Mr. Sipprelle is a trial lawyer who has represented clients for over 30 years in high exposure product liability and other personal injury litigation, commercial litigation, and employment litigation. He was named a Southern California Super Lawyer for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Mr. Sipprelle is the recipient of the prestigious AV Preeminent® Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, an indication that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence for ethical standards and legal ability.
Product Liability and Other Personal Injury Litigation
Mr. Sipprelle has represented national and international consumer product designers, manufacturers and distributors in the defense of products liability actions involving catastrophic injuries, including burn, spinal, brain and toxic injuries. These actions have included a wide variety of products, including motor vehicles, lighters, helmets, chemical products, electrical equipment, sports equipment and household appliances. Mr. Sipprelle also regularly handles high exposure personal injury cases outside the products liability context.
Complex Commercial Litigation
Mr. Sipprelle represents clients in a wide variety of complex and high exposure commercial disputes through trial and appeal, including contractual, partnership and LLC member disputes, consumer class actions, and disputes involving professional negligence, real property, and lender liability.
Mr. Sipprelle serves as counsel in all types of employment litigation matters in state and federal courts and before regulatory agencies, including lawsuits involving alleged wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination and retaliation, class action wage and hour disputes, unfair labor practice claims before the National Labor Relations Board, discrimination charges before the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing, and wage claims before the California Labor Commissioner.
Mr. Sipprelle has served as lead counsel in numerous jury trials, bench trials, and binding arbitrations in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, breach of contract, LLC member disputes, employment discrimination, retaliation, real property disputes, and lender liability.
- State Bar of California, December 11, 1989
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, September 28, 1990
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, January 19, 1990
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, January 26, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, December 11, 1989
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, February 2, 1990
- J.D., University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, 1989
- B.A., magna cum laude, Claremont McKenna College, 1983
- Partner, Van Etten Sipprelle LLP, Westlake Village, California, 2009-present
- Partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Los Angeles, California, 2006-2009
- Partner, Van Etten Suzumoto & Becket LLP, Los Angeles, California, 1996 – 2006
- Associate, Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, LLP, Los Angeles, California, 1991-1996
- Associate, Lillick & McHose, Los Angeles, California, 1989-1991
- Represented a trucking company in a wrongful death action arising out of a catastrophic accident in which one of the company’s drivers collided with a motorcycle carrying two people, resulting in the death of one motorcycle rider and severe brain damage to the other rider. Following a three week jury trial in the San Diego County Superior Court, the jury returned a defense verdict for the trucking company.
- Represented a community hospital against wrongful termination and sexual orientation discrimination claims brought by two former employees. Following a three week jury trial in the Orange County Superior Court, the jury returned a defense verdict for the hospital.
- Represented a food processing company against a race discrimination claim brought by a terminated employee. Following a two week jury trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the case was resolved for nuisance value by the employer during jury deliberations after the jury returned a note indicating that it was likely to return a defense verdict for the employer.
- Represented a publicly traded self-storage company against race and religious discrimination claims brought by a terminated employee. Following a two week jury trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the jury returned a defense verdict for the storage company.
- Represented a consumer products company in a breach of contract action. Following a seven day jury trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the jury returned a defense verdict for the company. (The plaintiff had sought $10 million.)
- Represented a consumer products manufacturer in a breach of contract action brought against it by a product distributor. Following a six day jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the jury returned a defense verdict for the company. (The plaintiff had sought $12 million).
- Represented the Managing Member of a limited liability company against claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. The plaintiffs (several other members of the LLC) sought $25 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages. Following a four-week jury trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the jury returned a defense verdict for the Managing Member.
- Obtained a $5,000,000 recovery for a seafood distributor against a competitor in a federal RICO action.
- Obtained a $4,000,000 recovery for a short line railroad against a public agency in a breach of contract action.
Honors & Awards
- American Board of Trial Advocates’ Award, 1989
- Named a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” Law & Politics, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022
- Diploma in Trial Advocacy, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, 1993
- AV Preeminent® Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating