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AHMED DIAB: Rising Star

Ahmed Diab

Rising Star of the Month“I don’t think anyone wakes up as a kid and says ‘I want to do insurance subrogation when I grow up," Ahmed Diab says with a chuckle. Yet, just five years after earning his J.D. from California Western School of Law, not only is Diab working in insurance subrogation, but he has been hand-picked by one of the nation’s leading subrogation attorneys to helm the San Diego office of Stutman Law.

Instead, Diab always assumed he’d go into the medical field. “I come from a family that is entrenched in the medical field. My dad is a doctor and my mom is a nurse. My father is from Egypt and my mother is from South Korea. They even met at the hospital where I was eventually born,” he says. However, as Diab was finishing his pre-med requirements, he realized that it was not something he was passionate about. Still, “my parents had looked to America as a place where I could get a great education. They sacrificed a lot to uproot their lives to give me a chance. At the time I didn’t know whether I actually wanted to be an attorney, but I figured that law school would provide me with career options even if I didn’t want to be a lawyer. It wasn’t until I took an internship and was actually out in the field that I realized that I wanted to be a litigator,” he explains.

A PREFERENCE FOR PLAINTIFFS
Once he got that experience, he knew he’d found the right path. “The nature of litigation was just something that suited my personality,” he says. However, he’s quick to acknowledge that he received incredible mentorship and opportunities that not all young attorneys get. As an associate with Green Bryant & French, LLP, Diab was mentored by Joel Bryant, whom he credits with giving him the experience he needed to helm the San Diego office of Stutman Law. “For many young attorneys, like myself, being in trial is kind of like Oz—a place that you think exists and you always hope to go to, but never really do. I was fortunate to work with Joel Bryant for several years, and he made it a point to allow me to second chair his trials with him,” Diab says.

“Being in trial allows you to see why you’re doing what you’re doing with depositions. I’m so much better of a lawyer for having done so,” he says. His hard work and increasing experience was obvious to others as well. As a result, his colleagues and even former opposing counsel nominated him for the Daily Transcript’s Top Young Attorney award, which he earned in both 2010 and 2012.

Moreover, his hands-on experience taking depositions for elder abuse and personal injury cases helped prime him for his transition to subrogation. “Robert Stutman was amazed to see I’d already taken nearly 200 depositions in my career,” he says. Likewise, his work on financial elder abuse cases had allowed him to go against large financial institutions that took advantage of the elderly, which would serve as valuable experience for his work at Stutman Law.

Although Diab loved the elder abuse work, when he was approached to transition to subrogation, he admits his interest was immediately piqued. “With elder abuse law, you may get the case a full year after the events. In subrogation, I still get to do plaintiffs’ work, and I get to see the case through from day one,” he says. “There is an element of urgency, for example when there is a fire loss. It’s taught me so much about the importance of early investigation. It also keeps it exciting,” he adds.

Diab is also thrilled with the variety of cases that he is bringing into the newly opened San Diego office. He sheepishly admits “I sometimes lose interest in things quickly,” so the opportunity to work on such diverse cases ranging from mass tort to single property subrogation cases appealed to him. He also explains that “working with Stutman would allow me to go up against high caliber opposing counsel,” which he says, “can’t help but make you a better attorney.”

FUTURE PROJECTION: UNLIMITED POTENTIAL
One of the reasons that Stutman Law’s future on the West Coast looks so bright can be traced to the fact that the firm is devoted exclusively to subrogation. While there are firms who do insurance subrogation in San Diego, many of them also do insurance defense. Diab felt extremely comfortable knowing that “Subrogation is all we do. We are always the plaintiff, so we never have to take contrary positions in court. Focusing on subrogation allows us to always keep our clients’ interest first.”

A  second  reason  Diab  is  projecting  rapid  growth  for Stutman  Law  on  the  West  Coast  lies  in  the  very  unique structure of the firm. “We have different departments, which are like sub-specializations,” Diab says. These include a new loss department, wherein cases begin on day one, a small loss department, mass tort department and a large loss department. “We take cases of all sizes, but obviously you don’t litigate a $6,000 case,” Diab says. That’s where the company’s expertise in mass tort comes into play, he explains. “We are able to push manufacturers to settle suits in groups because of the expert negotiators and litigators in our mass tort department,” he says.

But make no mistake; Stutman Law is not a small case firm, routinely obtaining seven and eight figure results for their clients. With more than 60 different insurance companies as current or past clients, “we represent the Travelers’, the Liberty Mutual’s, the Mercury’s, the AAA’s, big clients,” Diab says. Indeed, since the firm’s inception in 1995, Stutman Law has handled thousands of property subrogation cases, has brought claims against almost every major product manufacturer in the country and has tried hundreds of property subrogation cases. Having five offices across the country also allows the firm to actively litigate wildfires and other similar catastrophic losses throughout the country.

For Diab, the potential for growth in California seems unlimited. The San Diego office is already extremely profitable after just 7 months, and the firm is opening a third West Coast office in San Francisco this month, which Diab will also be instrumental in overseeing. “We plan to expand rapidly in California, and will be hiring additional attorneys soon,” he says.

Contact:

Ahmed Diab, Esq. Stutman Law
750 B Street, 33rd Floor, San Diego, CA 92101
www.stutmanlaw.com | diaba@stutmanlaw.com
619-937-6272 ext 210

Karen Gorden

Karen Gorden is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal.

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About the Author: Karen Gorden is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal.

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