James T. Anwyl
James T. Anwyl’s practice is oriented toward insurance defense work, with an emphasis on personal injury litigation, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, products liability litigation, public entity defense, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, business tort litigation, and automobile and premises liability. Prior to forming the firm in 1995, he was a partner with Mackenroth, Seley & Anwyl, where he concentrated on products liability cases, automobile and homeowners’ litigation, and general trial work.
Mr. Anwyl has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the national directory of lawyers. This is the highest possible rating an attorney can receive, indicating preeminent levels of professionalism and the utmost ethical standards. Mr. Anwyl has also been included in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, the Sacramento Business Journal‘s “Best Attorneys” list for 2009 and 2012; Northern California Super Lawyers, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; Best Lawyers in America, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; Top Attorneys in Northern California 2013, and is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.
Mr. Anwyl has been licensed to practice law in California since 1977. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University at Sacramento and his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. In law school, Mr. Anwyl was welcomed into the Traynor Honor Society. Currently, he is on the panel of arbitrators for both the American Arbitration Association and the Sacramento County Superior Court. Mr. Anwyl also serves as a Judge Pro Tem in the Sacramento County Superior Court. He is a member of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court (Master of the Bench); the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), President, Sacramento Valley Chapter 2011; ABOTA Sacramento Valley Chapter Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2014; the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California; and the Defense Research Institute. Mr. Anwyl is a past president of the Board of Directors of the McGeorge School of Law Alumni Association. From 1968 to 1973, he served as a Captain in the United States Army.
Leigh A. Stepp
Leigh A. Stepp focuses her practice in general insurance defense work, with an emphasis on multiparty personal injury litigation, construction defect litigation, mechanics liens, stop notices and related bond claims for private and public construction projects, toxic tort litigation including mold litigation, products liability, marina and marine liability, public entity defense, and automobile and premises liability. She has practiced before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California and the Superior Courts located in Northern California.
Ms. Stepp has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988, the same year in which she received her Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in government from the California State University at Sacramento in 1983, graduating with honors.
Ms. Stepp is a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association, the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California, and the Defense Research Institute. She is a lecturer for Continuing Legal Education programs of the National Business Institute. Ms. Stepp also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for El Dorado County.
Lynn A. Garcia
Lynn A. Garcia joined the firm in 1998. She has significant experience in general civil litigation, including the defense of employment, DFEH, discrimination, and business claims. Ms. Garcia is also an experienced arbitrator and mediator. She has arbitrated and mediated cases in the California Superior Courts in the Counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Nevada. Ms. Garcia also previously served as a Deputy District Attorney for the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office, where she was responsible for prosecuting cases involving fraud, white collar crimes, and unlawful and deceptive business practices.
Ms. Garcia has been licensed to practice law in California since 1987. She is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Eastern, Central and Northern Districts of California; and the U.S. Court of Appeal, for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Garcia received her Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Order of Barristers. Currently, she is a member of the Sacramento County Bar Association, and a member of the Employment Section of the State Bar. Ms. Garcia is a Judge Pro Tem and a member of the Panel of Arbitrators.
Alexandra M. Asterlin joined the firm of Anwyl, Scoffield & Stepp in 2013. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Asterlin worked as the Senior Research Attorney for the Amador County Superior Court. Ms. Asterlin has served a Judge Pro Tem since 2007. She has also worked in general civil litigation defense. Her current practice in civil litigation focuses on the defense of public entities in the area of employment claims, discrimination claims, and personal injury defense.
Ms. Asterlin earned her Bachelor of Science, with High Honors, from the University of California, Davis in 1999. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School Law in 2002. Ms. Asterlin graduated Order of the Coif from McGeorge. Ms. Asterlin was admitted to the California State Bar and United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in 2002.
Dennis Seley’s practice emphasizes the defense of product design, trucking litigation and catastrophic injury cases. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Defense Research Institute, the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California, California State Bar, and the Northern and Eastern District Federal Courts of California. Mr. Seley has been admitted to practice Pro Hac Vice in the states of Alaska, Nevada and Missouri.
Mr. Seley’s trial experience is considerable, with 37 civil trials as lead counsel. For a list containing a brief synopsis of jury trials to date, his Trial Verdicts is available as a PDF document. A significant number of the trials involved complex, large exposure cases. He is reported to be one of the first attorneys nationwide to have virtual reality evidence introduced into evidence.
Mr. Seley’s publication “How to Defend When Technical Data is Involved” (DRI – For The Defense, February 2005) concerns the importance of Electronic Control Module engine data in big-rig accidents. He has also 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. His most recent article, “Admitting Respondeat Superior as a Defense Strategy” (DRI – The Voice 6/2/10) discusses the tactical advantages for employers to admit vicarious liability in negligent entrustment cases.
Mr. Seley has been licensed to practice law in California since 1975. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University-California and his Juris Doctorate degree from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Seley was a partner with Mackenroth, Seley & Anwyl. Thereafter, he joined Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith as the managing partner of its Sacramento office.
Reported decisions include: Stone v. State of California (1980) 106 Cal.App.3d 924; Burdette v. Carrier (2008) 158 Cal.App.4th 1668 (Petition for rehearing denied by California Supreme Court April 2008); American Honda, et al. V. Salzman (1988) 751 P.2d 489.