About Siegal & Richardson LLP

At Siegal & Richardson LLP, we are committed to helping people — particularly those whose voices would otherwise be ignored by the legal system. We are a team of attorneys who provide compassionate, aggressive representation in a variety of legal matters, including motor vehicle accidents, elder abuse, medical malpractice, sexual abuse, work accidents, labor and employment law, dangerous and defective pharmaceuticals, and mass tort litigation.

Whatever your worries may be, we can help. Drawing on more than 45 combined years of experience, we have the knowledge, skills and resources to achieve extraordinary results in and out of court. We advise and represent clients in San Francisco and throughout California.

For a free consultation, please call 800-499-2404 or contact us online. We can help.

Read on and follow the links below to learn more about our credentials as lawyers and our personal backgrounds:

Joel H. Siegal

Overview

For 35 years, I have represented people who don't always have the resources to take on litigation against the big powerful institutions of our society: big corporations, insurance companies and governments. I have the experience, the brains, the chutzpah, the resources and the desire to fight on your behalf. I have represented people in many of California's counties, and I have spent my life in public service because I believe in it. I am passionate about it.

Family Background

I am the youngest of four brothers born and raised in a predominantly Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. My late father David Siegal was an early organizer and subsequent president of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union in New York City. This union recently merged with Textile and Garment Workers Union and is currently known as UNITE HERE. In its heyday, the union represented restaurant workers in such famous New York establishments as Toots Shor's Restaurant, Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant, Tavern on the Green, Maxwell's Plum and the Latin Quarter.

In the 1930s and 1940s, my father fought to organize a union free of control by organized criminals and mobsters such as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (no relation), Meyer Lansky and Charles "Lucky" Luciano. In the 1950s, he fought to keep the union progressive yet free of domination from the Communist Party.

Influences

In the 1960s and 1970s, the formative years of my education and social development, I was blessed to be part of a family that was dedicated to and active in the incredible fight for justice taking place in this country. Our family home and union headquarters were hosts to guests who played critical roles in the civil rights movement, including César Chávez; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Robert F. Kennedy; New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr.; Indira Gandhi; and New York City Council President Paul O'Dwyer.

Education

In 1973, I was awarded the prestigious New York State Regents Scholarship. After an undergraduate career that included academics, activism and athletics, I obtained a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. Next, I enrolled in Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in New York City, a school particularly established to focus on real-world workplace issues. After obtaining certification from Cornell, I followed the lead of many in my generation by traveling and exploring the world.

My trip took me to the far reaches of the globe. I traveled to India and lived in two ashrams where I explored meditation, yoga and Vedanta. I traveled to the Soviet Union, where I helped produce a series of folk music concerts starring the famous "Singing Rabbi," Shlomo Carlebach. I traveled through Europe, where I explored both the beauty of European culture and, upon observing the Nazi concentration camps, its dark side as well.

After consulting with a long-time family friend and distinguished member of Nixon's Enemy List, Sid Davidoff, in 1978 I enrolled in California Western School of Law in San Diego.

Bill Walton And The Grateful Dead

One day during my first year of law school, I was on a jog near the San Diego Zoo and met NBA star Bill Walton, who had just signed a contract to play with the San Diego Clippers. We became instant and close friends, probably because we had so much in common: a devastating hook shot, an intense dislike of Richard Nixon, and nothing but love for the Grateful Dead.

Within weeks, Walton invited me to accompany him to San Francisco for the Dead's New Year's Eve show at Winterland Ballroom. The opening act that night was The Blues Brothers. Aside from falling in love with San Francisco on that trip and vowing to make The City by the Bay my home, I have fond memories of sitting on a couch backstage between Jerry Garcia and John Belushi.

A few weeks later, I personally met "Ramrod," the legendary president of the Grateful Dead, and head of the road crew. Ramrod and I became close friends and even before I had graduated from law school, I was assisting the band with its legal issues. For example, I guided the band's charitable foundation on contributions to the San Francisco Unified School District for the purchase of new musical instruments. When Ramrod and his wife prepared their estate plan, they showed their trust and confidence in me by designating me as the executor of their estate, and much Grateful Dead memorabilia.

Legal Career

I began to learn in earnest in 1983 as an apprentice to noted labor and civil rights lawyer Jerry Garchik. No sooner had I been admitted to The State Bar of California than I found myself working on one of the most significant civil rights cases ever to affect the Chinese community in America: the Henry Liu wrongful death case. We represented the family of Chinese journalist Henry Liu, who was assassinated at his home in Daly City, California, by agents of the DIB, the Taiwanese equivalent of the CIA. The case, which was ultimately heard before the U.S. Supreme Court (Liu v. Republic of China, 892 F.2d 1419 (9th Cir. 1989) cert. denied 497 U.S. 1058 (1990), was also profiled on the CBS news show "60 Minutes."

Like other immigrant communities in America, the Chinese community is fascinating and multifaceted. Working with the Chinese community in Northern California reminded me very much of the significant work I had done with the Irish community in New York City when I worked for the former president of the New York City Council, Paul O'Dwyer, and his son, New York attorney Brian O'Dwyer.

Aside from the significant work of having our cases heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, my working with Jerry Garchik was also a lot of fun. Jerry's wife Leah Garchik is a noted gossip columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle. Dinner parties at their home were always very interesting. One night I met one of Jerry's Harvard Law classmates and author of The Paper Chase, John Osborn, who told me that one of the characters in that novel is modeled after Jerry. I still share office space with Jerry and several other top-rated lawyers. We are friends and colleagues and have developed a wonderful network of excellent and caring professionals.

