Robert Bokelman was voted by his senior class at Falls Church High School in Virginia as outstanding student athlete. He was an Honor Roll student while at the same time serving as Captain of the Varsity Football, Track and Wrestling Teams. He was All-County tackle both on Offense and Defense.
Robert Bokelman attended the University of Virginia on a full NROTC Regular Scholarship. His summers were spent with Annapolis midshipmen receiving advanced military leadership training. (i.e., flight training, USMC field leadership training and naval war games) At the University, Bokelman was Dean’s List, played on the Varsity Football team, was named all Atlantic Coast Conference on the Wrestling team, was student Commander of the NROTC Battalion, named Outstanding Marine Officer Candidate and served as an Officer of the Trident Society. He was elected and served as President of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and at graduation was elected a member of the Raven Society, honoring academic achievement and student leadership.
Robert Bokelman obtained his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 1972 from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, California. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Bokelman served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. His initial duty assignment was to the 5th Antitank Battalion which was part of the defensive perimeter around Danang, Republic of Viet Nam. As a second lieutenant, Bokelman’s combat experience included leading sweeps every other night to maintain forward security and discover enemy troop build ups. After service in the Republic of Viet Nam, Bokelman served as the platoon leader of the Marine Guard Detachment for the Naval Magazine at Subic Bay/Cubi Point in the Philippines. He also served as a trial counsel and became a permanent member of the Special Court Martial Board, and Disciplinary Discharge Administrator. He separated with the rank of Captain after service as a Battalion Staff Officer with Fifth Tanks, then stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA.
Admitted to practice in California, he is certified by the Consumer Attorneys of California as a specialist in trial law, personal injury, product liability and professional negligence. He is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, the Northern and Eastern Districts of California, and the Southern District of Texas; and, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
In addition to his certifications in California, Mr. Bokelman has an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell. This peer-reviewed rank indicates the highest level of skill and integrity in an attorney's practice areas.
A member of several professional associations, Mr. Bokelman has been active in the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association where he served on the Education Committee, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and Kaiser Liaison Committee. He is also a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). In AAJ, he served in the Birth Trauma Litigation Group, on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
During his career as a trial attorney, Mr. Bokelman has won verdicts and settlements throughout California. In 1989, he was appointed to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for "Coordinated Blood Bank Litigation" by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Daniel Hanlon. The litigation concerned 26 AIDs cases associated with blood transfusions which were pending in the San Francisco court at that time.
Mr. Bokelman has achieved settlements and verdicts in excess of $1,000,000 in more than 40 cases, including one of the Top 100 Jury Verdicts nation-wide in 2007 as a member of the trial team for plaintiff in Provenza v. LeMans Corporation ($50,952,092) and in 2008, as lead trial attorney, a $16,789,835 plaintiffs' verdict in Tuolumne County, Dorroh v. Warren. Both verdicts were sustained on appeal.
Mr. Bokelman has lectured by invitation 90 times to professional medical and legal associations on topics dealing with litigation and the presentation of medical evidence. He has given these lectures throughout California and across the nation, including at the University of California for the International Program for Neuroradiologists put on by the University of California School of Medicine. He has been invited to lecture by professional medical and legal groups in:
London, England - International Symposium on Birth Trauma;
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Imaging Defenses;
Chicago, Illinois - Medical Malpractice;
Las Vegas, Nevada - Failure to Diagnose and Treat;
Reno, Nevada - Basic Course in Trial Advocacy;
Phoenix, Arizona - What's New in the Medical Literature;
West Palm Beach, Florida - Litigating Catastrophically Injured Infant Cases - CT & MRI Defense;
Atlanta, Georgia - The Most Frequently Encountered Issues Involving the Timing of Birth Injuries;
Snowmass, Colorado - Objectifying Injuries through the use of Diagnostic Tools, MRI's, EMG's, CT Scans and Neuropsychological Test Results;
Vail, Colorado - Advanced Course in Trial Advocacy;
Maui, Hawaii - Causation: Defense Strategies in Birth Trauma Litigation;
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - Federal Tort Liability;
Kansas City, Missouri - Catastrophically Injured Individual Seminar; and,
Seattle, Washington - Trial Strategies in Litigation of Complex Medical Malpractice Cases.
For his lectures to the National College of Advocacy, Consumer Attorneys of California and the American Association for Justice, Mr. Bokelman has received multiple awards.
Along with his lectures, Mr. Bokelman has conducted multiple continuing education courses for the State Bar of California as well as for other schools and organizations throughout his law career. He has been published on both medical and legal topics in learned journals and contributed to the Birth Injuries Chapter of Operative Obstetrics, a Medical Textbook.
Areas of Practice include: Civil Litigation, Professional Negligence, Products Liability, General Personal Injury. 100% of practice devoted to litigation
After forty years of practice in northern California, Mr. Bokelman relocated to San Diego to be near his son and grandsons, joining Thorsnes, Bartolotta and McGuire in 2011.