Attorneys

A. Byrne Conley

A. Byrne Conley has extensive civil litigation experience at the trial and appellate levels in public agency and insurance defense, including police, civil rights, dangerous condition, employment practices and pollution claims as well as insurance coverage litigation.

Byrne has an incredible talent for absorbing and “remembering” all of the details of a case without losing sight of the big picture.  He is highly adept at using this ability to understand the needs of Clients such as Claims Adjusters, City Attorneys, City Managers, Executive Directors and Third-Party Administrators when they are faced with challenging legal situations that require a talented defense. Byrne then identifies the optimum strategic options, selects the best next steps and relentlessly pursues the intended outcome until achieving success.

Byrne’s significant and in-depth experience enables him to not just minimize or alleviate losses, but also to contain multiple other types of risks, including those which come from siloed thinking or siloed responsibilities both inside and outside of organizations.

Byrne also serves as general counsel for numerous California Self-Insurance Pools covering Cities, Schools, Sanitary Districts and Park and Recreation Districts, including the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, California Sanitation Risk Management Authority, California Association for Park and Recreation Indemnity, and the Northern California Cities Self Insurance Fund. His general counsel work includes monitoring claims, ensuring Government Code compliance, drafting coverage documents and handling coverage disputes.

To recharge his spent legal energies Byrne spends his time with his wife and family, including his new grandson and beloved dogs.  Occasionally (or rather frequently according to some) he also sneaks out for live music or sporting events within the thriving and lively Bay Area.

Byrne has also done project work for a number of other self-insurance pools including the Santa Clara County Schools Insurance Group, Monterey County SIG, Contra Costa County SIG, Bay Cities JPIA, California Transit Indemnity Pool, Schools Excess Liability Fund, Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund, Housing Authorities Risk Retention Pool, and several municipal pool members including Counties and Cities.

They say that when you really want to master a topic in life, that you should go ahead and teach it to others. Well, Byrne believes this too, and he has conducted numerous lectures and seminars on public entity tort liability case law and insurance JPA issues for the Public Agency Risk Managers Association and the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities.

Byrne was admitted to the bar in 1983, after graduating from the University of San Francisco (B.A. with honors, 1979), and University of California Hasting College of Law (J.D. with honors, 1983). He graduated Order of the Coif, Thurston Society.  Byrne has an AV Rating (“from Very High to Preeminent”) with Martindale-Hubbell.

 

Peter Urhausen

Peter A. Urhausen has significant trial and appellate experience in the areas of insurance coverage, insurance litigation, public agency defense including dangerous condition and auto claims, and contract / commercial lease issues.

Clients rely on Peter for his phenomenal attention to detail, his rigor in conducting Discovery and for his ability to see possibilities and uncover paths leading to successful solutions that other lawyers might never even consider.

Peter provides his Clients with a potent blend of legal procedural knowledge, tenacity and negotiation ability.  He excels at complex cases and at resolving and diminishing them via Motion work, Demurrals and Summary Judgements.

While not one for self-promotion, if you were to get chatting with Peter as he grabs a coffee refill from the breakroom or when watching a game of basketball, then he would tell you that “I like to help Clients by solving their complex problems.  These are often not situations that they deserve or have actively sought out, but the problems have just landed in their lap and there is usually a lot at stake.  Frequently the Client is at risk of being trampled by the problems …and sometimes other lawyers have even told them that they should just cave in to the demands being made of them”.

Proof of his effectiveness can be found in the successful outcome that he produced for the City of Half Moon Bay, where he was able to recover $18.6M for a specific insurance litigation settlement.

When not at work, Peter can be found spending time with his wife and daughters or else at events that highlight and support assistance dogs, which are a family passion.

Peter was admitted to the bar in 1992, after graduating from California State University, San Jose (B.A. with great distinction, 1985), and the University of California, Hasting College of Law (J.D. with honors, 1992). He graduated Order of the Coif, Thurston Society.  Peter has an AV Rating (“from Very High to Preeminent”) with Martindale-Hubbell.

 

Sean C. Conley

Sean Conley has handled litigation for public agencies including general tort litigation, civil rights, condemnation and inverse condemnation, land-use regulation, insurance, administrative matters (such as Public Records Act and Brown Act issues, employment administrative review, and peace officer personnel record requests), bankruptcy matters, contractual disputes and construction disputes.

He has handled construction litigation extensively, including stop notices, mechanics liens, construction defect and delay claims. He has also handled a variety of civil tort claims in a variety of areas, including personal injury, product liability, as well as contract disputes.  He has handled civil litigation and appeals in State and Federal courts, and has conducted numerous trials and arbitrations in matters such as realty disputes, travel agency law, bankruptcy discharge liability, construction litigation, personal injury, medical lien disputes and civil rights litigation.

In serving his Clients, Sean brings his philosophy that it is far better to utilize engineering and experts in constructing a solid case than to just jump to premature conclusions.  He practices patience, rigorous discovery and systems thinking, including the meticulous identification of what questions to ask of all of the parties involved in each case.

Sean understands that the real world frequently involves limited budgets, where it is necessary to perform triage on the options that are available to be pursued for a successful resolution of the case, and where the maximum value produced can come from knowing which experts to call upon.

Sean is an avid baseball and football fan.  He enjoys going to any Giant’s game with his family and documenting the event and the fun memories generated through a judicious use of photos.  Maybe, just maybe, he will allow a close family member to include him in a “selfie”.

Sean was admitted to the bar in 1987. His education was earned at the University of California at Berkeley (B.A. cum laude, 1983), and the University of California, Hasting College of Law (J.D. with honors, 1987).

 

Austin Gibbons

Austin R. Gibbons has extensive trial experience in both State and Federal Courts throughout the state.  He established his own firm as senior partner in 1977 and has practiced continuously since that time in Walnut Creek representing businesses, insurance carriers and public agency self-insurance pools both in civil litigation and as general counsel.

With a full forty years now under his belt leading the firm, Austin has finally decided to ease up on the throttle and put some well deserved time into a few of his favorite non-work pursuits, while ensuring that his vast legal experience remains available to the Firm and its many clients.  So, while Austin can now be found on the golf course a little more frequently that his professional responsibilities allowed in the past (and deservedly so, we say) he still actively consults and advises on complex Client situations.

Austin was admitted to the bar in 1964, after graduating from St. Mary’s College (A.B., 1959) and Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley (J.D., 1963). He began his career with the State of California, Division of Highways and then practiced with the Richmond and Walnut Creek firm of Tinning and DeLap.

 

Lisa Dieteman

It is almost a professional secret that successful law firms do not just excel based on the brilliance of their Partners and of their highly experienced lawyers. Really, we hear you say, what other reason could there be?  Well, the added boost and staying power usually comes from the professional strength and dedication of the firm’s paralegals and other support staff. In this arena, Gibbons & Conley has one of the best paralegals around, Lisa.

Lisa has extensive experience in the legal field since 1989 and has been with Gibbons and Conley since 2008. The cases that she has worked on have ranged from defense work on municipal pooling cases, personal injury cases, sinkhole and numerous civil suits.  Lisa is very skilled at organizing voluminous documents/medical records and creating an index/summary that saves our attorneys time and our clients’ money.