Ralph A. Lombardi, Esq.

Profile

Before joining ADR Services, Inc., Mr. Lombardi spent 46 years as a trial lawyer handling a wide range of civil matters, with particular emphasis in the fields of product liability, insurance coverage and bad faith, personal and catastrophic injury, and medical and legal malpractice. In addition to evaluating and settling, or otherwise disposing of, hundreds of cases prior to trial, he tried to verdict or judgment, or arbitrated to binding results, over 100 cases including catastrophic injury, wrongful death, automobile crashworthiness, design defect, medical and legal negligence, insurance coverage, and insurance bad faith claims. His trial experience resulted in his election to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) as well as to fellowship in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He also served as appellate counsel on numerous matters resulting in published opinions by either the California Courts of Appeal or the California Supreme Court.

Mr. Lombardi’s trial practice included substantial litigation for automotive, industrial equipment, and industrial machinery manufacturers, distributors, and retailers; representation of hospitals and healthcare providers in medical malpractice matters; and the handling of a variety of insurance coverage and insurance bad faith claims on behalf of both insurers and insureds. Since 1991, Mr. Lombardi has also devoted considerable time to developing his skills in alternative dispute resolution work, acting as a mediator or arbitrator in numerous disputes, particularly in insurance coverage, professional liability, personal injury/wrongful death, and insurance bad faith matters.

AREAS OF EMPHASIS

  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury/Catastrophic Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT

  • Lombardi Loper & Conant, LLP; Oakland, California
    • Founding Partner, 1999-2018
  • Hardin Cook Loper Engel & Bergez, LLP; Oakland, California
    • Partner, 1975-1999
    • Associate, 1972-1974
  • First Lieutenant, United States Air Force, 1971-1972
  • Hardin Cook Loper & Martin; Oakland, California
    • Associate, 1971

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • Mediator and Arbitrator, 1991-Present
    • Frequent mediator and arbitrator of Insurance Coverage, Professional Liability, Personal Injury/Wrongful Death, and Insurance Bad Faith matters.
  • Judicial Arbitrator, Alameda County Superior Court, 1980-Present
  • Deputy City Attorney, City of Piedmont, 1974-2010

EDUCATION

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1970
  • B.A. in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1967

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • US. District Court Eastern District of California, 2006
  • US. District Court Central District of California, 1999
  • US. Supreme Court, 1974
  • US. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1971
  • US. District Court Northern District of California, 1971
  • State Bar of California, 1971

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 1989-Present
    • Northern California Committee Member, 1999-2004
  • Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, 2001-Present
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2013-Present
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates with rank of Advocate, 1985-Present
    • President, San Francisco Chapter, 2002-2003
    • National Board of Directors, 2004-Present
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, 1975-2016
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, 2002-2016
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California, 1972-Present
    • Director, 1989-1991, 1992-1994

PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Selected for listing in An International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 1st (1997) and 2nd (1999) editions, Law Business Research, London
  • Selected for listing in Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2018
    • Top 100 Northern California Super Lawyers, 2006-2011
  • Selected for listing in The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., 2006-2017
  • Recipient of American Board of Trial Advocates, San Francisco Chapter, Don E. Bailey Civility and Professionalism Award, 2010
  • AV-Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

PUBLICATIONS

  • Annual supplement to California Continuing Education of the Bar, California Automobile Insurance Law Guide (1st edition) (1988-2004)
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar, California Automobile Insurance Law Guide (2d Edition, 2005)
  • Annual supplement to California Continuing Education of the Bar, California Automobile Insurance Law Guide (2nd edition) (2006-2017)

Representative Cases

Commercial Contract & Business

  • Litigated as counsel, or acted as mediator or binding arbitrator, in numerous disputes dealing with scope of indemnity/hold harmless provisions in premises leases, construction contracts and subcontracts, franchise agreements, and public entity permits of various types.
  • Handled variety of contractual disputes including law firm partnership disputes, attorney fee agreement disputes, commercial lease disputes, and disputes over contracts for purchase or sale of goods.

Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith

  • Successfully mediated cases involving bad faith claims arising out of first and third party coverage disputes including duty to defend, duty to indemnify, duty to provide Cumis counsel, amounts recoverable by Cumis counsel, and handling and adjustment of first party claims for covered losses.
  • Acted as single neutral arbitrator in a number of cases involving defense, indemnity or apportionment issues between or among insurers in multi-defendant personal injury, and continuous trigger property damage cases.
  • After litigating a contract case to final decision through the California Superior Court, California Court of Appeal, and California Supreme Court, and a bad faith case to final decision through the U.S. District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, collected 8-figure excess judgment in insurance coverage/bad faith case arising out of coverage denial for train/truck collision due to alleged policy expiration.
  • Handled multiple insurance coverage cases involving impact of PUC endorsements and filing of Certificates of Insurance by insurers with the PUC. Cases included conflict between coverage limitations allowed by Insurance Code and terms of PUC endorsement; vehicles covered under PUC endorsement; and impact on coverage of failure of insurer to cancel Certificate of Insurance filed with the PUC.
  • Handled declaratory action relief in which veterinarians, after being found liable for antitrust damages, and without providing prior notice to insurer, sought coverage for the judgment under their broad professional liability policy. Issues included application of the notice/prejudice rule and willful act exclusion.
  • Handled insurance coverage/bad faith claim brought by widow of decedent who purchased large life insurance policy and was found shot to death shortly thereafter. Insurer denied coverage based on suicide provision in life policy. Widow alleged decedent had been murdered.
  • Handled multiple declaratory relief or insurance coverage/bad faith lawsuits arising out of first or third party coverage denials or value disputes. Cases included issues of duty to defend or indemnify under automobile, general liability, and professional liability policies; applicability of coverage exclusions or limitations in first party policies; and disputes over first or third party claims handling.

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Legal Malpractice

  • Handled legal malpractice claim brought by insurer against insurance defense counsel after insurer declined to settle underlying business tort action for low six figure amount and jury returned a $10,000,000 excess verdict.
  • Handled legal malpractice claim against plaintiff’s counsel sued by prior client for alleged improper fee claim. Counsel had recovered enhanced damages for client by way of settlement in case where counsel’s expertise created punitive exposure for product manufacturer.
  • Handled legal malpractice claim against plaintiff’s counsel sued by prior client for alleged malpractice in settlement of third party industrial injury claim. Former client contended that counsel had failed to adequately protect his claim for future medical coverage in compromising workers’ compensation lien as part of third party settlement.
  • Handled legal malpractice claim brought by dissatisfied client against his prior counsel based upon counsel’s unsuccessful pursuit of punitive damages in underlying case where compensatory damages were recovered.
  • Handled legal malpractice claim brought by paraplegic plaintiff against his prior counsel for alleged failure to properly handle an underlying medical malpractice claim. Plaintiff contended prior attorneys had failed to properly investigate the complicated issues of medical standard of care and causation which had allegedly caused his paraplegia, and had then withdrawn from representation, following which the case was dismissed.
  • Handled legal malpractice claim brought against former plaintiffs’ counsel alleging failure to timely prosecute action for specific performance of a contract to make a will and for imposition of a constructive trust. Plaintiffs contended that no timely steps were taken to preserve estate assets despite knowledge of dissipation by the underlying defendant, so that once a favorable judgment was rendered no assets of substance remained.
  • Arbitrated, as single neutral arbitrator, multi-million dollar claim for legal malpractice arising out of alleged improper corporate and litigation advice given to client who was sued for numerous business torts by a prior partner.

