Member Directory

Doris Cheng

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
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Doris Cheng
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger
San Francisco,
 CA

Widely recognized for her legal work and for becoming the 106th President of the San Francisco Bar Association, Ms. Cheng has been ranked as one of the top 50 women lawyers in Northern California.

She is listed among the Best Lawyers of America®, SuperLawyers®, and San Francisco Best Lawyers. Specializing in complex injuries caused by third-party negligence, Ms. Cheng has obtained multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of disabled citizens throughout California.

She completed a $13,500,000 settlement on behalf of 60-year-old gentleman who suffered severe brain damage due to carbon monoxide poisoning; a $6,800,000 award on behalf of a mother and her child for birth injuries resulting in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy to the child; and a global $14,250,000 settlement on behalf of a 45-year-old man who suffered severe burn injuries in an industrial accident.

A frequent guest lecturer and adjunct professor, Ms. Cheng has trained lawyers and judges nationally and internationally. As part of the Rule of Law Initiative, she has had the privilege of training trial lawyers and judges in Mexico, Kosovo, and Macedonia. She has also collaborated and trained with civil practitioners in Singapore and Belfast. This past year, she led trial skills training for criminal prosecution offices in Glasgow, Scotland and multiple Caribbean countries.

Ms. Cheng is also the Program Director of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Western Region Advocacy Teacher Training Program. In 2012, she was awarded the Robert E. Keeton Award for outstanding service by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She is the 2015 recipient of the University of San Francisco Professional Achievement Award.

Ms. Cheng is involved in local bar associations and community organizations. She is the current President (former Secretary) of the San Francisco Bar Association and immediate Past President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. She is a former Chair of the Civility Matters! Program and current national representative for the American Board of Trial Advocates (San Francisco Chapter). She is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She serves on the Kaiser Arbitration Oversight Board.

She is a co-author of the eminent Rutter Group California Practice Guide on Personal Injury, and the trial practice guide, Mastering the Mechanics of Civil Jury Trials.

Following the induction of new Fellows of The American College of Trial Lawyers, Doris Cheng gave a speech to all the new inductees about being awarded such an elite honor.

LAW SCHOOL AND TEACHING AFFILIATIONS

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TRIAL ATTORNEYS

Program Director, Advocacy Teacher Training

Program Director, International Training (Kosovo & Macedonia in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice)

Faculty, Solicitor Advocates Training, Belfast, UK

Faculty, Trial Skills & Deposition Training Programs (public, private and government programs)

University of San Francisco School of Law

Board of Counselors, 2011 present

Board of Governors, 2003 2006

Intensive Advocacy Program, Executive Committee & Faculty, 1999 to present

Intensive Advocacy Program, Co-Director, 2005

Coach, Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition (4 teams for USF), 2004

EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program, Faculty 2003-2008, 2011

UC BERKELEY, BOALT HALL

Adjunct Professor, 2010-2011

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF LAW

Advocacy Training, Mexicali, Mexico (in connection with USAID grant), 2010

LOWELL HIGH SCHOOL (SAN FRANCISCO)

Coach, Mock Trial Team, 2010 present

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Girls Basketball Coach

Cornerstone Academy (8th grade), 1995

Notre Dames des Victoires (5th through 8th grade), 1999 2002

Lowell High School, Summer Clinic (JV and Varsity), 2003

BCSFYAO (5th and 6th grade), 2004 2006

ST. Patrick (Catholic Youth Organization) (5th through 7th grade), 2007 2009

Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, 1997 2000

Log Cabin Ranch Gardening Project (SF Youth Guidance Center), Volunteer, 2014

Year Joined Firm

1998

Published Works

Damages Presentation: Finding Memorable Imagery and Vignettes, American Association of Justice, January 2012

Impact Direct Examination, Consumer Attorneys of California, March 2009

“Cross Examination,”, Consumer Attorneys of California 46th Annual Conference, November, 2007

“Working with Economists on Personal Injury Damages”, National Business Institute, November, 2007

“Persuasive Speaking in the Courtroom”, San Francisco Trail Lawyers Association , April, 2007

Direct Examinations, USF School of Law Intensive Advocacy Program, April 2006

California Uninsured Motorist Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2005

Opening Statements: Making First and Lasting Impressions, San Francisco Trail Lawyers Association, April 2005

Classes/Seminars

Bar Association of San Francisco, Litigation Section, Tips on Picking a Jury, June 11, 2015

SFTLA Women’s Caucus, Woman Lawyer to Judge, Speaker, April 30, 2015

USF School of Law, Women’s Law Association Annual High Tea, Keynote Speaker, April 14, 2015

SFTLA, Roundtable Discussion on Economic Damages, Speaker, March 24, 2015

SFTLA, Trial Talk: Strategies from our own SFTLA Trial Masters, Speaker, March 10, 2015

Bay Area Asian Pacific American Law Students Association Conference, Moderator, Criminal Trial Attorneys Justice for All: Perspectives in Criminal Law, San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2015

SFTLA New Lawyer Division Ski Seminar, Guest Speaker, Tahoe, CA, January 30, 2015

ABOTA Masters in Trial, Cross Examination of Lay Witness, San Francisco, CA, October 24, 2014

ABOTA Masters in Trial, Closing Argument, Missoula, MT, October 17, 2014

NITA Pacific Regional Trial Skills Program, Evidence Lecture, San Diego, CA, October 12, 2014

ABOTA Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, Golden Gate University, October 8, 2014

NITA National Session, Closing Argument Lecture, Boulder, CO, July 27, 2014

ABOTA Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, USF School of Law, May 21, 2014

Program Directory, Delaware DOJ Trial Skills Training Program, Wilmington, DE, March 5-7, 2014

Guest Speaker, Ski Seminar, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Lake Tahoe, CA, March 1, 2014

After Howell & Corenbaum: Presenting Damages without the Collateral Source Rule, SFTLA, February 4, 2014

Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, ABOTA USF School of Law, January 13, 2014

Lecturer on Voir Dire, NITA Southern California Regional Trial Skills Program, Los Angeles, CA, January 6, 2014

Lecturer on the Use of Exhibits, NITA Southern California Regional Trial Skills Program, Los Angeles, CA , January 3, 2014

Personal Injury Update, The Rutter Group, San Francisco & Los Angeles, December 3 & 5

Faculty, Direct Examination, Stanford Mock Trial Training, November 2, 2013

Speaker, Effective Advocacy at Mediation, BASF, October 31, 2013

Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, ABOTA, NITA San Diego, CA, October 27, 2013

Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, ABOTA, Golden Gate University, October 9, 2012 October 9, 2013

Speaker, Avoiding Malpractice: 10 Critical Junctures Where Mistakes Can Happen, BASF, October 3, 2013

Speaker, Trail Skills Series II (Depositions), SFTLA, September 24, 2013

High Stakes Jury Selection (Seminar Web Live! national webinar), September 19, 2013

Presenter, Don Galine Masters Seminar: Advanced Discovery Techniques, San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association, September 17, 2013

Guest Lecturer “Use of Storytelling in Trial”, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, May 31, 2013

Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, ABOTA, Palo Alto Bar Association , April 11, 2013

Civility Matters! Winning Inside & Outside the Courtroom with Civility, ABOTA, Santa Clara Law School, March 21, 2013

Judge, National Ethics Trial Competition, Sacramento, CA, March 15, 2013

Moderator & Presenter “Presenting Damages in a Post-Howell World”, SFTLA, San Franciso, CA, February 19, 2013

Personal Injury Update, The Rutter Group, San Francisco & Los Angeles, November 27 & 29, 2012

Speaker, Serving Justice With Strained BudgetsPerspectives from On and Off the Bench, BASF Annual Bench Bar Conference, November 15, 2012

Presenter, Questioning Techniques for Deposition, USF Inn of Court, November 14, 2012

Co-Presenter “Accident Reconstruction/Computer Simulation”, ABOTA, Masters in Trial, October 26, 2012

Judge, Advocacy of the Year Competition, USF School of Law, October 6, 2012

Lecture “Opening Statements”, Advocacy Training for Solicitors, Belfast, United Kingdom, September 3, 2012

Lecture “The Ethics of Witness Preparation”, NITA Western Regional Trial Skills Program, San Francisco, CA, June 27, 2012

Lecture “Controlling the Difficult Witness”, NITA Western Regional Trial Skills Program, San Francisco, CA, June 25, 2012

Lecture, Direct and Cross of Experts, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, May 30, 2012

