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Practice Areas

Professional Liability

Expertise in Defending Professionals

Professional Liability lawsuits can be exceptionally complex. Competent, experienced counsel is essential to a successful defense. Burnham Brown's Professional Liability Practice Group is experienced in defending all types of professional liability lawsuits. Our attorneys are well versed in the newest theories of liability, discovery strategies, and effective defenses in a wide range of professional liability lawsuits. Many Burnham Brown attorneys are active in nationally recognized professional associations, including the AIA, California Society of Professional Engineers, Professional Liability Underwriting Society, Defense Research Institute, the American Bar Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association. In addition, our attorneys regularly counsel clients through training and continuing education seminars presented in formal or informal settings.

Areas of Expertise

Architects and Engineers

  • Design professionals
  • Environmental engineering consultants
  • Construction managers
  • Land surveyors


  • Liability defense
  • Loss prevention
  • Professional standard compliance

Real Estate

  • Agents and brokers
  • Property management companies
  • Lenders, sellers, and purchasers
  • Commercial and residential transactions
  • Exclusive sales agreements
  • Disclosure obligations
  • Environmental issues
  • Fair Housing Laws

Directors and Officers

  • Antitrust
  • Securities violations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Employment disputes
  • Discrimination


  • Conflicts of interest
  • Negligence
  • Disciplinary hearings

Health Care

  • Physicians/surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Hospitals and long-term care facilities
  • Allied medical professions
  • Managed care organizations
  • Estheticians and resort spas

Insurance and Financial Professionals

  • Insurance agents and brokers
  • Department of Insurance investigations
  • Stock brokers and financial planners

Burnham Brown's diverse practice groups enable our attorneys to provide an interdisciplinary defense to professional liability claims. In addition, our firm effectively combines advanced technological systems with a vast network of independent, expert consultants who are available to assist in technical analysis or trial testimony.

Representative Engagements in Professional Liability Law


  • Obtained defense verdict for architectural and design firm after two-week jury trial involving alleged water damage from design defects
  • Successfully defended architect from claim that design caused mold and sick building syndrome
  • Obtained judgment of no liability on behalf of long-term care facility in lawsuit alleging sub-standard nursing care
  • Represented life insurance company agents against claims of unfair business practices
  • Represented environmental engineering firm against claims of alleged failure to discover underground storage tank during real property audit for lender
  • Defended numerous physicians, surgeons and other health care providers against liability claims alleging sub-standard medical care
  • Resolved discrimination and negligence action against HOA board members and property manager following successful motions limiting claimed damages

Advice and Counsel

  • Analysis of compliance with professional standards
  • Risk management and loss control training seminars
  • Preparation of professional service contracts and strategic business plans
  • Preparation of internal policies, procedures, and guidelines
  • Insurance coverage analysis for professional liability claims

To speak with a Burnham Brown attorney specializing in Professional Liability, please call 510-444-6800 and ask to speak to a member of the Professional Liability Practice Group.