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Medical Malpractice

  • Handled numerous medical malpractice claims involving injury or death from alleged delay in diagnosis of various cancers including breast, lung, colon, prostate, liver, skin, bone, and blood malignancies.
  • Handled medical malpractice wrongful life and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims arising of alleged failure to make prenatal diagnoses of birth defects including Trisomy 18 and agenesis of the corpus callosum.
  • Handled multiple medical malpractice claims involving birth injuries including cerebral palsy due to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) as a result of alleged failure to timely deliver fetuses in distress, and shoulder dystocia claims due to alleged failure to properly assess fetal size and offer C-section.
  • Handled a variety of medical malpractice claims involving alleged surgical misadventures. Cases have included cardiac injuries, sciatic nerve injuries, bowel perforations, anastamotic leaks, fracture reductions and fixation, damage to adjacent organs; and post-operative infections.
  • Handled medical malpractice claims involving alleged improper anesthesia management. Cases have included anesthesia caused death, brain injury, and spinal needle injury.
  • Handled a number of alleged psychiatric malpractice cases including claims of failure to involuntarily hospitalize patients who committed suicide shortly after being evaluated; failure to properly medicate patients who subsequently committed suicide; failure to timely provide electroconvulsive shock therapy for patients who subsequently committed suicide; failure to properly warn of risks of psychotropic medications; and improper involuntary hospitalization.
  • Handled multiple medical malpractice claims involving alleged emergency department malpractice including delay in diagnosing, or failure to diagnose, a variety of conditions including myocardial infarctions, bowel perforations, and spinal epidural abscesses.
  • Handled numerous medical malpractice claims involving alleged failure to properly manage a variety of chronic conditions including hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma, and micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Successfully mediated medical malpractice cases involving wrongful death due to improper anesthesia management of patient in surgery center and wrongful death involving death of ICU patient due to improper critical care management.
  • Sat as neutral arbitrator in medical malpractice cases alleging birth injury due to failure to timely deliver fetus in distress; alleging failure to properly perform podiatric surgery; and alleging failure to diagnose subactute bacterial endocarditis leading to stroke.

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Personal Injury

  • Successfully mediated multiple bodily injury, property damage, and contractual indemnity claims for large public utility.
  • Successfully mediated wrongful death claim against public entity and homeowner involving death of pedestrian from falling tree limb.
  • Successfully mediated wrongful death claim involving death of visitor to condominium development who fell into adjacent reservoir allegedly due to steep, unguarded slope.
  • Acted as arbitrator in a variety of uninsured and underinsured motorist arbitrations.
  • Handled numerous catastrophic bodily injury and wrongful death claims arising out of a variety of circumstances including automobile and premises accidents.
  • Handled multiple personal injury/breach of contract claims brought against professional football team by players seeking to avoid exclusive remedy of workers’ compensation.
  • Handled multiple sexual molestation claims against school district involving issues of course and scope of employment and negligent supervision. Successfully argued course and scope of employment issue before the California Supreme Court.
  • Handled wrongful death claim brought by heirs of police office against his public entity employer alleging that on-duty auto accident was caused by a dangerous condition of public property. California Supreme Court reversed trial court finding that claim was not barred by exclusive remedy of workers’ compensation.
  • Handled brain injury claim against public entity alleging dangerous condition of concert venue when intoxicated minor walked out of second story window.

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Products Liability

  • Successfully mediated high six-figure bodily injury claim allegedly caused by motorcycle product defect which resulted in unintended acceleration and loss of control.
  • Handled alleged national class action against automobile manufacturer in which an engine design defect resulting in premature engine wear was claimed.
  • Handled numerous catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims against automobile manufacturers. Claims included allegations of handling and stability deficiencies, seat belt deficiencies, absence of roll bars, and inadequate roof structures.
  • Handled a variety of serious bodily injury claims against forklift manufacturers involving forklift tipovers, forklift restraint systems, backup alarm claims, and mast injuries. Injuries included paraplegia, cervical fractures, foot and leg injuries, and hand and arm injuries.
  • Handled serious bodily injury claims against manufacturer of circular saws and grinders alleging design defects or failures to provide proper warnings or instructions for use. Claims included amputations, lacerations, and eye injuries.
  • Handled bodily injury claims on behalf automobile/motorcycle component part manufacturers including double quadriplegic vehicle rollover allegedly caused by failure of four-wheel drive locking hubs, and serious burn injuries caused by alleged failure of motorcycle fuel valve.
  • Handled multiple bodily injury/wrongful death claims on behalf of self-insured automotive products sales and service company. Claims included paraplegia, multiple fractures, and multiple deaths arising out of product sales and services.

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