I am originally from Rapid City, South Dakota, and I moved to the Bay Area in 1995 to attend San Jose State University, and play for the Spartans’ Intercollegiate Men’s Soccer team. I graduated in 2000 with a degree in Political Science, and during my studies I also became a SCUBA Diving Instructor, as well as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I have always had the travel bug and in 2001 I picked up and moved to the Cayman Islands.
I spent over three years working in the Cayman Islands as a SCUBA Instructor and boat captain, eventually logging enough sea-time to sit for my examination and earn his United States Coast Guard Charter Boat Captain’s license, as a 50-ton Master. While in the Cayman Islands I spent over 500 hours volunteering for the Cayman Island Department of Environment assisting in their coral reef preservation project to ensure the health and longevity of the reefs surrounding the island of Grand Cayman.
In 2005, I returned to the Bay Area to attend law school at Santa Clara University. While attending Santa Clara, I was very active with the Student Bar Association (SBA), and was elected President at the end of my 1st year of law school. I was instrumental in expanding the volunteer outreach of the SBA and in 2007 I led a group of 15 students to New Orleans to assist that city in its rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
During law school, I participated in a number of Moot Court and Appellate Advocacy competitions and in my 3rd year, I was selected to the Santa Clara Law Trial Team, which was limited to only 10 students. I also interned with the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, which allowed me the opportunity to represent real clients and argue their cases. All of these experiences led me to conclude that I wanted to be a trial lawyer.
I have almost of decade of courtroom experience and bring a wealth of knowledge in regard to my role as the Lead Trial Attorney at Schaar & Silva. My results speak for themselves, having achieved a multitude of six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements, including a $2.8 Million verdict on a slip/fall case in Santa Cruz. This verdict was one of the largest slip/fall verdicts in California in 2016. I have also handled, through Binding Arbitration, numerous first-party claims against insurance companies throughout the State of California.
I have developed a personalized, empathetic, and client-centric approach to the representation of my clients. From the initial meeting through trial, I will spend countless hours with each of my clients, learning about every aspect of their life, in order to better understand the losses they have suffered. I know that to truly understand a person I must consider things from their point of view, and in a sense to climb into their shoes and walk around in them. As a result of my commitment to my clients, I am better prepared to tell the story of their losses and what has been taken from them, in order to achieve full and complete justice for them.
I am a Graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming, and am an instructor with Trojan Horse Method, where I travel the country teaching other lawyers the trial skills necessary to achieve full and complete justice for their clients.
I am a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, the Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the Western Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Association for Justice. In 2016, I and my partner, Eva Silva were nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association.
In my non-lawyering time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter and our extended family. We are a very active family, who enjoy traveling, hiking, and working out. I am an avid photographer, and every once in while, the family travels to a location where I am able to don my SCUBA gear and go diving.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Trial Lawyer of the Year Nominee||Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association||2016|
|Pro Bono Award||Santa Clara University||2007|
|SBA President||Santa Clara University||2006|
|Lead Trial Attorney||Schaar & Silva LLP||2017 - Present|
|Instructor||Trojan Horse Method||2016 - Present|
|Partner||Van Der Walde & Associates||2014 - 2017|
|Trial Attorney||Pedersen Lauderdale||2012 - 2014|
|Associate||Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard||2010 - 2012|
|Associate||Law Office of Paul B. Kemp||2008 - 2010|
|Clerk||Law Office of Paul B. Kemp||2007 - 2008|
|Law Clerk||Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office||2006 - 2007|
|Summer Associate||Ogier||2006 - 2006|
|Senior Boat Captain||Ocean Frontiers||2001 - 2005|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Consumer Attorneys of California||Member||2008 - Present|
|State Bar of California||Member||2008 - Present|
|Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association||Member||2008 - Present|
|Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association||Board of Governors||2008 - 2012|
|Forum||Voir Dire: Laying the groundwork so you can "Trust the 12."||2017|
|Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College||N/A||2015|
|Santa Clara University School of Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2008|
|Mission College||EMT Certification||2001|
|San Jose State Univ||BA - Bachelor of Arts||2000|
|Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association||Howell Reductions||2011|
|"Summer Bar Study Program"||State Bar Exam Preparation||2009|
|"1L Orientation"||1st Year of Law School Preparation for Family and Partners||2008|
|Wessling v. Pacific Bell Telephone Company, et. al||Plaintiff Verdict - $6,789,130.37|
|Gambino v. Cypress Point RE Investors||Plaintiff Verdict $2.8 Million|
|Gerster v. In-N-Out Burgers||Plaintiff Verdict $168,000|
|Horn v. Goodrich||Defense Verdict|
|Timed Out v. BraSmythe||Defense Verdict|
|Yanez v. SOMA||Appeal|
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
Years licensed, work experience, education
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Publications, speaking engagements