Attorney Christopher B. Dort (State Bar #196832) was first licensed to practice law in all California Courts in 1998, and in Federal Court in 2000.
Public Defenders Office Santa Cruz County 1996-1999
In 1997, Mr. Dort served on the trial team for his first homicide trial. As the second chair in a 3 month trial, he drafted motions, prepared witnesses, analyzed evidence and learned the difficulties of a long jury trial. Later in the year, he was selected as a Judicial Research Clerk for the Santa Cruz County Superior Court, where he prepared judges for hearings on civil litigation issues. By 2000, Mr. Dort had been on the trial team for a total of 3 homicide cases, and hundreds of cases where less was on the line.
Civil Trial Attorney / Insurance Defense 2000
In 2000, Mr. Dort began a career in civil litigation with firm of Burton, Volkman, & Schmall in Santa Cruz, CA. There, he received intense training and practice in the area of insurance trial litigation. In the process, he defended police officers in civil rights cases, a college in a personal injury claim, construction companies in defect claims, and at least one law firm accused of malpractice.
During this period, Mr. Dort received notoriety for his work in environmental litigation to protect a redwood forest from cutting to clear power lines in the Bonny Doon area. Read the Newspaper Articles.
In 2000 he was licensed to practice in Federal Court, and won his first case by summary judgment while defending a major airline against a civil rights claim. The case was a claim brought by a passenger who was removed from a flight for disorderly conduct. The passenger claimed he was removed from the flight because of his race. Mr. Dort, representing the airline, successfully argued (prior to 9/11) that private airlines must have the ability to remove passengers at their discretion in order to protect the security of the flight.
Through this work with Burton, Volkman, and Schmall, Mr. Dort was listed with an "AV", rating as an insurance defense trial attorney and was listed in the "Bar Registry of Nationally Preeminent Attorneys".
In 2001, Mr. Dort moved to a litigation firm in Southern California, where he continued to practice insurance defense trial work in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties.
In 2002, Mr. Dort successfully defended a small construction company through a jury trial against a million dollar claim. [Read the Verdict Report] One day while driving home late at night in the rain after a deposition for an auto accident case, he was rear ended by another car. Shortly thereafter, he decided to never work for an insurance company again, and established his own law practice focused on handling plaintiff's claims against insurance companies.
In 2003, Attorney Dort started a private practice, operating mainly in Los Angeles, but covering many cases in Northern California.
Presently, Dort & Associates handles a varied array of matters, including civil litigation, criminal defense, and the development of internet technologies to improve the way the public deals with many legal issues. We provide top quality legal representation by using the best tools for our clients, including the best experts, the best preparation, and skilled presentation. Recent successful cases include criminal case trial wins, labor and civil rights disputes, and personal injury cases.
Since 2005, Mr. Dort has provided trainings and educational lectures to child care providers and child care centers in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Subjects have included: Risk Management for Child Care Providers; Avoiding Personal Injury Claims, and Drafting and Enforcing Child Care Contracts.
Mr. Dort has served as trial defense counsel for police officers, school districts, cities, and numerous insurance companies in cases ranging from civil rights law suits, to serious personal injury actions.
Mr. Dort has spent more than 30 weeks in jury trials in cases ranging from construction negligence cases to homicide. Mr. Dort's first solo jury trial was a 5 day trial in 1998 wherein he defended a client charged with a misdemeanor crime in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.
In 2002, Mr. Dort was the winning defense counsel in his first million dollar civil trial in the Orange County Superior Court which resulted in a unanimous 12 person verdict for the defense after 2 weeks of trial.
In 2003, Mr. Dort's office took on its first class action litigation that stretched from San Diego County Superior Court to Illinois and included approximately 10 different law firms. Although the result was ultimately somewhat disappointing, it provided invaluable experience into the world of complex, multi state litigation.
Mr. Dort has appeared in court on criminal or civil cases in at least 15 California Counties, and is familiar with just about all major California Courthouses, including: Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, Merced, Fresno, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sacramento, Placer, Imperial, Ventura, and others. Mr. Dort has also handled Federal Court cases in the US District Court for the Northers District of California.
Effective use of written discovery; drafting summary judgment and other motions; depositions; selecting expert witnesses; analysis of claims and defenses; public speaking; motions to suppress illegal evidence; restraining orders; preparation of witnesses for trial; plea negotiations; mediations, arbitrations, and settling insurance claims.
Mr. Dort has published hundreds of self help articles as the Editor of Traffic Court Blog.com, Traffic Court Pros.com and the Child Care Business Update. In 1996, he was an editing Member of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, a respected Academic Journal.
COMMUNITY SERVICE / PRO BONO WORK
Every year, Mr. Dort provides legal services free of charge to a limited number of clients who are not able to pay for legal services. Recent pro bono work has included misdemeanor warrant cases, employment disputes, and contract reviews / editing for child care businesses.
In the first days following Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Dort traveled with a medical team into New Orleans to deliver medical supplies form Houston to the storm victim stuck in the city. In 2007, 2008 Mr. Dort served as the volunteer Basketball Coach for Branceforte Middle School 6th and then 7th Grade Boys in Santa Cruz, CA.