Richard H. Schoenberger
Richard H Schoenberger has enjoyed remarkable success in his twenty-six year legal career. His outstanding skills and presence in the courtroom have made him one of the most highly respected trial lawyers in California. At various times he has held or shared the record for the largest verdict in particular case types in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
For the past three years, Rich has been recognized as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Northern California, as evaluated by Super Lawyers. He is "AV" peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Rich has been included in the national publication The Best Lawyers in America since 2005 and has been a Super Lawyer in Northern California for every year the designation has existed.
In 2011, he was selected as the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. It was his second nomination for this prestigious award.
In August of 2012, Rich obtained his ninth million or multi-million dollar jury verdict, this one for $8.3 million on behalf of a 46 year-old construction hoist operator against an elevator manufacturer. Two of his verdicts have been for substantially greater than $10 million. In the past five years alone, Rich has achieved trial or pre-trial results of greater than $1 million in more than 30 different cases.
Owing to his many achievements in the courtroom, Rich is an invited member of the most prestigious trial lawyer organizations in the country: The American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he serves as an officer and recently chaired the San Francisco Chapter's Masters In Trial program.
Rich has taught trial advocacy on a national and international level since the early 1990's. In California, he teaches Advanced Trial Practice as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). He has also served as a faculty member for the Judicial Council of California's Judicial Studies Program. As a highly rated member of the faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Rich has been invited to teach advocacy at NITA's rigorous National, Midwestern, Northwestern, Western and Pacific Regional programs as well as for private firms throughout the country. Rich has also served frequently as a team leader at Emory Law School's renowned Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program in Atlanta, Georgia.
In June of 2004, The American Bar Association, in concert with the Department of Justice's Central European Eurasian Law Initiative, invited Rich to the Republic of Georgia where he taught advocacy to 24 selected attorneys whose government had only recently allowed the right to a jury trial. In 2005, he was invited to lead a similar program in Sarajevo. Last year, he led a trial advocacy program in Belfast for Northern Ireland solicitors.
After graduating from Santa Clara University in 1982, Rich attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He began practice in 1985 as a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, where he prosecuted serious felonies. He joined the Walkup office in August of 1987 and became a partner in 1995. With Walkup, he has tried dozens of cases in more than ten counties throughout the state of California.
Rich is experienced in a wide variety of case types including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, workplace accidents, vehicular and bicycle negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, government liability, aviation disasters and wrongful death claims.
In an article printed in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, an opponent was quoted as follows: "Schoenberger is everything that a good plaintiff's lawyer should be: ethical, professional and smart, and he works hard."
For years, Rich served as CYO Athletic Director at St. Patrick's in Larkspur and as Minor League Rep for the Twin Cities' Little League Board of Directors. Rich also used to be found on some field or court, having coached more than 30 of his three kids' teams over the last decade. Now he just watches silently from the stands in full recognition that each of his kids is finally being coached by someone who knows what he or she is talking about.
Exemplar Verdicts and Settlements
Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc. Jury verdict - defective consumer product - $17,000,000
Liou v. State of California Jury verdict- dangerous condition of public property - $12,200,000
Perry v. Budget Jury verdict - automobile accident - $8,765,000
Kammerer v. Alimak Hek AB Jury verdict – construction accident/product liability – $8,340,000
Quackenbush v. CSAA Jury verdict - general negligence - $2,500,000
Lown v. Mildenberger Jury verdict - premises liability - $1,072,000
Chu v. Bay Area Community Services Jury verdict - psychiatric malpractice/premises liability - $1,000,000
O'Cain v. Basu Jury verdict - medical malpractice - $1,000,000
Loh v. County of Alameda Settlement - bicycle accident - $9,500,000
Widow v. National Package Delivery Settlement - truck v. auto collision - $7,750,000 Settlement
Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car Company Settlement - negligent operation of a vehicle - $6,500,000
Window Contractor v. Scaffolding Company Settlement - dangerous workplace - $6,000,000
Driver v. Vineyard Settlement - course and scope of vineyard worker - $4,750,000
Minor v. Valley Unified School District Settlement - negligent school supervision - $4,500,000
Receptionist v. Elevator Company Settlement - premises liability - $4,500,000
Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design Settlement - product liability - $4,000,000
Thornburgh v. City of Auburn Settlement - dangerous condition of public property - $3,000,000
Perez v. CCSF Settlement - public transit liability - $3,000,000
Year Joined Firm
Areas of Practice
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Medical Malpractice
- Product Liability
- Government Liability
- Aviation Disasters
- Wrongful Death Claims
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- California, 1985
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
- Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California - 1982
- Liou v. State of California
- Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc.
- Loh v. County of Alameda
- Perry v. Budget
- Quackenbush v. CSAA
- Lown v. Mildenberger
- O'Cain v. Basu
- Beltram v. City and County of San Francisco
- Chu v. Bay Area Community Services
- Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car Company
- Window Contractor v. Scaffolding Company
- Minor v. Valley Unified School District
- Machinist v. Industrial Machine Design
- Thornburgh v. City of Auburn
- Perez v. CCSF
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
- Faculty Member, Judicial Studies Program, California Judicial Council
- Invited Speaker, Direct Examination, San Francisco Public Defender's Office
- Member of Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
Honors and Awards
- Presidential Award of Merit, CAOC, 2001
- Nominated Finalist, SFTLA's Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, 2001
Professional Associations and Memberships
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Board Member
- American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Alameda County District Attorney's Office, Deputy District Attorney