En Español

Scott Ritsema - Partner

Scott Ritsema - California personal injury attorneyScott Ritsema became a California personal injury lawyer because he wanted to represent people, not corporations.

Scott is a Partner of Bisnar Chase and has been with the firm since 2008.

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.

For the first decade of his career, Ritsema worked as a defense lawyer representing the interests of large corporations and insurance companies.  Over time, he found that while winning cases for those types of clients gave him some professional satisfaction, he got very little personal satisfaction. 

Although he did his job well, he was not passionate about his victories.  Thus, in 2001, he decided it was time to switch sides and to start representing injured individuals.  His experience doing over 10 years of defense work gave him a unique understanding of how to win cases against corporations and insurance companies.

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 graduating in the top 10% of his class and receiving the prestigious Order of the Coif Award. He was admitted to the State Bar of California that same year.

Professional Accomplishments

Ritsema has brought over 20 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. Mr. Ritsema has been named a SuperLawyer every year since 2011, and named a Best Attorney each year since 2015 by publications which rank skill levels within the legal profession. 

He was recently named Lawyer of the Year for the State of California by a prestigious legal publication. 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."

Scott's State Bar Profile

Have a question that wasn't answered here?

CALL US!
(800) 561-4887

Was This Page Helpful? Yes | No

Client Reviews of Bisnar Chase

“I am very pleased with the results this law firm obtained for me. Their professionalism, attentiveness and friendliness was outstanding. They listened to me, answered my questions, advised me and kept me informed. A truck hit my car causing me serious injuries, medical bills, lost time from work and damaged to my car. They took care of everything wonderfully. They helped with getting my car repaired and a rental car. They helped me get medical help. They got my doctor bills paid, kept me from having to go to court and obtained a settlement for me beyond my expectations. Four of my family members have used these guys and had equally good experiences. One of my relatives consulted with them and got great advise about handling her matter. Mr. Bisnar told her she didn't need an attorney and told her how to handle it. She couldn't believe the compassion and great advise, especially without a fee. Mr. Bisnar helped my brother-in-law get a multiple six-figure recovery in an employment law dispute. Starting with the receptionist, my paralegal, the paralegal supervisor, Mrs. De La Torre, Mrs. Barker and Mr. Bisnar himself, everyone was helpful, friendly and professional. It was a refreshing experience after a bad accident. They send me a birthday card with a Baskin Robins gift certificate every year. In January they send me chocolate dipped fortune cookies. They have even offered me Lakers' tickets. They certainly didn't forget me after my case was done.”

reviewed at on March 20th, 2014

(5/5)

“BISNAR | CHASE did a great job in representing me. Jerusalem Beligan and the entire staff impressed me every step of the way. From the moment I walked through the door I knew I was going to be taken care of, and I was.”

reviewed at on December 22nd, 2010

(5/5)

“I could not recommend Bisnar & Chase highly enough! Now, I must be forthcoming and tell you that I am writing this review on behalf of my wonderful mother. You see, she's a mom, and therefor [sic] by nature is completely unable to do even the most simple of tasks on the internet. Like writing a a Yelp review. But we all love our moms don't we? Yes. We all love our moms (except Charles Manson), and would do anything to make sure they are protected and well taken care of. Upon referral from my mother's coworker, we contacted Bisnar & Chase. They had done a great job in this previous case and were located extremely close to both UCI and home, which made stopping by their office very convenient for my Mom. My Mom had been in an auto accident, nothing crazy but not a mere fender bender, and suffered what we thought to be some minor whiplash. Months later this was definitely not the case. Her client experience with the associates at Bisnar & Chase was so impressive that she raved to me about every time she heard anything from them. How thorough they were. How they listened better than I did (or something to that effect). How she liked Shannon and Mr. Bisnar and felt that they really had her best interests at heart. I honestly couldn't get her to shut up about them. But as a daughter that last part was all that I needed to hear to know that I we had found the right people and I could sleep easy at night knowing my Mom was in good hands. The Bisnar & Chase team really went above and beyond my family's expectations. And for that I am extremely grateful. If you live in the Newport Beach/Irvine/Costa Mesa/General Orange County area I would highly recommend Bisnar & Chase to both friends, and family.”

reviewed at

(5/5)
See All Ratings And Awards

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

  • “If you hire Bisnar | Chase and we don't recover money for you in your case, you owe us absolutely nothing.”

    Brian Chase

    on whether or not you would owe money if your case was lost

  • “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

  • “The insurance companies are going to be investigating that accident the day it happens. You need to have a lawyer on your side the day it happens as well.”

    Brian Chase

    on when you should contact an attorney

  • “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

  • “It's hard to answer that question right up front without a thorough analysis. What I can guarantee you is, with the resources of Bisnar | Chase we will maximize the value of your case.”

    Brian Chase

    on what your case is worth