BOBBY DALE SIMS, JR.
Managing Partner -
Bob is the founding member of Sims, Lawrence & Arruti following seven years as Travelers Staff Counsel and nine years of private practice. Bob’s varied practice includes Insurance Defense, Personal Injury, Construction Defect, and General Litigation matters. He also has a growing practice in Insurance Coverage including providing coverage opinions to insurance carriers and acting as a coverage advocate and general counsel to numerous businesses.
Current and past representation includes protecting the interests of owners, developers, builders, contractors, design professionals, homeowners’ associations, materials manufacturers, and suppliers in a broad range of claims. He has represented clients in disputes arising from simple single-family dwellings to large commercial buildings and industrial facilities, including hospitals, office buildings, warehouses, and planned unit developments. His trial and binding arbitration experience includes everything from single-family homes, to tracts of homes to multi-family type dwellings.
Bob graduated from San Jose State University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He then worked for CNA, Farmers, and Zurich in claims before graduating from the John F. Kennedy University School of Law in 1998 with his Juris Doctorate. He was admitted to practice law that same year. He is licensed to practice in both state and federal courts.
While at CNA, Farmers, and Zurich, Bob held positions of increasing responsibility in both liability and property claims including claims representative, claims examiner, and claims manager. Following his claims career, it was a natural transition to staff counsel for Travelers where he managed a varied defense practice and established the Construction Defect practice group for that Sacramento office.
Bob and his wife, Sharon, reside in Granite Bay, California (Sacramento area). Bob has served on several youth soccer boards and been active in Girl Scouts. Bob spends most of his weekends following the last of his three daughters at home to soccer games and tournaments. His other two daughters are proud Razorbacks. One is an alumna, and the other is attending the University of Arkansas. Bob, who was born and raised in Arkansas, is a faithful Razorback fan. Woo Pig Sooie!
CYNTHIA G. LAWRENCE
Equity Partner -
Cynthia’s practice focuses primarily on Coverage, Human Service Industry Defense, Construction Defect, and General Defense Litigation matters. The insurance coverage practice is designed to minimize the client’s potential exposure through risk allocation. Cynthia manages the pre-litigation matters for those entities dealing in the human service industry. She manages the licensing issues, criminal issues and aggressively defends the entities when litigation ensues. Cynthia also represents insurance companies directly involved in equitable subrogation actions. She has experience in claims of bad faith, financial institution losses, fire losses, and commercial losses. Her experience includes jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and mediations.
Cynthia was admitted to the bar in 1990 after receiving her Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law with Distinction. She is a published author in the Pacific Law Journal. She attended her undergraduate studies at the University of California Los Angeles receiving a B.A. in History and a minor in Business Administration.
Cynthia practices in the California State Courts and Federal District Courts, Northern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California. She is based out of the Sacramento office and manages the firm’s office staff.
During her time away from work, Cynthia enjoys riding her horse and scuba diving with her family. She enjoys traveling to watch her son play college ice hockey and her daughter compete in the sport of 3-day eventing. Cynthia and her husband enjoy scuba diving, hiking and wine tasting.
Mark graduated from Arizona State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science and attended University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, obtaining his Juris Doctorate in 1979. He is licensed in Arizona and California and has been actively practicing Insurance Defense Litigation since 1982.
His practice has included all areas of Insurance Defense (excluding Professional Malpractice defense) including Personal Injury actions ranging from simple to complex auto injury cases, Premises Liability, construction accidents, and Products Liability. He also has extensive experience defending developers, general contractors and subcontractors in Construction Defect Litigation.
He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Association of Defense Counsel. He was a partner in the defense firm of Lea and Arruti from 1986 to 2003, when he started Arruti and Associates. In November of 2015, he merged his practice with the firm, and is now a named partner with this firm and heads up the firm's Personal Injury Practice Group. In addition to an active defense practice, he has conducted ADR activities over the last 20 years as a Pro Tem Judge in multiple local counties, and has conducted private mediations and binding arbitrations for selected members of the local bar for the last several years.
J. FRED TRUDEAU
Originally from a small town in southern Norway, Fred proudly became a United States citizen in 1995 and has lived up and down the West Coast including Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Hawaii (where he received his undergraduate degree), and San Diego, where he attended California Western School of Law and graduated in 2000. After taking and passing the California, Nevada, and Washington Bars, Fred started his legal career with a prominent Nevada firm, focusing on developer and general contractor defense.
