Skip Keesal

CURRICULUM VITAE OF SAMUEL (“SKIP”) A. KEESAL, JR.

Educational Background

  • California State University, Long Beach – B.S. degree in business (1962)
  • University of Southern California, Law School – LL.B. degree (1965)

Professional Experience

  • Lillick, McHose & Charles, Los Angeles (1966–1969)
  • Pollack, Palmer & Metzler (1969–1970)
  • Keesal, Young & Logan (Founding Partner) (1970–Present)

Bar Admissions

  • California, Colorado, and Hawaii

Legal Experience

  • Approximately 250 trials, arbitrations, and regulatory hearings in sixteen different states (including approximately 75 jury trials).

Professional Recognition

  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys, Lifetime Achievement Award (Southern California)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers (1990–Present), Board of Directors (1993–1996), and IATL Foundation Board of Directors (1993–2007); California State Co-Chair IATL – Secretary/Treasurer (1996/1997)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Advocate (1993–Present)
  • Los Angeles Business Journal – Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys (2002) (only year published)
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal, Top 100 Lawyers in California (2002–2005)
  • Los Angeles Magazine – Southern California Super Lawyers “Top 100” (2004–2005,
    2008–2012, 2014–2015)
  • Los Angeles Magazine – Southern California Super Lawyers (2004–2017)
  • Long Beach Post – “The 10 Most Powerful People in Long Beach” (2007–2011)
  • Chambers USA – “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (2010)
  • Best Lawyers in America (Admiralty & Maritime Law, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law (Defense), Litigation – Banking & Finance, Litigation – Environmental, Litigation – Labor & Employment, Litigation – Securities, Medical Malpractice Law (Defense), Product Liability Litigation (Defense), and Professional Malpractice Law (Defense).  Only 39 lawyers in the United States, and only 2 in California, were selected for this many specialty areas in 2011.
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America Award (2011–2017)
  • Best Lawyers of America, Lawyer of the Year, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Orange County (2012)
  • Best Lawyers of America, Lawyer of the Year, Product Liability Litigation – Defendant, Orange County (2014)
  • Litigation Counsel of America Fellow (2014–2016)
  • Litigation Counsel of America Senior Fellow (2017)
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® (2017)
  • Southern California Chapter of Autism Speaks, “Advocate Award” (2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Labor & Employment, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Product Liability – Defendants, Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants (2019)
  • Best Lawyers of America, Lawyer of the Year, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Long Beach, California (2019)
  • Who’s Who™ in U.S. Executives
  • Who’s Who™ in Practicing Attorneys
  • Who’s Who™ in Los Angeles Attorneys
  • Who’s Who™ in Orange County Attorneys

Awards

  • Honoree, Long Beach Ronald McDonald House for philanthropic contributions to community (2014)
  • Honoree, Mentoring A Touch From Above (2012)
  • John Dixon Award, Century Club of Long Beach (2012)
  • Champions of Justice Award, Civil Justice Program, Loyola Law School Los Angeles (2010)
  • Businessman of the Year for California, American Solutions (2010)
  • John C. Wallace Dream Maker Award, Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach (2009)
  • Mayor Beverly O’Neill Legacy in Leadership Award, Leadership Long Beach (2009)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award for California, American Business Defense and Advisory Council (2009)
  • Founders Award, Children’s Health Fund (2009)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, St. Mary’s Medical Center (2008) awarded to Skip and KYL
  • Corporate Humanitarian Award, NAACP, Long Beach Branch (2007) awarded to Skip and KYL
  • Crystal Arts Humanitarian Award, International City Theatre (2007)
  • Good Scout of the Year Award, Boys Scouts of America Long Beach Area Council (2007) awarded to Skip and KYL
  • Corporate Citizen Award, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (2007) awarded to Skip and KYL
  • Community Partnership Award, CAMEO (2006)
  • President’s Award, Boys and Girls Club of America (2004)
  • Humanitarian Award, Camp Fire USA (2004)
  • Nuestra Imagen Humanitarian Award, Long Beach Community Hispanic Association (2004)
  • Community Achievement Award, Women’s Council (2003)
  • Building Bridges Award, National Conference for Community & Justice (2003)
  • National Silver Medallion, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (2002)
  • Excellence in Leadership Award, Leadership Long Beach (2002)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (2001)
  • Lawyer of the Year Award, Long Beach Bar Association (2000)
  • Humanitarian Award, National Conference for Community & Justice Long Beach (2000)
  • Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, Long Beach Area Boy Scouts (1998)
  • The Family Service Family Life Award (1997)
  • The National Conference for Community and Justice Greater Long Beach Region Humanitarian Award (1997)
  • The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center 1994 Spectrum Award for Leadership (1994)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award for Betterment of Profession, Who’s Who Worldwide
    Tiffany Big Apple Award, Children’s Health Fund (1992)
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Business School, California State University, Long Beach (1991)
  • Outstanding Law Associate, University of Southern California Law School (1965)