“Non-Economic Damages: Creating Memorable Imagery & Vignettes, AAJ Winter Convention, Phoenix, AZ, February 15, 2012

Panelist, Cross-Cultural Issues within the Practice of Law, BASF, San Francisco, CA, January 11, 2012

Lecturer on Voir Dire, NITA Southern California Regional Trial Skills Program, Los Angeles, CA, January 6, 2012

Lecturer on Closing Arguments, NITA Southern California Regional Trial Skills Program, Los Angeles, CA, January 5, 2012

Panelist, Personal Injury Update, The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA, December 1, 2011

Panelist Speaker, Morphing Your Case to Maximize Recovery, SFTLA, San Francisco, CA, October 11, 2011

Lecture, “The Exhibit Dance”, NITA National Session, July 26, 2011

Lecture “Experts: Selling the Science”, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, May 30, 2011

Demonstration & Lecture of Closing Arguments, Emory School of Law, Atlanta, GA, May 4, 2011

Speaker, Recorder Roundtable on Depositions:How to Take Winning Depositions, San Francisco, CA, March 23, 2011

Panelist, Personal Injury Update, The Rutter Group, Los Angeles, CA, December 2, 2010

Chair and Speaker, Expert Witness at Trial: Making the Information Jury Friendly, Mastering the Hypothetical Avoiding the Runaway Expert Witness, USF Inn of Court, May 12, 2010

Co-Chair, Navigating The Kaiser Electronic Medical Record System, SFTLA Roundtable Discussion, April 20, 2010

Speaker, Advocacy Teacher Training Seminar, University at Buffalo School of Law, March 26, 2010

Program Chair and Speaker, Advanced Settlement Techniques, SFTLA, March 9, 2010

Judge, Mock Trail Competition, Stanford Law School, February 13, 2010

Presenter, “Evidence in Economic Damages”, AAJ Winter Convention, Maui, HI, January 31, 2010

Lecturer, “Handling & Laying Foundations for Exhibits”, NITA Pacific Regional Trial Skills Program, November 1, 2009

Judge, Moot Court Competition, USF School of Law, October 10, 2009

Experts Lecture, Legal Services Corporation, Louisville, CO, October 6, 2009

Evidence and Theory Testing Lectures, NITA Northwest Regional Trial Skills Program, August 12, 2009

Voir Dire Lecture, NITA Western Regional Trial Skills Program, June 18, 2009

Regional Trial Lawyer Conference, Strategic Deposition Techniques, Squaw Creek, Olympia, CA, June 13, 2009

Lecturer, “Closing Arguments”, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, June 4, 2009

Chair & Panelist, “Evidence Advocacy”, San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, June 2, 2006 June 2, 2009

Effective Physical Communication Strategies During Trial (Webinar Lecture Seminar Web Live!), May 27, 2009

“Impact Direct Examination”, CAOC Tahoe Ski Seminar, March 21, 2009

National Ethics Competition, Judge, Sacramento, CA, March 20, 2009

Stanford Law School Mock Trial Invitational, Judge, January 24, 2009

Evaluating and Advocating Your Settlement, CAOC 47th Annual Conference, November 8, 2008

Chair & Panelist, SFTLA, Medicine for Jurors, October 14, 2008

“Direct & Cross of Expert Witnesses”, Department of Homeland Security In-house Advocacy Training Program, Louisville, CO, 07/2008

Lectures: “Closing Argument” and “Direct & Cross of Experts”, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, 05/2008

Panelist, “Women in the Law”, USF Intensive Advocacy Program, May 21, 2008

Presenter, “Jury Selection”, NITA Southern California Trial Skills Program, 1/2008

Chair, SFTLA Roundtable on Arbitrations Issues, December 18, 2007

Chair & Panelist, “Tactical Containment of Experts”, SFTLA, December 11, 2007

Faculty & Presenter, Juvenile Court Trial Skills Program, Bar Association of San Francisco, December 1, 2007 December 3, 2007

Presenter, “Handling the Auto Case From Bumper to Bumper, Part I: Cross Examination”, CAOC 46th Annual Conference, 11/2007

Presenter, “Direct & Cross of Expert Economist” (NITA National Session), Louisville, CO, 7/2007

