PAUL NICHOLAS LUVERA BIOGRAPHY
Attorney at Law Gig Harbor, WA
(253) 851 6019 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Luvera Journal - www.paulluverajournal.com
Plaintiff Trial Lawyer Tips - www.plaintifftriallawyertips.com
Paul Luvera was born in Anacortes Washington on February 21, 1935. There were two older sisters in the family. He is the son of immigrants. His father was born in Italy and his mother’s family emigrated from a small island in Croatia. Neither of his parents had formal education beyond the sixth grade. For more than 35 years he has been married to Lita Barnett Luvera, a 1977 graduate of Gonzaga Law School. Luvera has eight children and 17 grandchildren as well as great-grandchildren. The Luveras live in Gig Harbor Washington. Both Paul and Lita retired from the active practice of law in 2014. Luvera was in active practice of law for 55 years and retired at age 79 years.
He graduated from Anacortes high school in 1953 where he lettered in basketball, football and track. He was the captain of the basketball and football teams, Student Body President, president of the Key Club and Northwest Key Club Governor. He was selected as the class speaker at graduation. From the time he was in high school until he graduated from law school he worked in the summers on commercial salmon purse seine boats leaving Anacortes for Alaska in May and returning to Puget Sound later in the summer. When the fishing season would end in the fall, Luvera would return to school.
He attended the University of Washington on a football and basketball scholarship where he lettered in both sports. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Before finishing school at the University, Luvera transferred to St. Martin’s College in Lacey Washington to evaluate studies for the priesthood. While there he played on the college basketball team and coached the track team. He then applied to apply to Gonzaga law school where he was accepted. At Gonzaga Luvera attended night law school and worked for a lawyer during the day while commercially fishing in the summers. At Gonzaga he was selected for membership in the scholastic organization Alpha Sigma Nu and was elected president of his class. He graduated in 1959.
He became a member of the Washington State Bar in the fall of 1959 and was hired as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Skagit County prosecutor’s office in Mount Vernon Washington. The office consisted of the prosecuting attorney and one other deputy prosecutor. It was staffed by one secretary for all three lawyers. At that time the law allowed the prosecutor’s staff to have a law practice in addition to their duties as prosecuting attorneys. Luvera was assigned the prosecution of cases in the then existing Justice Courts, City Courts and Skagit County Superior Court. Judges in the Justice Courts and City Courts were not required to be lawyers and served part time. After three years as a deputy prosecuting attorney, Luvera created a partnership with Mount Vernon attorneys Bill Bannister and Stanley Bruhn practicing as Bannister, Bruhn and Luvera. It was a general practice partnership with Luvera assuming the primary role for trials where he practiced ten years.
Luvera opened his sole practice in Mount Vernon in 1969. His law practice was unique for the number of paralegals employed with broad responsibility and the employment of an office investigator. The firm also was known for the extensive use of checklists and procedures for accomplishing legal work. The American Bar law management section asked him to speak at their seminars held around the county which he did for several years with a national team of speakers.
After several years as a sole practioner, Luvera began to employ associate lawyers with him in the practice of law. Luvera and Lita became law partners and in 1996 and created a law firm. Of Luvera, Barnett, Bettinger, Brindley and Cunningham. Their practice was limited to major plaintiff’s damage cases. After several years with the primary office in Mount Vernon the firm opened a Seattle office in the Columbia Tower Center. As their practice centered more in Seattle and the surrounding states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Oregon the firm moved the primary office operation to Seattle and made the Mount Vernon office their branch office. Later they added to the firm Robert Gellatly and employed associate lawyers, Andy Hoyal, Debra Martin, Patricia Anderson and John Gagliardi. The firm website is found at: http://www.luveralawfirm.com
VERDICTS, TRIALS AND SETTLEMENTS
In 1976 Luvera was the first plaintiff’s lawyer in the history of the state to obtain a jury verdict over one million dollars. The trial was in Pierce County and resulted in a jury verdict of $1.3 million against the State of Washington for a child injured in state gravel pit. Luvera has since obtained numerous multimillion dollar plaintiff damage jury verdicts. He has set records for personal injury jury verdicts in three states: Washington, Oregon and Idaho. They include a $40 million medical malpractice jury verdict in Snohomish County Washington for injuries during a heart surgery; a $44 million dollar jury verdict in Multnomah County Oregon against a pharmaceutical company for injuries to a young man, for a drug product and a $29.7 Million malpractice verdict in Idaho for birth injuries to a child. He obtained the fifth largest verdict in U.S. in 1994 as well as numerous multimillion dollar jury verdicts.
