Since forming The Ehrlich Law Firm in 2006, Jeff Ehrlich has become one of the most trusted appellate advocates in the California plaintiffs’ bar. His clients have included many of California’s premier trial lawyers, including Bill Shernoff, Mike Bidart, Ricardo Echeverria, Arash Homampour, Robert Simon, Steve Vartazarian, Garo Mardirossian, Rahul Ravipudi, Spencer Lucas, John Taylor, Paul Kiesel, Gary Paul, Tony Stuart, Ray Boucher, Conal Doyle, Mike Alder, Jack Denove and Stan Jacobs.
He was the first attorney to be twice honored as CAALA’s “Appellate Attorney of the Year,” in 2004 and 2008. In 2019, the Consumer Attorneys Association of California (CAOC) named him its “Streetfighter of the Year.” He now serves as an Emeritus Member of the CAALA Board of Directors, and for the last decade has been the editor-in-chief of CAALA’s Advocate magazine.
As an appellate attorney, Mr. Ehrlich has won landmark decisions in the areas of insurance law, tort law, arbitration, ERISA, and appellate procedure. Since 2007, he has successfully defended judgments totaling more than $270 million and has convinced appellate courts to overturn dozens of erroneous trial-court rulings. Those reversals have often precipitated favorable settlements for trial counsel.
Appellate work and legal writing have been a significant part of Mr. Ehrlich’s practice since he was first admitted to practice law in 1985. As an associate with the Los Angeles law firm of Hufstedler, Miller, Carlson & Beardsley, Mr. Ehrlich was privileged to work with and be trained by brilliant lawyers like retired California Supreme Court Justice Otto Kaus and retired Federal Circuit Judge Shirley Hufstedler. He also worked closely with two young partners, Laurie Zelon and Dennis Perluss, who now sit as Justices of the California Court of Appeal.
Mr. Ehrlich is a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School. After graduation he clerked for the Hon. Judith N. Keep, former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
In his second year of practice, Mr. Ehrlich handled the primary briefing in Smith v. Mulvaney (9th Cir. 1987) 827 F.2d 558, and two years later he briefed, argued, and obtained favorable published decisions in Bell v. 20th Century Ins. Co. (1989) 212 Cal.App.3rd 194 and Bell v. Superior Court (20th Century Ins.) (1989) 215 Cal.App.3rd 1103.
In 1996 he was one of the first attorneys certified as an appellate specialist by the California Bar’s Committee on Legal Specialization. He has been lead appellate counsel in over 190 reported appellate opinions, of which more than 85 have been published, including 9 in the California Supreme Court.
Mr. Ehrlich’s ability to draft legal arguments and to present them effectively has also resulted in many favorable, but unpublished, decisions in the trial and appellate courts. While these decisions affect only the parties involved in the litigation, they often involve critical aspects in the case on which the entire litigation turns. For example, defeating a defendant’s summary-judgment motion in the trial court is often the key to forcing a defendant to settle a case. While handling significant law-and-motion matters for Shernoff Bidart Echeverria, LLP, Mr. Ehrlich has defeated numerous summary-judgment motions in the firm’s major cases, leading to several seven-figure and eight-figure settlements.
Mr. Ehrlich is also an expert on California insurance law and a co-author of the definitive treatise on that subject, Croskey, Heeseman, Ehrlich & Klee, California Practice Guide – Insurance Litigation (Rutter 2020). He is a frequent speaker for the Rutter Group and CAALA and has taught at CAALA’s Trial Lawyer College.