A trial attorney known for his pragmatic approach to litigation, Geoffrey is a Director in Murphy Pearson’s San Francisco office. His practice focuses on defending attorneys against malpractice claims and business owners in a variety of contractual and tort disputes.
Prior to joining the firm, Geoffrey worked as a legal research attorney with the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. He directed ex parte hearings in both the law and motion department and master calendar department. He prepared bench memos on pretrial and post-trial motions as well as appeals. While there, he gained a keen insight into how judges reach decisions. Geoffrey uses this insight in his practice to draft briefs and prepare oral arguments that resonate with the court.
Success in litigation varies from client to client and case to case. While some matters should and must be resolved at trial, many cases can be successfully resolved prior to trial through creative motion practice and shrewd negotiations. Here are a few successful resolutions Geoffrey has helped achieve:
- Obtained a highly favorable settlement on the eve of trial after successfully opposing plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint. Not only did plaintiffs settle their multiple-million dollar damage claim for pennies on the dollar, they issued a written admission to defendant that they did no wrong.
- Obtained a highly favorable resolution after jury trial, including a defense verdict for a small business owner, regarding a dispute over a competitive food eating contest. A customer suffered serious injuries after completing a spicy food eating competition. The jury found the owner entirely blameless and the customer substantially at fault for his injuries.
- Obtained a complete defense verdict in favor of attorney and law firm clients after a two week trial. Despite plaintiff’s alleged damages of over $30 million, the jury, which deliberated for only a day, determined that defendants’ representation always met the standard of care and were not liable for any wrongdoing.
- Successfully enforced arbitration provision in attorney fee agreement despite not having a fully executed copy of the agreement.
- Obtained a mutual release and settlement in favor of attorney and law firm clients on the eve of trial after substantial success on motions in limine. Plaintiffs abandoned their approximately $25 million claimed damages in favor of a cost waiver.
- Convinced California State Bar to drop investigation into alleged misconduct after writing a single letter. A client accused her divorce attorney of abandoning her and refusing to follow her directions. Through a detailed accounting, demonstrated that following the client’s purported requests would have resulted in a substantially worse result.
- “When clients attack: Legal options for responding to negative social media posts,” Veterinary Practice News, March 16, 2021
- “HIPAA for Hippos? Navigating Veterinarian Confidentiality Laws in California,” Murphy Pearson client update, September 3, 2020
- “The Post-Pandemic Litigation Surge: How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Covid-19 Litigation,” co-author, Food & Beverage Magazine pp. 46-48, July 2020
- “Prevent Experts from Presenting Hearsay to the Jury,” The Daily Journal, MCLE Self-Assessment Test, February 16, 2018
- “Cox Castle Shakes $15M Suit Over Failed Real Estate Deal,” commentary, by Kat Greene, Law360.com, August 16, 2017
- “Clear Termination of Attorney-Client Relationships Is Key,” co-author, Law360.com, August 15, 2017
- “Tolling Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations – The Uncertainty of ‘Continuous Representation’,” co-presenter, California Lawyers Association Real Property Section’s 37th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA – April 22, 2018
- “Tolling Legal Malpractice Statute of Limitations – The Uncertainty of “Continuous Representation,” co-presenter, Bar Association of San Francisco, October 12, 2017
- State Bar of California
- Bar Association of San Francisco
J.D., University of San Francisco, School of Law
B.A., Economics and History, Claremont McKenna College