Charles F. Hawkins, Esq.


Charles F. Hawkins, Esq. specializes in resolving complex civil matters and catastrophic personal injury cases. Long considered the preeminent personal injury mediator of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, Mr. Hawkins was a founding member of Mediation Masters and has been an active neutral for over 30 years. Having handled in excess of 5,000 mediations, his reach as a mediator extends far beyond his base in Northern California, mediating cases in Los Angeles, San Diego, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. He has consistently been recognized as a Super Lawyer for his work in alternative dispute resolution and personal injury matters.

Personal Injury Expertise

  • Automobile collisions
  • Sexual abuse
  • Trucking accidents
  • Elder abuse
  • Products liability
  • Railroad injuries
  • Medical negligence
  • Coverage, indemnity, and contract interpretation issues
  • Construction site injuries

Civil Litigation Background

Mr. Hawkins has over 45 years of experience in civil litigation, specializing in nearly all types of personal injury-related matters, along with handling general civil and business contingency litigation at both the State and Federal Court levels.


  • University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D., 1968
  • Stanford University, B.A., 1965

Professional Associations

Mr. Hawkins is a past member of the Board of Governors of the California Trial Lawyers Association (now known as the Consumer Attorneys of California) and has lectured for the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, the California Trial Lawyers Association, Continuing Education of the Bar programs, and has spoken at the Santa Clara University School of Law on mediation and arbitration. Mr. Hawkins has authored numerous articles on mediation and has been honored as one of the premier mediators in Northern California.

Representative Cases

Vehicular Injuries

  • Automotive, trucking, boating, motorcycle, bicycle and recreational vehicle cases involving complex orthopedic injuries, amputations, burns and degloving injuries, spinal injuries leading to paraplegia or quadriplegia, brain injuries ranging from mild to catastrophic, and wrongful death. Settlements range from five figures to eight figures with many mediated settlements ranging from $1 million to $24 million.

Automobile Products Liability

  • Many mediations involving catastrophic injuries resulting from vehicular rollovers, tire failures, handling and stability defects, seat belt and seat failures, roof crush injuries, and vehicular fires. Cases involved all major automobile and truck manufacturers, tire companies and their associated distributors and retailers, as well as the suppliers of after-market equipment. Many of these cases involved multiple plaintiffs and defendants, with injuries ranging from modest to catastrophic, including brain injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia, severe burns and death.

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical negligence matters involving hypoxic birth injuries, surgical difficulties, anesthesia mishaps, failures to diagnose cancer or to identify genetic abnormalities, and drug administration difficulties which have caused shoulder dystocia, paralysis, brain injuries, repetitive surgeries and death. Multiple party litigation and class actions involving medical implants (artificial joints and pelvic mesh, etc.) and other medical devices.

Elder Abuse

  • Skilled nursing facility and custodial facility negligence and/or elder abuse cases ranging from low six figures to high seven figures involving the application of the MICRA statute and the differentiation between medical and/or custodial negligence and elder abuse.

Products Liability

  • Numerous cases involving a wide variety of consumer products, including industrial equipment, punch presses, heavy equipment, appliances and/or medical devices and equipment. The issues attendant to these matters include the adequacy of warnings and disclosures, state of the art, claims of misuse by Plaintiffs and the concurrent resolution of successor liability, indemnity and insurance coverage. Injuries include catastrophic explosive burns, crushing injuries, amputations, spinal fractures, brain injuries, loss of sight, joint replacement, paralysis and death.

Sexual Abuse

  • Mediations involving the sexual abuse of minors and adults by religious and school employees, other entities, and authority figures causing severe emotional and psychological injuries. Many of these cases involved multiple plaintiffs and defendants and resulted in settlements from the mid-five figures to eight figures.

Governmental Liability

  • Numerous road design and maintenance cases involving Caltrans, counties, and municipalities dealing with guardrails, median barriers, intersection controls, railroad crossings, signage and striping. Each case involved the application of governmental immunities. Settlements ranged from five figures to high seven figures.

Construction Defects

  • Private residences, commercial and governmental buildings, fire, water and toxic mold situations. Most of these matters involved multiple parties, numerous cross- complaints and significant coverage and indemnity issues.


  • Other settlements have involved real estate matters, including easement and property line disputes, broker malpractice, landslide damage, water diversion, unauthorized tree cutting, injunctive relief, housing development, CC&R’s and manufactured home defect situations. Cases also have involved toxic torts, legal and medical partnership dissolutions, commercial fraud, and will contests.


“First time using Mr. Hawkins. A real pleasure. He was excellent. Lauren was an very helpful assistant to the process as well.”