TOLL FREE (866) 434-1424

ORANGE COUNTY (714) 434-1424

INLAND EMPIRE (951) 534-4006

TOLL FREE (866) 434-1424

ORANGE COUNTY (714) 434-1424

INLAND EMPIRE (951) 534-4006

Wylie Aitken

Revered, respected, and highly admired, Wylie Aitken is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and founding partner of Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, in Santa Ana, California. He was the youngest president in the history of the State Trial Bar and is continually recognized by publications such as the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the Orange County Business Journal as one of top lawyers of California. He was recently inducted in the LawDragon 500's "Hall of Fame," is repeatedly designated a "Southern California Super Lawyer," and is featured in the Best Lawyers in America and The Preeminent Lawyers of America for over 20 years.

Mr. Aitken has been trial counsel in numerous significant tort cases involving bad faith insurance practices, aviation, automobiles, product liability, business tort litigation and actions involving wrongful death and major personal injuries. As appellate counsel, he has been involved in landmark insurance decisions such as: Boicourt v Amex Assurance Company, 78 Cal.App. 4th 1390 (2000); Neal v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 21 Cal.3d 910, 148 Cal.Rptr. 389 (1978) and Gourley v. State Farm, 217 Cal.App.3d 111 (1990). As an active participant on the Amicus Curiae Committee of the Consumer Attorneys of California Trial Lawyers Association, he has argued numerous major tort actions to the Supreme Court of California.

As a consumer advocate, Mr. Aitken developed bilingual consumer protection brochures, brochures on lawyer selection and he has served on college and charitable foundation boards and select commissions involving justice issues such as court congestion and justice facilities.

As an author, his articles have appeared in numerous law reviews and legal publications; and he serves on the Jefferson's California Evidence Benchbook Editorial Board. He has also been a frequent guest on radio and television programs such as Larry King Live, Inside Edition, Michael Jackson Show, KABC Ronn Owens, OCN Prime Time, and KOCE Real Orange, among others.

Mr. Aitken is a graduate of Marquette University Law School (1965) where he was a St. Thomas More scholar and Associate Editor of the Marquette Law Review and sits on the Marquette Law School Advisory Board. His undergraduate work was in the "OC" at Santa Ana College and Cal State Fullerton.

Cases

  • $54,000,000 verdict awarded to 9-year-old girl (recognized as the highest individual injury award as against the Federal Government) following a trial against the U.S. government as a result of an auto collision that occurred when a federal employee ran a red light and broadsided the car in which she was riding.
  • The resolution of a record breaking (award estimated by the LA Times in the sum of $25 Million) wrongful death action for a 34-year old man and the severe disfigurement of his wife due to the dislodgment of a metal cleat on Disney's Sailing Ship Columbia at the Disneyland theme park. This high profile matter sparked a national debate and implemented changes in California law to ensure the safety of theme parks (and was followed by a wrongful death action brought by the family of a 21 year old son who was killed on the Big Thunder Mountain ride).
  • $23,500,000 verdict which was awarded to an "exceptional" 13 year old boy by an Orange County, California jury, for significant brain injuries as a result of an automobile collision. The trial of this matter involved complex and ground breaking legal theories regarding the accountability of an employer for actions of its employee (during the course and scope of employment).
  • $17,000,000 verdict- fire insurance bad faith case including $15,000,000 in punitive damages awarded to protect insurance consumers in the future (which involved principles set forth in Neal vs. Farmers, infra, a California Supreme Court case holding which affirmed a punitive damage award on behalf of auto consumer).
  • $5,000,000 verdict: Medical malpractice awarded to a young man who sustained a hypoxic brain injury during ankle surgery which resulted in permanent blindness and brain damage and which established methods of payment to protect health care victims.
  • $2,500,000 verdict against the County of Orange arising from a Mountain lion attack on a 5 year old girl permanently damaged by a mauling which sparked a national debate regarding the safety of parks and which triggered implementation of safety measures at county and state parks.