After several years, he was lucky enough to meet his wife Jennifer and moved to California to propose marriage. She accepted and his legal profession shifted slightly to the defense of subcontractor and developer entities with a particular focus on the areas of Construction Defect actions and Insurance Defense Litigation from inception to post trial.
Over the course of the last 15 years, he has had extensive experience with corporate risk management and litigating complex matters concerning defective workmanship/design including mold, water intrusion, and structural failure claims, general liability, Personal Injury and nuisance and common area claims against single and multiple-dwelling residential units and large residential, commercial, and industrial developments in California, Texas, and Nevada.
Fred travels back to Norway every couple of years to restock on great chocolate and visit his family. He enjoys anything outdoors ranging from water and snow sports to finding the latest hiking spots.
Marc graduated from Sacramento State University with a B.A. in Philosophy. He then went on to attend McGeorge School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif and a member of the Traynor Society. He is licensed in California and has been a civil trial litigator with a focus on insurance defense since 1989.
Marc specializes in complex litigation including Personal Injury, Contract, Product Liability, Premises Liability, Commercial Litigation, Trucking Litigation and construction-related matters. Personal Injury damages that Marc deals with frequently include traumatic brain injury, psychological / psychiatric injuries, spinal injuries, burns and wrongful death. Marc was a partner at Borton, Petrini & Conron, Senior Trial Attorney at Travelers Staff Counsel, and Senior Trial Attorney at Farmers Staff Counsel before joining Sims, Lawrence & Arruti.
Marc is a Sacramento native, and when he is not spending time with his wife, Victoria, Marc is heavily involved in the music scene, attending numerous concerts throughout the year, in and out of state, and working on the crew of a number of music festivals in other states.
JOHN D. BROGHAMMER
John is an attorney specializing in insurance coverage disputes and the representation of design professionals. He completed both his undergraduate and legal education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating with honors at both levels. Following admission to the California Bar in 1990, his practice area has focused on Civil Litigation with a particular emphasis on the representation of architects and engineers in Construction Defect Litigation and the defense of public entities and corporations in landslide and flood claims. John advises and counsels design professionals in all aspects of contract preparation, risk allocation and insurance issues. He regularly lectures and writes on these items and how design professionals can work to effectively represent their clients while protecting their own interests for risk allocation, construction defect claims and contract disputes.
John currently represents many of the area’s preeminent architectural and engineering firms. He also actively represents prominent insurance carriers in insurance coverage disputes and bad faith actions. His emphasis is on the defense of carriers in environmental coverage disputes. He has litigated coverage for contamination sites involving the laws of many states including California, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Virginia and numerous others.
John has aggressively litigated, arbitrated and mediated countless disputes for his clients in virtually every county in Central and Northern California. His goal is litigating actions in a manner that fully protects his clients’ interests in a business-conscious and cost-effective manner. He practices aggressive representation with attention to his clients’ current and long-term business and community interests. John has substantial trial experience and always remains prepared to protect his client’s interests at trial, if required.
John was born and raised in the Midwest and brings his Midwest work ethic to the representation of his clients. He is married and has two wonderful children.
J. MICHAEL COCHRANE
Mike joins the firm as Senior Trial Counsel. Mike is also a registered Civil Engineer in the state of California. He served three years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps (Seabees) between college and law school. A third-generation Californian, he was raised on a family peach and almond ranch near Turlock, California.
Mike has used his professional civil engineering degree and legal expertise to defend design professionals in the construction industry. He has extensive experience in the defense of product liability claims. He has defended Porsche, Volkswagen, BF Goodrich and Uniroyal. As lead trial counsel, he successfully defended Porsche in a wrongful death product liability case. This was the first time Porsche had ever gone to trial in the United States in defense of one of its automobiles.
Of late, Mike has been primarily engaged in the defense of engineers and design professionals. He has a broad background of trial work involving Commercial Liability and Personal Injury. He has tried cases in both state and federal courts. A member of the State Bar Association of California, he is also a member of ABOTA, American Board of Trial Attorneys, and has volunteered as a Judge Pro Tempore for the Superior Court of Sacramento and Placer Counties.
