Brian Poulter is an experienced trial attorney who devotes his practice to representing individuals and their families in matters of personal injury and wrongful death. Brian has litigated and tried to verdict numerous commercial trucking, premises liability, and products liability cases, as well as countless auto, dangerous condition, security excessive force, and severe pedestrian and bicyclist injury cases. Through hard work, compassion, and creativity, Brian has obtained amazing results at trial and through settlement, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for his deserving clients over the years against negligent individuals, public entities, and corporations.
Brian was born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Port Neches, Texas. He is the youngest of two siblings and the son of Lee and Junella Poulter. Having grown up in a blue-collar, working-family household, Brian was taught the value of hard work at a very young age. Nothing was ever given—everything had to be earned. Brian credits his hometown and his parents’ work ethic for his success in life and in the courtroom.
Brian graduated in the top 10% of his class at Port Neches-Groves High School where he was a two-year letterman in baseball and football. After his time at PN-G, Brian attended Texas State University at San Marcos, Texas where he obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management with honors from the McCoy College of Business. After two years of working for a Fortune 100 company, Brian decided to pursue his dream of becoming a trial lawyer.
Brian began his legal studies at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. After finishing his first year of law school in the top 5% of his class, Brian transferred to Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California to become a trial lawyer. Loyola is ranked consistently as a top 10 law school nationally for trial advocacy by U.S. News & World Report. Brian specifically chose Loyola because of its reputation for cultivating some of the best young trial lawyers in the country.
After Loyola accepted Brian, he tried out for Loyola’s nationally-ranked Byrne Trial Advocacy Team, known colloquially as “the Byrne Team.” Brian was 1 of 12 team-members selected to represent Loyola at trial advocacy competitions all over the country. He would spend two years on the team and eventually serve as team captain. It was during this time that Brian honed his trial advocacy skills, which he continues to perfect to this day. Over the next two years, Brian and his teammates met on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6 – 10 P.M. (after his regularly scheduled classes), as well as on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 A.M. to often as late as midnight. The process was grueling but incredibly rewarding. Brian received over 3,200 hours of individualized attention from some of the best in the business, such as Susan Poehls, Sean Kennedy, Joshua Carton (as seen on The Staircase | Netflix Original), Mark P. Robinson, Tom Girardi, Amy Fisch Solomon, Chris Ardelan, and David deRubertis just to name a few.
Brian graduated from Loyola after having tried over 150 mock jury trials, which were often judged by ABOTA members with over 100 civil jury trials each to their credit. Brian’s significant awards and achievements while on the Byrne Team included: 2012 “Top Gun”—an honor given to the top 16 individual trial advocates in the country; 2012 International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award; 2012 National Trial Competition—Southern California Regional Champion; 2012 National Trial Competition—National Elite 8; and the Byrne Trial Advocacy Scholar—$20,000 scholarship for excellence in the art of trial advocacy.
CATASTROPHIC INJURY & WRONGFUL DEATH
Brian joined the team at Stalwart Law Group in December of 2018 to run the firm’s personal injury practice. Before joining the team, Brian cut his teeth at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP—one of the nation’s pre-eminent personal injury law firms. While at PSB, Brian was fortunate enough to work side-by-side with some of the best plaintiff’s personal injury trial lawyers in the country, including Rahul Ravipudi (2017 CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year) and Spencer Lucas—both ABOTA members.
Brian litigated highly complex catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases while at PSB. He also served as the firm’s handling attorney for the Porter Ranch litigation, which stemmed from the October 23, 2015 massive gas injection well blowout of well SS-25 in the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility operated by Southern California Gas Company. Brian personally oversaw over 6,000 clients’ cases. Litigation is ongoing.
In 2020, Brian obtained a unanimous $5,500,000 verdict as lead trial counsel in the case of Sherril Phillips v. AvantGarde Senior Living, et al—the largest elder neglect verdict in Van Nuys’ history.
Sherril Phillips walked into AvantGarde Senior Living and Memory Care in Tarzana, California on June 9, 2018 happy and healthy. She was 88. She left AvantGarde 48 days later in an ambulance with a lacerated forehead, traumatic brain injury, and a broken neck. In a matter of 48 days while under the direct care and supervision of AvantGarde, Sherril was brought to urgent care once, hospitalized once, contracted E. coli twice, and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection twice. In those same 48 days, Sherril also sustained multiple unexplained bruises, swelling and ankle edema, a hematoma and laceration to her forehead, traumatic brain injury, and multiple burst fractures to her cervical spine. Sherril was deprived of even the most basic hygienic services assistance with grooming, bathing, toileting, drinking, and escorting during her 48 days at AvantGarde. She was found routinely unbathed, ungroomed, and in one specific instance, without pants in soiled diapers that were doubled up to reduce the number of changings. The neglect was so rampant that the Head of the Care Department sent a text message to her staff, acknowledging that “[t]his is down right neglect[.]” Despite this, the Administrator and the Care Department Head did little, if anything at all, to investigate, report, and correct their staff’s daily neglect of Sherril in conscious disregard of her rights and safety.
