Military Family Instilled the Value of Family
A lifetime of experience has shaped Mr. Dreyer. It has enabled him to have a unique and practical understanding of the importance of the quality of life and proven invaluable in dealing with wrongful death and catastrophic injury matters. He is the product of a family that traveled throughout the country and Europe due to his father's military career. His parents exposed him to a lifestyle that led him to want to make a difference and make them proud of him. They taught him the importance of life and the value of hard work. His father had been shaped by a wartime experience of flying over 40 combat missions, being shot down, sustaining serious injuries and being a prisoner of war for nearly two years. He instilled in Mr. Dreyer an appreciation for the value of family, life and how delicate a line we all walk. Additionally, the importance of physical health and competing as a member of a team was instilled in Mr. Dreyer and his two older brothers throughout his life by his mother and his father. Having a father who served during World War II and having parents who grew up during the Depression caused him to appreciate the tremendous importance of family and community with each new location they moved to during their travels as a military family.
When his father retired in the Sacramento region, Mr. Dreyer finally was able to set down roots in a community and has remained here throughout his career, other than to attend University of California, Davis, where he graduated with honors, and to obtain his law degree at the University of California at Hastings in San Francisco, where he understood his calling was going to be in the courtroom representing the interests of others, and in particular, fighting for those who do not have a voice.
Making a Difference Professionally
Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Dreyer has honed his skill in the courtroom and established himself as one of the premier trial attorneys in California. He has tried in excess of 125 civil jury trials for his clients in 14 different counties in California. He has represented hundreds of families and individuals who have suffered the worst possible losses; that is, the loss of a family member or a catastrophic injury that impacted every aspect of that person's quality of life. He has obtained multimillion dollar jury verdicts in wrongful death actions, catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases.
These actions have spanned a wide variety of fact patterns from trucking collisions and motorcycle incidents, to actions involving failures by the State of California or counties that created dangerous conditions, to products liability actions where failures by some of the largest companies in the United States have resulted in death or catastrophic loss. These verdicts have not only made a significant positive difference for the families he has represented, but also established standards of conduct that have taught corporations and individuals how they must act and conduct themselves.
For example, he was the trial attorney for the family of Jennifer Strange in the highly-publicized "water intoxication" death case of 2007 that resulted in a verdict of $16.7 million, the largest wrongful death verdict for non-economic damages in Sacramento County history and held a broadcast company responsible for the actions of its employees that led to the death of Ms. Strange, the mother of three. That verdict impacted and changed the broadcasting industry as to how it would handle radio contests into the future.
Additionally, in two recent trials against MasterCraft Boats and Ford Motor Company, he obtained verdicts in the amounts of $31 million for a brain-injured client and $65 million for a family who lost their husband and father, both as a result of defective products that, up until the time of the verdict, these companies had denied there was any problem with their product. Mr. Dreyer empowered juries to make an informed decision. They ruled the MasterCraft boat defective, and Ford Motor Company was hit with a Sacramento County record award of punitive damages for its failure to share information it had about defective tires with its customers.
Further, as a result of his trial experience and reputation, he has also been sought out by the ownership of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League as well as the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association in matters ranging from business fraud to products liability. In his capacity as the lead trial lawyer for the Oakland Raiders, he was able to achieve for that team a verdict in the amount of $34 million, the largest fraud verdict in Sacramento County history. He has obtained for his clients record-setting seven- and eight-figure verdicts in counties stretching from Fresno to Butte County.
Recognized for his Unique Approach
As a result of his work on behalf of his clients, Mr. Dreyer has been recognized by his peers as the Trial Lawyer of the Year for the State of California in 2004 by the American Board of Trial Advocates as well as in 2010 by the Consumer Attorneys of California. He has also been recognized by the peer review publication Super Lawyers as one of the "Top Ten Super Lawyers" of Northern California on repeated occasions. In 2012, the Daily Journal, the statewide publication for all lawyers who practice in California, recognized Mr. Dreyer as one of the top 100 attorneys in the state. He has been featured repeatedly for his work on behalf of his clients in newspaper and magazine articles as well as by the National Law Journal for having received one of the 100 largest verdicts in the United States in 2003, 2009 and 2011. He has been featured in California Lawyer, the State Bar of California's monthly publication, and is AV Preeminent peer-review rated, the highest rating, through Martindale-Hubbell* since the late 1980's. He has also been listed in the Best Lawyers in America since the mid-1990's. As a result of his experience, Mr. Dreyer has been an invited lecturer in trial practice programs on a wide range of topics from jury selection to closing argument for a myriad of professional organizations, including ABOTA, CAOC and a variety of local trial lawyer chapters throughout the state, and he has been invited to other states to lecture.
Making a Difference in the Community
Mr. Dreyer and the firm also recognize the importance of serving their community and it is a long-established practice within the firm that members contribute in areas outside of their professional practice. In that regard, Mr. Dreyer has been a member of a number of boards, but in particular, he has served since 1998 for the Child Abuse Prevention Center located in Sacramento. He has been the chairman of the board and presently serves as an executive committee member. This organization is focused on education and training of others in achieving the goal of eliminating child abuse. In that capacity, he was recognized in 2002 by the Non-Profit Resource Center of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce as the Outstanding Board Leader for his work for the Child Abuse Prevention Center.
The community service Mr. Dreyer performs along with the representation of his clients is all part of the life lessons passed on to him by his parents. The concept that people have to give back to their community, and when they work, they need to work hard and honestly such that the fruits of their labor benefit all involved, is a principle he practices on a daily basis and teaches to those that work with him shoulder to shoulder on behalf of his clients.
*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
Areas Of Practice
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Wrongful Death
- Construction Accidents
- Product Liability
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- California, 1980
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
- Juris Doctor
- University of California, Davis, California
- Bachelor of Arts - 1977
- Honors: With High Honors
- Major: Political Science
Honors and Awards
- Lawyer of the Year – USA, Civil Trial Advocacy - Lawyer Monthly
- Trial Lawyer of the Year for the State of California, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Trial Lawyer of the Year for the State of California, Consumer Attorneys of California
- Recognized by the peer review publication Super Lawyers as one of the "Top Ten Super Lawyers" of Northern California on repeated occasions
- One of the top 100 attorneys in the state
- Pre-eminent AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed in the Best Lawyers in America since the mid-1990's
- Recognized by the Non-Profit Resource Center of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce as the Outstanding Board Leader for his work for the Child Abuse Prevention Center
- On the Board of Directors for Capital Public Radio