Timothy R. Graves

Managing Partner

  • location icon Los Angeles, CA
    633 West 5th Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

Timothy R. Graves is the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and serves on the firmwide management committee. He was the original chair of Lewis Brisbois' Healthcare Practice and assisted in building this practice area into one of the nation's largest and most diverse. He is a leading authority on alternative billing measures and litigation management analytics.

Mr. Graves has extensive experience representing long term care providers in elder law matters; health maintenance organizations in bad faith litigation; law enforcement entities in cases alleging false arrest, imprisonment, and abuse; healthcare providers in medical negligence cases; medical device manufacturers in products liability cases; and hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, rental car companies, food delivery, retail stores, transportation companies, artisans, contractors, and governmental agencies in personal injury and premises liability litigation.

Mr. Graves joined the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois upon graduating from the University of North Carolina Law School in 1985. Along with the senior partner who recruited him, he built the firm’s healthcare practice in Los Angeles, soon becoming the practice group leader and chief trial attorney, and growing the group to more than 80 attorneys firm-wide. As a trial lawyer over the next dozen years, he took more than 60 jury verdicts and was admitted into ABOTA. Always including junior attorneys in his trials, he has continued his commitment to mentoring and providing hands-on experience to junior attorneys by helping to establish the firm’s continuing education program and Lewis Brisbois Trial Academy. 

Mr. Graves formed the firm’s Quality Assurance Department in 2008 bringing in business and insurance industry personnel to establish internal controls and litigation management programs tailored to each client’s individual needs and goals. With another partner, he began the firm’s Best Practices program to ensure continuity and consistency of the firm’s delivery of legal services. He had tracked various client matrices for over 25 years including case resolutions, shelf life, legal spend and indemnity. With the advent of new and advancing technology and with Mr. Graves at the helm, the firm became an industry leader in data production and sharing. Mr. Graves speaks regularly to nationwide audiences on these programs and the various initiatives he has helped to establish for a wide variety of businesses and industries. He has created and continues to oversee or directly manage more than 25 successful alternative fee arrangements, including a 10-year program with one of the largest insurers in the nation. That program resulted in many millions of dollars of savings in both legal spend and indemnity payments. He is considered one of the leading authorities for instituting platforms for metrics and analytics including cost control, guideline compliance and quality management.

In the course of Mr. Graves’ more than three-decade tenure, his passion for the profession expanded to management. He became the Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office in 1999 and has served in that capacity up to the present time. He became the first chairman of the combined Healthcare and General Liability Practice Groups. Overseeing substantial growth in those practice areas, he coordinated the separation of the group into two of the firm’s most significant practice areas and continued as Healthcare Chair until growing management responsibilities required his full participation. After the LA office was displaced by a large fire in 2014, Mr. Graves oversaw the recovery efforts, office transition and ongoing business management for more than 600 local firm personnel.

Mr. Graves was a member of the first formal marketing committee of the firm. He regularly assists his partners in their marketing and client development efforts. He was also instrumental in recruiting and establishing new offices and practice groups throughout the country including helping to grow the firm from several dozen attorneys in 1985 in 3 cities in California to more than 1100 attorneys in over 40 offices and 26 states today. 

As a senior member of the firm's 10-person national Management Committee, he helped to create the national practice group system. He has been a strong advocate for the establishment of the firm’s unprecedented diversity initiatives, its cutting-edge IT and IG programs, and expansion of employee benefit platforms. He personally created the firm’s current compensation system, based on individualized packages for each attorney depending on experience, skill and desired level of work. He continues to evaluate each and every attorney in the firm and participate with managing partners and national practice chairs to craft incentive compensation agreements for each. 

He serves with the firm’s Chairman and co-founder as a de facto committee on all real estate deals across the nation. He helps organize and conduct firm-wide retreats, negotiate medical insurance coverage and has received a number of prestigious charitable and business awards for the firm in Los Angeles. He was one of two partners who set up the firm’s equity partner pension plan, including serving as trustee of the plan for over a dozen years.

Mr. Graves established the firm’s first national Pro Bono Program and continues to serve on the oversight committee. That program has created countless public service opportunities for the firm’s attorneys and has made the firm a community leader in many locations across the country.

Mr. Graves has served on the board of the Southern California Defense Counsel and on the LA County Judicial Review Committee. He is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors for the University of North Carolina Law School and on a supporting council for the Kenan Flagler Business School at UNC. 

Mr. Graves’ personal interests center first and foremost on his family of six. He and his wife Cathey participate in boy and girl scouting, church, an autism support group, boy’s and girl’s civic organizations and local schools’ academic and sporting programs.

Legal Experience

  • Tried in excess of 60 cases to jury verdict
  • Arbitrated in excess of 200 cases
  • Major trials include issues regarding AIDS exposure, failed sterilization, wrongful death, birth injury, quadriplegia, elder abuse, pharmaceutical malpractice and various medical and personal injuries

Professional Presentations

  • Law Firm Management - Presentation to Chinese Legal Delegation
  • Cumis Issues in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Cases
  • Managed Care in California - A New Approach
  • California Health Care Law - Recent Case Law
  • California Elder Abuse Statute - A Changing Landscape
  • Case Studies in Alternative Fee Agreements
  • Key Metrics in Litigation Management

Representative Experiences

Healthcare

  • Defended the LA Coroner’s Office in one of the nation’s first HIV exposure matters resulting in total defense verdict on appeal;
  • Won defense verdicts at trial in physician and hospital malpractice claims including alleged unnecessary surgery, failed sterilization, premature hospital discharge, wrongful birth, excessive orthopedic surgeries; brain damaged birth injury, wrongful death from infection, negligent laser surgery, failed epidural treatment, failure to diagnose stroke, podiatry malpractice, failure to diagnose heart condition, delayed diagnosis of endocarditis, failure to diagnose urological condition and failure to properly treat pulmonary embolism.
  • Won nursing malpractice matters including extravasation of IV Dilantin, retained sponge and home health care.
  • Won defense verdicts against long term care facilities including wrongful death, negligent wound care and elder abuse.
  • Won defense verdicts in pharmacy malpractice claims including negligent dispensing of narcotics and insufficient informed consent.
  • Represented numerous mental healthcare professionals in malpractice matters and alleged sexual misconduct and boundary issues. 

Personal Injury

  • Defense verdicts in auto, trucking and bus transportation trials.
  • Won trials involving premises liability and security provision including: shooting in fast food drive-thru leading to blindness; transgender bathroom dispute; customer profiling allegations; and alleged police abuse.
  • Defense verdict involving quadriplegia after skydiving incident during filming of television program.

Professional Malpractice

  • Defense verdict for airline consulting firm which prepared appraisals of aircraft sold to plaintiffs.
  • Represented lawyers and brokers in all types of underlying malpractice claims.

Admissions

California - Southern District, Court of Appeals & Supreme Court

Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Claims Litigation Management
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Evaluations Committee
  • Board of the Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Alumni Board of Directors for the University of North Carolina Law School
  • Parents Council for the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina

Education

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Juris Doctor, 1985

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Science, cum laude, 1982

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