Handling complex cases requires an attorney to communicate every subject to many audiences: a judge, jurors, mediators, adversaries, and even their own clients. The ability to communicate complex matters in a simple manner is of paramount importance to a trial lawyer. Gatto has enjoyed success with, and is well-known for, making the complex understood.
“Michael can talk to doctors, scientists, engineers, and other professionals in their language,” says R. Lewis Van Blois, attorney and founder of the Van Blois Law Firm. “At the same time, he’s able to present evidence through these witnesses in a way that’s easily understood and in a compelling fashion that resonates with jurors.”
Gatto developed these trial skills initially as a prosecutor when he tried almost 100 jury trials and more than 150 bench trials. Next, he began his career in civil law defending doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice actions. Over the last 19 years, Gatto has successfully handled catastrophic personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, amputation, and burn injuries, as well as wrongful death cases.
Having worked so closely with both the legal precedent and medical testimony, Gatto’s experience and relationships with numerous physicians has given him a familiarity with a broad number of medical issues. As a result, he’s comfortable with these complex cases.
“Physicians can appear standoffish or wary of taking a position,” says Van Blois. “But Michael can talk to them on their level, guiding them to the heart of any issue. He puts everyone at ease while quickly getting to the information his clients need.”
In addition to a depth and breadth of medical knowledge his colleagues describe as “encyclopedic,” Gatto has extensive experience with complex litigation that gets results. In 2014, he received one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Contra Costa County history. And this expertise is reflected in honors and awards he’s received, such as the 2018 Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in Oakland, Super Lawyers, and National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
“This award is an honor,” says Gatto. “Recognition by one’s peers is a tremendous compliment. I’m pleased that my passion and enthusiasm for helping injured people is respected.”