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Anne C. Gritzer

Senior Counsel

E agritzer@wfbm.com
T (415) 781-7072
| F (415) 391-6258

Overview

Anne Gritzer’s practice includes the defense of general liability claims, including toxic tort/environmental litigation. For over twenty years, she has successfully defended public entities, premises owners, manufacturers, and contractors in a variety of disputes, resolving many cases through dispositive motions and mediation. Anne has taken several cases to favorable verdict at trial and has a growing appellate practice.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Anne was an insurance broker with a large national insurance brokerage where she negotiated third party liability coverage and excess layers for a multi-national petrochemical corporation, multi-state financial institutions and local municipalities. She is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and is presently affiliated with the Golden Gate Chapter of CPCU and a member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF).

Representative Successes
  • Bercher v. Various Defendants – Defended an equipment manufacturer in a living mesothelioma case of a 73-year-old retired machinist who claimed exposure to asbestos while servicing auxiliary turbines. After a three-week trial, the jury voted in favor of defendants on the design defect question, but was unable to reach a verdict on plaintiff’s negligence claim. The jury was not persuaded that client had breached any duty, and the case concluded in a mistrial. Our client resolved favorably prior to the retrial.
  • Boman v. Product Manufacturer  – Summary judgment granted following ruling on motion in limine during preliminary trial motions in a products liability/asbestos matter involving malignant mesothelioma in Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Cremer v. Contractor Defendant – Products liability/asbestos matter involving malignant mesothelioma in Alameda County Superior Court resolved during preliminary trial motions.
  • Cummings v. Various Defendants – Non-suit granted for defendant in an asbestos-related lung cancer case of a 67-year old former smoker. Plaintiff claimed to have been present during repairs to equipment manufactured by our client. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case in chief, the court found that the plaintiff failed to present any evidence that would satisfy his burden to show that our client’s product was a substantial factor in causing his alleged disease.
  • Cunningham v. Product Manufacturer – Non-suit granted in an asbestos/wrongful death case involving malignant mesothelioma in Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Enayati v. Product Manufacturer – Products liability/asbestos matter involving malignant mesothelioma in Los Angeles Superior Court resolved during preliminary trial motions.
  • Haupt v. Product Manufacturer – Secured a $10,000 verdict with an allocation of 1% liability as well as a defense verdict as to one plaintiff, resulting in the recovery of some costs in a wrongful death case involving malignant mesothelioma in Los Angeles Superior Court. The judgment was a small fraction of the final demand.
  • Howard v. Contractor Defendant – Products liability/asbestos matter involving non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in San Francisco County Superior Court resolved during preliminary trial motions.
  • Metcalf v. Contractor Defendant – Products liability/asbestos matter involving malignant mesothelioma in San Francisco Superior Court resolved during preliminary trial motions.
  • Self v. Contractor Defendant – Products liability/asbestos matter involving lung cancer in Alameda County Superior Court resolved following four weeks of argument on trial motions.
  • Shahabi v. Product Manufacturer – Products liability/asbestos matter involving malignant mesothelioma in Los Angeles Superior Court resolved at trial during examination of plaintiff’s witnesses.
  • Stephens v. Product Distributor – Products liability/asbestos matter involving non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in San Francisco County Superior Court resolved during preliminary trial motions.
Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association
  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • CPCU, Golden Gate Chapter
  • IICF, Grants Committee

Speaking Engagements:

  • “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”
  • “Investigating and Defending Catastrophic Automobile Events”
  • “What the Tweet: Emerging Issues in the Use and Collection of Social Media Evidence”
Beyond the Office

A fourth generation Californian whose second great-grandfather sailed “around the horn” during the Gold Rush, Anne grew up in the Oakland Area and attended USC. After college, she was employed with a national insurance brokerage and was responsible for negotiating third party contracts on behalf of multi-national corporations, local governmental entities and large financial institutions. During this time, she obtained her CPCU.

Anne subsequently moved in Texas to support her former husband pursue his career aspirations. She lived in San Antonio for a number of years where she began her family and became deeply involved in public affairs affecting the welfare of vulnerable children and troubled youth, principally through the non-profit private sector where she collaborated to develop innovative programs and served at the board level. Anne also served for ten years on the Bexar County Child Welfare Board, which she chaired for a time, and served on the State Advisory Board to the Texas Department of Human Services. She became a seasoned advocate for abused and neglected children who came into the care of state and local agencies, lobbying with local elected officials and testifying before the state legislature.

When her marriage ended, Anne stayed in Texas to attend St. Mary’s Law School while rearing her two young daughters. On graduation, she worked as a briefing attorney at the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas, located in Fort Worth. She was a principal contributor to more than 100 civil and criminal opinions during her year at the court. One of these was cited by the Texas Bar Journal as a paradigm of appellate review involving summary judgment practice in a case which involved alleged fraud. Stunned by the ridiculous decisions made by many criminal defendants, one take-away was a pondering as to where all the smart criminals are.

In 1994, Anne’s roots beckoned, and she and her young family returned to Piedmont to be near family and friends. Both daughters have completed grad school and are “launched” but have offered only grandchildren of the four-legged variety. Anne continues to enjoy all the wonderful cultural offerings in San Francisco, including the opera and ballet. She also enjoys cultivating her garden and travelling to new places and remains connected with lifelong friends, many or whom she has known since kindergarten.

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