“Practical Tips For Communicating With The Jury”, SFTLA, April 10, 2007

“Settle or Serve”, CAOC Tahoe Ski Seminar, March 24, 2007

Panelist, 32nd Annual National Trial Competition (American College of Trial Lawyers & Texas Young Lawyers Association), February 18, 2007

Co-Presenter: “Closing Argument: The Last Word”, University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program, June 1, 2006

“Direct & Cross of Experts” University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program”, May 29, 2006

Presenter, Gaining the Competitive Edge: Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy in California (San Francisco), April 27, 2006

Panelist, 6th Annual Bay Area Conference, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, February 4, 2006

Lecture, Handling Obstreperous Opposing Counsel (San Diego)

Lecturer, Powerpoint for Trial Lawyers (San Francisco), 1/2006

“Preparing Expert Witnesses”, NITA National Session, 7/2005

“Direct & Cross of Experts”, University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program, 5/2005

Guest Speaker, USF School of Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, April 17, 2005

Lecturer, “Right to a Fair Jury Trial Despite the Media”, USF Inn of Court, April 13, 2005

Presenter, Demonstration Automobile Accident Trial, San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, April 12, 2005

Lecturer, Powerpoint for Trial Lawyers (San Francisco), April 5, 2005

Public Interest Lawyer Advocacy Training, Trainer (San Francisco), 2/2005

“Suing and Defending the Professional,” (San Francisco), California Continuing Education of the Bar, Practicing Law Institute, 9/2004

Lecture “Effective Cross Examination”, University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program, 5/2004

“Maximizing Damages with Medical Experts”, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 4/2004

Lecturer, “Legal Ethics”, NITA Advocacy Teacher Training, 5/2003

Lecturer, “Direct & Cross Examinations”, University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program, 2003

“Civil Litigation”, National Business Institute, 9/2002

Lecturer, “Direct & Cross Examinations”, University of San Francisco School of Law, Intensive Advocacy Program, 5/2002

Trial Skills Training Program, Pristina, Kosovo (U.S. Dept of Justice), 2009

Solicitors Advocates Training Program, Belfast, United Kingdom, 2008

Program Director, Advocacy Teacher Training, National Institute of Trial Attorneys

Program Director, International Training (Kosovo & Macedonia-in connection with the U.S. Department of Justice), National Institute of Trial Attorneys

Faculty, Solicitor Advocates Training, Belfast, UK, National Institute of Trial Attorneys

Faculty Trial Skills & Deposition Training Programs (public and private programs), National Institute of Trial Attorneys

Board of Counselors, University of San Francisco School of Law, 2011

Board of Governors, University of San Francisco School of Law, 2003 2006

Intensive Advocacy Program, Program Director, University of San Francisco School of Law

Intensive Advocacy Program, Faculty, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1999 Present

Coach, Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition (4 teams for USF), University of San Francisco School of Law

Faculty, Kessler-Eidson Trail Techniques Program, Emory University School of Law, 2003-2008, 2011

Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall , 2010 2011

Advocacy Training, Mexicali, Mexico (in connection with USAID grant), University of San Diego School of Law

Head Coach, Mock Trial Team , Lowell High School (San Francisco), 2010 Present

Faculty & Co-Program Director, Advocacy Teacher Training Program (San Francisco, CA),, NITA, 2001 to present

Faculty, Advocacy Teacher Training Program (New York, NY), NITA, 2013

Faculty & Program Director, Advocacy Teacher Training Program (Louisville, CO), NITA, 2008

Faculty, Advocacy Teacher Training Program (Cambridge, MA), NITA, 2007, 2008

Team Leader, Northwest Deposition Program (Seattle, WA), NITA, 2009

National Session (Colorado), NITA, July 2005, 2007, 2011

Faculty, Western Regional Trial Skills Program, NITA, 2003-2005, 2007-2009, 2012

Faculty, Southern California Trail Skills Program, NITA, 2008, 2014

Faculty, Pacific Regional Trial Skills Program, NITA, 2004-2005, 2007-2009

Faculty, Pacific Regional Depositions Program, NITA, 2004, 2006

Faculty, Southwest Regional Trial Skills Program, NITA, 2005

Faculty, Western Regional Depositions Program, NITA, 2003

Advocacy Teacher Training Program, Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, 2010, 2012

