Walter H. Walker III

Walker III |  Walker, Hamilton & Koenig, LLP

Partner

Skip Walker has had over 60 jury trials and tried over 100 cases in various forums. He has also briefed or argued approximately 75 cases in courts of appeal throughout the country. Among his landmark appellate cases are Bonanno v. Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (2003) 30 Cal 4th 139, which established that the location of a bus stop can constitute a dangerous condition of public property; and Holmes v. Syntex (1984) 156 Cal App 3d 372, which at the time was the leading case in California on forum non conveniens.

Together with his partners Pete Koenig and Beau Burbidge, Skip is San Francisco’s Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2018 based on their work in Willis v. City of Fresno, a police abuse of power case that went on for nine years. In 2003, he was a finalist for California Trial Lawyer of the Year for his work in Bonanno, a case that went to trial three times, the court of appeal three times and the Supreme Court, resulting in a $3.89 million verdict as well as new law. In 2010, he was a finalist for San Francisco Trial Lawyer of the Year and in 2017 he was a finalist for Marin County Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Skip is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, regarded by many as the most prestigious of all trial lawyer organizations and restricted to just 500 lawyers in the United States. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, an honor society of outstanding trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy. He also is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. As with the Academy and the Society, Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality.

He holds the rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and has lectured for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now AAJ), Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Marin County Bar Association, Continuing Education of the Bar, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, and other professional organizations. He has served as a moot court or mock trial judge for Hastings, the University of San Francisco, and Stanford, and as an arbitrator for the San Francisco Superior Court. He is consistently named a "Super Lawyer," an honor reserved for only 5% of the lawyers in Northern California. He serves on the Board of Directors of Hastings College of the Law, Consumer Attorneys Legislative Committee, and on the Board of Directors of Lawyer Friends of Wine.

He is licensed to practice in Massachusetts as well as California and in numerous Federal courts throughout the country, and has held the highest legal rating (AV) for 33 years. His biography can be found in most Who’s Who publications.

Originally from Massachusetts, he still has a summer home on Cape Cod. He is a graduate of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He played football and baseball in college, played rugby for 25 years in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., participates in various distance bicycling events, has rafted most of the white water rivers in the West, travels extensively, and is a bad golfer.

Skip's sixth novel, Crime of Privilege, was published by Ballantine in 2013. It was named by Guardian U.S. as the best mystery of the summer and it earned Skip a nomination for the Harper Lee Prize, which goes to the novel that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change. His five previous novels include the award-winning A Dime to Dance By, as well as The Immediate Prospect of Being Hanged, and Rules of the Knife Fight. His works have been published not only in this country, but also in Japan, France, Sweden, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Products Liability
  • Aviation
  • Recreational Liability
  • Dangerous Condition of Public Property

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1974
  • Massachusetts, 1981
  • U.S. Federal Courts beginning 1974

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. - 1974
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • B.A. - 1971

Published Works

  • Crime of Privilege, Ballantine, 2013
  • The Appearance of Impropriety, Pocket Book, 1993
  • The Immediate Prospect of Being Hanged, Viking, 1989
  • Rules of the Knife Fight, Harper & Row, 1986
  • The Two Dude Defense, Harper & Row, 1984
  • A Dime to Dance By, Harper & Row, 1983

Representative Cases

Classes/Seminars

  • Lectured, American Association for Justice (AAJ)
  • Lectured, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC)
  • Lectured, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • Lectured, Continuing Education of the Bar, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • "Super Lawyer", 2007 - 2018
  • Martindale Hubbel Highest Legal Rating (AV) 33 Years

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Legislative Committee, Past Member, Board of Governors
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Marin County Bar Association, Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • Moot Court or Mock Trial Judge for Hastings, the University of San Francisco, and Stanford
  • Arbitrator, San Francisco Superior Court
  • Legal Aid of Marin