William M. Shernoff is the founding partner of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, a law firm specializing in insurance bad faith litigation. A longtime consumer advocate, Mr. Shernoff has made a career of representing insurance consumers in their cases against insurance companies. In 1979, he persuaded the California Supreme Court to establish new case law that permits plaintiffs to sue insurance companies for bad faith seeking both compensatory and punitive damages when they unreasonably handle a policyholder’s claim (Egan v. Mutual of Omaha).
Often called the “pioneer” of bad faith insurance law, Attorney William Shernoff is a nationally recognized trail blazer in the field with decades of experience representing individual and business insurance consumers. A frequent lecturer and writer, Mr. Shernoff co-authored the legal textbook, “Insurance Bad Faith Litigation,” which has become the field’s definitive treatise, as well as “How to Make Insurance Companies Pay Your Claims . . . . And What To Do If They Don’t,” “Payment Refused” and “Fight Back and Win – And How To Make Your HMO Pay Up.” Mr. Shernoff has also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and on “60 Minutes.” Chambers USA, an international attorney ranking service, called Mr. Shernoff the “dean of insurance bad faith” and stated that he’s “as good as it gets in that area.” Mr. Shernoff has authored over 50 articles on insurance issues and is featured in the Rutter Group Seminar entitled “The Shernoff Insurance Bad Faith Seminar.”
Mr. Shernoff is handling lawsuits accusing health insurance carriers of routinely and illegally denying patients’ medical claims on the grounds that such treatments were not medically necessary even when recommended by treating doctors. He is also involved in fighting on behalf of seniors who have suffered financial elder abuse by insurance companies who are denying legitimate insurance claims of seniors.
While running a 13.1-mile race in preparation for the Boston Marathon, Brendan “Bren” Brandt collapsed and died of cardiac arrest on August 14, 2021. At just 57 years old, Brendan died doing one of the things he loved most— long-distance running.
As a Senior Partner at Varner and Brandt, LLP, Brendan had dedicated 31 years to practicing law. His passion for helping others through the law was evident by the many close relationships he developed during his years of practice. Brendan proudly argued in front of the California Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Central and Eastern Districts of California, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Brendan was also a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Riverside County Bar Association, San Bernardino County Bar Association and the Western San Bernardino Bar Association.
Brendan’s love for the City of Upland was unwavering and exhibited in his long career in local politics. Having been raised in Upland, Brendan was elected and served multiple terms on the Upland City Council and the Upland Unified School District Board. He was appointed to the San Bernardino County Employee Retirement Association Board and served on the Upland YMCA Board and the San Antonio Regional Hospital Board. Brendan could often be spotted doing his morning runs up Euclid Avenue or enjoying a margarita at Rancho Los Magueyes.
Upland was also where he met the love of his life, Patti, 57 while attending Pioneer Junior High School. “It was love at first sight for him,” said Patti. They had just celebrated their 31st Wedding Anniversary in April 2021. Together, they raised three children, Conor, 27, Kyle, 25, and Amanda, 21.
Brendan attended Damien High School in LaVerne, CA. His passion for running boomed as he frequently broke records in Cross Country and Track. He then studied History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was also a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. Brendan continued his education at The University of San Diego Law School.
Above his years of professional success, Brendan will be remembered for his many passions, his undeniable zest for life, and most noticeably, his undying love for his family and friends. He was known for his booming laugh that could turn any stubborn frown into a beaming smile. He was known for his mischievous grin, his killer martinis, his adventures in the outdoors and his stories that could captivate any room. But above all, Brendan was a loyal friend, an adoring husband, and a loving father.
Even though Brendan’s life was taken too soon, the amount of love he had and shared was enough to last lifetimes. His memory will live on through his family, the many lives he touched, and the City of Upland. Brendan is survived by his parents, Barry Brandt and Barbara Brandt, his siblings, Brian Brandt and Pam Shikiar, and his wife and children.
Brendan’s dream was to run the Boston Marathon after he qualified in 2019. Due to the Pandemic, the official run had been cancelled. Brendan was determined to run the 2021 Boston Marathon and requalified. He was training for the race during his final run. His eldest son, Conor, has started training to take his place to run the Boston Marathon in his honor on October 11, 2021.
Wilfrid C. “Bill” Lemann is a senior partner in the San Bernardino firm of Fullerton, Lemann, Schaefer& Dominick. His concentration is business/real property law, non-profit corporations, estate planning and probate. Raised in San Bernardino, Bill was shown community-centered philanthropy by his family. As alumni of Holy Rosary Academy and Aquinas High School, where he made life-long friendships, Bill has strong ties to San Bernardino and the Inland Empire. Upon graduating from University of Santa Clara (1973) and obtaining his Loyola University J.D. (1977), Bill joined Robert Fullerton’s law firm as a full partner, and never left.
He is enormously proud of his clients and their success stories. Among his high-profile litigation matters have been successful verdicts in an Orange County gold-scam case where he recovered $5 million in gold misappropriated in an elder abuse case extensively covered by the media. He made a successful settlement with the Redlands Unified School District which allowed his 80 year old client to remain in her home until she passed away. The property on which the family farm was located and which was the subject of eminent domain litigation is presently Citrus Valley High School. He early on represented the owner of the Stringfellow Acid Pits and defended the owners in one of the largest CERCLA clean up litigation cases in the history of the country.
Bill has represented many non-profit organizations in the Inland Empire and has worked with developers on many successful construction projects. Bill’s dedication to improving lives of San Bernardino County residents is demonstrated by those projects throughout the region, which include senior housing projects, the historical restoration of local landmarks and the growth of several foundations on which he is either formed or participated in developing.
Additionally, he has received various awards offered by San Bernardino-area non-profits. He is especially gratified to receive this year’s WSBCBA Lifetime Achievement Award.
James Banks, Jr. grew up in Western San Bernardino County. His father and grandmother were born in Ontario and Upland respectively. He attended local public schools followed by a B.A. from Stanford and J.D. from U.C.L.A. He spent about 2 years with the Upland law firm Tobin & Gassner before going into practice with Joseph E. Johnston, later joined by J. Michael Welch and still later by Tom Ritchie. James Banks, Jr. has served on advisory commissions for Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, and has advised or served on boards for Ontario Community Hospital, Reach Out West End, Suicide and Crisis Intervention Service, Ontario Cemetery Association, the Etiwanda Historical Society, Concerned Citizens of Ontario, and various others. He also served on the Board of the San Bernardino County Bar Association and the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association. He was President of the WSBCBA in 1976-1977 and President of the SBCBA in 1982-1983. After his Presidency with the SBCBA, Jim was given the John B. Surr Award recognizing his work for the County Bar.
2019/2020 – James Banks, Jr.
2018/2019 – Elizabeth Courtney
2017/2018 – Hon. Paul Egly
2016/2017 – Florentino “Tino” Garza
2015/2016 – Charles Althouse
2014/2015 – Richard J. Tuckerman
2013/2014 – Charles Doskow