Sal A. Liccardo, Esq.

Profile

Sal Liccardo, Esq. has extensive experience settling both simple and complex cases, including mass tort cases, over his 50-year long legal career. In addition to his private mediation practice, he has served as a settlement judge pro tem and neutral mediator for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. He has resolved the vast majority of cases in such areas of law as personal injury, wrongful death, mass tort, product liability, insurance bad faith, and business and commercial litigation both in his firm’s practice as well as a mediator or settlement neutral. His practical experience in settling thousands of cases over his career provides him with in-depth insight on identifying potential stumbling blocks to settlement, and his determination and drive ensure that cases are resolved to the satisfaction of all those involved.

Prior to commencing his mediation practice, Mr. Liccardo enjoyed a reputation as one of the country’s most respected and decorated trial lawyers, having been invited to such prestigious organizations as the Inner Circle of Advocates and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been honored with numerous awards for excellence in trial practice, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, and was recognized numerous times as a Top Lawyer by various bar and legal associations.

Mr. Liccardo’s jury trial experience, involving over 200 trials, uniquely qualifies him to assist parties in accurately evaluating their cases for settlement. He fully understands the usual risk of trial, the extensive costs and potential obstacles that often occur. His considerable experience gives him a greater understanding of the importance and value of settling cases early, before litigation costs run out of control. His credibility in this regard is unmatched, and the respect he has earned throughout his career from lawyers on both sides of the bar contribute to his effectiveness and success as a neutral.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Personal Injury: wrongful death; catastrophic personal injury; mass tort litigation.
  • Product Liability: auto crashworthiness; prescription drugs; medical devices.
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Commercial & Business Litigation

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Inner Circle of Advocates (Emeritus), invited member since 1974. Limited to 100 of the most prestigious plaintiff trial lawyers in America.
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, invited member since 1986. An organization of distinguished and accomplished trial lawyers from throughout the world. Member of the Board of Directors, 2008-2010 and 2014-2016. Faculty member for the “China Program” educating leading and accomplished Chinese government lawyers on the role of “The Rule of Law” in America from 2003-2017.
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Diplomate, invited member since 1985.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2009.
  • Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions & Services to Humanity, University of Santa Clara School of Law Alumni Association, 2008.
  • Champion of Justice Award, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1999.
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 1994.
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2007-2009.
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California, “Northern California Super Lawyers”, 2005-2009.
  • Silicon Valley’s Top Lawyers, “San Jose Magazine”, 2005-2009.
  • Co-Founder and Elected President of Public Justice (formerly known as Trial Lawyers for Public Justice), 1989-1990. A national public interest law firm that specializes in cutting edge civil cases.
  • Recognition of Experience Certificate, California Trial Lawyers Association.
  • Rated AV-Preeminent, the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Member of Alpha Sigma Nu, a University of Santa Clara Honors Fraternity.
  • Appointed to California Coordination Proceedings 2754 (Silicone Breast Implant Litigation), Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, Judge O’Neill, San Diego, 1993-1999.
  • Appointed to MDL-926 Breast Implant Litigation: Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) by Judge Sam Pointer, Federal District Court, Birmingham, Alabama, 1992-1999.

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

  • Founding Partner of Caputo & Liccardo
  • Founding Partner of Caputo, Liccardo, Rossi, Sturges & McNeil
  • Founding Partner of Liccardo, Rossi, Sturges & McNeil
  • Founding Partner of The Liccardo Law Firm, LLP

MILITARY EXPERIENCE

  • 2nd and 1st U.S. Army, Signal Corps
    • Active duty, served in Southeast Asia, 1957-1958
    • Active reserve until 1962

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • State of California, 1962
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1962
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1962
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1995
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1966

EDUCATION

  • Bellarmine College Preparatory
  • University of Santa Clara, B.A.
  • University of Santa Clara, J.D.
  • Two years of medical courses, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • California State Bar
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice (formerly American Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Inner Circle of Advocates (Emeritus)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Diplomate
  • Member of Public Justice (formerly known as Trial Lawyers for Public Justice)

Representative Cases

Business & Commercial

  • A corporation sold fraudulent deeds of trust and other securities to thousands throughout the United States before going into bankruptcy and its CEO going to prison. Mr. Liccardo represented 187 of their investors who were defrauded and lost their entire investment amounting to millions of dollars. Utilizing the law placing liability upon one aiding and abetting a fraudulent entity, each client was able to recover 110% of the amount they had lost from settlements with banks, accounting firms, law firms and a major New York Brokerage firm, all of which were shown to have aided and abetted the corporation.

