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Gerald Carey Sterns

About me

Gerald Sterns currently focuses his practice on plaintiff's
litigation referrals on major aviation accidents, products liability, and other
catastrophic claims, both nationally and internationally.  In a state
containing more than 200,000 attorneys, Gerald Sterns was named by California Lawyer magazine as one of the top 25 attorneys in the state.  Mr. Sterns has been selected for inclusion to Northern California SuperLawyers,
and has been listed in Best Attorneys in America since its inception. 
He is a 35-year Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Attorneys,
an organization limited to 500 of the top trial attorneys worldwide as
selected by peer review and judicial endorsement.  Mr. Sterns' 35-plus
years of courtroom experience have helped him become one of the few
aviation attorneys whose wins against major airlines have been affirmed
by the United States Supreme Court. 

Prior to opening his own practice in 1977, Mr. Sterns was the
Aviation partner in the San Francisco law firm of Walkup, Downing &
Sterns.  Mr. Sterns has authored numerous articles and professional
papers, and has been a speaker or panelist on numerous professional
programs, both in the U.S. and abroad.  He has served for 17 years on
the faculty at San Francisco Law School, and has been interviewed on a
number of television and radio programs, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, Wolf Blitzer, Fox News, CNN, BBC, and numerous other television news programs worldwide.

Gerald Sterns has also been honored in print.  From The Last Nine Minutes of Flight 981,
a best-selling book about the DC-10 Turkish Airlines crash: "Sterns
ambled into court a living expression of the California Legal System. 
He had been trained in it.  He believed in it.  And he applied it with
deadly effectiveness."


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Defective and Dangerous Products: 25%
    38 years
  2. Ethics & Professional Responsibility: 25%
    38 years
  3. Personal Injury: 25%
    38 years
  4. Aviation: 25%
    38 years



Contingent (25-40%), Free consultation (60 minutes)

Attorney endorsements

6 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Gerald. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • David Alexander Kleczek

    Mr. Sterns is a master at ensuring full recovery for victims of aviation disasters.


    David Kleczek Car Accidents Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of Sterns & Walker

825 Washington St. # 305
Oakland, CA, 94607

Sterns & Walker




We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2011
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2010
Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2009
Northern California Super LawyersSuperLawyer2009
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2008
Northern California Super LawyersSuperLawyer2008
Northern California Super LawyersSuperLawyer2005
Northern California Super LawyersSuperLawyer2004
California Trial Lawyer of the YearAmerican Board of Trial Advocates2002
Top 25 Attorneys in CaliforniaCalifornia Lawyer Magazine1999
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerSterns & Walker1977 - Present
FellowInternational Academy of Trial Lawyers1977 - 2011
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Bar AssociationMember2002 - Present
American Judicature SocietyMember2000 - Present
American Board of Professional Liability AttorneysMember1998 - Present
International Academy of Trial LawyersSenior Jublirian1975 - Present
Society of Air Safety InvestigatorsMember1972 - Present
American Board of Trial AdvocatesMember1972 - Present
Bar Association of San FranciscoMember1960 - Present
San Francisco Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1960 - Present
Lawyers Club of San FranciscoMember1960 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1960 - Present
Alameda County Bar AssociationMember1960 - Present
California Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1960 - Present
Association of Trial Lawyers of AmericaMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Olympic Air v. HusainWon
Villaruz v. SikorskyWon
PSA, San Diego, CaliforniaWon
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
San Diego Union TribuneCoffee, Tea or Handcuffs2007
N/A"Air Crash Cases in the United States," 45-46 Netherlands Juristenblad 1109;1994
N/ABeaumont & Sons-Cabinet Garnault Inaugural International Aviation Conference, London1992
N/A"The Liability of the Airframe and Component Manufacturer,"N/A
N/A"How Much is the Plaintiff at Sea with Warsaw?",N/A
Journal of Air Law and Commerce (SMU)"A Comparative Look at Products Liability Law in the United States and EuropeN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, Hastings College of the LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1959
University of IowaN/AB.S.C.1954
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Dallas Aviation SymposiumAviation Law2010
Embry Riddle law seminarWorld Association of Detectives1998