The ACBA is pleased to introduce our newest Leadership Firm, GJEL Accident Attorneys. We are proud of the relationships we have built with law firms like GJEL throughout the county who are dedicated to working together to enhance the practice of law and the administration of justice in Alameda County. ACBA Leadership Firms is a program that recognizes and rewards those law firms of ten or more attorneys that have 100% membership in the ACBA (i.e., every one of the firm’s Alameda County attorneys is a member of the ACBA).
Providing Quality Client Representation
GJEL Accident Attorneys takes pride in fighting for their injured clients. Since its inception in 1972 the firm has helped recover over $850 million for accident victims and their loved ones.
A recent case against AC Transit exemplified the type of complex litigation in which GJEL thrives. Partner Luke Ellis represented an 18-year-old student who suffered catastrophic injuries—including the amputation of her left leg. They ultimately obtained a settlement of $20.452 million. This was the largest recovery by an individual against a transit district, or bus company, in California history. Mr. Ellis employed over a dozen expert witnesses, examined and photographed the bus in question, and then re-created the accident at the scene utilizing state-of-the-art live and animated techniques. This preparation played a critical part in the ultimate resolution of the case.
Advocating for Public Safety
Working day in and day out with victims of auto accidents, injured cyclists, and pedestrians who have been struck by motorists, GJEL makes it a top priority to attack these issues on another level, by working with local non-profits to help make Bay Area streets safer for everyone. Some of the firm’s recent partnerships include working with TransForm to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities, sponsoring the pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF’s annual Walk to Work Day, and testifying alongside the California Bicycle Coalition on behalf of the 3-foot passing bill that was recently signed into law.
Working in the Community
In addition to partnering with numerous non-profits, GJEL also works to mentor high school students with an interest in the law.
Luke Ellis has been coaching the mock trial team at Miramonte High School in Orinda since 2000. During that time he has helped lead the team to top honors at the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Mock Trial High School Championship 10 out of the last 13 years.
Last year, the firm launched a weeklong internship program designed to offer high school students an introduction to what it’s like working in a law firm, and provide an overview of the different fields of law. The internship attracted 16 students from 13 different high schools. Among other activities, it included a chance for the students to sit in on an actual mediation. Following the internship, managing partner Andy Gillin said, “This was an amazing group of kids and we were absolutely thrilled to spend a week teaching them about the legal process. Seeing this many high school students showing so much passion for the law gives me a great deal of optimism for the future of our profession.” As a result of last year’s success, GJEL renewed the internship for 2014, and looks forward to giving another group of motivated students an opportunity to begin determining whether a career in law will be right for them.
Getting Involved with ACBA
GJEL’s founding partners, with roots in legal services for the poor, have been members of the ACBA for almost forty years. GJEL attorneys have participated over the years in many ACBA activities, including the critical task of judicial screening. Having placed a premium on community involvement, becoming one of the ACBA’s leadership firms was an easy decision. GJEL is a 2014 VLSC Guardians of Justice donor, because helping to promote Volunteer Legal Services is something near and dear to the firm.
Thank you GJEL for your support!