Catastrophic Personal Injury

  • A prospective 30-year-old member of the 2002 Winter Olympic Bobsled Team suffered severe brain damage while filming a bobsled run for a Cadillac television commercial. General Motors hired Hollywood grips to install the necessary camera to create the advertisement. The injury resulted from negligent installation and placement of a 70 lb. camera on the nose of the bobsled which broke loose during the course of the run. This resulted in the bobsled and occupant Plaintiff being catapulted into an overhead wooden canopy at 90 mph. Case settled for multi-millions of dollars.
  • A 30-year-old disabled male pedestrian with extensive brain damage from a prior accident 10 years earlier was struck by a turning automobile while crossing the street in Fort Bragg, California. The collision resulted in further catastrophic brain damage super imposed upon the prior brain injury increasing the level of disability. A multi-million dollar settlement was obtained against the driver for negligence and the City of Fort for Bragg for creating a dangerous condition at the subject intersection.

Construction Liability

  • A 50-year-old medical device salesman suffered severe brain damage slipping on pooled water at the top landing of a stairwell falling 22 steps to the bottom. The stairwell was defectively constructed in violation of several building codes in a medical office building 4 years prior to Plaintiff's fall. Also, the stairwell was designed adjacent to open atriums that would expose the entire stairwell to heavy rains and wind common in the area. The landing of the stairwell consisted of Spanish tile installed on an uneven base creating a pooling of water at the top landing of the stairwell. Case was tried to a verdict of several million dollars against the tenant hospital. The architect, general contractor, owner, and tile installing subcontractor settled for a few million dollars six months prior to trial.

Mass Torts

  • Handled mass tort cases wherein 30 adults had been implanted with a certain model of heart valves which were manufactured with a design defect that would result in their failure with resultant death to those in whom the valve had been implanted. Most were still alive at the time when the entire group of cases was settled for several million dollars. Jurisdiction became a major issue in that none of the valves were manufactured in California, and most of the Plaintiffs resided out of state.
  • Handled numerous cases wherein over 200 women suffered a variety of autoimmune diseases consequent to being implanted with silicone breast implants. The silicone would leak through the implants into their body tissue and organs resulting in autoimmune diseases. Two cases involved men who had been implanted with other silicone implants such as a heel. Substantial settlements were ultimately obtained for most after many years of litigation and several jury trials. Mr. Liccardo also served on the Plaintiff Steering Committee for all the State of California cases consolidated in San Diego County Superior Court, as well as on the Federal Plaintiff Steering Committee consolidating all the federal cases within the United States in the Federal District Court in Alabama.

Personal Injury

  • A mother with her 2 sons was driving south on the highway when she suddenly came upon a horrendous ice storm leaving a layer of ice on the roadway. She pulled over to the side of the road and stopped out of fear of driving further. She then told her sons to get out of the vehicle and down an embankment to avoid the danger of oncoming vehicles. Her 17-year old son followed her instructions and went down the embankment at least 30 feet from the side of the highway when he was struck and killed by a driver who lost control trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle sliding out of control and went over the embankment. The case settled for mul-millions of dollars against the two drivers for their negligence in operating their motor vehicles and against the State of California for failure to warn of icy conditions that suddenly occurred. A California Highway Patrol officer observed the sudden unexpected ice storm a few miles north of the accident site within time for drivers further south and within the storm's path to be alerted to the danger, but failed to do so.
  • A 35-year-old female pedestrian was struck by a large truck while crossing the street in an industrial area of Oakland. The plaintiff had no memory of the accident. The police report held the Plaintiff negligent for crossing in the middle of the intersection. In deposition of the truck driver, he conceded that after the collision he got out of the cab of his truck and saw the plaintiff underneath his cab. He then dragged her unconscious body out into the center of the street so that she could be helped before the police arrived. She suffered a degloving of the skin on one leg. Settlement was obtained shortly before trial in the Superior Court of Alameda County.
  • A 60-year-old female was driving south at night on the highway in Northern California when she suddenly came upon a truck and trailer in the middle of a mountainous road. The trucker was doing a U-turn in an area used by trucks for such a maneuver. There was some distance between a turn that the Plaintiff had just come around and the point of impact, but the trailer lacked sufficient side rail reflectors and reflecting tape that would have made it more visible.
  • A Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corp. was on duty operating a fork lift in route to an area of an air base to move dirt and debris. While making a turn alongside the runway the fork lift overturned crushing his leg so severely as to require amputation. The manufacturer raised the defense of contractor immunity as to the alleged design defects causing the rollover. Plaintiff demonstrated that the fork lift had substantially the same design as the non-military model. Settlement was reached.

