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Scott Ritsema - A Lawyer Who Fights for the People

Scott Ritsema - California personal injury attorneyScott Ritsema became a California personal injury lawyer because he wanted to represent people, not corporations. He gleans maximum satisfaction from the fact that he is fighting every single day to protect the rights of catastrophically injured individuals and is helping them obtain the only form of justice that is available to them.

When he began his career as an attorney, he worked as a defense lawyer representing the interests of large corporations and insurance companies. He was still winning and building up his resume. But he found that while winning cases for corporations and insurance companies gave him professional satisfaction, he got absolutely no personal satisfaction. He had done his job well, but he was not passionate about his victories. Somehow, Ritsema found that he could comfortably rest on those laurels.

Personal Injury Law - A Calling

For Ritsema, personal injury law practice is not just a job. It's a calling. He realized the tough situations many clients are placed in when they come to a personal injury lawyer.

"These are people who, without us and without the civil justice system, have no recourse, no remedies," he says. "It's no exaggeration when I say they put their lives and their financial future in our hands."

Some may view that as a lot of pressure, but for Ritsema it's a welcome challenge. Recently, Ritsema led a Bisnar Chase legal team that obtained a $30 million judgment for 25-year-old Lucas Vogt, who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a motorcycle accident.

For Ritsema, the satisfaction in these cases comes from providing a family the means to deal with a catastrophic injury. Ritsema's hope in this case was that Lucas Vogt would be able to have the best recovery, the best quality of life under the circumstances and that he would be able to maximize his time with his young daughter.

He also sees how many of the law firm's catastrophically injured clients face significant physical emotional and financial challenges. It's not just the victims, but also their families that suffer life-changing consequences after a traumatic event such as a catastrophic crash.

Early Life and Education

Ritsema was born in Michigan, but grew up primarily in Newport Beach. He moved back to Michigan in his teens and graduated from Grandville High School in 1979 near the top of his class and as a two-year member of the National Honor Society. Ritsema got his bachelor's degree in psychology from UCLA in 1984 and his law degree from UC Davis in 1988. He was admitted to the State Bar of California that same year.

Professional Accomplishments

Ritsema has brought over 16 trials to verdict and conducted more than 50 arbitrations to conclusion. He has handled more than 25 cases with over $100,000,000 in total recoveries and judgments for our clients.. Here are some of Ritsema's recent case results: This can include settlements, judgments and verdicts.

Scott Ritsema's Case Results
Award Amount Type of Case
$38,650,000.00 Motorcycle v. car
$24,700,000.00 Jury verdict - auto accident - defective seatback
$7,000,000.00 Caustic ingestion case
2,000,000.00 Drunk driving accident
$1,000,000.00 Auto v. pedestrian
$1,500,000.00 Dangerous roadway - negligence
$10,030.000.00 Negligence (company confidential)
$6,850.000.00 Product Liability

Career and Accomplishments

Ritsema belongs to a number of professional organizations including the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice and Consumer Attorneys of California. Mr. Ritsema was named a Best Lawyer in 2015 by the national publication, BestLawyer. In 2012, Scott Ritsema and Brian Chase were named Consumer Attorneys of the Year in all of California by the Consumer Attorney of California (CAOC), a professional association for attorneys who represent plaintiffs who seek to hold wrongdoers accountable. Despite his extremely busy schedule, Ritsema is committed to giving back to his community. He actively supports Mothers Against Drunk Driving and participates in the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure to help raise awareness and generate funds for breast cancer research.

An Important Member of the Bisnar Chase Family

Ritsema says he values the opportunity Bisnar Chase has given him to join the "major leagues" of personal injury litigation. "Bisnar Chase has the best environment of any place I've worked," he says. "This firm is truly unique in that respect."

Ritsema feels as if he has truly found his calling as a personal injury lawyer at Bisnar Chase. "I'm in the company of like-minded people here who have the passion to fight and win for those who have suffered tremendous losses in their lives. I consider it an honor and privilege to be able to give injured clients a voice and to fight for their rights."

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The BISNAR CHASE Difference

  • “I was in a serious auto accident when I was in law school. I had to hire a personal injury attorney and had a really bad experience.”

    John Bisnar

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “I went to law school knowing I wanted to be a personal injury attorney. I wanted my life’s work to have a positive impact on other people’s lives.”

    Brian Chase

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “Whatever the philosphy of the management is, is going to be carried through by the employees and it’s going to reflect on the experience the clients have.”

    John Bisnar

    on his philosophy on running a law firm

  • “Everybody either drives in a car or rides in a car, so when I do the auto defect cases I really feel like I’m making the world safer by making vehicles safer.”

    Brian Chase

    on why he focuses on auto defect cases

  • “The first thing we want to do with our clients is to relieve the stress. Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as an honored guest.”

    John Bisnar

    on how he would define superior client representation

  • “Corporate greed is a reality in our world and I see it time and time again. Especially, with the auto defect cases we focus on.”

    Brian Chase

    on corporate greed and how it affects the consumer

  • “You are dealing with people who are seriously injured or have lost a family member...Compassion is understanding someone else’s situation.”

    John Bisnar

    on the role compassion plays in his profession

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