The Standout Firm For

Insurance, Malpractice
And Business Litigation

In California

Howard M. Garfield



San Rafael, CA



Howard Garfield has spent his entire legal career, after graduation from Harvard Law School, in the private practice of law. He is currently Of Counsel to The Lesser Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Rafael and Sacramento. In the immediate past he was Of Counsel to Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP in its San Francisco office and a partner in the San Francisco office of Chicago-based Meckler Bulger & Tilson LLP and then Of Counsel to that firm. Prior to that affiliation, he was a partner in and managing partner of the distinguished San Francisco law firm of Long & Levit LLP. Throughout his career, his practice has focused on the representation of professionals (principally lawyers and accountants but others as well), corporate officers and directors, and businesses in employment, consumer, copyright and trademark, unfair competition and general litigation. He has also extensively represented insurance brokers, insurance policyholders and insurers. He has served as a mediator, an arbitrator and has qualified and testified as an expert witness in California in both state and federal courts on a variety of subjects, including the reasonableness of attorneys' fees, insurance bad faith, management of law firms, the standard of care for lawyers and insurance claims handlers and and the duties of corporate officers and directors, managing members of limited liability companies, partners and other fiduciaries.

Mr. Garfield maintains an active litigation and counseling practice that emphasizes the representation of policyholders and insurers, employers in employment-related litigation and arbitration, employment counseling and investigations, civil litigation of all kinds, including partnership disputes, the representation of management in securities-related claims, and the prosecution and defense of claims against professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, officers and directors of corporations and partners. He has tried numerous cases in both federal and state courts and in private arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association, ADR Services, FINRA, JAMS, and other alternative dispute resolution providers. He has also been an expert witness on insurance matters, the standard of care for attorneys, breach of fiduciary duties and has served as an American Arbitration Association arbitrator and as a member of the mediator panel of Resolution Remedies, an alternative dispute resolution provider.

His education includes one year at Columbia University in New York City, three years at Stanford University, from which he graduated as valedictorian of his class With Great Distinction and Honors in Humanities and Phi Beta Kappa (elected in his junior year), a year at the Harvard Graduate School on a Ph.D. program in Philosophy and Religion, and the Harvard Law School from which he graduated cum laude. He has served as counsel to and a member of the board of directions of an international charity that focuses on the care and education of children in poor countries. He has a Martindale Hubbell rating of AV Preeminent and is also listed in Lawyers of Distinction. He is admitted to all the state and federal courts in California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1969
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court District of Nevada
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court District of South Carolina


  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • Juris Doctor
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Stanford University, Stanford, California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts
    • Honors: Valedictorian of his class with Great Distinction
    • Honors: Honors in Humanities

Published Works

  • "The Uncertainty Continues: Allocation in Progressive Loss Cases", (Co-Author), Legal Ledger, Vol. 7, No. 3, Fall , 1996
  • "Current 'Hot' Topics in Advertising Liability Coverage", (Co-Author), Legal Ledger, Vol. 7, No. 3, 1996
  • "Non-Settling Insured's Liability for Judgments Which Invade The Excess Layer - A Review of the Law and Recommendations to Reduce Exposure" , Summer , 1996
  • "When Does A Consent Judgment Bind an Insurer in California?" , California Insurance Reporter, March, 1996
  • "Abracadabra - How A Reinsurer's Equitable Defenses May Disappear In TheCedent's Liquidation", (Co-Author) , Legal Ledger, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1996

Honors And Awards

  • Who's Who in American Law

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Resolution Remedies, an ADR provider in Northern California, Member of the Panel
  • National Arbitration Forum, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Meckler Bulger Tilson Ma rick & Pearson LLP, San Francisco, Of Counsel
  • Long & Levit LLP, Managing Partner, 1983 to 1991
  • Long & Levit LLP, Managing Partner, 1995 to 2000