To make matters worse, the Administrator hired an unqualified and untrained activities assistant who she personally authorized to escort Sherril Phillips and other residents despite knowing of her unfitness to provide direct care. The Administrator’s conscious decision culminated with the untrained and unqualified activities assistant negligently and recklessly diverting her attention from Sherril while escorting her around the property, which caused her to fall face first over her walker and sustain severe injuries that sent her mild pre-existing dementia spiraling out of control.
In 2019, Brian obtained a unanimous $260,955.00 verdict as lead trial counsel in the case of Carlos Perez, Sr. v. Kailey Gullett, et al.
Carlos Perez, Sr. was driving to work in July of 2015 when he was rear-ended by defendant Kailey Gullett at approximately 9 to 13 MPH. The defendant claimed that Carlos put his car into reverse and intentionally backed into her car. She further claimed that Carlos then got out of his car, hurled racial epithets at her, attempted to fight her in broad daylight, and ultimately assaulted her. As a result, State Farm flagged the case as SIU (special investigations unit) for fraud and refused to compensate Carlos for his torn labrum in his left shoulder that required surgery.
At trial, Brian easily discredited the defendant’s ridiculous story by pointing out that, despite her claims and fearing for her life, she still found time to exchange information and take photographs. Brian also pointed to the fact that she never called the police, never banged on the windows of any of the cars next to her in standstill LA traffic, and went back to work that day without telling her boss or any of her coworkers what had allegedly happened.
Because the defendant refused to accept responsibility and instead lied under oath, she was ordered to pay an additional $53,226.48 in costs and prejudgment interest, as well as $22,762.08 in statutory attorney’s fees. Brian’s verdict was published and featured in JuryVerdictAlert.com.
In 2019, Brian obtained a confidential $5,460,000 settlement in the case of Minor v. Sherman Oaks Private School, et al. Brian’s 11 years-old client suffered a traumatic brain injury when he attempted to slide down a handrail and fell backwards over 8 ft to the concrete below. The young boy suffered multiple depressed fractures to his temporal and parietal skull bones, as well as his clavicle. The skull fractures and the force of the impact caused epidural and subdural brain hemorrhages, which required life-saving emergency brain surgery. Brian’s client is expected to make a full recovery and will begin high school this fall, which is a credit to the intense physical and cognitive rehabilitation that the young boy fought through.
During litigation, the school blamed Brian’s client for his injuries, arguing that “he should’ve known better.” The school denied liability even though it did not take attendance and could not account for the young boy for over an hour and half before his injury. The evidence was that the school knew that the boys were sliding down this same handrail for a decade but did absolutely nothing about it. To make matters worse, the school refused to produce tenured faculty and staff for deposition and hid thousands of pages of documents, e-mails, and internal memoranda. Brian filed countless motions to compel, arguing to the court that the school was unlawfully hiding evidence. The court agreed and ordered the school to produce the documents and over 51 faculty and staff to sit for deposition. It was in those documents and during those depositions that Brian uncovered a reckless history of zero accountability, lax supervision, and a complete failure to establish and enforce school policy.
In addition to the $5.46 million-dollar settlement, Brian’s work was instrumental in changing school policy to make it safer for all students for years to come. The school installed a guardrail to prevent sliding, placed signs in the stairwells warning against sliding, instituted a policy of mandatory suspension for any student caught sliding down the handrails, installed security cameras in the stairwells, instituted a mandatory attendance taking policy at the beginning of each class, assigned supervision duties in the stairwells during off hours, and instituted school policy for teachers to follow when a student is not present at the start of class.
In 2019, Brian obtained a confidential $1,000,000 settlement in an auto v. commercial trucking case. The defense filed a Prop 213 motion for summary adjudication to stop Brian’s client from an award of pain and suffering damages at trial. Brian filed his opposition, and before the hearing, the defense voluntarily withdrew the motion. Brian then served the defense with a CCP 998 offer to compromise for the entire $1,000,000 insurance policy limits, which was set to expire the same day his client was to be examined by the defense doctor. The defense asked for multiple extensions of time to respond to the CCP 998 offer to compromise, but Brian said no. During the middle of the examination, the lead defense lawyer called Brian and agreed to pay the $1,000,000 insurance policy limits without even waiting to hear what their doctor had to say.
In 2018, Brian and Spencer Lucas of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP tried the case of Dean Khan v. Abel Sandoval, et al. in Los Angeles Superior Court over a span of three weeks. Dean was a 34 years-old graduate school student at USC who was hit on his motorcycle in an intersection by a car traveling at 40 MPH. After the presentation of the evidence, the jury determined that fault was to be split equally between Dean and the defendant, Mr. Sandoval, and that Dean was entitled to $650,000 for a gruesome leg injury that left him permanently disabled. Determined to make Dean whole, Brian filed post-trial motions for partial judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for new trial due to inadequate damages and insufficiency of the evidence. The court not only granted both of Brian’s motions, but reversed the jury’s finding of 50/50 comparative fault, placing 100% fault on the defendant as a matter of law. The only issue to be retried was the amount of damages Dean was owed. The case is currently up on appeal.