Committee Participation

  • Member, Century Club of Long Beach (2012)
  • 49er Foundation and 49er Foundation Finance Committee (2011–2016)
  • Save our Middle School Sports Committee (2012)
  • Maritime Law Association – Non-Lawyer Committee (2010–Present)
  • Member of the CSULB Foundation Board of Directors (2010–Present)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Investment Compliance (2005)
  • Maritime Law Association – Marine Torts & Casualties Committee (1998–2005)
  • Board of Governors, Long Beach Bar Association (1996)
  • Former Chairman of a California State Bar Disciplinary Committee
  • Vice Chairman Securities and Exchange Committee ABA (1985–1994)

Community and Charity Participation

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Board of Trustees (1998–2013), Chairman of the Pacific Region (1999–2001), Lifetime Trustee (2013–Present)
  • Board Member, Mayor’s Fund for Education (2016–Present)
  • Honorary Board of Governors of Leadership Long Beach
  • Honorary Board of Directors of The Guidance Center (2013–Present)
  • Member, Clinton Global Initiative (2013–Present)
  • Member, Clinton Foundation Ambassadors (2013–Present)
  • Member, Clinton Foundation (2011–Present)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Long Beach Ronald McDonald House (2014–Present)
  • Southern California 50 Leadership Council, Rand Institute for Civil Justice (2010)
  • Long Beach Police Foundation (2011–Present)
  • Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs in Los Angeles (2010–Present)
  • Board of Directors, Museum of Latin American Art (2003–2004)
  • Fund Raising Chairman, Long Beach Legal Aid Foundation (1991–1992/1992–1993 – co-chair)
  • Board of Directors, Boy Scouts Council Long Beach (1990–2000)
  • Board of Directors, Greater Long Beach YMCA (1991–1999)
  • Fund Raising Chairman, Performing Arts Center, California State University, Long Beach
    (1992–1995)
  • Board of Governors, California State University, Long Beach (1990–Present)
  • Board of Trustees, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (1997–1999)
  • Board of Directors, Children’s Health Fund, New York (2006–Present), Member of Advisory Board (1991–2006), Development Committee (2009–Present)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF SAMUEL (“SKIP”) A. KEESAL, JR.

Samuel (“Skip”) A. Keesal, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona.  Skip currently resides in Rolling Hills with his lovely wife, Beth.  He has three adult children – Carolyn, Katherine, Steven and one grandson – Jackson.  He served in the United States Army and attended the University of Arizona and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).  Skip graduated from CSULB in 1962 with a B.S. degree in business.  In 1965 he received an LL.B. from the University of Southern California (USC) Law School.  Admitted to the bar, he worked for the law firm of Lillick, McHose & Charles for four years, and for Pollack, Palmer & Metzler for one year.

After five years of practice with two firms primarily handling trial work, Skip founded the law firm of Keesal, Young & Logan in 1970.  The firm, which has grown to approximately 60 attorneys with offices in Long Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Anchorage, and Hong Kong, has developed expertise in many specialties of civil litigation including class and mass actions, securities and banking litigation, mortgage litigation, employment, energy, environmental, admiralty and maritime, bankruptcy, business litigation, products liability, real estate, toxic tort, professional malpractice defense, professional design & construction, all types of civil appeals, mortgage banking, real estate, corporate/transactional and other commercial matters.