He has been active in the community for over forty years, volunteering as a lecturer in professional ethics and legal liability to engineering students at California State University, Sacramento, and other student groups. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Mike is also an attorney accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs, representing veterans before the department.
Mike is married, with one daughter and two grandchildren. He enjoys cycling, tennis, and handball.
Scott recently joined Sims, Lawrence & Arruti after thirty-one years with the Sacramento-based law firm of Greve, Clifford, Wengel & Paras, LLP, where he had been the Managing Partner for thirteen of the past sixteen years. Scott has been advising and representing individual, business, construction, design professional, real estate, and nonprofit related clients since 1985. Scott’s practice actively involves many aspects of business, corporate, construction, regulatory, real estate, and non-profit law, including general business counseling, business formation, contract analysis, and client representation in contract negotiation and litigation matters. Scott has substantial experience in representing contractors through the regulatory processes of the Contractors State License Board. Beyond his business practice, Scott’s practice has also heavily focused on representing design professional clients in Construction and Design Defect Litigation.
Scott was admitted to practice law in the State of California in 1985. He is admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California and to the United States Districts Courts for the Eastern and Northern Districts of California.
Scott is a member of the Business and Law Practice Management and Technology Sections of the State Bar of California and a member of the Business Law Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association. Scott is also a board member with the Sacramento Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association.
Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Finance) from California State University, Sacramento in 1982. He earned his J.D. degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law in 1985.
Scott and his wife, Darla, have two adult children, a son and a daughter. Scott has called Sacramento his home since 1969. Scott is an avid tennis player and snowboarder, and, along with his wife, enjoys cooking and traveling.
Senior Associate -
Michelle has successfully represented subcontractors against Construction Defect claims for over eight years. Her representation comprises a myriad of trades including, but not limited to, stucco, windows, HVAC, plumbing, and drywall. Michelle also practices in areas of Subrogation, Personal Injury, and Real Estate. Michelle previously did work in Natural Resources, Environmental, and Land Law for the Attorney General’s Office, Department of Justice, Public Rights Division. Michelle is admitted to practice in the State of California and U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of California.
She has a strong record of academic achievements, including graduating from McGeorge School of Law with certificates in Governmental Affairs and International Legal Studies. Prior to attending law school, Michelle obtained a Master of Science from Iowa State University in Animal Science with an emphasis in statistical analysis, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Davis.
In her spare time, Michelle owns, manages, and plays for the local women's tackle football team, the Sacramento Sirens. She also is on the board of directors for her son's daycare, and chaperones her daughter's school field trips. She and her partner, Erica, love to scuba dive, vacation, and are learning the adventures of parenting their two kids.
Tahmina was admitted to practice law in California in 2012. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. In 2012, Tahmina graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, earning a Juris Doctorate. Tahmina’s areas of practice include General Civil Litigation, Construction Defect Litigation, Personal Injury, and Family Law.
During her time away from work, Tahmina and her husband enjoy cooking, hiking, and traveling.
MICHAEL S. RICHARDSON
Michael was admitted to practice law in California and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Statistics. Michael graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law earning a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in business and tax law. Michael’s area of practice includes General Civil Litigation, Construction Defect Litigation, Professional Malpractice, Environmental Law, and Intellectual Property Law.
During his time away from work, Michael enjoys trying new cuisines, hiking in the beautiful Northern California forests, or competing in E-sport events.
Amanda attended Midway University where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is currently attending Lincoln Law School in Sacramento.
Amanda provides a vital role in all aspects of the organization and management of files in the Construction Defect and General Liability practice areas. She controls document production, including gathering and analyzing documents, medical evidence, tracking and organizing complex cases, analyzing records and communicating with clients and related parties. Amanda thrives on being organized, and creating precedents and systems to streamline the process. She also has extensive trial experience including trial preparation and support in the courtroom during trial.
Outside of work and school, Amanda enjoys spending her time riding horses. She is an accomplished athlete, trainer, and instructor in the sport horse industry. She also enjoys running, hiking, craft beer and wine and spending time with her family and friends.
Karen graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is new to the legal field and brings experience in a variety of areas including government security compliance, crowdsourcing process management, and human resources. She brings her high level of focus and attention to detail to her work, especially in the editing of written communications and reviewing financial correspondence. Her work is concentrated in the Construction Defect and Personal Injury Practice Groups.
Outside of work, Karen enjoys artistic pursuits, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.