Paul Traina has practiced law for the past 25 years spending his first five years representing automobile manufacturers and insurance companies and the last twenty years representing consumers on a pure contingency basis. Paul is an experienced, fiercely competitive litigator and trial lawyer and has obtained verdicts and recoveries for his clients totaling over 3 billion dollars. Paul has and continues to represent clients in matters involving catastrophic injuries, defective products, whistleblower litigation, class actions, professional liability cases, and business/commercial litigation and is a frequent guest lecturer at Loyola Law Schools Trial Advocacy Class. Paul has lectured around the country on topics ranging from class actions, conflicts of interest, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross examinations of both lay and expert witnesses.
Paul was born and raised in Charlotte, Michigan with his two brothers and one sister. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned degrees in History, Political Science and Philosophy. After college, he moved to California, with his girlfriend Pam (now wife for 28 years) for law school where he attended Pepperdine University. During law school, he clerked at various firms and the Ventura Public Defenders Office. After graduation, Paul started his legal career at the defense firm of Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow and Canter where he worked for 4 years doing heavy litigation and trying cases.
In 1996, Paul joined the prestigious law firm of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, a firm made famous by the PG&E chromium-6 matter portrayed in the blockbuster movie Erin Brockovich. As young partner, Paul litigated and tried large complex injury cases on behalf of businesses and consumers with both Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi and continued litigating and trying cases during his tenure at Engstrom before joining the Stalwart Law Group in July of 2017.
Paul is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Consumer Attorneys of California. He was recognized as one of Southern California’s Super lawyers from 2004-2009.
Class Actions/Qui Tam (Whistleblower) Cases
Paul has been involved in some of the largest class actions brought in the United States which include:
Natural Gas Anti-Trust Cases I, II, III & IV, coordinated in San Diego County, J.C.C.P. Nos. 4221, 4224, 4226 and 4228. $3 billion dollar settlement reached after a 6 week trial. Plaintiffs were a class of California consumers and business that brought a representative action as a result of restraints put on California’s electrical and gas market.
State of California v. Caremark. Qui Tam case brought on behalf of the State of California against Caremark for: restocking/resale of prescription medications; changing receive dates for prescription drugs; dispensing drugs without obtaining prescriber approval; and submitting fraudulent bills seeking repayment from the State of California for these fraudulent activities. Eight figure settlement reached on behalf of the Relator and the State of California.
The Rhulen Company, Inc., v. Canon U.S.A. Inc. Served as lead counsel in class action brought as a result of consumers receiving a defective product. This case settled for a confidential sum.
Smiley v. ICANN, et al. Served as co-lead counsel in a nationwide class in which a temporary restraining order was granted enjoining defendants from conducting an illegal world-wide lottery in the sale of domain names. This case was certified as a nationwide class action and settled.
Breach of Contract and Fraud Cases
Paul has also litigated and tried cases involving breach of contract and fraud allegations on behalf of businesses and consumers including but not limited to:
Fightertown U.S.A v. Robertson Stephens. Four week trial resulting in a $7 million dollar verdict for our clients who were promised by the investment bank to take Fightertown public.
Casablanca Express v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts. Three week trial resulting in a $3.9 million dollar verdict against defendants who broke oral and written contracts, costing Plaintiffs a majority of its business. The case was settled confidentially after the punitive damage phase was argued while the jury was deliberating.
Brogger v. Carsdirect. Two week trial resulting in a $15 million dollar award for our client who was the former president of an Internet automobile seller in a battle for stock that had been contractually promised in the former president’s employment agreement.
Catastrophic Injuries and Wrongful Death
Paul has also tried and litigated cases for individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, horrific burns, debilitating bodily injuries, and severe emotional distress as a result of automotive accidents, bicycle accidents, dangerous conditions on public and private property, defective products, and excessive force by law enforcement. Some of those cases include:
- Representing a mechanic badly burned by a defective automotive product, resulting in a substantial pre-trial settlement.
- Representing a father and his two children whose mother was tragically killed by a Los Angeles County Metro in a seven-figure settlement prior to trial.
- Representing a minor as a result of hypoxic brain injury suffered as a result of the negligence of a doctor and emergency room staff resulting in a substantial pre-trial settlement.
- Representing a husband who suffered catastrophic injures as a result of being re-ended by a company truck resulting in a seven figure settlement.
- Obtaining a successful resolution for a minor client with special needs who was attacked by a school district contractor.
Paul routinely speaks on legal matters with sitting federal and state judges and other experienced litigators:
- Guest Lecturer at Consumer Attorneys of California — Section 17200, May, 2004
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School — The Art of Cross-Examination, February, 2011
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2012 Trial Practice: Opening and Closing Statements
- How to Take an Effective Deposition for Use at Trial, Bridgeport Mastering the Deposition Conference, 2013
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2013 Trial Practice: Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses
- Pitfalls of Class Action Notice and Claims Administration, Bridgeport Class Action Conference, 2014
- Guest Lecturer at ABTL 2014: Attorney Malpractice and Conflicts of Interests
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2014 Trial Practice: Direct and Cross Examination and the admission of evidence
- Guest Lecturer at Pincus Federal Boot Camp 2014: Opening Statements; Admission of Evidence
- CAALA Lecturer 2015: Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses
- Guest Lecturer at Pincus Federal Boot Camp 2015: Direct, Cross Examination and Closing Argument
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2015: Closing Argument
- Guest Lecturer Pincus State Boot Camp 2015: Mini Opening Statements and Preparing case for Trial
- Guest Lecturer 2015: Qui Tam Conference: Qui Tam and the Plaintiffs Practice
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2016: Direct and Cross Examination of Experts
- Guest Lecturer Federal Boot Camp 2016: Preparing a Case for Trial
- Guest Lecturer at Loyola Law School 2017 Trial Practice: How to Effectively Prepare and Give Opening and Closing Statements
Paul has also been published in various legal publications.
- Fiduciary Duties: What are They? When Do They Exist and Why Use Them? — CAALA Advocate, March, 2001
- Mass Joinder or Class Action — CAOC Forum, July, 2002
- Discovery Strategies: The Paperless Office — CAOC Forum, April, 2003
- Contemporary Discovery Strategies and Tactics — CAOC Forum, April, 2003
- Referral Fees: What You Need to Know — CAOC Forum, December, 2003
- Avoiding “Misteaks” — CAOC Forum, December, 2003
- The Status of Representative Claims: Section 17200 – The Nuts and Bolts — CAOC Forum, May, 2004
- Qui Tam Actions Under The California False Claims Act: Is your source original? — CAALA Advocate, February, 2011
- Class Actions: Dealing Effectively with The “Professional Objector” — CAALA Advocate, February, 2011
- Watch What You Plead: The Effects of Judicial and Evidentiary Admissions — CAALA Advocate, January, 2014
- Fraud and the Parol-Evidence after Riverisland — CAALA Advocate, February, 2015
Pepperdine University School of law, Malibu, CA 1991, J.D.
University of Minnesota, B.A., History, Philosophy and Political Science
Southern California’s Super Lawyer, 2004-2009
Consumer Attorneys of California Forum Editor, 2002-2003
Consumer Attorney of California (CAOC) Board Member, 2015-2017.
Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Member (CAALA), 2002-2017.