Skip is extremely active in the firm’s trial practice.  He has tried over 250 cases in sixteen different states, including approximately 75 jury trials.  He is admitted to the Bars of California, Hawaii, and Colorado.  As a result of his trial practice, he has been named to the “Best Lawyers in America,” in Commercial Litigation, Maritime Law, Legal Malpractice Law, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability Litigation, and Professional Malpractice Law.  Skip has the distinction of being one of only 89 lawyers in the country and only 6 in California designated as a “Best Lawyer in America” in six or more categories.  In 1990, Skip was selected as one of 500 lawyers in the world to join the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, where he has sat on the Board of Directors of the Academy and the Academy’s Foundation.  Among other distinctions, Skip is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been named to “Who’s Who in Attorneys,” “Who’s Who in U.S. Executives,” and “Who’s Who in Los Angeles Lawyers.”  CSULB named Skip “The Distinguished Alumnus” of the Business School in 1991.  In 2000, Skip was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Long Beach Bar Association.  Later that same year, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.  In 2002, the Los Angeles Business Journal named him as one of “Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys.”  In 2002–2005, he was named one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” by the Daily Journal.  In 2007–2011, he was named by the Long Beach Post as one of “The 10 Most Powerful People in Long Beach.”  Also in 2004–2005, 2008–2012, and 2014–2015, he was named a “Top 100” “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  In 2004–2018, Skip was named “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.

Skip has dedicated himself and his firm to the local and national communities by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects.  Skip served on the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Area Council of Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA of Greater Long Beach as well as the Board of Trustees at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.  Skip, a strong supporter of education, is a founding member of the Board of Governors at CSULB and supports many programs sponsored by the local schools.  In 1997, Keesal, Young & Logan was named as the “Outstanding Corporation” on National Philanthropy Day in Los Angeles.  Skip has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Children’s Health Fund since 1990 and currently sits on the organization’s Board of Directors.  In 1992, the Children’s Health Fund awarded Skip the “Big Apple Award” for his outstanding contributions to children’s health care.  Skip is an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs and served for three years as the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the fourteen-state Southwestern Region of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and served as a Trustee for over 20 years.  He has been given the National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award and has been named “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” by the Family Service of Long Beach.  Skip also received the “Excellence in Leadership Award” by Leadership Long Beach.  In 2002, Skip received the “Achievement Award” from Stand For Children of Long Beach for his commitment to ensuring that all children grow up healthy, educated, and safe.  He also received the Corporate Award from the Steel Magnolias of Stramski Children’s Development Center for his commitment to the community.

In December 2002, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America awarded him the National Silver Medallion for outstanding and extraordinary service to youth through the Boys & Girls Club Movement.  In May 2003, the National Conference for Community and Justice awarded Skip with the “Building Bridges Award” for his commitment and dedication to bridging the understanding of humankind, and to furthering peace, harmony, and tolerance in the community.  In June that same year, he was honored by the Women’s Council with the “Community Achievement Award” for exemplary commitment and service to the community.  In September 2004, Skip received the “Humanitarian Award” from Centro C.H.A. Inc., Long Beach Community Hispanic Association for his commitment to empowering youth and families through support of higher education.  That same month he was honored by Camp Fire USA with its “Humanitarian Award.”  In October 2004, the Boys & Girls Club of America selected him to receive the “President’s Award” for his extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the lives of children everywhere.  In April 2006, Skip was presented with the “Community Service Award” by CAMEO, the largest women’s charity in the South Bay, in recognition of his support.  In April 2007, Skip and the firm were the recipients of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce “Corporate Citizen Award.”  Also in 2007, Skip accepted a number of recognitions on behalf of the firm, including “Good Scout of the Year Award” from the Boy Scouts of America, the “Crystal Arts Award” from International City Theatre for dedication to the local and national communities by supporting numerous charitable and civic projects, and the “Corporate Humanitarian Award” from the Long Beach branch of the NAACP.  In 2008, he and his wife accepted on behalf of the firm the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by St. Mary’s Medical Center in recognition of its philanthropic generosity, leadership, and dedication to St. Mary’s Medical Center and the community of Long Beach.  In May 2009, Skip was honored by the Children’s Health Fund with the “Founders’ Award” presented by founders Paul Simon and Dr. Irwin Redlener.  In July 2009, Skip was selected as the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” from California by Speaker Newt Gingrich on behalf of American Solutions for Winning the Future and in 2010, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich presented Skip with the Businessman of the Year Award on behalf of American Solutions.  In 2010, Skip was honored by the Loyola Law School Civil Justice Program with the “Champions of Justice” Award.  In 2011, Skip was honored with the “John Dixon” award by the Century Club of Long Beach for his support of local amateur sporting efforts.  He was also honored by Mentoring A Touch From Above for his commitment to help improve the lives of people in the City of Long Beach.  In 2014, Skip was honored by the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House for philanthropic contributions to community.

In addition to skiing, Skip still participates in an occasional roping competition at local rodeos, a pastime he has enjoyed since childhood.