In addition to his jury verdicts, he has secured a great number of multimillion dollar settlements for plaintiffs. He has had record settlements including a $75 million settlement for the death of two 10-year-old children as well as $45 million for wrongful death settlement.
Some of his high profile cases include a substantial verdict in an Oregon jury case against a private Episcopal School. The case involved the death of seven students and two adults on a school outing to climb Mount Hood when they became trapped in a snow storm. Luvera’s clients were the only families involved who were successful in obtaining a jury verdict. Washington’s Attorney General selected him as lead counsel in the State of Washington’s jury case against the tobacco industry that was settled after 2.5 months of trial for the largest settlement in U.S. history in 1998 for $206 Billion. The Seattle Times and Seattle PI wrote editorials praising the plaintiff lawyers: “State Tobacco Suit Money Well Spent” The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence selected him to represent over a dozen East Coast victims of a sniper shooting in a lawsuit against the gun industry. The case resulted in a substantial settlement with agreed conditions of change by Bushmaster Gun Company. He was hired by the family of Crystal Brame in the 2003 shooting by her husband who was the Tacoma Police Chief. The case resulted in a multimillion dollar settlement with an agreement to create a domestic violence center and other non-monetary terms.
In his last jury trial, shortly before retiring Luvera and his partners obtained a 2013 jury outcome of $30 Million dollars for a 55 year old client in a malpractice for burns suffered in an elective throat surgery in Wenatchee.
PROFESSIONAL INVITATIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Luvera’s professional memberships, by invitation only, include these:
American Board of Trial Advocates (Luvera was the first Washington lawyer selected for membership by ABOTA in creating a WA chapter)
American College of Trial Lawyers
American College of Law Practice Management.
Damage Attorneys Roundtable Founder and Past President 1983
Inner Circle of Advocates Past President 1993-1995
International Academy of Trial Lawyers Past Board member 1986
International Society of Barristers.
American Bar Association
Association of trial lawyers of America Past National Committeeman 1971-1973
Melvin Belli Association Trustee 1983-1984
Skagit County Bar Association. Past President 1974-1975
Trial lawyers for Public Justice. Founder
Washington State Bar Association
Washington state trial lawyers Association Past President 1974-1975 ( Luvera incorporated WSTLA for first time and hired first time full executive director)
Editor Washington State Trial Lawyers Newsletter 1967 – 1972
Editor Washington State Trial Lawyers Law Journal 1977 – 1979
Member Washington Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions 1981 –2001
Invited member Obstetrical Technical Access Project Advisory Board, University of Washington Medical school
American Board of Trial Advocates, WA chapter Trial Lawyer of the Year 1998
American Board of Trial Advocates, WA chapter Lifetime Achievement Award 2015
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year 1968.
Washington State Trial Lawyers Award Editor of Trial News Award 1968
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Presidents Position 1973 – 1974
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Publications Award 1984
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer of the Year Award 1985
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Award 2007
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Presidents Award 2009
Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Pillar of Justice Award 2014
Gonzaga University Law School Council Appreciation Award 1980
Gonzaga University Outstanding Alumnus Award 1981
Gonzaga University Law School Honorary Doctorate of Laws 1989
Gonzaga University Law Medal 2006
St Martins University Distinguished Alumni Award 1998
King County Bar Association Exemplary Service Award 2001
Kitsap County Law Day Speaker Award 2011
Poulsbo Bar Association Small-Town Lawyer Made Good Award 1983 ( Other honorariums include Gerry Spence, U.S, Supreme Court Judge John Paul Stevens & Scalia plus others
Selected for listing in Best Lawyers in America from 1983 to retirement
Gonzaga University Law School Commencement Speaker 1981
Named top 10 of nation’s most accomplished trial lawyers National Law Journal 1994
Named one of the top plaintiffs lawyers in U.S. by the American Lawyer
Named one of U.S. best plaintiffs lawyers by Washington Law Journal.
Featured in the King County Bar Journal profile 2002
Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court 1971
Named Washington Super lawyer every year for 25 years
Selected as top lawyer in state by Super Lawyers
Featured on cover by Super Lawyers with article “Brain Power”
Inducted into The National Trial Lawyers Association Hall of Fame in 2010 whose members include Gerry Spence and other nationally known plaintiff lawyers. He is the only attorney in the state of Washington who has been selected for this honor
He has published more than 150 articles in various legal publications nationally and internationally including Washington State Bar News (NW Lawyer) Washington State Trial News, American Bar Association Journal, Missouri Law Review, The Practical Lawyer, Case and Comment, Washington State Bar News, Gonzaga Law Review, International Society of Barristers Quarterly, Law Office Economics and Management, Legal Economics, The Personal Injury Annual, Trial Law Quarterly and numerous other trial lawyer publications.
