Law Offices of

Douglas W. Schroeder

Phone (714) 662-3311

Toll-Free (888) 285-2999


"Real injuries demand real expertise" SM


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Practice Areas
Transportation Accidents

Products Liability
Personal Injury
Wrongful Death
Insurance Bad Faith
Business Litigation
Civil Appeals


Douglas W. Schroeder is a nationally respected trial attorney who prosecutes complex civil litigation in state and federal courts across the country. He specializes in aviation law, personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, and insurance disputes.  Becoming an attorney in 1988, Mr. Schroeder spent the first decade of his legal career engaged primarily in the defense of personal injury and wrongful death actions on behalf of transportation companies, liability insurers, product manufacturers and public utilities, both at trial and on appeal. Since shifting the focus of his practice to representing victims of tragedies as well as policyholders wrongly denied insurance benefits, Mr. Schroeder has been instrumental in procuring large recoveries for clients in cases where the defense had earlier refused to extend meaningful settlement offers.

Mr. Schroeder was admitted to the California Bar in 1988, having graduated that same year cum laude from Western State University where he was an Editor of the Law Review. He also served as a director of the Warren J. Ferguson Honors Moot Court, and was the recipient of numerous intramural and national awards for academic excellence. Throughout his career, Mr. Schroeder has regularly published and taught courses and seminars on key subjects of personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Mr. Schroeder is honored that other lawyers have consulted and retained him as an expert witness on the subject of personal injury and wrongful death matters. He has repeatedly been invited to teach on the subject of accident investigation and on aviation, product liability and maritime wrongful death law.

Mr. Schroeder was counsel at trial, and through the successful appeal to the California Supreme Court, in the landmark product liability case of Carrillo v. ACF Industries, Inc., 20 Cal. 4th 1158 (1999). He was also winning counsel at trial and on appeal in the groundbreaking case of Hiser v. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., 111 Cal.App.4th 640 (2003).  In that case, he recovered $11,200,000 for the widow of a pilot who was killed when the fuel system of his helicopter malfunctioned during a fire suppression mission.  Mr. Schroeder was also a member of the trial team in the In re December 7, 1987 Air Crash Cases, which arose from the deliberate in-flight destruction of PSA Flight 1771 by a former airline employee resulting in the loss of life of all 43 persons aboard.

Mr. Schroeder has been involved in numerous transportation and product liability actions which include: the multiple-fatality crash of an air ambulance helicopter in 2008; the in-flight opening of a cargo door precipitating the crash of a Cessna CitationJet into a neighborhood adjacent to the Van Nuys Airport; the crash onto a glacier of a sightseeing helicopter near Juneau, Alaska; the crash and ensuing explosion of a Beech Bonanza G36 airplane near Bullhead City, Arizona; the fatal crash of a Bell Long Ranger firefighting helicopter due to its defectively designed fuel system; the fatal train derailment in California's Cajon Pass in 1996; the massive escape of toxic chlorine gas from a railroad tank car that hospitalized dozens of neighboring elementary school students and teachers; the multiple fatality runway overrun by a Learjet 24 at Catalina Island; the 2001 mid-air collision of two planes on approach to Van Nuys Airport; the crash into utility wires of a Cessna 172 during a training flight in Compton, California; the multiple fatality crash of a Beech V-35B following the catastrophic in-flight separation of its propeller; the crash of a Bell 222UT medical evacuation helicopter with medical crew and patients aboard; the multiple fatality wire-strike crash of an Aerospatiale (AS-350D) pipeline patrol helicopter; injuries resulting from varied events aboard heavy jets in commercial air carrier passenger service; and, the multiple-fatality failure of the ejection system on a B-1B bomber.

An active member in national and local bar organizations, Mr. Schroeder is currently First Vice President of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association. He has served two terms as the Chair of the Aviation Law Section and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Section on Insurance for the Orange County Bar Association, and has chaired its Product Liability Section.  He meets annually with lawmakers in the State Capitol to advance the rights of injury victims and consumers. Mr. Schroeder has repeatedly been invited to speak at several of the nation's most prestigious transportation law seminars, including the SMU Air and Space Law Symposium in Dallas, the ABA Aviation Tort Law Symposium in Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Northwest Regional Aviation and Insurance Law Seminar in Oregon and Washington. He has also been a Program Chair and Lecturer at annual sessions of the Southwest Regional Aviation Law Symposium held in Palm Springs, California. Mr. Schroeder has also taught as an instructor for the Aviation Safety Program conducted by the University of Southern California's Institute of Safety and Systems Management, as well as for the University of California's Continuing Education of the Bar ("CEB").


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