Gavin Whitis has an extensive general and commercial litigation defense background and focuses his practice in toxic tort and product liability litigation with a specialization in asbestos defense. He also has experience in real estate and environmental matters, including CERCLA/RCRA/state environmental statutes, breach of lease and commercial contracts, lender and escrow liability, partnership dissolution, business torts, and unfair competition. Gavin has significant state and federal pre-trial and trial experience.
Gavin has served as second chair for numerous trials resulting in successful outcomes for his clients, including defense verdicts. Gavin has also served as trial counsel in numerous cases that resolved during the motion in limine and jury selection phases. He has deposed hundreds of plaintiffs, percipient witnesses, and expert witnesses, and he works on all aspects of litigation, from the pleading stage through trial.
Shiffer v. Equipment Manufacturer – In an asbestos case, plaintiffs James Shiffer and his wife sued an equipment manufacturer whose predecessor provided a turbine set for a power plant where Shiffer worked for several months in 1969 and 1970. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the equipment defendant. The appellate court affirmed, ruling that plaintiffs failed to produce evidence raising a triable issue that Shiffer suffered bystander exposure to any asbestos at the plant for which the equipment defendant could be potentially liable. The trial court denied plaintiffs’ motions for reconsideration and a new trial because the purported new evidence of potential harm from re-entrainment of asbestos was not actually new evidence, and could have been presented in opposition to the original summary judgment motion. The published opinion can be found at 240 Cal.App.4th 246 (2015).
Gavin is an avid cyclist and father of three.