Toxic Tort, Product Liability, Commercial Litigation, Estate and Probate Planning and Litigation

James J. Ostertag


925.300.3520, ext. 310
Fax: 925.300.3386
jostertag@lclaw.com
Download VCARD

Partner

Primary Areas of Legal Practice

Trial Lawyer, Products Liability and Toxic Tort, Commercial Litigation, Legal Services Management 

Click here to view James J. Ostertag’s trial verdicts

Experience

Mr. Ostertag has over 22 years of trial, litigation and appellate experience in state and federal courts involving a broad range of issues. He has extensive experience representing product manufacturers, contractors, and premises owners in toxic tort and products liability litigation, and has successfully defended clients in jury trials in jurisdictions around the country in these matters.  Mr. Ostertag has also represented clients in multiple commercial disputes, including business torts, breach of contract, unfair business practices claims, and technology-related disputes.

Mr. Ostertag’s experience includes serving as national, regional, and trial counsel for clients in asbestos litigation.  He has been in trial defending clients in asbestos personal injury matters in California, Washington, Hawaii, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Delaware, Maryland and Florida.  He has worked in developing defense strategies for dealing with national, multi-state litigation including developing national discovery strategies, managing outside counsel and coordinating reporting, and in developing and testing trial themes.  Mr. Ostertag has also worked extensively with expert witnesses in complex, scientific fields relevant to toxic tort litigation.

Prior to joining Lankford Crawford Moreno & Ostertag, Mr. Ostertag was a partner at the international law firms NixonPeabody LLP and Thelen LLP.   Mr. Ostertag has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by the publishers of the Northern California Super Lawyers magazine since 2008.

Representative Matters

  • Litigation and trial counsel for automobile and truck manufacturer in asbestos products liability jury trials in courts in a number of states around the country
  • Represented HVAC manufacturer in product defect litigation
  • Represented golf car manufacturer in product defect litigation
  • Represented major truck manufacturers in diesel exposure litigation
  • Represented automobile manufacturer in dealer termination ligation
  • Represented truck manufacturer in warranty litigation
  • Litigation and trial counsel for construction and engineering firm in jury trials arising out of alleged asbestos exposure
  • Prosecuted claims for software distributor against developer for breach of contract arising out of developers refusal to deliver software. Obtained post-trial, alter-ego judgment against shareholders of software licensing corporation.
  • Defended bank against $60 million fraud, bad faith, and lender liability claims brought by borrower, resulting in dismissal of claims after extensive discovery and motion practice.
  • Defended insurance company against unfair business practice claims related to automotive repair facilities practices.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • United States District Court, Central District of California

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, (J.D., 1991)
    cum laude 
  • University of Hawaii, (B.B.A., 1985)
    Finance
    Beta Gamma Sigma, International Honor Society

Professional Affiliations

  • Associate of Defense Counsel of Northern California
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association

Asbestos Trials to Verdict

Adams v. Ford Motor Company, Los Angeles County, Ca., 2009. Defense verdict for Ford Motor Company in mesothelioma case following two week trial.

Bralish v. Chrysler Corporation, Broward County, Fl., 2009. Defense verdict for Chrysler Corporation in mesothelioma case following three week trial.

Price v. Chrysler Corporation, Alameda County, Ca., 2006. Defense verdict for Chrysler Corporation in mesothelioma case following three month trial.

Lantz v. Chrysler Corporation, San Francisco County, Ca., 2005. Defense verdict for Chrysler Corporation in mesothelioma case following three week trial.

Creech v. Chrysler Corporation, King County, Wa., 2003. Defense verdict for Chrysler Corporation in mesothelioma case following three week trial.

Geist v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1998. Nonsuit granted and verdict affirmed on appeal in Geist v. Sequoia Ventures Inc. (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 300.

Furman v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1995. Defense verdict for Bechtel Corporation in mesothelioma case following four week trial.

Ross v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1995. Defense verdict for Bechtel Corporation in lung cancer case following four week trial.

Ney v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1993. Defense verdict for Bechtel Corporation in mesothelioma case following four week trial.

Harrell v. Navistar, Inc., Los Angeles County, Ca., 2010. Mesothelioma case with a net verdict to plaintiffs less than $100,000, and significantly below amount demanded by plaintiffs.

Frost v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1994. Plaintiff’s net verdict of $37,500 overturned on appeal.

Asbestos Trials Resolved Prior To Verdict

Ralph Mosqueira, et al. v. Navistar, Inc., Los Angeles County, Ca., 2013. Mesothelioma case resolved for client following opening statements.

Claudia Fils Aime, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, Miami County, Fl., 2012.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case- in-chief.

Haskell Stillman, et al. v. Navistar, Inc., Alameda County, Ca., 2011.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client following jury selection.

Chester Morrison, et al. v. Mack Trucks, Inc. Los Angeles County, Ca., 2011.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client during jury selection.

Nasseem Farag, et al. v. Navistar, Inc. v. Navistar, Inc., Los Angeles County, Ca., 2010.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Uyeda, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, First Circuit Court, Hi., 2010. Mesothelioma case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Willie Martin, et al. v. Mack Trucks, Inc., Los Angeles County, Ca., 2009.  Lung cancer case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Robert Gordon, et al. v Chrysler Corporation, San Francisco County, Ca., 2008.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Lowell Wayne Reese v. Chrysler Corporation, Cuyahoga, Oh., 2007.   Mesothelioma case resolved for client during plaintiffs’ case in chief.

Gordon Veterlaus v. Chrysler Corporation, Los Angeles County, Ca., 2007.   Asbestosis case resolved for client following jury selection.

Kerrie Lippincott v. Ford Motor Company, Ventura County, Ca., 2005.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client after close of evidence and before closing arguments.

Joseph Lechner v. Ford Motor Company, Suffolk County, NY, 2004.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client following jury selection.

Phillip R. Chapin v. Ford Motor Company, Wayne County, Mi., 2004.  Mesothelioma case resolved for clients during plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Linda Seiler v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., Alameda County, Ca., 2001.  Mesothelioma case resolved for client during jury selection.

Melvin Palacek v. Sequoia Ventures, Inc., San Francisco County, Ca., 1996.  Asbestosis case resolved for client following opening statements.