Curriculum Vitae

Linkedin Profile for Christopher Smith, J.D.

Career Highlights

BETA Healthcare Group
January 2015 to Present

Branch Manager

Manager of BETA Healthcare Group’s Los Angeles based Branch Office, responsible for supervising all administrative and operational aspects of the office, training and supervising administrative and claims staff, as well as supervising, investigating, managing and resolving a wide variety of complex general and professional liability claims, including premises liability, medical negligence, wrongful employment practices and D&O liability claims.

BETA Healthcare Group
January 2014 to December 2014

Claims Supervisor

Responsible for training and supervising claims staff in the investigation, management and resolution of a wide variety of complex general and professional liability claims, including premises liability, medical negligence, wrongful employment practices and D&O liability claims. Additionally, I also maintain a personal case load, interpret coverage contracts and policies, analyze coverage issues and make recommendations for declination of coverage, reservation of rights letters and tenders of defense.

BETA Healthcare Group
February 2013 to December 2014

Senior Professional Liability Representative

Leveraging my many years of experience in professional liability litigation I have transitioned to a senior position as a Professional Liability Representative at BETA Healthcare Group. In this role I am responsible for astute and informed decision making in the management of claims made against member clients with an emphasis upon an efficient and ethical resolution.  Additionally, I am responsible for investigating, managing and resolving a wide variety of professional liability claims, including medical negligence, wrongful termination, D&O and premises liability. More specifically, I plan strategies and ensure that they are carried out in a proactive fashion either internally or by panel counsel. I interpret coverage contracts and make recommendations for extending or denying coverage. Setting and modifying appropriate case reserves. I select, direct and monitor defense counsel to ensure compliance with Litigation Management Guidelines and the overall objectives established for the specific case.

FONDA & FRASER, LLP
January 2000 to February 2013

Managing Attorney

Practice areas include administrative law, business litigation, contracts, and general counsel work.  Responsibilities include all aspects of case management including trial, arbitration, appeals, mediation, and supervision of other personnel.  Responsible for managing and directing an active civil litigation practice including a variety of business litigation matters, but with an emphasis upon the defense of doctors, nurses, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and other health care providers in professional and general tort litigation.  Serving as counsel to the North Los Angeles County Regional Center on both litigation and regulatory compliance issues.  Extensive Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) experience and pre-litigation consultation enhance the traditional civil litigation services.

LAW OFFICES OF GITTLER & BRADFORD
December 1998 to December 1999

Attorney

Assumed a heavy case load from prior counsel, primarily defending professional liability claims on behalf of Kaiser-Permanente.  All matters were successfully resolved within approximately one year through dispositive motion, favorable settlement or by successfully obtaining respondent awards in a private contractual arbitration.  Also handled professional liability claims and business litigation matters in the civil courts.

LAW OFFICES OF CHRISTOPHER SMITH
January 1997 to December 1998

Principal

Law practice dedicated to providing a high quality legal service at an affordable cost. Clientele ranged from individuals, small to moderate sized businesses, and healthcare providers.  Responsible for directing all aspects of law firm operations including administrative and supervisory oversight, marketing, and the provision of all legal services.

COOPERATIVE OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS
July 1992 to September 1997

Attorney

Involved in all aspects of medical malpractice defense litigation including jury trials, binding arbitration, and appeals as an attorney with the in-house litigation department for the Cooperative of American Physicians / Mutual Protection Trust, a.k.a., Schmid & Voiles.  Independently responsible for a full caseload, successfully managing and resolving numerous medical malpractice cases in both the civil trial courts and private binding arbitration.  Developed model points and authorities and presentations for the benefit of in-house and panel counsel, as well as the parent company.

Chair, Law Office Technology Steering Committee

Secondary responsibilities included chairing the law firm’s technology committee, which was tasked with identifying the firm’s the needs, recommending solutions and guiding systems development within the Los Angeles and Orange County offices.

CITY OF SANTA CLARA
1991 to 1991

Law Clerk

Practice areas included criminal prosecution, eminent domain, environmental law, real property secured transactions, leases, contracts and tort causes of action filed against the City of Santa Clara.  Conducted legal research, writing and motion practice. Certified by the California State Supreme Court.  Devised and assisted environmental “clean-up” standards. Advised on integration of law office technology, including collaboration with the Deputy City Attorney and City engineers to design the City government’s first local area network.

Education

J. D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1992
Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Business Editor

B. B. A., University of San Diego 1989
Dean’s List and Departmental Honors

Professional Membership

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

California State Bar – SBN 164207

Published Decisions, Articles & Presentations

Tonja Elcome v. Michael Chin (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 310, 1 Cal.Rptr.3d 631.

The Cooperative of American Physicians, Medical-Legal Lecture Series; Settlement Offsets In The Post “Hoch” Era, presented February, 1996; Roth & Smith

Davis v. Superior Court (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 623, 33 Cal.Rptr.2d 6.

Note, California Title Insurers Are Not Liable For Toxic Cleanup Costs, “Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal” 227

Awards, Accomplishments & Honors

Distinguished Service Award, Cooperative of American Physicians/Mutual Protection Trust

Civic Award, Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity

President and Founder of private golf club affiliated with the SCGA, Wilderwood Golf Club

Member, Board of Directors, 11119 Camarillo Street HOA, Inc.

Founder of TheOptionClub, LLC, an online users group dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of option trading.