Overcoming Client Stereotypes


Clear liability + huge damages + an A+ plaintiff = the perfect case. That case doesn’t exist. What if you get close with liability and damages, but your client may be associated with a negative stereotype that will be hard to overcome at trial?

• Do you still take the case?

• Can you overcome the stereotypes?

• How can you prepare your case to minimize the impact of the stereotypes?

• How can you work with your client to counter the stereotypes?

We will cover topics including: prior arrest history, language barriers, citizenship, substance abuse, mental health issues, obesity, gender, sexual orientation, and unemployment. We hope to provide tools to overcome some of the common stereotypes and offer guidance on how to frame the discussion at trial to minimize the effect the stereotypes will have on the outcome of the case. No one should have their case value suffer because of stereotypes. Come learn how to get the full value of your case by effectively addressing stereotypes. 



Andje Medina (Moderator) is a trial attorney and trial team leader with The Veen Firm. She focuses on catastrophic personal injury cases and has tried cases with stereotype challenges.

Megan Burns is a partner with Bonjour, Thorman, Burns, Dahm & Wargo. She handles plaintiff personal injury and criminal defense cases. She has past experience as a Deputy Public Defender in Solano County and San Francisco County. Megan has tried over forty jury trials to verdict and has handled every type of criminal and plaintiff personal injury case. She frequently lectures on trial skills and will have some unique client experiences to share. 

Emily Dahm is a partner with Bonjour, Thorman, Burns, Dahm & Wargo. She has had an international legal career practicing with Latham & Watkins LLP in Singapore, Hong Kong, and San Francisco. She then spent over eight years at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office before moving back into private practice. She is no stranger to the courtroom and has faced just about every client stereotype imaginable.

Arcelia Hurtado is a trial attorney with Kazan, McClain Satterley & Greenwood. She has a long history of serving the underprivileged and indigent, who often face stereotype challenges, as the Executive Director for Equal Rights Advocates, Assistant General Counsel for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, a Deputy State Public Defender, Deputy Director/Policy Advisor for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and now as an advocate for justice for individuals with mesothelioma and their families. 

Kimberly Wong is an attorney with The Veen Firm in San Francisco. She litigates complex personal injury cases. She has had several settlements featured in The Recorder’s annual report of “California’s Million-Dollar Settlements.” She serves on the Consumer Attorneys of California Diversity Committee as well as the Asian American Bar Association Judiciary Committee.


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The Arns Law Firm

515 Folsom Street San Francisco, CA 94105 


Melissa Baldwin - Atlas Settlement Group, Inc.

The Veen Firm, PC
Cancellation Policy

SFTLA does not provide refunds for cancellations, however, substitutes may attend in place for a registrant.