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Robert L. Nelder (Ret.)

Of Counsel



Bob Nelder is a seasoned trial attorney who focuses his practice on toxic tort litigation with an emphasis on asbestos matters, representing manufacturers, distributors, contractors and premises owners. He has an analytical and practical focus with significant legal research, discovery, pre-trial and trial experience.

Bob has practiced law for over 28 years, and his considerable experience helps him develop the best case strategy for resolving matters favorably for his clients, whether it is through defense verdicts, dispositive motions, dismissals, mediations or favorable settlements. In his long career, Bob has tried cases in both state and federal courts, and has taken over 20 jury trials to verdict.

Bob also has experience defending matters in medical malpractice, construction defect, product liability and general liability.

Representative Successes
  • James Prough v. Allis Chalmers Corp. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict, finding that the defendant was not a substantial factor in the development of plaintiff’s illness and the claim of punitive damages was rejected. A 73-year-old field engineer claimed he developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure to client’s crocidolite products from 1964-1975.
  • Larry Lindquist v. Alfa Laval Successfully secured a defense verdict after a three-week trial, finding no liability, no negligence and a lack of malice against the defendant, despite positive identification related to the defendant’s packing and gasket products. The personal injury mesothelioma action was brought by a 69-year-old U.S. machinist mate who served aboard various U.S. Navy vessels from 1956 to 1959.
  • Amanholah Shahabi v. A.W. Chesterton Co. After a nearly two-month trial, the jury returned a defense verdict indicating that the plaintiff had not been exposed to any particular asbestos-containing products of this national manufacturer. This personal injury mesothelioma matter involved a 75-year-old retired maintenance supervisor and engineer who worked at the Abadan and Tehran Oil Refineries in Iran from 1953-1979.
  • Everett Hogge v. A.W. Chesterton Co. Obtained a nominal plaintiff’s verdict in the retrial after a hung jury/mistrial in the original trial. This living mesothelioma case was brought by a 65-year-old pipefitter and steamfitter from Newport News Naval Shipyard where he worked from 1959-1975.
  • Rosemary Brady v. Asbestos Defendants The jury returned a finding of no liability, indicating the defendant’s product was not defective and not a substantial factor in causing decedent’s death. This wrongful death mesothelioma case involved a 78-year-old U.S. Navy machinist mate. The decedent and his co-worker identified defendant manufacturer during U.S. Navy service in 1942-1946.
  • Gloria Peterson v. Asbestos Defendants Successfully obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death lung cancer case. Plaintiff claimed decedent’s exposure to defendant’s asbestos-containing sealant products at a Tri-Valley food processing facility. Jury determined no finding of negligence or defective product.
  • Thomas Halsema v. Allied Packing Obtained a defense verdict after a six-week jury trial, finding no negligence or strict liability against the packing and gasket manufacturer. This personal injury mesothelioma action was brought by a 72-year-old U.S. Navy machinist mate (1952-62) and shipyard marine mechanic (1963-1998) at Electric Boat Shipyard, in Norfolk, Virginia. There was positive product identification by plaintiff and co-worker, including alleged crocidolite gasket and packing work activity.
  • Michael Ricci v. BHC, et al. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict, finding that the plaintiff did not have an asbestos-related injury. Plaintiff was diagnosed with lung cancer and was occupationally exposed to the defendant’s asbestos-containing product while working in a shipyard.
  • Successfully moved to exclude the opinion of plaintiff’s medical causation expert in an asbestos personal injury case in which plaintiff alleged he developed cancer (multiple myeloma) as a result of occupational exposure to defendants’ asbestos-containing products. Defendants filed a motion in limine on the eve of trial to exclude the medical expert’s opinion, or alternatively, to have a preliminary evidentiary hearing to determine admissibility outside of the presence of a jury. Ultimately, the Court agreed with defendants that the expert’s opinion was speculative and lacked sufficient intellectual rigor, such that it could not be admitted at trial.
Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Speaking Engagements:

  • Sanchez, Experts and Hearsay: Tricks and Traps
Beyond the Office

In Bob’s time away from the office, he enjoys hiking and long walks with his wife of 35 years, particularly in the Napa Valley, Monterey Peninsula and West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Bob also enjoys cycling, cooking, reading, wine-tasting and rooting for the San Francisco Giants.

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