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Changing of the Guard. A SMALL FIRM MAKES BIG CHANGES TO GET BIGGER RESULTS

“We’re changing our name, a rebranding to reflect the major changes we’re making, but our commitment is and will remain to continue the established traditions the community has come to expect from the attorneys and staff of this firm,” says Peter J. Schulz, Managing Partner of Schulz Brick & Rogaski.

The firm was established in 1986 with a focus on civil trials and appellate practice. Practice areas today include business, insurance, real property, and construction industry litigation; insurance coverage, analysis and opinions; serious personal injury; and products liability. Partners in the firm along with Peter Schulz are Jon S. Brick and Michael E. Rogaski, with Associates Tommy Schroeder and Holly McCloskey.

The firm was formed as Greco & Traficante and became Greco Traficante Schulz & Brick in 2007. When Founding Partner Clyde Greco retired and Paul Traficante decided to go “Of Counsel,” a true “changing of the guard” occurred and the name was officially changed to Schulz Brick & Rogaski.

“My vision for the future of the firm is to continue to exemplify a phrase we use in marketing—Big Firm Results— Small Firm Service. That’s easy to say, but here every member of our team is committed 100 percent to maintaining that course into the next decade and beyond. Our new identity reflects that commitment,” Schulz says.

A Focus on Creating Solutions

Schulz says, “The attorneys in my office are smarter than most. That gives us an edge. We work with each client to determine their real goals and then work to achieve those goals whether we are on the plaintiff or defense side. We work to solve the problem rather than just creating litigation.”

The attorneys take a proactive approach, thinking out of the box, rather than waiting and then reacting to events as they happen. They also are committed to including the client in each step of the process. “The main thing we do is emphasize communication with our clients in a timely manner. Many clients do not have experience, or much experience, with litigation and I always try to make sure that they understand the process, what their involvement will be and the fact that there will be periods of time when it seems as if nothing is happening. With all clients, including those who are very familiar with litigation, we strive to keep them up to date with what is happening and why, and what we expect to happen down the road,” Brick says.

“Regardless of the issue, we have probably seen it, dealt with it, or learned about it from the collective knowledge of the great attorneys with whom I work.”

Rogaski says their closely coordinated team approach is a key factor in the firm’s long-term success. “I’m supported by outstanding partners and associate attorneys. The sharing of expert knowledge and passing down of experience is an invaluable asset. Regardless of the issue, we have probably seen it, dealt with it, or learned about it from the collective knowledge of the great attorneys with whom I work.”

As an example, Schroeder relates an incident in which one of his clients needed help withdrawing funds from a minor trust once he reached 18 years of age. However, the attorney who helped draft the trust soon realized that Schroeder’s client would have little to compensate him for his services in withdrawing the funds. As a result, Schulz Brick & Rogaski was brought in to help the client obtain his funds. Schroeder worked closely with the client and even traveled to Los Angeles just to deliver the petition to withdraw funds from the trust to the court. After a few weeks, the firm obtained all of the funds for their client. “The most gratifying aspect of this matter was knowing our client would now have the opportunity to live the life his parents had intended,” Schroeder says.

Throughout the years the firm has built a reputation for trust in working with clients and in their dealings with opposing counsel. McCloskey says, “We are known for being straight shooters and consummate professionals. That’s an incredibly powerful combination and one that pays off for our clients whether in the courtroom or across the negotiating table.”

A New Name–New Challenges

From the beginning the firm that is now Schulz Brick & Rogaski focused on insurance-related matters. Their attorneys were a major factor in forcing subcontractors’ insurance carriers to defend general contractors in Construction Defect cases. In concert with its changing of the guard actions, the firm is opening new areas of practice with its transaction work and estate work.

Currently the firm is outside counsel to one of the country’s largest retail stores and a publicly traded technology company which provide a base for the firm’s practice. In addition to these large institutional clients they have a variety of individual and business clients that include several HOAs, property managers, real estate developers, contractors, escrow companies, and individuals. The firm counsels many of these clients on insurance-related matters, business disputes and real estate disputes arising out of construction and disclosures.

