elect, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2020
  • , President, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2021
  • , DRI Award, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2022
  • Pacific Coast Business Times recognizes the leading attorneys and certified public accountants in the Tri-County area including Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. , Who's Who in Professional Services, Pacific Coast Business Times, 2020
  • Ms. Lytel assumed leadership of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) on February 5, 2021 becoming the first female president appointed from California’s Central Coast, and only the sixth woman to ever serve in the position. As president, Ms. Lytel will lead the organization through the end of 2021 in providing networking opportunities, specialized continuing education and representation in legislative and appellate matters for civil defense attorneys across Southern California.  Established in 1960 by a small group of Los Angeles defense attorneys, the ASCDC has grown into the largest regional defense organization in the country. Members encompass a diverse group of lawyers who practice from north of Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, and from the desert of the Inland Empire to the shores of Santa Monica. ASCDC member attorneys enjoy a wide range of benefits and opportunities, including continuing legal education through seminars featuring top speakers, an Annual Seminar bringing together members from throughout the Southland, active listserv, access to a computerized expert witness bank with over 13,000 entries, sports activities, and networking events. , President, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2021
  • (ASCDC), Vice President, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2019
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2018
  • General Liability/Premises Liability Committee Co-Chair, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Diana P. Lytel was honored by the nation’s preeminent regional defense organization, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), with the President’s Award. Each year, the president of ASCDC selects one member to receive the President’s Award. The ASCDC chose Diana for this award in recognition for her years of service with the ASCDC and for all that she has done as a board member of the organization., ASCDC , President's Award, 2017
  • Vice President, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation, 2018
  • Co-Chair Diversity Committee - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • President's Award, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2017
  • Board of Directors, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Board of Directors, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers, 2018

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Presiding Judges of Los Angeles and Orange County Superior Courts, two of the largest trial courts in the country, had an in-depth discussion about diversity, inclusion and why it is important. Presiding Judges Eric C. Taylor and Erick L. Larsh discussed why it is imperative that we all play a role in promoting diversity which works to ensure fairness and equity under the law. Our courtrooms should reflect California’s rich and varied demographics and this panel will focused on court initiatives that work toward achieving this goal., Moderator, Diversity & Inclusivity – Why It Matters, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) Annual Seminar, Civil Defense Bar, 2022
  • Moderated by Diana Lytel of Lytel & Lytel LLP, this panel discussion features key stakeholders from Santa Barbara's criminal justice system, including La Mer Kyle-Griffiths from the Public Defender's office, Tanja Heitman, Chief Probation Officer for the County of Santa Barbara and Toni Navarro, Director of Behavioral Wellness for the County of Santa Barbara. , Moderator , Rethinking Justice in Santa Barbara County , Santa Barbara County Bar Association Bench & Bar Conference, 2022
  • Panel discussion with judges from each of the 8 south counties to provide updates on the civil court system in their respective jurisdictions., Moderator, ASCDC Mini Seminar - State of the Courts, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), Civil Bar, 2021
  • Join us for a discussion regarding the Paraprofessional proposal being advocated by the State Bar and it will impact your practice if adopted. The proposal will allow nonlawyer “paraprofessionals” to practice law in certain areas and own up to 49 percent of law firms. In addition, the program will discuss another program designed to open a regulatory “sandbox,” which would allow accounting firms, technology companies and others to practice law in California., Moderator, Pending State Bar Proposal to Allow Nonlawyers to Practice Law and Own Law Firms: How The Proposed Paraprofessional Program Will Impact Your Practice - 2021, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), Civil Bar, 2021
  • Article highlighting the backgrounds of the current and incoming President of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC). , Presidential Profiles, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), Civil Defense Bar, 2022
  • General liability alert for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel regarding the Court of Appeal decision in Gonsalves v. Li (A140284).  The First District Court of Appeal ruled in January of 2015 that a party’s denial or lack of admission in response to requests for admissions cannot be used for impeachment purposes. The panel overturned a judgment of more than $1.2 million in favor of a BMW sales associate who was injured during a test drive that was a result of defendant’s alleged reckless driving. The Court of Appeal ruled that the trial court erred in the admitting (over defense counsel’s objections) various requests for admissions in which the defendant Li stated that he had insufficient information to admit or deny the supporting interrogatory responses. , Co-Chair Premises Liability/General Liability Committee - ASCDC, Gonsalves v. Li (A140284): Court of Appeal held that a party's denials of requests for admissions are inadmissible at trial where a party's conduct in litigation is not in issue, ASCDC - General Liability Alert
  • In a June 23, 2014, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) NEWSFLASH, Board of Director, Diana P. Lytel laid out a seminal case for business owners in California regarding the standard of care:  Verdugo v. Target Corporation. In a case with potentially explosive impact, the California Supreme Court decided in June of 2014 under what circumstances commercial property owners in California must have automatic external defibrillators (AED’s). The court found that retailers are not obligated to acquire AED’s in anticipation of potential medical emergencies. For retailers, the burden of maintaining AED’s, outweigh the foreseeability of harm., Co-Chair General Liability/Premises Liability Committee - ASCDC, Case Analysis: Verdugo v. Target Corporation, General Liability Alert - ASCDC