Early in my legal career, while an adjunct professor at San Francisco Law School, the daughter of one of my students was sexually molested at the Presidio Army Base Day Care Center. I ended up representing several families whose children were sexually assaulted and abused there by an army colonel with ties to the Church of Satan. I was one of several plaintiffs' lawyers in the case, which involved 66 children. A plaintiffs' lawyers committee was formed that included noted San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli. The experience gave me the opportunity to work with and befriend some of the best lawyers in Northern California.

Sexual and fiduciary abuse has become an area of law that I have litigated about frequently in recent years. I successfully represented a woman who was sexually assaulted by her physician at a prominent San Francisco teaching hospital.

I also successfully represented a young woman who had recently immigrated to America from Africa. She had been sexually assaulted by her parish priest, also a recent African immigrant. Through pretrial discovery, research and the use of expert witnesses (including a prominent former priest and Vatican historian), we were able to establish that although celibacy is a tenet of the church in Europe and in America, it is not so in Africa, and that upon his arrival in the United States, the priest was not properly trained. We obtained a significant victory.

Not all cases I take on are high-profile. In fact, many cases I accept are the kind of cases that you don't read about in the newspapers but truly affect people's lives. For example, I successfully represented a family whose young baby was severely burned by a fireplace in a hotel room. I also represented a young woman whose mother was tragically killed in a vehicle accident caused by a tire service truck. In addition, I have successfully represented clients in environmental accidents, such as exposures to chemicals and toxins. I represented several victims of serious personal injuries when their van was struck by an 18-wheeler along the Grapevine in California. I have also represented motorcycle accident victims who were struck by various types of trucks.

Some of my cases have become matters of public record because the verdicts and settlements are significant.

Family Life

I am married to Revital Siegal, an executive at a leading research university with offices in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. Together we have two young daughters, Maya and Nava. Our youngest daughter is adopted from Guatemala.

Admission To The State Bar Of California

I have been a member of The State Bar of California for more than 35 years. I am a tireless advocate on behalf of anyone in need of justice. My practice focuses on the areas of personal injury, labor and employment law, medical malpractice, elder abuse, dangerous or defective products, mass tort litigation, and family law mediation.

Richard Richardson

Overview

I began working with Joel H. Siegal about 15 years ago. Since that time, we have worked on cases dealing with civil rights, wrongful death, medical malpractice, breach of contract, employment discrimination, consumer protection and serious personal injuries. Common among all our cases is our abiding dedication to public service, fighting on behalf of victims who have suffered from serious injuries due to the negligent and reckless acts of large institutions. Together, Joel and I have used our more than 45 combined years of litigation experience to aggressively represent victims who would otherwise have no voice in our legal system.

Family Background

I am the second of three children born and raised near Greenwood, a historic black neighborhood within Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, once known as "Black Wall Street," gained national recognition for producing a number of black businesses during the first half of the 20th century. Motivated by this tradition of African-American accomplishment, both of my grandfathers served as ambulance drivers in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War. After returning to Tulsa, my grandfathers ran their own small black-owned businesses for several decades while my grandmothers raised the family and worked as maids.

Influences

As a young boy, I accompanied my grandmothers to the establishments and homes of prominent white and Jewish families of Tulsa. It was in places such as Tulsa's historic Boston Avenue Church that I learned two invaluable lessons that motivate me to this day. First, relationships built upon character, and not race, last a lifetime. Second, regardless of their socio-economic condition, my family took pride in helping others. These realizations motivated me to become an attorney representing victims who do not have the resources to adequately represent themselves.

Education And Legal Career

In 2002, I graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in political science. Following graduation, I volunteered for the National Urban League, San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, and the Oakland NAACP branch office. I then began working for the J. Paul Getty Museum, a large nonprofit art institution located in Los Angeles.

At the end of 2003, I began working as a law clerk for Joel Siegal and Jerry Garchik. With Joel and Jerry, I researched and drafted memorandums concerning civil rights claims. This experience solidified my intent to enroll in Golden Gate University School of Law.

After graduating from Golden Gate University, I was admitted as an attorney into The State Bar of California on Sept. 25, 2007. I immediately went to work for Kamala Harris as an assistant district attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. There, I worked for four years as a state-level prosecutor specializing in litigating domestic violence, sexual assault, complex fraud and DUI cases. During my time as a prosecutor, I took interest in litigating serious and violent felony cases, including attempted murders and vehicular manslaughters. In all, I prosecuted more than 350 probable cause hearings and 15 jury trials. I also negotiated settlements and/or plea agreements in thousands of cases. In addition, I experienced some of my proudest moments while giving public speeches as a neighborhood liaison for the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

The People v. Graves was one of the most meaningful cases I worked on as a prosecutor. The case involved a defendant who was charged with misdemeanor molestation of 10 minor female victims. After a three-week jury trial in which I introduced 17 witnesses, the defendant was convicted of 17 criminal counts of assault and/or molestation and was sentenced to serve four years in state prison.

Family Life

In 2010, I married Tashinda Richardson, a lawyer for the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. Due to my wife's reassignment to Washington, D.C., I left the San Francisco District Attorney's Office to work as an administrator within a Department of Defense agency in the nation's capital. My assignment allowed me to work on national security-related issues. Further, in my spare time I was a board member of the historic Eastland Gardens Civic Association. I was admitted as an attorney into the District of Columbia Bar on Feb. 6, 2012.

Admission To The California Bar

Appreciating that life often comes full circle, I returned to San Francisco in 2013 to rejoin Joel in the fight on behalf of victims. The above-cited experiences have helped me to better understand victims and help them navigate an intimidating legal system in order to get the results they seek.