Attorney Michael Whitehill pursues plaintiffs' personal injury cases more passionately than most of his counterparts - and with good reason. At age 6, his mother and sister were killed in a car accident. In those days, automobiles were not equipped with seat belts. That trauma helped him understand the physical and emotional ordeals of the injured and their families.
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley
in 1978, Mr. Whitehill continued his post graduate education
at Berkeley, where he attended Boalt Hall School of Law, serving
as associate editor for the California Law Review. In addition,
he worked part-time for a plaintiff's personal injury firm
Upon graduation in 1981, Mr. Whitehill affiliated with a
large law firm in Los Angeles, representing corporate defendants
in business disputes. These included insurance claims as well
as multi-plaintiff catastrophic personal injury and product
liability claims. This corporate work created an epiphany
for Mr. Whitehill: His mission in life was to work for injured
people and not against them. In 1984 he joined the plaintiff's
personal jury firm of Gage & Mazursky in Beverly Hills.
At the Gage office, Mr. Whitehill won every jury trial
In 1988, he and longtime friend and colleague Russell S.
Kussman founded the law firm of Kussman & Whitehill, to
exclusively represent plaintiffs. Since the start of this
synergistic partnership, Mr. Whitehill has obtained numerous
multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in personal
injury, product liability and bad-faith insurance cases. At
one time, he held the record for the largest individual jury
verdict in the history of the Torrance branch of the Los Angeles
Superior Court. His client was awarded $12,167,000 in an insurance
bad-faith case against Farmers Group, Inc.
Mr. Whitehill has also been involved in several major appellate
decisions. In addition, he has lectured and written extensively
on the plaintiff's personal injury, product liability, and
insurance bad-faith practice. Mr. Whitehill's clients - and
those of Kussman & Whitehill in general - receive the
highest quality of personalized legal services in a comfortable
Mr. Whitehill was voted one of Los Angeles Magazine's "Super Lawyers" in 2006.
- Western Steamship Lines, Inc. v. San Pedro Peninsula Hospital, 8 Cal. 4th 100 (1994)
- Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Companies, 46 Cal. 3d 287 (1988)
- Kibbee v. Blue Ridge Ins. Co., 69 Cal. App. 4th 53 (1999)
- Mogil v. California Physicians Corp., 218 Cal. App. 3d 1030 (1989)
- General Ins. Co. v. MAmmoth Vista Owners Assn. 174 Cal. App. 3d 810 (1985)
Read SuperLawyers article about Kussman & Whitehill