Pharmaceutical Product Liability

  • A 30-year-old mother of 3 children was prescribed the oral contraceptive by her OB-GYN. After 4 years on the “Pill” she suffered a cavernous sinus thrombosis resulting in complete total bilateral blindness for life. The pharmaceutical industry failed to warn at that time that the “Pill” causes thrombosis (blood clotting) in some women. The verdict was the highest pharmaceutical case verdict in the nation at that time.

Public Entity Liability

  • A 30-year-old disabled male pedestrian with extensive brain damage from a prior accident 10 years earlier was struck by a turning automobile while crossing the street in Fort Bragg, California. The collision resulted in further catastrophic brain damage super imposed upon the prior brain injury increasing the level of disability. A multi-million dollar settlement was obtained against the driver for negligence and the City of Fort for Bragg for creating a dangerous condition at the subject intersection.
  • A 72-year-old owner of a high tech business was struck and killed while crossing a major intersection within an unmarked crosswalk on his Segway near his plant in Morgan Hill. A seven-figure settlement was obtained in part, from the uninsured intoxicated driver of the automobile that struck him, and the remainder from the City of Morgan Hill for a dangerous intersection design that failed to have needed controls plus contained a visual obstruction from the direction the defendant driver was proceeding.
  • A mother with her 2 sons was driving south on the highway when she suddenly came upon a horrendous ice storm leaving a layer of ice on the roadway. She pulled over to the side of the road and stopped out of fear of driving further. She then told her sons to get out of the vehicle and down an embankment to avoid the danger of oncoming vehicles. Her 17-year old son followed her instructions and went down the embankment at least 30 feet from the side of the highway when he was struck and killed by a driver who lost control trying to avoid a collision with another vehicle sliding out of control and went over the embankment. The case settled for mul-millions of dollars against the two drivers for their negligence in operating their motor vehicles and against the State of California for failure to warn of icy conditions that suddenly occurred. A California Highway Patrol officer observed the sudden unexpected ice storm a few miles north of the accident site within time for drivers further south and within the storm's path to be alerted to the danger, but failed to do so.
  • A 35-year-old male Plaintiff was working in the outdoor yard area of his business when a PG&E transformer exploded shooting hot debris into his yard striking him causing injury and burns. The transformer explosion was caused in part due to its age. Liability was based upon negligent procedure in failing to timely replace outdated equipment. A half-million settlement was obtained.

Product Liability

  • A 30-year-old law student suffered quadriplegia in rollover accident. Rollover caused by combination of defective wheel allowing air to very slowly escape, mounted on a low profile tire which concealed the under inflation. Case resulted in $5.5 million settlement prior to trial between the plaintiff, the wheel manufacturer, and the tire manufacturer.
  • A 40-year-old golf course maintenance man suffered severe brain damage in a rollover of a 3-wheel gas golfcart. In trial against the manufacturer, plaintiff alleged design defect due to the height of the center of gravity of the vehicle causing a propensity to roll at low speeds with only a slight turn of the wheel. A final settlement was reached after all the evidence was presented at trial and before summation for over $5 million.
  • A Hollywood stylist in her 20s underwent silicone breast implants augmentation. About 15 years later, she developed Scleroderma, a fatal autoimmune disease that ultimately took her life. While the plaintiff was still alive, she went through a 2-month jury trial against the manufacturer in Los Angeles County Superior Court. After all the evidence was presented and before summation, the case settled for an amount in excess of $9 million.

Premises Liability

  • An uninsured residential rental unit located in Santa Cruz was inspected for termites and dry rot in the process of a sale. The inspection report noted extensive termite and dry rot damage throughout the interior of the rental unit, but nothing noted on an overhanging deck. A 55-year-old female tenant while intoxicated leaned against the railing that collapsed due to dry rot causing a 2-story fall to the ground resulting in paraplegia.
  • A 40-year-old Plaintiff scientist employed at a major industrial plant in San Jose suffered brain injury from being struck in the head by a defective parking gate. The gate came down too soon as he was exiting on his motorcycle. Defective wiring under the pavement was the proven cause. Case was settled for a few million dollars.