Mr. Casselman joined ADR Services, Inc. in 2020 after more than 40 years of experience as one of California’s top trial lawyers, uniquely representing both plaintiffs and defendants for his entire career. He became a founding member of Wasserman, Comden & Casselman LLP in 1982 and remained the lead trial partner until 2013, when he formed Casselman Law Group.
As lead trial counsel, Mr. Casselman successfully secured some of the largest verdicts in the State of California, including two of the top ten verdicts in the same year. He has consistently handled major cases, securing multiple eight and nine figure verdicts and settlements, including an $84 million settlement with Caltrans, which was reported to be the largest settlement in the history of Santa Barbara County at the time. He has also defended many cases with pre-trial claims of that magnitude and larger, resulting in defense verdicts or early, favorable settlements.
Mr. Casselman is a former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an invitation-only national organization of trial lawyers. He later served as President of Cal-ABOTA, representing all chapters in California. In 2006, he was honored with the Los Angeles Chapter’s Lee B. Wenzel Civility Award, which recognizes attorneys who “elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession.”
In addition to his success as a trial lawyer, Mr. Casselman is a well-known speaker, expert witness, law professor, and published author. He is an original co‑author and editor of Insurance Litigation, The Rutter Group California Practice Guide. In that capacity, he traveled the state for several years teaching as part of the Rutter Group’s insurance panels. He has also been a frequent mediator for several decades.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Throughout his career, Mr. Casselman has handled trials and appeals on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants across a broad spectrum of civil law, including:
- Government Liability
- Inverse Condemnation: Mr. Casselman has represented both government entities and injured property owners involving inverse claims for decades. His experience includes cases involving landslides, hillside slippage, unanticipated construction impacts, drainage overflow, freeway widening, construction design errors, geotechnical errors, failures to maintain hydraugers, and more.
- Dangerous Conditions of Public Property: Mr. Casselman tried and won numerous serious personal injury (quadriplegic and brain damage) cases. His experience includes ocean diving accidents, trail injuries, tunnel injuries, sea cliff accidents, intersection design claims, freeway signage issues, and more.
- Public Construction Contracting/False Claims Actions: Mr. Casselman has handled false claims cases involving public construction contracting pertaining to subway tunneling, station design and construction.
- Breach of Mandatory Duties: Mr. Casselman has handled mandatory duty claims involving a variety of government policies, guidelines and statutory requirements.
- Product Liability: Mr. Casselman has defended and prosecuted product liability claims involving automobile design defects, failure to warn defects, gun design defects, motorcycle design defects, aviation design defects, circuit breaker defects, and much more.
- Personal Injury: In his capacity as a defense lawyer and representing plaintiffs, Mr. Casselman has handled and mediated a wide variety of personal injury claims, including wrongful death, quadriplegic injuries, brain injuries and a wide variety of broken bone and soft tissue injuries.
- General Business: Mr. Casselman has handled and mediated disputes involving a wide range of breach of contract claims, partnership disputes, corporate disputes, including dissolutions, and much more.
- Professional Malpractice: Mr. Casselman has handled and mediated a variety of professional malpractice cases, including legal malpractice, medical malpractice, dental malpractice, and more. These are often sensitive matters which require analysis of the “case within the case.”
- Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith: Mr. Casselman has handled a wide variety of insurance law matters, including myriad coverage claims, examinations under oath, subrogation and bad faith litigation. He also taught insurance law and was asked to become an original co-author of the 3 volume set of Rutter books on California Insurance Litigation.
- Construction: Casselman has represented both public entities and private property owners in claims involving construction projects, both large and small. He is well-aware of the coverage complications, often involving policy layers and limitations involving project specific policies, versus those which apply to the general operations of the entity in question.
- Animal Law: Mr. Casselman is a passionate defender of animals and has provided pro bono legal work for animals for over 30 years. He has mediated a variety of such cases, relying upon his extensive experience in this field. Early on, he was involved in drafting and developing California state legislation leading to the enactment of animal law protections, including the “Hayden law”, intended to protect animals in the care of public animal shelters. He successfully tried the high profile case to free the Los Angeles Zoo elephants, pro bono, including two successful appeals. The case was ultimately reversed by the California Supreme Court. Mr. Casselman is the Founder and Director of the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, a Board Member of the Whale Sanctuary Project and The Elephant Project, and a member of the Advisory Committee to the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy. He was also an Executive Producer of the feature film Love & Bananas: an Elephant Story.
Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, California
Juris Doctorate, 1978
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A. in Psychology “With Distinction,” 1975
- Lee B. Wenzel Civility Award, Los Angeles Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2006
- Southern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2005, Los Angeles Magazine
- Alumnus of the Year, Southwestern University School of Law, 1993
- AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- 2005 President of the Los Angeles Chapter
- 2009 President of Cal-ABOTA
- Permanent Member of the Los Angeles Executive Board
- Past Member of the National Board of Directors
- Past National Co‑Chair of the Civility & Professionalism Committee
- Past National Chair of the Membership Committee
- American Bar Association
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- San Fernando Valley Bar Association
- State Bar of California
Mr. Casselman was also a past Board Member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and a past member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, American Trial Lawyers Association, and Defense Research Institute.
TEACHING AND SPEAKING PRESENTATIONS
Mr. Casselman has served as an Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law at Southwestern Law School and Trial Advocacy at West Los Angeles School of Law. In addition, he is a frequent speaker and has presented at various legal seminars for the Los Angeles Superior Court, ABOTA, the Rutter Group, the California State Bar, and law firm MCLE seminars.