Christopher B. Dolan
Under Chris' leadership, Dolan Law Firm PC has recovered over $200 million for its clients and become one of California's premier plaintiffs' firms serving clients injured due to the fault of another or were discriminated against or treated unfairly in the workplace.
Recognized as one of the top 25 plaintiff's lawyers in California, Chris spearheads many of the most significant and challenging lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts against insurance companies, Fortune 500 companies, cities, school districts, public agencies, and product manufacturers.
Extraordinary Results and Record Verdicts
Possessing a "history of winning multi-million judgments for his clients," as noted by the San Francisco Business Times, Chris has successfully tried over 45 cases and settled hundreds of lawsuits on favorable terms for his clients.
Chris' unparalleled success in civil litigation includes the largest verdict - $61 million - ever in U.S. history for individuals subjected to racial and ethnic discrimination and harassment in violation of their civil rights. The case involved two Lebanese-Americans who after 9/11 were repeatedly taunted by their manager and coworkers as "terrorists," "sand niggers," and other slurs.
Demonstrating Chris' passion for justice and commitment to his clients no matter the prejudice in society, Chris took the case after 10 other law firms, the NAACP, and ACLU all had rejected it. For his outstanding success in the case, California Lawyer magazine awarded Chris its prestigious California Lawyer of the Year Award.
Chris supervises all cases litigated by Dolan Law Firm PC. He has obtained jury verdicts or settlements of more than $1 million in an additional 20 cases. Some of the settlements in these cases were in excess of $10 million but were confidential and cannot be listed. Significant awards obtained by Chris for his clients include:
- $6.5 million award for a motorcycle rider severely injured due to a dangerous roadway condition;
- $6 million recovery in wrongful death action brought by husband whose wife was killed in a head-on collision due to the other driver crossing the center line;
- $4.25 settlement for 13-year old boy who suffered permanent brain damage after being struck by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk at a street intersection;
- $2.5 million settlement for female employee of Fortune 500 company subjected to discrimination and termination for having protested the use of homophobic slurs and statements made in the workplace by senior company executives.
A Leader Among Trial Lawyers
Chris has been recognized by numerous California and national publications as one of the foremost trial lawyers and skilled negotiators in California. The Daily Journal, the leading legal newspaper in California, selected Chris as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and one of California's Top 25 Plaintiffs' Lawyers.
Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers have ranked Chris as a premier personal injury and product liability attorney in Northern California. Chris has received a rating of AV Preeminent from Martindale Hubbell for very high ethical standards and professional excellence as evaluated by his peers in the legal community.
In 2010, Chris served as President of the Consumer Attorneys of California ("CAOC"), the largest statewide association of trial lawyers in the U.S. In 2013, the CAOC honored Chris with an award for his "many years of dedication, outstanding efforts, and effectiveness" in advancing the rights of the injured and consumers in California. Today, Chris serves as President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association ("SFTLA"). Both the CAOC and SFTLA have honored Chris with their trial lawyer of the year awards.
Chris speaks at multiple California and national legal conferences each year educating lawyers on best practices in the courtroom and emerging trends in the law. Chris is often called upon as a legal expert for national and local television and radio programs including CNN, Fox News, Dateline NBC, and NPR. He also writes a weekly column for the San Francisco Examiner in which he answers reader questions on new legislation and legal issues in the news.
Promoting Safety, Ending Discrimination, And Safeguarding Our Constitutional Rights
While obtaining the maximum financial recovery allowed under the law for his clients remains a constant focus of Chris' practice, he knows that justice means more than money. Working closely with his clients, Chris has forced cities and counties to fix dangerous streets and intersections and manufacturers to produce safer products.
For over 20 years, Chris has worked tirelessly on behalf of his clients to stop discrimination embedded in workplace polices and practices that caused them deep emotional pain and prevented their career advancement. In 2016, The Advocate has selected Chris as one of the top 25 Attorneys Fighting For Trans Rights, helping transgender persons secure their equal rights.
In the words of the CAOC, Chris puts "his heart and soul" into preserving access to the courthouse for all Californians and "has worked unrelentingly to change" unjust laws. Chris frequently testifies before California legislative committees in support of legislation advancing consumer rights. In 2014, Chris played an instrumental role in convincing the Legislature to adopt a statute requiring ride share companies like Uber to provide $1 million in insurance coverage so that anyone injured due to the fault of a ride share driver would obtain just compensation for his or her injuries.
Areas of Practice
- Age Discrimination
- Americans with Disabilities Act -- Employee
- Animal Bites -- Plaintiff
- Assault & Battery -- Plaintiff
- Class Actions
- Complex Litigation
- Disability & Illness Discrimination
- Elder Law
- Employee Rights -- Employee
- Employment Discrimination -- Employee
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) -- Employee
- Federal Trial Practice
- Freedom of Speech
- Litigation & Appeals
- Medical Malpractice
- Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
- Municipal Employment -- Employee
- National Origin Discrimination
- Nursing Home
- Police Misconduct
- Premises Liability -- Plaintiff
- Products Liability Law
- Property Damage -- Plaintiff
- Race Discrimination
- Railroad Accidents -- Plaintiff
- Religious Discrimination
- Search & Seizure Protections
- Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment -- Employee
- Slip and Fall -- Plaintiff
- State Trial Practice
- Wage & Hour Laws -- Employee
- Whistleblower -- Employee
- Workers' Compensation Law
- Wrongful Death -- Plaintiff
- Wrongful Termination -- Employee
- California, 1993
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. magna cum laude
- Honors: Order of The Coif
- Honors: Dean's Award
- Law Review: The American Criminal Law Review, Executive Editor
- Boston University, London, England
- Honors: First Scholar
- Major: Management
- Boston University
- B.S. magna cum laude
- Honors: Scarlet Key
- Honors: The Dean's Award
- Major: Economics
- Minor: Business Administration
Honors and Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs, 2014, 2015
- The Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, 2014, 2015
- Top 100 California Attorney, The Daily Journal, 2010
- Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- Top 100, Super Lawyers, 2007
- Top 500 Attorney, LawDragon, 2007
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, 2006
- Consumer Trial Lawyer of the Year -- California
- California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award
- Top 25 Plaintiffs' Lawyers in California, The Daily Journal, 2015
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Association for Justice, Member, Board of Governors
- Consumer Attorneys of California, President, 2010
- San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2016