Scott Sumner

Top rated Personal Injury attorney in Walnut Creek, California

Scott Sumner

Practice Areas: Personal Injury, Products Liability, Appellate

Licensed in California since: 1991

Education: University of San Diego School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2023
Free Consultation


1299 Newell Hill Place
Suite 301
Walnut Creek, CA 94596 Phone: 925-278-6170 Email: Scott Sumner Visit website


Scott H.Z. Sumner has 30+ years experience as an advocate for injury victims and their families in catastrophic injury and death cases arising from auto, truck, motorcycle, bicycle and aircraft cases, defective products, and dangerous roadways.  

He has successfully fought for and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims and their families for decades in and around the Bay Area and the State of California against major insurers, corporations, and manufacturers in the auto, trucking, heavy equipment and other industries, and against state and local governments. 

He is widely recognized and respected by both the personal injury victim’s and insurance/corporation defense bars; a seasoned and experienced litigator, trial lawyer, and appellate advocate; a leader and leading educator for the plaintiff’s bar in California and in Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara and surrounding Counties.

Recipient of the CAALA Ian Herzog Award Appellate Lawyer of the Year 2010; Civil Justice Award, SFTLA, 2010; 2010 Consumer Attorneys of Marin Special Recognition for appellate and educational work; and the CAOC Robert E. Cartwright, Sr. Award In Recognition of Excellence In Trail Advocacy And Dedication To Teaching Trial Advocacy To Colleagues And To The Public 2009. Peer-rated A/V by Martindale for over a decade, Northern California SuperLawyer since 2005, and peer-voted one of the Top 100 Personal Injury Lawyers in Northern California.

J.D., USD (cum laude, 1991; American Jurisprudence Award, Remedies 1991); Hastings (visiting student 1990-91). Past President of the Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyer's Association (ACCTLA, 2004) and elected to the Board of Directors and Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).

First Admitted: 1991, California

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, 1998 - 2021 (Board of Governors); Consumer Attorneys of California, 2007 - 2021 (Board of Directors); American Association for Justice (Member); Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Assoc., 2004 (President); Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Assoc., 1997 - Present (Board Member); Public Justice Foundation.
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Amicus Committee, 1998 - Present
Educational Background:
  • Graduate from University of San Diego School of Law, visiting student at Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA. , 1991
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • “Medical Special Damages ‘Incurred” Under California Law: The Collateral Source Rule, Law of Contracts, and the Discount Myth,” California Litigation, Journal of the Litigation Section, State Bar of California, Vol. 21, Number 3, 2008.  Examines private health insurance and medical care under California's statutory framework and the law of contracts, and how those laws are being ignored and misapplied in an attempt by liability insurers and defendants to avoid the proper application of the collateral source rule in personal injury tort cases., Author, “Medical Special Damages ‘Incurred” Under California Law: The Collateral Source Rule, Law of Contracts, and the Discount Myth”, 2008
  • In the past two decades, mediation became not just the norm for cases, but in many (mostly larger) cases, multiple mediationsessions became common. During those years, as well, reimbursement claims from health plans became the norm, rather thanthe exception; “lien” claimants became increasingly unreasonable and overreaching — usually in conjunction with third partyvendors assuming collection responsibilities for health plans and payers; carriers began evaluating cases based on paid medical special damages rather than medical charges; and the cost of both mediators and litigation experts rose at a rate that feltexponential. , Author, Mediation — Managing expectations; coping with liens; handling the math , Consumer Attorneys Of California Forum Magazine, 2018
  • Injured bicyclist's cases present in markedly different ways than strictly motor vehicle cases. Cyclists are usually whisked away byambulance, and not interviewed by police on-scene, but later, and after a responding officer has already formed their personal impressions and conclusions without input from the injured cyclist.  A “good” police report has nothing to do with the reporting officer’s opinions and conclusions (which are generally inadmissible), and everything to do with the thoroughness of the evidence gathered, documented and preserved, Author, Pedaling through it all, Consumer Attorneys Of California Forum Magazine, 2020
  • Public entities were never supposed to enjoy absolute immunity for dangerous conditions of planned and constructed paved multi-use trails.  The form of “trail immunity” that has grown up as a result of court decisions (mis)interpreting Ca. Gov. Code Section 831.4 is not what the legislature intended. , Author, Derailing trail immunity on the paved, multi-use trail, Plaintiff Magazine (, 2021
  • "Medi-Cal liens update,",, Plaintiff Magazine, September, 2009
  • "Health Insurance and the Collateral Source Rule in California a Tortured by Myth, Misrepresentation, and Misconception,",, Forum Magazine, May/June, 2009
  • "Reasonable Value of Medical Services a€ the Hanif Issue at Issue,", Article and Seminar Tour for CAOC, 2006
  • "How Can Bill Clinton's Home State Help You With Medi-Cal Liens? (Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services (ADHS), et. al. v. Ahlborn),", Forum Magazine, May, 2006
  • "Tort Reform = Corporate Welfare and Class Warfare,", Forum Magazine, December, 2004
  • "Handling County Hospital Liens",, The Verdict, Summer, 2003
  • "New Ways to Cut Health Insurer Liens",, Forum Magazine, Spring, 2001
  • "Overcoming Inadequate Insurance Coverage Through a Separate Loss of Consortium Claim", The Verdict, Fall, 1997
  • Special Recognition for appellate and educational work, Special Recognition, Consumer Attorneys of Marin, 2010
  • Given in recognition of excellence in trial advocacy and dedication to teaching trial advocacy to fellow trial lawyers and to the public, Robert E. Cartwright, Sr. Award, Consumer Attorneys of California, 2009
  • For Appellate Excellence, Ian Herzog Award Appellate Lawyer of the Year, CAALA, 2010
  • For contribution to the development of the law, Civil Justice Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers, 2010
  • Commendation from Senator Joseph Dunn for work in advancing civil justice through leadership., Senate Member Resolution No. 135, Califiornia Senate - Senator Joseph Dunn, 2005
Industry Groups:
  • CAOC

Office location for Scott Sumner

1299 Newell Hill Place
Suite 301
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


19 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2023

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