Michael P. Verna - Bowles & Verna LLP

Michael P. Verna

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Michael P. Verna is a 1975 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) and a 1978 graduate of Hastings College of the Law.  An experienced trial attorney with an extensive record of accomplishment, Mr. Verna enjoys preeminent and A.V. ratings from the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory and has been certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy ("NBTA") since 1986.  The NBTA is the only organization accredited by both the American Bar Association and the California State Bar in the specialty area of civil trial law. He has regularly been listed in Best Lawyers of America for several years running and is routinely recognized by the peer reviewed periodical Super Lawyers of Northern California. He was recently profiled as “Top Lawyer” in Oakland and San Francisco Magazines and is a long standing member in a number of prestigious and invitation only trial lawyer associations.

Mr. Verna has focused his trial practice representing plaintiffs in complex catastrophic injury/death cases and commercial/business litigation. including large scale bad faith insurance, wrongful termination, and fraud claims. As plaintiffs counsel, he has generated over $100,000,000 in verdicts and settlements, but has also obtained complete defense verdicts when serving as defense counsel.  Mr. Verna litigates cases throughout the United States, and supervises litigation in overseas courts.

University of California at BerkeleyBA 1975University of California Hastings College of the LawJ.D. 1978
ABA Aviation and Space Law CommitteeMulti-Million Dollar Advocates ForumLitigation Counsel of AmericaCollege of Master Advocates and BarristersAmerican Inns of CourtAmerican Board of Trial AdvocatesNational Board of Trial Advocates

Case History

Sikorsky Copterline Crash — Crash of a commercially operated S-76C+ Sikorsky helicopter in the Baltic Sea while transporting twelve passengers and two crew from Tallin, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland.  Case litigated in both New York and Connecticut.  Difficult legal issues of choice of law (Death on the High Seas Act, general maritime law, Finnish or Estonian civil law), forum selection, Hague Convention access to evidence, and level of damages for Finnish families who received generous social welfare benefits.  Case resolved for confidential, record setting amount for a Scandinavian crash.
Blue Water Litigation — Represented public water district against claims of tainted, copper contaminated water due to inadequate chlorination techniques.  Claims brought by over 100 homeowners for personal injury and depreciation of property values, and by four large home building developers for lost profits (construction activities were shut down by state due to tainted water).  Over $100 million in claims asserted. Complex legal issues of public entity liability, contract indemnity, economic damages rule, and causation involved.  Case ultimately resolved with water district paying none of its own money, and later recovering $5 million from its insurance carrier for bad faith refusal to defend and indemnify.
Helios Airways Flight 522 Crash — Crash of Boeing 737 due to cabin de-pressurization en route from Cyprus to Prague via Athens.  Hotly contested issues related to cause of depressurization and responsibility therefore. Initially litigated in Chicago, IL (headquarters of Boeing).  Significant legal issues of forum non conveniens, choice of damages law (i.e. Greek, Cypriot, American), and application of international air carrier treaties.  Resolved for record amounts under Greek law, which are confidential.
Korean Air Flight 801 Crash — Represented severely injured passengers aboard a Korean Air Boeing 747 which crashed on approach to Guam Airport en route from Korea.  Claim asserted against U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for air traffic control errors. Litigated in Central District Court of California (Los Angeles).  As a result of the case, new ATC procedures have been implemented to improve air safety.  Clients awarded record amounts, totalling $36 million. 
Air Philippines Flight 541 Crash — Represented families of 42 decedents on board Boeing 737 which crashed on approach to Davao City Airport in Mindinao, Philippines.  Litigated case in Cook County, Illinois for eight years and established new law on liability of U.S. based aircraft lessors for overseas accidents.  On eve of trial, cases settled for record amounts, totalling $63 million for our clients and $165 million for all passenger families.

Office Location

2121 North California Boulevard, Suite 875
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
United States

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation (Plaintiffs)
Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Other Information

Gender: Male