Areas of Practice

  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Mass Tort Litigation
  • Complex Business Litigation

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California Arts Council, Board Member (2010 – Present)
  • California Task Force on Court Facilities, Member
  • Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for the Central Judicial District, Member
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Board of Directors
  • American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation, President (2010)
  • South Coast Repertory Theater Trustee and Board, President
  • Board of Visitors of Chapman University Law School, Chairman
  • Chapman University, Trustee
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, President (1977)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, President (1972)
  • Celtic Bar Association of Orange County, Co-founder
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member
  • Mission San Juan Capistrano Preservation, Member
  • Marquette University President's Council and Advisory Board, Member
  • Cal State Fullerton Philanthropic Foundation, Board Member (2004 – Present)
  • Kathleen E. Faley Memorial CSUF Special Games, Board Member

Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America (1987-2017)
  • Top 50 in Orange County Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers (2013-2017)
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers (2004-2017)
  • Top Attorneys of the Inland Empire, Inland Empire Magazine (2016)
  • Top 100 Super Lawyers in California, Super Lawyers (2015-2016)
  • Top 25 Plaintiffs Lawyers in California, Daily Journal (2015-2016)
  • OC500, Orange County Business Journal (2016)
  • Irish Legal 100, Irish Voice Newspaper (2009-2016)
  • Citizen of the Year Award, Chapman University (2014)
  • Top 10 Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers (2011-2014)
  • Father of the Year, American Diabetes Association (2013)
  • Orange County Titan Award, CSU Fullerton (2011)
  • Rage for Justice Lifetime Achievement Award, Consumer Watchdog (2011)
  • Attorney of the Year, Orange County Women's Lawyers Association (2011)
  • 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Law Dragon (2005-2006)
  • Top Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (2005)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquette University Law School (2004)
  • "The Top 100" California's Most Influential Lawyers, Los Angeles Daily Journal (1998 -2003)
  • Jurisprudence Award, Anti-Defamation League of Orange County (2003)
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates (1998)
  • Business Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (1996)
  • The Top 100 Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year, Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County
  • Top Gun-Personal Injury, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Top Gun-Business Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • OC's Most Influential Business People, OC Business Journal
  • Top 50 Most Influence Business Leaders in Orange County, OC Business Journal
  • Franklin G. West Award, Orange County Bar Association
  • Robert E. Cartwright Award, Consumer Attorneys of California

Speaking Engagements (Recent)

  • Seminar Name: The Civil Trial Advocacy Series: Closing Arguments

    Organization: Orange County Bar Association

    Title: Techniques and Inspiration for Closing Argument

    Year: 2016

  • Conference Name: CAOC/COIE Palm Springs Seminar

    Title: The 5 Things You Need to Know About Presenting Damages: It's the Amount that Counts! (Setting Aside the "Reptile Mind")

    Year: 2016

  • Conference Name: CAOC/COIE Palm Springs Seminar

    Title: Developing Challenges In Tort Law Practice In the 21st Century

    Year: 2015

  • Conference Name: CAOC Annual Conference

    Title: Picking a Case Theme-Effectively Communicating Your Message

    Year: 2014

  • Conference Name: CAOC Annual Conference

    Title:What Makes A Great Closing Argument? How To Respond To Your Opponent

    Year: 2013

  • Seminar Name: ABTL 40th Annual Seminar

    Title: Duke Tobacco v. Plantastic

    Year: 2013

  • Seminar Name: CAOC Annual Hawaii Seminar

    Title: Class Actions for Dummies: A Brief Overview of Class Action Suits

    Year: 2013

  • Conference Name: CAOC Annual Convention

    Title: Proving Damages: Catastrophic Injuries

    Year: 2012

  • Seminar Name: ABOTA Masters in Trial

    Title: Cutting Edge Trial Techniques for the 21st Century "In our 'Invasion of Privacy' Society" Evidentiary Issues

    Year: 2012

  • Seminar Name: ABTL

    Title: Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Presenting Damages to the Jury

    Year: 2012

  • Seminar Name: CAOC Annual Hawaii Seminar

    Title: How I Got Here, The Mistakes I Made, And Why I Want To Be Even Better (Successful Trial Techniques in the New Millennium)

    Year: 2012

  • Seminar Name: ABTL 38th Annual Seminar

    Title: Modern Punitive Damages Post Campbell: Presenting and Proving Punitive Damages

    Year: 2011

  • Conference Name: CAOC 50th Annual Convention

    Title: Developing Damages in the Catastrophic Injury Case

    Year: 2011

Articles

  • Publication Name: Jefferson's California Evidence Benchbook

    Year: 2000

  • Publication Name: Trial Magazine

    Title: Overcoming Difficult Issues in Voir Dire to Secure a Winning Verdict -- A rejection of the Irish system

    Year: 2003

  • Publication Name: Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Forum Magazine

    Title: Discovery in Products Liability Cases-Back to Basics

    Year: 1998

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Santa Ana, CA 92707

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Fax: (714) 434-3600

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