He has been featured in video lectures including
A Day with Gerry Spence and Paul Luvera - Trial Guides
Paul Luvera on Trial Strategy - Trial Guides
Video publications from Washington State Association for Justice
Luvera has written and published legal books as well as contributed to books. His published books include:
1. Attorney's Guidebook of Forms and Techniques for Successful Handling of Personal Injury Cases, published by Executive Reports
2. How to Operate an Efficient Law Office, published by Legal Systems Northwest,
3. The Efficient Law Office, published by Butterworths Publishing,
4. How to prepare and Try a Plaintiff's Soft Neck Injury Case, published by Washington State Trial Lawyers Association,
5. Winning Medical Negligence Cases, Trine & Luvera, Published by American Trial Lawyers Association
Contributing author to:
(1) Chiropracto-Legal Story, Simmons, Graphic Press
(2) An Attorney's Guide to Malpractice Liability, Stern, Michie Company,
(3) Cross-Examination of Non-Medical Experts, Habush, Matthew Bender
(4) Flying Solo, "How a Solo Practioner Handles Major Litigation" American Bar Association,
(5) Washington Trial Handbook, Preface to Book, Dale Foreman, published by Bancroft-Whitney Company,
(6) Vol. 1A Washington Practice, Chapter 37 "Handling a Plaintiff's Personal Injury Case" Part VI, Published by West Publishing Co.
(7) Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit, 3rd Edition Chapter: "Direct Examination", Published by American Trial Lawyers Association
For nine years Luvera has maintained two blogs which he supplements weekly. One is a journal of personal thoughts observations: Paul Luvera Journal:
http://plaintifftriallawyertips.com/ The other blog is written for plaintiff trial lawyers with ideas and suggestions for improved representation of their clients: http://plaintifftriallawyertips.com/
PROFESSSIONAL LECTURES & SEMINARS
Gerry Spence has invited him to lecture at the Spence Trial College from its founding in 1994 until his retirement.
For 30 consecutive years the Washington State Trial Lawyers featured him at their annual convention as “The Luvera Seminar”
He has been an invited speaker at over 175 legal seminars in over 25 states, Canada Puerto Rico and Europe.
He has been invited to lecture at law schools including Hastings law school, Gonzaga law school, University of Puget Sound law school, University of Washington law school, Willamette Law School, University of Michigan law school, and other law schools.
He has been an invited lecture at medical schools, including the University of Washington Medical School and medical organizations including hospital and nursing associations.
He has been an invited lecture to insurance companies and defense organizations and insurance companies used him and video clips of Luvera for educating their insureds about malpractice lawsuits against them.
He has been interviewed on numerous occasions by television and radio programs. He has been interviewed on national TV including Good Morning America, NBC News, ABC Prime Time News and others. He has been featured and interviewed on local TV including KING, KOMO and KJR. He debated a Congressman on KOMO’s Town Meeting regarding tort reform and has been interviewed by National Public Radio as well as the BBC and other radio stations.
He has been written about in many of the Northwest newspapers and other publications
Lawdragon Magazine selected him as one of the top 500 litigators in the U.S. referring to him as: “The Dean of the plaintiff’s bar for all the Northwest.”
He and wife were featured on the cover of Gonzaga Law School’s The Lawyer 2002.
He was featured on the cover and in an article in Seattle Times Pacific Magazine “Pain and Money” 1994
"That Luvera: He Handles Big Cases For The Little Guy", Bellingham Herald,
“The Rural Litigator” Washington Journal
“Luvera: Lion of the Law” Gonzaga Signum
“Successful Lawyer Refuses to Gag the Truth” Bellingham Herald
"Meet The King Of Torts", Everett Herald,
"Paul Luvera: A Cottage Industry In The Outback", The American Lawyer Magazine,
"Lawyer Finds Exhibits Costly But Effective", The Bellingham Herald,
"Paul Luvera, Jr., Putting Business Principles Into Legal Practice", Skagit County Business Pulse,
"Washington's Winningest Lawyers", Washington Law,
“Sincerity wins, says top Seattle lawyer” Lawyer’s Weekly
"Ten of the Nation's Most Accomplished Litigators" The National Law Journal
"The Lawyer that Doctors Love to Hate" Sun Publication
“Attorney Paul Luvera” featured story in Sunday Seattle PI