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Sheryl Alyce Traum

About me

Professional Background


A passion for justice drives me to fight hard for my clients' rights. Over the 25 years I have been practicing law, I have developed skills for handling many types of cases, especially cases involving personal injury (auto, premises liability and products liabilitiy), real estate (contracts, neighbor disputes, nuisances, boundary issues, disabiltiy access, etc.), construction (including design, installation, soils, mold and "indoor air quality" issues) and insurance.  I have handled cases in both State and Federal courts throughout California, achieving hundreds of favorable settlements for clients, and when needed, successfully trying cases to verdict.


Justice is based on truth, and truth is found by investigation and discovery.  When serving as an advocate, I pride myself with skillfully discovering the facts and evidence that will prove up my clients' position in the case, weaken my opponents' case, and help resolve the case. I carefully research the law applicable to the dispute, and consider the effect of the law on the evidence related to the case.  I help my clients understand the range of possible outcomes under the law and facts applicale to their case, preparing them to ultimately make an informed decision about whether to resolve the case at mediation, or take a case to trial or arbitration.


When serving as a mediator, I listen carefully to the  statements and arguments made by both sides.  I find that parties often start with "extreme" positions based on an assumption that if the matter goes to trial, they will get everything they want.  When speaking with litigants, I look for the kernels of information which might help build "common ground" on which to reach a compromise agreement.  I also help people realize potential weaknesses in their position, and possible unanticipated or unfavorable results which might occur if the matter was tried to a jury or judge.  I find that litigants often have not fully considered the "downside" which could occur if a judge or jury does not fully agree with their point of view.  By giving litigants a "neutral evalution" and pointing out possible weak points in their case, I help litigants understand how a mediated resolution which they have the opportunity to craft with the other side is usually preferable to a result which will be decided by a judge or jury over whom they have no control. 


As an arbitrator, I conscientiously maintain a respectful, neutral demeanor so that parties feel comfortable that I am giving due consideration to all the arguments and evidence submitted by all sides before making a decision.  I work hard to assure that the atmosphere of the arbitration remains professional, discouraging bickering between parties and counsel which can lead to unnecessary stress and agitation.  Once the evidence is in, I promptly render an award based on my findings after considering all the evidence and arguments.


Personal Information


I am as passionate about life as I am about getting great results for my clients.


In the time when I am not working hard for my clients, I enjoy being active, including biking, tennis, kayaking, hiking with my dogs and almost any outdoor activity.  I also enjoy art, spending many quiet hours drawing, painting and writing, mostly for the enjoyment of my family and friends.


I find that taking this quiet time gives me time to reflect even more about the needs of my clients and I often incorporate "inspirations" from my personal time into the strategies I use in my clients' cases.


Languages spoken: French

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Real Estate: 25%
    27 years
  2. Construction: 25%
    27 years
  3. Litigation: 20%
    27 years
  4. Personal Injury: 20%
  5. Lawsuits & Disputes: 10%
    27 years



Contingent (30-40%), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (15 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

15 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Judd S Nemiro

    Aggressive representation and a great attorney. I endorse this lawyer.


    Judd Nemiro Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • Martin Kassman

    Sheryl is devoted to her clients, can work on a short deadline, and thinks on her feet very well.


    Martin Kassman Appeals Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Law Offices of Sheryl Traum

1901 Harrison Street
Suite 1100
Oakland, CA, 94612


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2014
Award for Program ExcellenceAmerican Inn of Court2014
Top Lawyers in CaliforniaAmerican Lawyer Media2013
"Top Lawyer in Bay Area"Bay Area Lawyer Magazine2005
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Senior AssociateMcCarthy & McCarthy, LLP2012 - Present
Of CounselHassell Law Group, PC2012 - 2013
Senior AssociateLorber, Greenfield & Polito, LLP2009 - 2012
Of CounselChapman & Intrieri, LLP2008 - 2009
PrincipalLaw Offices of Sheryl Traum2005 - 2008
PartnerCarroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP1998 - 2005
AssociatePandell, Novich & Borsuk1991 - 1997
AssociateGorden & Rees1988 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
Earl Warren American Inn of CourtMember2013 - Present
Bar Association of San FranciscoMemberN/A
Contra Costa County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Alameda County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
State Bar of CaliforniaMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
CSU v. Perini, et alCase settled favorably after 6 weeks of trial
Bishop v GressNon-suit in favor of my client.
Wilhelmsson v ChubbFavorable result.
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, Hastings College of the LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
Washington State UniversityN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1984
Pepperdine University School of LawMediation TrainingN/AN/A
University of California - BerkeleyMediation TrainingN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
How to Write a Persuasive Summary Judgment Motion, etc.Summary Judgment Motions2013
"Court room Do's and Don'ts"Trial Tactics and Conduct2011
All Day SeminarDiscovery Strategies2010
Discovery Tactics + Dealing with Discovery AbusesCalifornia Civil Procedure for Discovery Practices2008
Real Property Section Annual ConferenceEmployment Challenges in the Construction Industry2005
DRI Construction ConferenceEffective Use of Experts in Construction Litigation2005