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Steven Schuetze

Partner & Trial Lawyer

Steven Schuetze brings more than three decades of experience litigating serious personal injury, wrongful death and insurance bad faith cases to Bentley & More. Mr. Schuetze has been the lead trial attorney in jury trials in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Alameda Counties, and participated in numerous arbitrations. He has also briefed and argued more than twenty-four appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Courts of Appeal.

Mr. Schuetze was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1989, and the State Bar of Washington in 1990. Mr. Schuetze attended Pepperdine University School of Law, graduating in the top 5% of his class in 1989. While at Pepperdine, Mr. Schuetze was a member of the Pepperdine Law Review and received American Jurisprudence Awards in Civil Pleading & Procedure and Conflicts of Laws.

Mr. Schuetze obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, after graduating as the valedictorian from his high school.

Mr. Schuetze has been actively involved as a volunteer for youth sports. Mr. Schuetze founded and organized the Glendora Challenger Division, which allowed children with mental and physical disabilities to play adaptive baseball. For his contributions and volunteer services to youth sports in Glendora, Mr. Schuetze and several others involved in Glendora Challenger baseball received Glendora’s 2016 Kirkpatrick Award. He is also past President of the Glendora National Little League, and was a Board Member and coach for many years. You can view Steve’s work with the program HERE.

Areas Of Practice

  • Serious Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Governmental Tort Liability
  • Insurance bad faith litigation

Education

  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California, 1989; J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence

○ Honors: Cum Laude , top 5%

○ Law Review: Member, Pepperdine Law Review

  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1986; B.A., Bachelor of Arts

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1989
  • Washington, 1990
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • United States District Court

○       Central District of California

○       Northern District of California

○       Eastern District of California

○       Southern District of California

Representative Appellate Court Decisions 

  •  Shaw v. Geico General Insurance Company (9th Cir. 2020). No. 19-55724 (An individual who was hit by a car while riding a bicycle and was named on the declarations page of an insurance policy as an “Additional Driver”  is an insured for purposes of obtaining underinsured motorists benefits when the insurance policy defines an “insured” as an “individual named in the declarations”)
  • Swanson v. County of Riverside, (2019) 36 Cal.App.5th 361 (Anti-SLAPP statute does not apply when County prematurely releases an individual from an involuntary 72-hour hold without satisfying the statutory requirements of Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150, and hours later that individual bludgeons to death three persons with a baseball bat)
  • Navarrete v. Meyer (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 1276 (Passenger of vehicle who instructed driver of a vehicle to drive at an unsafe speed over a road which passenger knew had unusual conditions that would cause the car to become airborne could be jointly liable with the driver based on theories of concert of action or civil conspiracy, and also negligent for unreasonably interfering with the operation of a vehicle under Vehicle Code 21701.)
  • Christian v. County of Orange (2012) Cal.Ct.App. No. G045514 (Trial court improperly granted a motion to dismiss at trial based on discretionary immunity without a noticed motion when the County failed to take proper steps to place reasonable safeguards on three vicious or potentially dangerous dogs who subsequently mauled plaintiff.)
  • Arno v. Helinet Corporation (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1019 (Settlement offer to employee was reasonable and in good faith even though same insurer had undertaken the defense of all the defendants and the liability of the corporation was based on the acts of its employee.)

Publications

  • “The Art of the Discovery Motion” Forum, Consumer Attorneys of California, March/April 2022; OCTLA Gavel, August 2019
  • “The Duty to Settle Is Under Attack” Forum, Consumer Attorneys of  California, November/December 2020
  • “Not All Motions in Limine are Created Equal” OCTLA Gavel, February 2020
  • “Homeowner’s insurers are prohibited from communicating misleading replacement cost estimates” Advocate, Consumer Attorneys Association of   Los Angeles, September 2018;  Forum, Consumer Attorneys of California, January/February 2018
  • “‘There should have been a stop sign’ – The tools to defeat defendant’s motions based on statutory defenses for a dangerous condition of public property” Advocate, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, March 2014; Plaintiff, Consumer Attorneys of Northern California June 2014

Volunteer Activities

  • Founder of Glendora Challenger Division (adaptive baseball for children with physical and mental disabilities)
  • Past President of Glendora National Little League
  • 2016 Glendora Kirkpatrick Award winner for Glendora Challenger Division
  • Lector and Catechist for St. Dorothy Catholic Church