Professor Spencer Pahlke
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, & Schoenberger
Spencer’s practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases involving defective medical devices, vehicular collisions, dangerous conditions of public and private property, and medical malpractice.
Outside of his practice at Walkup, he also teaches at the University of California-Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) as a lecturer in trial advocacy.
In addition to his teaching, he directs Berkeley Law’s external trial competition program and coaches multiple trial advocacy teams. Under Spencer’s guidance, the program has risen to national prominence, having won many national honors and distinctions, including several national championships.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Defective Medical Devices
Public and Private Property
- University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California
- J.D. – 2007
- Honors: Awarded Legal Ethics and in Environmental Law
- Law Review: California Law Review, Member
- Law Review: Ecology Law Quarterly, Associate Editor
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- B.A. – 2004
- Honors: Highest Distinction
- Major: Economics and Psychology
- Minor: English and Communications
Lecturer, Trial Advocacy, the University of California-Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall)
Teacher, Berkeley Law’s External Trial Competition Program
Guest Lecturer, Trial Advocacy, the University of Michigan Law School
Guest Lecturer, Personal Injury Practice, San Francisco State University
Guest Lecturer, Personal Injury Practice, Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico)
Spencer is also a recipient of the Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award, an award designed to recognize a trial advocacy teacher and program director who exemplifies the late Professor Ohlbaum’s commitment professionalism, integrity, and honed proficiency. The award honors an individual whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity.
Spencer has also taught and lectured on trial advocacy and tort law at institutions including the University of Michigan School of Law, Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico), San Francisco State University, and UC Berkeley. Spencer has also been an invited lecturer at Baylor University’s prestigious School of the Trial, hosted annually in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Spencer has also provided ongoing legal education, including developing and co-chairing programs produced in conjunction with Berkeley Law, with a special focus on providing training to young attorneys. He has also co-chaired a presentation on governmental liability and design immunity, spoke to leading trial associations regarding governmental liability, made presentations on liability for commercial carriers, and lectured on the topic of liability insurance in the context of products liability.
Spencer was selected as a Super Lawyer from 2013-2019, and before that was Rising Star in 2011 and 2012. In 2014-2019, he was listed by Best Lawyers.
After graduating with Highest Distinction from the University of Nebraska with a double major in Economics and Psychology, Spencer attended law school at Berkeley Law, receiving his J.D. in 2007. At Berkeley, Spencer was a member of the California Law Review as well as an associate editor for Ecology Law Quarterly. Academically, he won Prosser Awards in Legal Ethics and in Environmental Law.
Spencer’s main interest in law school was trial advocacy, both in Berkeley Law’s competitive trial advocacy program and its clinical programs. Clinically, he tried cases before Oakland’s Citizen’s Police Review Board. There, his responsibilities included representing people claiming violations of their constitutional rights at the hands of the Oakland Police Department. He successfully competed on several trial teams. He won the Bay Area trial competition held by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. Additionally, in the National Trial Competition, his three-person team was a regional finalist, and he won two top advocate awards.
Spencer joined the Walkup firm in 2007, and practices all types of personal injury litigation in all courts within the State of California.
- Family v Farming Trust / Manufacturer, $20,000,000
- Baby v. Major Institution – Medical Malpractice Settlement in excess of $10,000,000
- Bicyclist v. Food Delivery Company / Taxi Company – Vehicular Negligence, $6,010,000 Settlement
- Family v. Valet Company – Vehicular Negligence, $6,000,000 Settlement
- Patient v. Hospitalist / Hospital – Medical Malpractice, $5,000,000 Settlement
- Snowboarder v. Equipment Manufacturer – Products Liability, $4,500,000 settlement
- Pedestrian v. City and County of San Francisco – Public Transit Negligence, $3,250,000 Settlement
- Patient v. ER Doctor / Hospital – Medical Malpractice, $3,000,000 Settlement
- Disabled Student v. School District / Driver – Disability Rights / Vehicular Negligence, $2,975,000 Settlement
- Insured v. Insurance Carrier – Underinsured Motorist, $2,250,000
- Cable Car Passenger v. City and County of San Francisco – Negligent Operation of Cable Car, $2,026,000 Settlement
- Adult Daughter v. Heavy Equipment Company – Vehicular Negligence, $2,000,000
- Patient v. Cardiologist – Medical Malpractice, $1,999,900 Settlement
- Family v. SUV Driver – Wrongful Death / Vehicular Negligence, $1,500,000 Settlement
- Wife / Children v. HMO – Medical Malpractice, $1,400,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence, $1,000,000 settlement
- Scooter Driver v. Cab Company – Vehicular Negligence, $1,000,000
- Chu v. Bay Area Community Services, Inc. – Premises Liability – Negligent Supervision, $996,000 Verdict
- Insured v. Major Insurance Company – Insurance Bad Faith, $975,000 Settlement
- Pedestrians v. Uninsured Motorist – Vehicular Negligence, $970,000 Settlement
- Child v. Doctor – Medical Malpractice, $965,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. South Bay City – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $875,000 Settlement
- Wife / Children v. HMO – Medical Malpractice, $850,000 Settlement
- Cyclist v. Driver’s Employer – Vehicular Negligence, $750,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence – Underinsured Motorist, $555,000 Settlement
- Patient v. Surgeon – Medical Malpractice, $500,606.36 Settlement
- Family v. HMO – Medical Negligence – Surgical Error – Wrongful Death, $475,000 Settlement
- Adult Children v. Pilot / Owner of Plane – Aviation Crash Litigation, $425,000 Settlement
- Insured v. Mercury Insurance – Underinsured Motorist, $421,000 Arbitration Award
- Grandparent v. Youth Camp – Premises Liability, $400,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. Cab Company – Vehicular Negligence, $350,000 Settlement
- Motorcyclist v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence, $350,000 Settlement
- Bicyclist v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence, $325,000 settlement
- Passenger v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence – Read-End Collision, $325,000 Settlement
- Customer v. Massage Therapist – General Negligence, $300,000 Settlement
- Bicyclist v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence / Underinsured Motorist Liability, $300,000 settlement
- Passenger v. Cab Company – Vehicular Negligence – Common Carrier, $300,000
- Pedestrian v. San Diego – Mass Transit Public Transit Negligence, $300,000
- Cyclist v. SUV Driver – Vehicular Negligence, $300,000 Settlement
- Pedestrian v. CCSF – Dangerous Condition of Public Property, $270,000
- Passenger v. MUNI – Governmental Liability, $250,000 Settlement
- Driver v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence – Underinsured Motorist, $250,000
- Bicyclist v. Driver – Vehicular Negligence, $250,000 Settlement
Honors and Awards
- Rising Star, 2011 – 2012
- SuperLawyer, 2013 – 2019
- Best Lawyers, 2014 – 2019
- Top 40 under 40, National Trial Lawyers