Carter ZinnPrincipal Attorney
Principal and founding attorney Carter Zinn was born and raised in Berkeley, California where he attended public schools and graduated fourth in his class of 800 from Berkeley High School. He was accepted to every college to which he applied, including Yale University, Stanford University, and Dartmouth University, and he chose to attend Williams College in Massachusetts, which at the time was and still is, the number one ranked liberal arts college in the country. At Williams, Mr Zinn was elected President of the student government, a position he used to focus on campus race relations and diversity of faculty hiring. Mr. Zinn graduated from Williams in 1988 cum laude with a degree in Political Economy. He then returned to the Bay Area to teach high school in Oakland, CA. Mr. Zinn was next admitted to the Harvard Law School where he began his legal education. He had to take a leave from Harvard to assist his family back home, and he ended up completing his J.D. degree at University of California Berkeley’s School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1999. Both of these law schools were ranked in the top 6 in the nation at the time he attended.Top Big Firm Training
As opposed to the majority of Mr. Zinn’s classmates at Harvard and Berkeley who aspired to obtaining jobs at large law firms representing corporations, or positions with the government or public interest law firms, Mr. Zinn wanted to be a personal injury attorney representing people who really needed his help and where he could stand out and make a difference. He wanted to train and learn in a larger law firm setting that he knew would demand the highest professional standards before he undertook to represent his own individual clients. Therefore, after graduating from Berkeley, he accepted a job offer as a litigation associate at the San Francisco office of Heller Ehrman LLP, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms based in San Francisco. As a litigation associate, Mr. Zinn worked on the teams of Heller lawyers representing such clients as Bank of America and Microsoft in high profile antitrust and consumer fraud cases. Mr. Zinn learned litigation practice at the highest level from some of the most accomplished, highly respected commercial litigation attorneys in the country, including, Robert Rosenfeld, Steven Bomse, and Judith Gold, After two years at Heller, Mr. Zinn accepted an offer at Levy Ram & Olson,, which was another well-regarded San Francisco firm that represented victims of accidents, discrimination, and consumer fraud. At LRO, Mr. Zinn apprenticed under Michael Ram, an original partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimnann & Bernstein, and one of the leaders in the consumer protection class action field. While there, Mr. Zinn represented consumers in defective product class actions, employees in civil rights cases, and persons injured in toxic exposure cases or other accidents. He was an active part of the trial team, with several cases going to trial.A Record of Success at The Zinn Law Firm
While at Levy Ram & Olson, Mr. Zinn represented himself in a bicycle accident case in which he was involved. In 2003, he settled the case and took the modest proceeds to realize his dream of opening his own personal injury practice focusing exclusively on representing people seriously injured by someone else’s mistake or failure to exercise due care. Since its opening, with three attorneys and full time staff working together, The Zinn Law Firm has resolved by settlement, trial or arbitration over 200 cases in their clients’ favor, and has obtained tens of millions of dollars on behalf of its injured clients. Mr. Zinn has developed into one of the most well-regarded and sought after trial lawyers representing injured persons in the Bay Area.Notable Recognition
Based on several early accomplishments, in 2005, Mr. Zinn was singled out as one of the top three young trial lawyers in San Francisco. In 2009, Mr. Zinn was selected as a Rising Star in Northern California by Law and Politics Magazine. Starting in 2010 and his first year of eligibility, Mr. Zinn has been consistently chosen as a Super Lawyer by the same publication. Only 5% of attorneys in California are selected as Super Lawyers. Based on his consistent record in delivering results for his clients at trial and in settlement, and due to his reputation amongst the Northern California trial attorneys, Mr. Zinn was invited to serve on the Board of Governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), a position he held for three years. Mr. Zinn has also been a long-term member of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA) and the American Association for Justice, the national trial attorneys advocacy group. Mr. Zinn is active in CAOC lobbying California lawmakers to enact laws to protect consumer’s rights, and in interviewing local candidates for statewide office as part of CAOC’s political endorsement process.Law School and MCLE Instructor
Mr. Zinn has been invited to lecture at a number of continuing legal education presentations for other trial attorneys by SFTLA and CAOC. He has been a lead presenter on the annual Lien negotiating and resolution MCLE panel sponsored by SFTLA for five years that is regularly attended by over 200 attorneys, and he has been invited to lecture on the CAOC/SFTLA panel on Kaiser Medical Malpractice Cases. He has also served on the SFTLA Kaiser Subcommittee and the SFTLA Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Oversight and has been invited to present on several MCLE panels. In October 2014 he presented at the SFTLA panel on representing bicyclists injured in accidents due to someone else’s negligence.
Due to his success achieving fair results for his injured clients, and his reputation in the trial lawyer community, Mr. Zinn has also been invited to teach at some of the Bay Areas’ most well-regarded law schools. Mr. Zinn is a regular adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. At Hastings, Mr. Zinn has regularly taught a course in medical malpractice litigation to the J. D. Students, and in 2012 he taught a seminar in litigation medical malpractice cases to the Hastings School of Law’s Master in the Studies of Law Program for medical professionals and administrators. He also has been a guest lecturer at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Law.Community Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocate
Due to his interest and experience with advocating for the rights of bicyclists and working to improve Bay Area streets for all users, in 2013 Mr. Zinn was chosen to serve on the City of Mill Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. In 2016, he was selected to serve a second term, and he is currently serving in his second year as Chairman of the committee. Through his work at the Mill Valley BPAC, Mr. Zinn and his fellow committee members have been instrumental in obtaining much needed bicycle and pedestrian improvements throughout the area.Personal
Mr. Zinn lives with his wife and two children in Mill Valley, CA where he gets to ride his bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to work, and hike and bike the hills of Marin County in between little league practices, golf rounds and Giants games. Outside of his legal work and recreational fun with his family, Mr. Zinn is profoundly interested in finding and supporting public policy solutions to the problems of climate change and effective regulation of financial markets and Wall Street.