Alan Van Gelder's practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, business litigation, and legal malpractice. He has successfully represented clients in numerous high profile, complex cases, helping them to obtain multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements against major corporations, State and City governmental entities, law firms, and celebrities. Alan represented the family of actor Bill Paxton in their case concerning his wrongful death. He also obtained a $12.2 million verdict for Jessica Vu who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall down a flight of stairs. The defendants blamed Jessica for the fall and denied she even had a brain injury. Not only did the jury return a verdict in Jessica’s favor, they found 0% fault against Jessica. Additionally, Alan helped obtain a $15 million verdict for Katherine Keck against the Bel Air Bay Club for the wrongful death of her son. The Club failed to timely call 911 resulting in Mr. Keck’s death as a result of heat related illness. Alan also helped obtain a verdict for Tomislav George against Firstservice Residential California LLC. Mr. George’s arm was nearly amputated in a horrific crash caused by a property manager for Firstservice. The major battle of the case was whether or not the manager’s employer would be held fully responsible for the harm caused to Mr. George. Alan successfully developed the evidence necessary to find the company 100% liable for the drunk driver’s actions. Alan also obtained a $7.3 million verdict for Shawn Kim. Mr. Kim developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after a fall from a defectively maintained ladder.
Alan also helped secure an $11.75 million settlement with the County of Los Angeles for the wrongful death of Milton Olin. Mr. Olin was a cyclist who was struck by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy. At first, the Deputy falsely tried to blame Mr. Olin for the crash. Alan developed evidence demonstrating that the Deputy was lying about the crash and that the Deputy was texting on his cell phone shortly before he killed Mr. Olin.
Alan also was instrumental in securing a settlement in excess of $20 million in connection with contractor negligence. He was also instrumental in securing a confidential settlement in excess of $15 million in connection with a claim of professional negligence.
Alan was also instrumental in securing an $18 million confidential settlement for a firefighter who suffered a spinal injury due to a defective product on a fire engine. He was also instrumental in securing a confidential $11.5 million settlement for a man who suffered severe injuries after a fall from height. Alan also obtained a $10 million settlement in a case involving a crash between a farm truck and a high school student. Alan was also instrumental in securing a $7 million confidential settlement for a young woman burned by a defectively designed firepot.
Alan Van Gelder from 2014 through the present has been named as a Super Lawyer. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Prior to becoming a Super Lawyer from 2005-2013, Alan was named as an up-and-coming attorney in Southern California Rising Stars Magazine/Los Angeles Magazine, which is published by Law & Politics and lists the top 2.5 percent of noteworthy attorneys in Los Angeles and Orange Counties as voted upon by the Super Lawyers named by the magazine.
Alan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Consumer of Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and the American Association for Justice. He is also on the board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Los Angeles Chapter. Alan also supports Bet Tzedek a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals and at-risk children, families, and seniors.
Alan earned a B.A. degree in political science summa cum laude from California State University at Northridge in 1999 and was the recipient of the Senior of the Year Award, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Judge Julian Beck Award, Outstanding Senior in Political Science.
Alan received his J.D. magna cum laude from Southwestern University School of Law in 2002. He served on the Southwestern Law Review and was the author of Abolishing the Supervisor Exception to the Independent Employee Action Defense in Cal-OSHA Cases, 31 Sw. U.L. Rev. (2001).
- Confidential Settlement- $42 million
- Vu vs. 2447 PCH LLC et al. - $12.2 million verdict premises liability/traumatic brain injury
- Keck v. Bel-Air Bay Club Ltd - $15 million verdict wrongful death
- Doe v. Doe Contractor – Excess $20 million settlement due to contractor negligence.
- Doe Company v. Doe Professionals – Excess $15 million settlement due to professional negligence.
- George v. Firstservice Residential LLC – $15 million verdict (severe injuries caused by drunk driver in scope of employment.)
- Olin v. County of Los Angeles – Wrongful death settlement for $11.75 million involving texting Sheriff’s Deputy.
- Kim v. First Lutheran Church of Long Beach – $7.315 million verdict for injuries caused by ladder fall.
- Jane Doe vs. Retail Store A and Retail Store B – Confidential $7 Million Settlement for burn injuries caused by exploding firepot.
- Doe Fire Fighter v. Product Maker – Confidential $18 million settlement for spinal injury caused by defective products on a fire engine.
- Doe Husband and Wife vs. Company X – Confidential $11.5 million settlement due to fall from height at the property.
- Doe Driver v. Doe Farm Truck Company – $10 million settlement after lost eye and heart damage in crash.
- U.S. District Court Central District of California
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California
- Honors: Best Writer Finalist, Southwestern’s Moot Court, 2000
- Honors: Dean’s List in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002
- Honors: Recipient, Paul W. Wildman Scholarship
- Honors: Recipient, Dean’s Scholarship
- Honors: Recipient, CALI “Excellence for the Future” Award
- Honors: Recipient, CALI Award, Legal Research and Writing (Fall ’99 & Spring ’00)
- Honors: Recipient, CALI Award, Civil Procedure (Spring ’00)
- Honors: Recipient, CALI Award, Evidence (Fall ’01)
- Honors: Recipient, CALI Award, Legislation (Spring ’01)
- Honors: Recipient, CALI Award, Administrative Law (Spring ’02)
- Law Review: Southwestern Law Review, Author, 2001
- California State University, Northridge
- B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) – 1999
- Honors: Recipient, Senior of the Year Award
- Honors: Recipient, College of Social & Behavioral Science & Judge Julian Beck Award
- Honors: Recipient, Outstanding Senior in Political Science
- Accountability for Distracted Driving, Daily Journal, November 2023
- Look to the contract to defeat implied delegation, Advocate Magazine, May 2023
- Defense Medical Exams In Brain-Injury Cases, Advocate Magazine, December 2020
- Potential Liability For Recommending Rejection of Policy Limits Demands, Daily Journal, April 2020
- Surviving the nightmare scenario of the lying client, Forum Magazine, April 2006
- Distracted Drivers: Seeking punitive damages, Advocate Magazine, April 2017
- Pedestrians: Walking the line of dangerous-condition claims, Advocate Magazine, March 2017
- Marijuana Use And The Civil Jury Trial, The Advocate Magazine, May 2015
- The actual-injury provision and the statute of limitations, The Advocate Magazine, November 2014
- Combating the “anything is possible” expert, Advocate Magazine, July 2011
- Surviving the Nightmare Scenario of the Lying Client, Forum Magazine, April 2006
- Abolishing the Supervisor Exception to the Independent Employee Action Defense in Cal-OSHA Cases, Southwestern Law Review, 31 Sw. U.L. Rev., 2001
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
- Consumer of Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Member
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Los Angeles Chapter, Board of Governors 2018-present
Honors & Awards
- 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers - LAWDRAGON 2023
- Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014 – 2022
- Southern California Rising Stars, 2005 – 2013
- Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyer, Personal Injury Litigation- Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation– Plaintiffs, 2016-2023
- Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyer, Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs, 2023
- Daily Journal Top Verdicts & Settlements - Top Plaintiff Case - 12.2 Million Verdict - Workplace Slip & Fall, 2022