Perhaps it’s because he spent his childhood in one country and his adulthood in another, but Yakov Wiegmann combines clear-eyed objectivity with the instincts and intuition of someone who’s learned to adapt and thrive in different cultures. It’s part of what makes him so good at what he does.
Applying equal parts diligence, passion, and careful reasoning, Yakov has guided his clients through toxic tort litigation involving asbestos, pesticides, benzene, and other chemicals, as well as product liability matters involving aircraft components, heavy equipment, child car seats, electronics, glass bottles, and tools. His success in the courtroom and the conference room has taught him that the best way to develop a winning long-term strategy is to pay attention to short-term details at every step of the way.
Yakov has represented defendants and plaintiffs in matters involving business disputes, aviation accidents, personal injury, and trust litigation. He has experience in every aspect of complex litigation from discovery to trial and appeal, as well as in settlement negotiations, arbitration, and mediation. Born in Moscow, Yakov is fluent and persuasive in both English and Russian. He has a subtle but slightly menacing accent that has been known to rattle the resolve of even the most formidable adversary.
In the Fall of 2016 Yakov became an adjunct professor at University of California - Hastings College of the Law, where he teaches Civil Pretrial Practice to 3L’s.
- Defended aircraft maintenance companies, aircraft parts supplier, aircraft owners, and a pilot in litigation arising from aviation accidents.
- Defended pioneering bitcoin exchange founder against claims of conversion, fraud, and breach of contract by alleged cryptocurrency depositors.
- Defended toxic tort cases involving allegations of exposure to asbestos, benzene, and other substances. Represented manufacturers of insulation, glass containers, agricultural/construction/lawn-and-garden equipment, pumps, turbines, and dryer felts; herbicide and fertilizer distributors; and railroads.
- Formulated litigation/negotiation strategy, coordinated discovery responses, managed the defense of toxic tort lawsuits in various jurisdictions, and conducted nationwide settlement negotiations.
- Engaged in all phases of litigation including pleadings, written discovery, fact and expert witness depositions, discovery motion practice, motions for summary judgment and other dispositive motions, motions in limine and other pretrial practice, jury selection, trial, and appeal.
- Prepared and defended expert witnesses including pathologists, pulmonologists, epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, historians, naval engineers, and economists.
- Deposed expert witnesses including pathologists, pulmonologists, occupational medicine specialists, cardiologists, industrial hygienists, naval engineers, asbestos consultants, and economists.
- Defended juvenile product manufacturer against claims of defects in child car seats, including personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits as well as consumer class action litigation.
- Defended leading electronics manufacturer against fire and burn claims. Collaborated with origin-and-cause investigators to inspect fire scenes and assess possible causes of fires. Worked with electrical engineers to conduct artifact examinations and destructive testing. Negotiated with insurance subrogation attorneys to resolve fire claims. Defended personal injury lawsuits involving fires and burns.
- Defended tool manufacturer in product liability personal injury litigation.
- Defended container manufacturer in commercial arbitration arising out of product recall.
- Defended video-on-demand technology provider in commercial litigation involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.).
- Represented bankrupt manufacturer of asbestos-containing construction materials in complex litigation to recover funds fraudulently transferred by former parent company.
- Represented plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits involving automobile and motorcycle accidents.
- Represented plaintiff in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights suit, including preparation of a Ninth Circuit appeal and a U.S. Supreme Court petition for writ of certiorari.
- Provided pro bono representation to low-income clients, including immigrant families seeking political asylum, tenants in housing disputes, and inmate in habeas corpus proceedings.
- Represented a global leader in railcar leasing in commercial lawsuit to recover property and enforce contractual obligations.
- Defended trustee against claims of undue influence by would-be beneficiary of trustor’s estate.
- Represented American Civil Liberties Union and the UC Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain records regarding the treatment of asylum seekers.
EducationUniversity of California - Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2006, CALI and Witkin Awards in Criminal Procedure and Animal Law, CALI Award in Negotiation/Mediation
University of California - Berkeley, B.A., Political Science, 2001
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
Toxic Tort Subcommittee, Co-Chair
University of California – Hastings College of the Law, Adjunct Professor of Law
Languages Spoken & Fluency
“Kik Ruling is a Step Toward Securities Law Clarity for Crypto,” (co-author) Law360 Commentary (November 13, 2020)
Board of Directors
Youth Chance High School (YCHS) Advisory Committee, Co-Chair (2018)
Volunteer of the Month (November 2018)