Mr. Aitken is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and founding partner ofAitken*Aitken*Cohn, in Santa Ana, California. He was the youngest president in the history of the State Trial Bar and is continually recognized by LawDragon Magazine as one of the "Top 500 Lawyers in America," and Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of "The Top 100," California's Most Influential Lawyers. He has been repeatedly designated a "Southern California Super Lawyer." and featured in Best Lawyers in America and The Preeminent Lawyers of America.
He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including: the "Franklin G. West Award" Orange County Bar Association’s highest award; Consumer Watchdog’s "Rage for Justice -Lifetime Achievement Award," Marquette University Law School "Lifetime Achievement Award;" American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)"Trial Lawyer of the Year;" OC Trial Lawyer Association "Top Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year" and "Business Trial Lawyer of the Year;" Hispanic Bar Association "Trial Lawyer of the Year;" and, Anti-Defamation League of OC/LB "Jurisprudence Award."
Mr. Aitken acts as board member or advisor to numerous professional organizations, including: State of California Task Force on Court Facilities (as appointed by two California Speakers of the Assembly); Federal Judicial Advisory committee member for the Central District (under appointment of Senators Feinstein and Boxer, which recommends the appointment of Federal District Judges); ABOTA member of the National Board of Directors; and, Trustee of ABOTA Foundation. He is a Trustee and Board President of South Coast Repertory Theater; Chair of the Board of Visitors of Chapman University Law School and a Trustee of Chapman University.
He is a graduate of Marquette University Law School (1965) where he was a St. Thomas More scholar and Associate Editor of the Marquette Law Review and sits on the Marquette Law School Advisory Board. His undergraduate work was in "OC" at Santa Ana College and Cal State Fullerton.
As an author, his articles have appeared in numerous law reviews and other legal publications; and he serves on the Jefferson's California Evidence Benchbook Editorial Board. He has also been a frequent guest on radio and television programs such as Larry King Live, Inside Edition, Michael Jackson Show, KABC Ronn Owens, OCN Prime Time, and KOCE Real Orange, among others.
Mr. Aitken has been trial counsel in numerous significant tort cases involving bad faith insurance practices, aviation, automobiles, product liability, business tort litigation and actions involving wrongful death and major personal injuries.
As appellate counsel, he has been involved in landmark insurance decisions such as: Boicourt v Amex Assurance Company, 78 Cal.App. 4th 1390 (2000); Neal v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 21 Cal.3d 910, 148 Cal.Rptr. 389 (1978) and Gourley v. State Farm, 217 Cal.App.3d 111 (1990). As an active participant on the Amicus Curiae Committee of the Consumer Attorneys of California Trial Lawyers Association, he has argued numerous major tort actions to the Supreme Court.
$54,000,000 - Gutierrez V. U.S. Government — $54 Million verdict was awarded to 9-year-old girl (recognized as the highest individual injury award as against the Federal Government) following a trial against the U.S. government as a result of an auto collision that occurred when a federal employee ran a red light and broadsided the car in which she was riding.
$25,000,000 (ESTIMATE) Settlement v. Disneyland — Settled a wrongful death action for a 34-year old man and the severe disfigurement of his wife due to the dislodgment of a metal cleat on Disney’s Sailing Ship Columbia at the Disneyland theme park. the settlement was estimated by the LA Times to be $25 Million. This high profile matter sparked a national debate and implemented changes in California law to ensure the safety of theme parks (and was followed by a wrongful death action brought by the family of a 21 year old son who was killed on the Big Thunder Mountain ride).
$23,500,000 - Newport Beach Boy v. E.A. Pedersen Company — Verdict of 23.5 Million was awarded to an "exceptional" 13 year old boy by an Orange County, California jury, for significant brain injuries as a result of an automobile collision. The trial of this matter involved complex and ground breaking legal theories regarding the accountability of an employer for actions of its employee (during the course and scope of employment).