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From the Trench to the Bench: Navigating the Legal System and Finding your Spiritual Path Along the Way Paperback – February 1, 2017

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About the Author

About the Author For more than half a century, Judge Herb Dodell has served as both a successful attorney in the “trench,” and as a Superior Court Judge Pro Tem on the “bench,” having presided over more than 6,000 cases. As a lawyer, he has tried more than 100 jury trials, both civil and criminal, in both state and federal courts, a number of which resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and a substantial number of non-jury trials, with similar results.
Dodell’s expertise includes commercial/business related matters, with emphasis on high end defendants like insurance companies, banks, etc. Advocate for the disaffected “middle guys,” with a David and Goliath approach to litigation, he’s expert on frivolous lawsuits/fraudulent claims, big businesses’ push to reduce punitive damages, etc. Sometimes handling a case in both civil and criminal court, his record of wins in cases against insurance companies reflects a diverse expertise.
He also successfully argued before the California Supreme Court in the case of Essex Insurance vs. Five Star Dye House, Inc., (Click for Case Summary) which created landmark authority in the area of insurance law, including an insurance company’s obligation to provide a defense where its insured has been sued. He is a published author in insurance law and has lectured frequently on the subject. His article on Restraining Orders is available at restrainingorders.expert.
Dodell is a former member of the Board of Governors, California Trial Lawyers Association, (now CAAC) and Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association, (now CAALA) where he was chairperson of several committees and special political liaison to Governor Jerry Brown. He currently sits on the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Association and serves as Director of the Western Region.
Dodell graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, (academic scholarship) with a Bachelor of Arts, 1961 and Brooklyn Law School (academic scholarship) LL.B. and Juris Doctor Degrees, 1964, with honors paper in Commercial Law. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Shelli.

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