Timothy J. Schmal
Tim Schmal, born in Hammond, Indiana, in 1956, specializes in civil litigation with an emphasis on plaintiff personal injury, general civil litigation for individuals and businesses, and has vast experience with governmental tort liability and real property damage cases. Mr. Schmal has substantial experience handling bodily injury cases in both motor vehicle and premises liability contexts, and he has tried around thirty jury trials in over a half dozen counties’ state courts, and in federal court, and has handled literally hundreds of arbitrations, court trials and other disputed proceedings, in almost three and a half decades of active civil practice. Mr. Schmal was the prevailing trial and appellate attorney in Lussier v. San Lorenzo Valley Water District, a leading published appellate decision regarding natural disasters and public entity liability. Mr. Schmal has briefed at least fifteen, and argued at least ten cases before the Courts of Appeal. He has also represented Joe and Jennifer Montana in property damage litigation.
Mr. Schmal received his Bachelor Degree, magna cum laude, from California State University, Fresno, in 1979, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the Santa Clara University School of Law, in 1982. While at the Santa Clara University, Mr. Schmal was an Associate Editor of the Santa Clara Law Review (Vol. 22, 1981-1982). In 1981, Mr. Schmal served as a law clerk to (the late) Peter Anello, Justice Pro Tem of the California Court of Appeal, First District. From 1982 through 1983, Mr. Schmal was a faculty member and Legal Research & Writing Instructor at Santa Clara University School of Law. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Clara University Law Alumni Association from 1984 through 1990, and was President of that organization from 1988 through 1989. From 1991 to 2016, he was a member of the Santa Clara University Law School Dean’s advisory board, the Board of Visitors.
Mr. Schmal is a member of the State Bar of California (admitted 1982), and various federal bars. Mr. Schmal is a member, six year former director and multi-year officer of the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz County Bar Association. He was the President of the Santa Cruz County Bar Association from January 2008 through February 2009. He was a board member, Secretary and Treasurer of the Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association from 2013 - 2016. He was chosen annually to present a continuing education talk on “Updates in Civil Law” to Santa Cruz County bar members for a seven year period. He is now a member of the Board of Directors for Senior Citizens Legal Service. Mr. Schmal is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, and has served as both an Arbitrator and Judge Pro Tem in Superior Court and has been a Court-appointed Special Master, Discovery Referee and Judge Pro Tem in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Mr. Schmal also serves as a Mediator and Special Master by stipulation of the parties in litigated disputes.
Over seven years ago, Mr. Schmal was approved for the membership in the San Francisco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and was formally approved by the national board in May 2010. ABOTA membership is obtained on a nomination-only basis and requires that its members try a requisite number of jury trials to verdict to gain qualification. Less than one percent (1%) of practicing attorneys nationwide and in the State of California are ABOTA members, and only around a dozen attorneys practicing on the Monterey Bay (Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties) are members. Mr. Schmal has also been voted a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for the past half dozen or more years, and it appears there are around 500 attorneys in California - around one-tenth of one percent (1/10th of 1%) - who have been given a rating of “10.0” on a scale of 10 by the consumer rating service, AVVO.com– including Mr. Schmal.
Mr. Schmal is the proud father of two now-adult adopted daughters. He enjoys most participant and spectator sports, and has been an avid distance runner and marathoner for over 30 years. Mr. Schmal has been a participant, mentor and captain for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (“LLS”) Team In Training (“TNT”) program, and served as an on-staff coach for the program for over a decade, with 6 years as head coach, preparing likely over 1,600 runners (and also walkers) to complete various full and half marathons. Those athletes have raised over $4,500,000.00 for LLS during that time. He himself, raised over $25,000.00 for the battle against blood-related cancers with TNT, and was the third highest fundraiser (of 12 original candidates) as a nominated candidate for the 2011 Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay Chapter Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “Man of the Year”, raising an additional amount of over $28,000.00 in a ten week campaign. Mr. Schmal has run 28 marathons (26.2 mile running race), and counting, including Boston, twice, finishing in the top 25% at the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996, and has finished every half and full marathon that he has ever started, now numbering over 100.
He has also served as a prime fundraiser for a children’s performing choir, running an annual raffle and auction for eight years.
In the fall of 2010, Mr. Schmal tried, to jury verdict, the case of Maria Chavez-Bello v. Dr. Jeffrey Solinas, et al., spanning three weeks, resulting in a gross jury verdict for our client, Ms. Chavez-Bello, of over one million dollars, and an ultimate net settlement amount of $900,000.00. Although jury verdict records aren’t recorded locally, this appears to be one of the largest jury verdicts in a personal injury case in Santa Cruz County history, and is perhaps the largest single such verdict in the county in the last decade.
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