Since 1964

Terran T. Steinhart has enjoyed the practice of law in Los Angeles County since graduating from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1964, achieving an AV Preeminent rating in Martindale- Hubbell. Since 1981, he has been the sole proprietor of Steinhart Law Offices, majoring in business, entertainment and personal injury litigation, trials and appeals. During the 16 years prior to founding Steinhart Law Offices, Terran was mentored by senior attorneys, during which he was a litigation associate or partner in four other law firms. The word "terran" denotes one who is from Terra, the Latin word for Earth. Fittingly, during his long practice of law, Terran has provided representation to clients from a multitude of countries, and from every continent, major racial group, and major religious group.

Trial Work

Terran has been the primary responsible attorney in at least 1,500 litigation cases; and has been the lead trial attorney in well over 100 contested court trials and arbitrations, in both state and federal courts, including several dozen jury trials. The subject matter areas of his business matter trials include real estate, breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, employment, corporate and partnership, and entertainment industry disputes involving musicians, singers, songwriters, personal managers, record companies, and music producers, and copyright, trademark and trade dress infringements. The subject matter areas of his personal injury trials include product liability, premises liability, medical malpractice, and automobile accidents.

Appellate Work

Terran has been the primary responsible attorney, brief writer and oral argument presenter in 29 appeals on behalf of appellants that have resulted in opinions on the merits, in both state and federal courts, and several state court extraordinary appellate writ proceedings. The subject matter areas of Terran's appeals include business, entertainment, personal injury, family law, criminal law, juvenile, probate, tax, arbitration procedure, civil procedure and constitutional issues. These 29 appeals have resulted in 14 judgments of reversal (12 full reversals and two partial reversals), and eight published opinions, including two California Supreme Court opinions (six with full reversals, and two with affirmances). By court rule, the two published court of appeal opinions in the cases that reached the California Supreme Court were de-published when the Supreme Court granted review. Terran's career appellate judgment of reversal rate on behalf of appellants since 1965 is 48% (14 for 29). The California statewide average is 19% in civil appeals, and 5% in criminal and juvenile court appeals. See 2010 Court Statistics Report, Judicial Council of California, p. 26. Terran's career published opinion rate on behalf of appellants is 28% total (8 out of 29), 21% with full reversals (6 out of 29, including 1 out of 2 in the California Supreme Court). The California statewide average is 9% (estimated 315 published out of 3,500 Court of Appeal opinions per year). See 2010 Court Statistics Report, Judicial Council of California, p. ix.

Appellate Advantage

Unlike many attorneys that specialize in nothing but handling appeals, Terran's emphasis for the first 46 years of his law practice was primarily as a trial lawyer, and secondarily as an appellate lawyer. Not only has this given him a different perspective from which to approach the presentation of written and oral arguments on appeal, but has equipped him with much more extensive experience in oral presentation in courtrooms. The oral arguments of appellate attorneys average about 10 minutes, and rarely last for more than a half hour. A trial attorney, both in pre-trial motion practice and during trial, garners hours of practice in addressing judges, and juries as well.

Case Summaries

In Momentous Appeals, Terran includes detailed summaries of what he considers to be his six most interesting appellate cases.

Writing Samples

The merchandise of an attorney is words, spoken and written. Terran is the author of the verbal content and organization of this website, other than the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. Thus, this website is a sample of his writing. In addition, copies of all retrievable briefs written by Terran, as well as appellate opinions with regard to his 14 judgments of reversal, are available in Compendium

Present Focus

As Terran's experience and level of lawyering skill increased over the years, other attorneys sought to consult with him and/or collaborate with him in dispute resolution, litigation, trial and appellate matters, which led to his incorporating the service of consultation and collaboration with other attorneys into his repertory. Terran is currently focusing on appeals in California and federal courts, litigation and settlement consultation to other attorneys, and collaboration with other attorneys in selected trials. Although grey hair turns one's time spent on endeavors in the law to the more seated, scholarly disciplines, Terran has not yet given up trial work, because the challenge of the trial courtroom continues to attract his competitive instinct, as does the pleasure of the intense comradery between attorney and client that only develops during the specter of finality that overarches the combat of trial.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual circumstances. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and e-mails. Your contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.