Dennis Seley, Esq., a Sacramento native, is a trial lawyer specializing in the representation of individuals and businesses involved in civil litigation filed in both State and Federal Courts. His practice has included business cases involving breach of contract, construction projects, embezzlement, defamation and malicious prosecution. He has also litigated and tried the defense of product designs, trucking companies, insurance bad faith and catastrophic injury cases. He is "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates ("ABOTA"). Mr. Seley has considerable trial experience with 37 civil trial verdicts. A significant amount of his trials involved the defense of large exposure cases. He is reported to be one of the first attorneys nationwide to have a virtual reality accident reconstruction video admitted into evidence in the United States.
Mr. Seley began his career as an associate with the Ericksen Lynch Mackenroth & Arbuthnoth law firm in the firm's Sacramento office (based in Oakland with 6 offices in California). He tried his first jury trial within 6 months after passing the bar and made partner after practicing for three years. In 1981, he co-founded Mackenroth & Seley with David Mackenroth. That same year, he was selected by American Honda Motor Company to represent Honda in the defense of product liability cases that litigated the design of its automobiles, motorcycles and ATV's. He has represented a number of Japanese manufacturers which include Mori Seiki, Kubota, Toyota and Mazda. In 1985 and 1986, Mr. Seley tried two product liability cases in Amador and Stanislaus Counties that resulted in defense verdicts in favor of Honda.
During the 1980's, Mr. Seley was admitted Pro Hare Vice to the Alaska State Bar. While practicing in Fairbanks and Anchorage, he represented American Honda Motor Company, Inc. before the State and Federal Courts. In 1986, he successfully tried a product liability action brought against his client, Sta-Rite Industries, a pump manufacturer, in a case venued in Reno, Nevada. The plaintiff had suffered brain damage and tetraplegia as the result of electrocution while using a submersible pump manufactured by Sta-Rite. The jury determined that Sta-Rite's pump was not defective and rendered a defense verdict. The plaintiff's settlement demand was $16 million.
In 1987, Mr. Seley defended Sta-Rite Industries in a product liability case in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1992, he was lead counsel for American Honda Motor Company in a serious personal injury case that was tried to a defense verdict in favor of American Honda in Auburn, California. In that case, Mr. Seley successfully introduced into evidence a 3-D/virtual reality video that was a graphic, state of the art, illustration of the rider's real-time view of the events preceding the accident.
In 1993, Mr. Seley successfully defended Mazda Corporation in a product liability action tried in Sacramento County. The jury returned a verdict in Mazda's favor concerning the design of the Mazda RX-7 seat belt assembly. The lowest demand submitted to Mazda before trial was $5 million. Between 1993 and 2009 he represented clients at trial involving vehicle design, legal malpractice, employment discrimination, defamation, insurance bad faith and natural gas drainage.
Mr. Seley has published several articles concerning litigation strategy and tactics. His publication "How to Defend When Technical Data is Involved" (DRI - For The Defense, February 2005) discusses the importance of Electronic Control Module engine data in big-rig accidents. In 2009, he authored "Influencing Juror Perspective" (DRI - In Transit Winter-2009) which examines the reliability of using video-taped visibility studies to demonstrate driver perception in vehicle accident litigation. "Admitting Respondeat Superior as a Defense Strategy" (DRI - The Voice 6/2/10) is an article that analyzes the tactical advantages for employers to admit vicarious liability in negligent entrustment cases. American Board of Trial Associates (ABOTA). State Bar of California.