Schoenberger, Richard H.

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Address: 650 California St. Fl. 26, San Francisco, CA 94108
Lawyer Firm: Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger
Phone: 415-981-7210
Fax: 415-391-6965

Areas of Practice Personal Injury

Richard H. Schoenberger has enjoyed remarkable success in his thirty-three 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.

Most recently, in August of 2018, his client received one of the largest personal injury verdicts in San Luis Obispo County history.

Eleven of his many jury verdicts have been for at least a million dollars and most have been for multiple millions, including eight figures.

In the past 5 years alone, Rich has achieved results, either through verdict or settlement, that total more than $150,000,000, including more than 35 million and multi-million dollar recoveries.

Rich was recently selected as the 2019 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in the San Francisco area. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the "Lawyer of the Year". This was the second time he was so recognized, having first received the honor in 2016.

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.

For the past eight 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 for the past eleven years and has been a Super Lawyer in Northern California for every year the designation has existed.

Owing to his many achievements in the courtroom, Rich is an invited member of the most prestigious trial lawyer organizations in the country: The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, The American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American Board of Trial Advocates, where he served as President for the San Francisco Chapter during its 50th Anniversary year. He has recently chaired and/or presented at various Masters In Trial programs and other programs for ABOTA.

Rich has taught trial advocacy on a national and international level since the early 1990’s. In California, he spent years teaching 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. He is program director for NITA’s inaugural Western United States Advanced Trial Program. 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. In 2011, 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."

As for life outside the law, beginning in 2013, and when not in trial, Rich teaches 6th grade English, Math and Mock Trial at Bridge the Gap, a wonderful Marin City school designed to prepare at risk youths for high school and college.

For years before that, 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.

Noteworthy Verdicts and Settlements

Goodloe v. Bell Sports, Inc.Jury Verdict – Defective Consumer Product$17,000,000

Van Fleet v. City of Oakland

Settlement – Motorcycle Collision


Guest v. Hotel ChainSettlement – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning$13,500,000

Liou v. State of CaliforniaJury Verdict- Dangerous Condition of Public Property$12,200,000

Driver v. Trucking Company

Settlement – Paralysis in Truck Collision


Loh v. County of AlamedaSettlement – Bicycle Accident$9,500,000

Perry v. BudgetJury Verdict – Automobile Accident$8,765,000

Hotel Worker v. Parking GarageSettlement – Traumatic Brain Injury$8,750,000

Kammerer v. Alimak Hek ABJury Verdict – Construction Accident/Product Liability$8,340,000

Law Student v. CountySettlement – Dangerous Condition of Public Property$8,250,000

Patient v. Hospital

Settlement – Medical Malpractice


Driver/Passenger v. Chip Seal/Paving CompanySettlement during jury selection – Traumatic Brain Injury$7,900,000

Widow v. National Package DeliverySettlement – Truck v. Auto Collision$7,750,000 Settlement

Truck Driver v. General ContractorSettlement – Work Place Accident$7,000,000

Wrongful Death Heirs v. Car CompanySettlement – Negligent Operation of a Vehicle$6,500,000

Window Contractor v. Scaffolding CompanySettlement – Dangerous Workplace$6,000,000

Motorcycle Driver v. State EmployeeSettlement – Roadway Collision$5,750,000

Bruce v. Telfer Highway Technologies, Inc. et al.

Jury Verdict – Motorcycle Collision/Construction Zone


Kim v. Zarour

Jury Verdict – Wrongful Death


Driver v. VineyardSettlement – Course and Scope of Vineyard Worker$4,750,000

Minor v. Valley Unified School DistrictSettlement – Negligent School Supervision$4,500,000

Receptionist v. Elevator CompanySettlement – Premises Liability$4,500,000

Machinist v. Industrial Machine DesignSettlement – Product Liability$4,000,000

Thornburgh v. City of AuburnSettlement – Dangerous Condition of Public Property$3,000,000

Perez v. CCSFSettlement – Public Transit Liability$3,000,000

Quackenbush v. CSAAJury Verdict – General Negligence$2,500,000

Lown v. MildenbergerJury Verdict – Premises Liability$1,072,000

Chu v. Bay Area Community ServicesJury Verdict – Psychiatric Malpractice/Premises Liability$1,000,000

O’Cain v. BasuJury Verdict – Medical Malpractice$1,000,000

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