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Charles T. Sheldon

Partner

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

Overview

Chuck Sheldon concentrates his practice on matters involving toxic tort and asbestos defense, as well as product liability. Since 1998, he has served as the lead partner for regional counsel teams defending California and Western United States product liability cases for four Fortune 500 companies.

An active trial lawyer, Chuck has spent over 250 trial days in state and federal courts across California, litigating scores of product liability and toxic tort cases, bringing eight of these cases to verdict. Among his litigation experience, Chuck has also arbitrated four cases, and has secured dismissals from many asbestos cases during trial, often after the jury was selected and the case has opened.

Chuck has developed solid professional relationships with the plaintiffs’ bar, while also being actively involved in developing new and innovative defense strategies for his clients, both of which have enabled him to achieve excellent negotiated resolutions in thousands of cases. Chuck also has experience litigating toxic exposure cases arising from talc, silica, mold, lead and radiation. Prior to specializing in toxics, he defended insurance companies in bad faith litigation, and served as the primary case handler and second chair trial lawyer on two Oakland Hills fire cases that were tried to verdict. The results from both trials beat the final pretrial demands.

Chuck is Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated, and has been a California Super Lawyer since 2009.

Chuck is a regular presenter at conferences around the United States focused on asbestos litigation, including those sponsored by ACI, Perrin, and DRI.

Representative Successes
  • Hahn v. Electrical Product Defendant – Co-tried a living mesothelioma case in San Francisco County for a product defendant in a case involving unique exposures experienced by a local municipal transportation electrical lineman, and secured a favorable settlement in the case moments before the plaintiff testified at trial.
  • Little v. Friction Product Defendant – Obtained a favorable settlement in Alameda County after opening statements in a mesothelioma case brought by an automotive worker against a friction product manufacturer.
  • Rincon v. Plastic Product Defendant – Defense verdict in co-trial of living mesothelioma case in San Francisco County for a product defendant in a case involving a carpenter who worked for a scientific device manufacturing company.
  • Barragan v. Electrical Product Defendant – Secured a nominal settlement after opening statements in Los Angeles County in a lung cancer case against an equipment defendant in a case involving a life-long electrician.
  • Chavers v. Friction Product Defendant – Obtained a nonsuit from a wrongful death mesothelioma case brought by an automotive worker against a friction defendant on a conspiracy theory in San Francisco County after first securing a preliminary ruling mandating an offer of proof/preliminary trial on the novel theory, and then securing the nonsuit after the 3-day preliminary trial.
  • Westover & Harris v. Insurance Company Defendant – Co-tried two insurance bad faith cases that arose out of the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 in Alameda County for the same insurance company in cases involving homeowners who lost their homes to fire, keeping the verdicts below the last pretrial demands.
  • Moro v. Shipbuilder Defendant – Obtained a dismissal from a mesothelioma case after opening statements in San Francisco County for shipbuilder defendant in case involving a local merchant seaman.
  • Libbee/Barrineau v. Shipbuilder Defendant – Co-tried a living mesothelioma case to a de minimis adverse verdict in San Francisco County for a shipbuilder defendant in case involving a local merchant seaman.
  • Hoke/Livingston/Enroth v. Shipbuilder Defendant – Successfully obtained a defense verdict (Hoke), a dismissal after opening statement (Enroth), and a de minimis adverse verdict (Livingston) in a 4-month consolidated trial of 5 cases in San Francisco County for a shipbuilder defendant which was a defendant in 3 of the 5 cases.
  • Meftah v. Shipbuilder Defendant – Successfully obtained a defense verdict in San Francisco County for a shipbuilder defendant in a case involving a local merchant seaman.
Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute, Northern California Chapter

Recognitions/Awards:

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
  • California “Super Lawyer”, 2009-Present
Beyond the Office

Growing up in Arizona, Chuck competed in every type of sport available, but eventually focused on baseball, football, and swimming.  When his athletic ability in those sports waned, he gave organized sports one last shot, playing rugby for Cal’s rugby team.  That experience lead him to retire his cleats, and now he enthusiastically watches sports from the comfort of his couch.

He and his wife founded a charitable dog rescue organization in Northern California.  In an effort to save more dogs, they recently expanded the rescue to Southern California, and regularly transport dogs from overcrowded shelters in California to Oregon, Washington and Canada.  When they are not shuttling rescue dogs around the Western U.S., Chuck and his wife spend as much time as they can in the Napa Valley.

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