In 2018, Brian was lead trial counsel in the case of Jesse Bias v. Phoenix Express Group, Inc. Brian’s client, Jesse Bias, was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler while working. The photos from the collision showed minor property damage to Jesse’s vehicle. The defense routinely called Jesse a liar, pointing to the fact that he told his workers comp doctor just a week after the crash that he was fine, and that he wished to get back to work. The reality was that Jesse was not fine. After a weeklong trial, the jury returned a 12-0 trial verdict of $1,036,338.86. Defendant’s pre-trial offer to compromise was $150,000. Brian then filed a post-trial motion for expert fees, costs, and prejudgment interest, which resulted in a net judgment of over $1.4 million dollars. Brian’s verdict was published and featured in both the Daily Journal and ALM’s Verdict Search.
In 2018, Brian and Ryan Casey of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP tried the case of Sunny Kang v. City of Huntington Beach, et al. in Orange County Superior Court over a span of three weeks. Sunny was involved in a he-said-she-said-red-light-case against a City of Huntington Beach police officer. The case presented many obstacles—most notably, an ultra-conservative Orange County venue and a police officer defendant. Brian and Ryan fought for their client despite these challenges because the City refused to offer full and fair compensation. Despite their efforts, the jury returned a defense verdict. Losing is never fun, but the lessons Brian learned during that trial have no doubt made him a better trial lawyer.
In 2017, Brian assisted attorneys Rahul Ravipudi and Matthew Stumpf in the case of David Moradi v. Nevada Property 1, LLC with discovery, law and motion, and pre-trial workup. The Moradi case involved allegations of excessive security force against Las Vegas nightclub Marquee and the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino, which left their client with a traumatic brain injury. Brian took and defended depositions of multiple witnesses, treating physicians, and experts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Chicago. Before trial, the Cosmopolitan moved for summary judgment, alleging that it was absolved of liability because the security guards were Marquee employees. Brian successfully defeated the motion and the case proceeded to trial against both defendants. Attorneys Rahul Ravipudi, Tom Schultz, and Debbie Chang tried the case to a Las Vegas jury over 4 weeks and obtained $209,500,000 trial verdict—$58 million in past and future non-economic damages; $102 million in past and future loss of earnings; and $59.5 million in punitive damages.
In 2016, Brian obtained a seven-figure, confidential settlement for his minor client who sustained severe injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder after an 85-foot tall tree located in a park owned and maintained by a government entity fell on top of her while attending a summer camp.
In 2016, Brian obtained seven-figure, confidential settlement for his client who was injured in an auto collision on the Foothill FWY in Upland, California. For years, the defense lied about how the collision occurred and offered pennies on the dollar to settle the case. Believing in his client, Brian prepared the case for trial, which ultimately settled after jury selection for the insurance policy limits.
In 2016, Texas-based firm Saucier & Smaistrla, P.C. asked Brian to associate into the case of Shaw v. Gengle, et al. as lead trial counsel with trial beginning in one month. Brian’s client sustained neck injuries in a near head-on collision at 30+ MPH. At the time of trial, Brian’s client had only undergone 16 sessions of physical therapy. The defense offered $12,000 to settle the case at mediation before Brian got involved. The case proceeded to trial in August of 2016, and after 5 days of trial, Brian obtained a $391,000 trial verdict. He then filed a post-trial motion to recover an extra $300,000 in attorney’s fees and costs because the defendant refused to accept responsibility before trial. The court granted Brian’s motion, and the parties reached a confidential global settlement amount, resulting in a net recovery of over $500,000, which was a 4,000 % increase above the insurance company’s original settlement offer. Brian’s verdict was published in both the Daily Journal and ALM’s Verdict Search.
In 2015, Brian obtained a confidential, seven-figure settlement for his client—former two-time Olympic gold medalist, Craig Buck. Craig was an avid cyclist who spent his mornings riding his road bike on Santa Barbara’s back roads. As he descended the hill, a truck pulled out in front of him, causing life-altering injuries. The police report cited Craig as the sole cause of the collision. Because of this, the driver’s insurance company blamed Craig and refused to compensate him for his injuries. Brian investigated the driver’s background and uncovered a troubling history of violence towards cyclists. Within days of disclosing this information to the carrier, the driver’s insurance company tendered the entire underlying and excess policy limits.
t: 310-954-2000 Ext. 104
- Texas State University, B.B.A.
- Loyola Law School | Los Angeles, J.D., Byrne Trial Advocacy Scholar
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- Consumer Attorneys of California
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- ABOTA Sidebar
- Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Personal Injury, 2018 & 2019
- Member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
- Consumer Attorney Association of Los Angeles “Rising Star” Nominee, 2018
- American Board of Trial Advocates Sidebar Program (Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters), 2018
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Million Dollar Verdict Club