Mr. Abel is a skilled and successful litigator with 28 years of experience handling substantial civil rights and employment cases, serious personal injury cases, and a broad range of business matters. Mr. Abel has successfully prosecuted and defended more than 500 bench and jury trials, arbitrations, mediations, and administrative proceedings. He has been lead counsel in appeals that have made California law and argued before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.
Recently, Mr. Abel argued a novel issue of first impression regarding insurance law before the California Supreme Court in Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. V. Montes-Harris et al (2006) 40 Cal 4th 151. In Austin Butler v. Palmdale School District, a 2006 appellate case, Mr. Abel was successful in convincing the Court of Appeal to reverse a judgment entered in the trial court. In the case In Re Marriage of Armato (2001) 88 CA 4th 1030, Mr. Abel successfully argued the law governing enforcement of settlement agreements should be extended to written promises. And in In Re Marriage of Keech (1999) 75 CA 4th 860, the court established criteria for obtaining attorney fees in family law litigation. In a 2006 appellate decision, Mr. Abel was successful in overturning a judgment against a minor injured under the supervision of school district personnel.
Throughout the course of Mr. Abel’s legal career he has distinguished himself as a tenacious and competent advocate at all stages of a case, from early settlement to trial and then on appeal. He has taken and defended over 2,000 depositions and settled in excess of 1,000 cases ranging in value from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. Mr. Abel has experience representing both plaintiff and defendants in all aspects of civil litigation. This broad range of experience and success is one reason that he has been retained by other lawyers to represent them in their legal matters.
In 2004, Mr. Abel was a guest lecturer in Appellate Advocacy at Whittier School of Law where he also invited to judge Moot Court Competition as a Moot Court Judge. He also taught Corporations at Pierce College and Moorpark College. Mr. Abel has sat as a judge pro tem in hundreds of traffic arraignments and trials. Other quasi-judicial experience includes acting as a Superior Court Referee.
Early in his career, Mr. Abel acted as a City Prosecutor, prosecuting misdemeanors for the City Attorney in Los Angeles. This was followed by a number of years representing defendants in criminal matters. Occasionally, Mr. Abel will undertake representing persons accused of crime. One such occasion was in 1998 when he represented a client charged with 9 felonies in a much publicized Los Angeles bid rigging and fraud case. After a 7 day preliminary hearing, Mr. Abel convinced the trial court to dismiss all charges against his client. This was a high profile case which was followed by the Los Angeles Times. In another case in 2005, Mr. Abel persuaded the District Attorney of Orange County to not only dismiss the charges against his client, but also successfully argued that the court determine that Mr. Abel’s client was factually innocent.
In civil rights and employment discrimination, Mr. Abel has recovered millions of dollars for his client. In one race discrimination case, Mr. Abel recovered 2.5 million dollars for his clients who had been systematically discriminated against because of their race by a government entity. Another client who had been discriminated against because of national origin sought Mr. Abel’s assistance which resulted in a settlement worth 1.3 million dollars.
Mr. Abel has been equally successful representing seriously injured persons. One example concerns a client Mr Abel represented who had been injured by an automobile driven by a state employee. Mr. Abel first negotiated a stipulation that the state was at fault for the accident and eventually recovered 1.25 million dollars for the client. Mr. Abel was also successful in obtaining a $567,000 judgment for an injured motorcyclist.
Mr. Abel earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA and then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Writing from San Francisco State University, one of the 4 most prestigious writing schools in the country. Following this Mr. Abel became a licensed contractor in the State of California in Nevada and ran a multi-million dollar contracting business until he became an attorney in 1982. Mr. Abel graduated with a juris doctorate from Southwestern School of Law where he academically distinguished himself by making the Dean’s List and earning awards for exceptional achievement in Insurance Law and Intellectual Property.
Mr. Abel is married to his childhood sweetheart and has two adult children. His daughter, Rachel, studied at the esteemed Erickson Institute in Chicago, Illinois and is a specialist in Child Development working as a social worker in Tucson, Arizona. His son, Joshua, served honorably in the United States Marine Corps, served four years as a Field Representative for a U.S. Congressman, and now Bruce’s law partner. Mr. Abel’s wife, Sandy, is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist in private practice.
Mr. Abel is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District and numerous United States District Courts in California. Mr. Abel is a member in good standing of the California State Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.
Mr. Abel believes that each client is entitled to the best possible representation and accordingly gives personal attention to each case in which he is engaged. This philosophy requires Mr. Abel to be selective about the clients he agrees to represent, but once a person becomes his client, that person is assured of Mr. Abel’s commitment to provide competent and diligent representation.