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • SUPER LAWYERS LIST - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA , 2022
  • SUPER LAWYERS LIST - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA , 2021
  • SUPER LAWYERS LIST, 2020
  • SUPER LAWYERS: Up-and-Coming 50: 2019 Women Southern California Rising Stars List, 2019

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Volunteer Judge - Santa Barbara County Mock Trial , 2022
  • Volunteer Judge - Santa Barbara County Teen Court Program , 2022
  • Santa Barbara Women Lawyers - Pro Bono Committee Member, 2022
  • Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Resume Workshop - Santa Barbara Colleges of Law, 2022
  • Volunteer Scorer - Santa Barbara County Mock Trial, 2021
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program., 2021
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program. , 2020
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program. , 2019
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program. , 2018
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program. , 2017
  • Volunteer Judge for the Santa Barbara Teen Court Program. , 2016
  • Also handle certain pro-bono client cases

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Executive Committee - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2022
  • Immediate Past President - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2022
  • Board of Directors - California Defense Counsel (CDC), 2022
  • President -  Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation (SBWLF), 2022
  • Vice President - Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL), 2022
  • Los Angeles County Bar Associations (LACBA) President's Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession , 2022
  • President - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC). First female president appointed from California’s Central Coast, and only the sixth woman to ever serve in the position. As president, I will lead the organization through the end of 2021 in providing networking opportunities, specialized continuing education and representation in legislative and appellate matters for civil defense attorneys across Southern California.  Established in 1960 by a small group of Los Angeles defense attorneys, the ASCDC has grown into the largest regional defense organization in the country. Members encompass a diverse group of lawyers who practice from north of Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, and from the desert of the Inland Empire to the shores of Santa Monica.  , 2021
  • Board of Directors - California Defense Counsel (CDC). , 2021
  • Treasurer - Santa Barbara Defenders - local group of private criminal defense counsel. , 2021
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the Legal Profession., 2021
  • Board of Directors - Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL), 2021
  • Member - California Women Lawyers, 2021
  • President-Elect - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2020
  • Pacific Coast Business Times - Who's Who in Professional Services, 2020
  • Chair | Annual Seminar Committee - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), 2020
  • Board of Directors - California Defense Counsel (CDC), 2020
  • Board of Directors - Santa Barbara Women's Lawyers, 2020
  • Board of Directors - Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation, 2020
  • Vice President, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2019
  • Latina Lawyers Bar Association of Los Angeles, 2022
  • Diversity Committee - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association 
  • Board of Directors - Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
  • National Association of Professional Women
  • Santa Barbara Barristers
  • Women Lawyers of Ventura County
  • Ventura County Bar Association
  • DRI
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association

Industry Groups

  • Banking
  • CFA Defense
  • Finance
  • Financial Planners
  • FINRA Compliance
  • Private Equity
  • Registered Investment Advisors
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Office Location for Diana P. Lytel

225 East Carrillo Street
Suite 203
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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