H. Sinclair (Rod) Kerr, Jr.
Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP
H. Sinclair (Rod) Kerr, Jr., partner and co-founder, handles trial and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on class actions and complex business litigation. Rod is a seasoned and effective advocate, having tried over 100 cases in state and federal court. He represents both individuals and corporate clients in antitrust, employment, environmental, and a wide array of commercial disputes. He also represents corporate clients in significant criminal investigations and nationwide class actions in courts throughout the United States. Educational Background Rod received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University (Connecticut), and his Master of Arts from Columbia University. Rod attended University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he received his law degree in 1974. Public and Private Practice Upon graduating from law school, Rod joined the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office as a Deputy Public Defender (1975–1980). He handled numerous criminal jury trials, including serious felony matters, earning the respect of prosecutors and judges alike. After leaving the Public Defender’s office, he formed Kaus & Kerr and, later, Kaus, Kerr & Wagstaffe, where he specialized in commercial litigation. In 1990, Rod joined the nationally-known law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, and became the head of the litigation department for the firm’s San Francisco office. In October 1999, Rod left Sonnenschein to form Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP with his former partner, Jim Wagstaffe. Rod continues to handle a broad spectrum of civil litigation, primarily in complex business and commercial litigation. A Recent Success On the eve of trial, Rod was asked to step in and serve as lead trial counsel in a nationwide class action, potentially involving $400 million in damages. Following a lengthy jury trial, Rod successfully obtained a verdict for the defense on all class claims—the first ever of its kind. Author & Speaker He is a well-respected author of several practice guide articles and the co-author of a Senate Report on federal data banks and constitutional rights. Supporting his belief in mentoring and stewardship, Rod frequently lectures at continuing legal education programs on various aspects of trial practice and discovery. Associations, Affiliations, Memberships Rod is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the American Bar Association, and the American Trial Lawyers Association. Personal Information Rod and his wife, Jane, live in Berkeley. He is an avid fly fisherman and also is a member of the governing board for the Berkeley Rowing Club. http://www.kerrwagstaffe.com