Schulz cites a case that was not only successful, but also a turning point for his career. He represented a homeowner association in Long Beach whose property had been built over a former landfill. The firm secured a multi-million-dollar settlement for them but was also able to recover an additional several million from an insurance carrier who had denied coverage to the developers.

“I personally worked with more than 50 homeowners over the course of several years to help save that community from being shut down.”

Although the firm has developed a clearly definable niche in the insurance coverage field, the attorneys also represent design professionals, general and subcontractors in construction and work-site injury cases, personal injury plaintiffs, small to medium business entities with cases ranging from automotive after-market manufacturing, health care, home restoration, manufacturing to transportation and many more, as well as individuals with an array of legal needs.

Brick says, “We don’t really have ‘typical’ clients. One of the things I particularly enjoy about our practice is the varied clientele we have and the mix of cases we handle for them.” Rogaski agrees. “My clients are eclectic. Everything from small businesses and individuals to large insurance companies,” he says.

McCloskey notes that the firm not only will work outside their traditional niche but will also go to extreme lengths to see that worthy individuals get the legal services they require. A Plaintiff, who filed a lawsuit against their client, began to exhibit signs of cognitive decline during the procedures. The Plaintiff went through three law firms and at one point was forced to represent herself. In that interim before another new attorney could be appointed, Schulz Brick & Rogaski worked compassionately and professionally with the Plaintiff’s daughter and caregiver to postpone depositions, grant extensions, keep them apprised of court requirements, as well as supporting Plaintiff while they got a new attorney up to speed and a guardian ad litem appointed. “I can’t think of a better example of the character and compassion of the attorneys who work here,” she says.

“Currently our main focus is on the core business of our institutional clients. These are uncertain times for business and insurance and the future will I believe prove to be the most challenging of our live’s. Our clients know and can feel comforted and confident that we’ll be here with them,” Schulz says.

Outside the Office

Schulz was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, and attended college at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He is a member of the San Diego Country Club and enjoys playing golf whenever his schedule permits. His niece is a musician and performer and he is active in helping develop her career. He is an enthusiastic fan of SEC football and a season ticket holder for “his” Green Bay Packers.

Brick is a San Diego native, born in La Jolla and raised in Encinitas. He is an avid reader of the classics, science fiction, history and historical fiction. He and his wife enjoy exploring unique and out-of-the-way areas of Southern California, particularly local wineries. They often walk/hike the many local parks and beaches. Brick is a docent and tour guide for the Davis-Horton House Museum in the Gaslamp and enjoys learning and talking about San Diego history. The couple has a 1957 Chevy and belong to the Classic Chevys of San Diego Club. Brick also enjoys sailing when he gets the chance.

Rogaski was born in Davis, California, and grew up in the Bay Area. He and his wife have three sons. The family moved to San Diego in 1995 and have enjoyed every minute. He enjoys playing ice hockey, something he picked up from his kids, and now plays in an adult hockey league.

Schroeder was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. He attended the University of San Diego from 2009–2013 and, after law school, moved to San Diego permanently in 2017 with his future wife, Haley. Outside the office he enjoys the San Diego environment, especially his pool and the ocean.

McCloskey has a background as a professional singer and earned a degree in Drama. Music and performance are very important in her family. They all play musical instruments and family vacations always involve traveling to music festivals locally and across the country. For stress relief, she enjoys jamming and performing with other local musicians, friends and family.

Those varied lifestyles and experiences come together back at the office. Schulz says, “We are always straight with people. We’re honest with them and we work toward solving problems as opposed to creating them. We have the best minds and most client-driven people you can find. I’m surrounded by some of the most intelligent people in the industry.”

“We have the best minds and most client-driven people you can find.“

Contact
Schulz Brick & Rogaski
600 W. Broadway, Suite 960
San Diego, CA 92101
www.sbrlawsd.com
(619) 234-3660

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