Trial Skills Program, Colorado Legal Services Corporation, 2009

Trial Skills Program, Delaware Department of Justice, 2012, 2014

Advocacy Training Program (Macedonia), Department of Justice, 2011, 2012

Advocacy Training Program (Kosovo), Department of Justice, 2009, 2010

Advocacy Skills Training (U.S. Department of Justice), Pristina, Kosovo, April 3-9, 2009

Lecture: “Opening Statements”, Advocacy Training for Solicitors, Belfast, United Kingdom, September 2008

Solicitors Advocacy Certification Program (Belfast, UK), 2008, 2012

Immigration & Customs Enforcement Trial Skills Program, Department of Homeland Security, 2008

In-House Trial Skills Training, Littler Mendelson, 2007, 2012

In-House Trial Skills Training, Fish & Richardson, 2006

In-House Deposition Training, Covington & Burling, 2012

SFTLA, Anatomy Series: Head & Brain, Demystifying Neuroanatomy, April 19, 2016

Bar Association of San Francisco, Walk the Talk Series: Pleadings, Discovery & Jury Instruction, February 24, 2016

ABOTA Masters in Trial, Opening Statement and Cross Examination of Lay Witness, New Orleans, LA, December 11, 2015

The Rutter Group, Personal Injury Update, Los Angeles, December 4, 2015

Santa Clara County Bar Association, Mastering the Mechanics of Civil Jury Trials, Speaker, October 30, 2015

NITA Pacific Regional Trial Skills Program, Lecture on Direct and Cross Exam, San Diego, CA, October 10, 2015

Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California, Examining Opening Statement Strategies for Plaintiffs and Defense Attorneys, Speaker, October 8, 2015

Practicing Law Institute California Trial Advocacy Seminar 2015, Expert Witnesses and Getting Documents into Evidence Speaker, August 5, 2015

Honors and Awards

Bar Association of San Francisco, Justice & Diversity Center Volunteer Award, 2013, 2015

Top Women Lawyers in Northern California

Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 2012

Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California, 2011 to present

National Law Journal, Minority 40 Under 40

Best Lawyers in America, 2010 to present

California SuperLawyers, 2010 to present

Bar Association of San Francisco Merit Award, 2008

Finalist, “Trial Lawyer of the Year”, San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, 2008

Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist, San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association

Recipient, John J. Meehan Alumni Fellow Award, USF School of Law, 2007

John Meehan Fellow (University of San Francisco School of Law Distinguished Alumnus), 2007

NITA, Hon. Robert Keeton Faculty Award

Top 100, National Trial Lawyers

San Francisco’s Top Attorneys, 2010 present

University of San Francisco School of Law Professional Achievement Award, 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association , President-Elect, 2014

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association , Vice President, 2013

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Treasurer

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Parliamentarian

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Finance Committee, 2009 Present

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Committee on Directors, 2009 Present

San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, Educational Programs Chair, 2006, 2009

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Secretary, 2012

San Francisco Bar Association, President, 2018 Present

San Francisco Bar Association, Early Settlement Panelist, 2010 2012

San Francisco Bar Association, Member, Board of Directors, 2009 2011

San Francisco Bar Association, Conference of Delegates, 2009, 2012

San Francisco Bar Association, Chair, Judiciary Committee, 2008

San Francisco Bar Association, Judiciary Committee, Member, 2006 2008

San Francisco Bar Association, Vice Chair, Barrister Club Newsletter, 2002

San Francisco Bar Association, Chair, Barrister Club Newsletter, 2003

San Francisco Bar Association, Secretary, 2016

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2012 Present

American Board of Trial Advocates, Chair, Civility Matters! Programs (Law School Division), 2012 2014

American Board of Trial Advocates, Member, 2011 Present

American Board of Trial Advocates, National Representative (San Francisco Chapter), 2015 Present

American Board of Trial Advocates, Executive Committee (San Francisco Chapter), 2015 Present

Kaiser Arbitration Oversight Board, Board Member, 2010 Present

American Inns of Court, USF Chapter, Counselor, 2009 2011

National Association of Women Judges, Resource Board, 2007 Present

San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, Women’s Caucus Chair, 2004

San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association, Mock Trial Committee, 2003 2011

American Inns of Court, USF Chapter, Secretary-Treasurer, 2002 2003

American Inns of Court, USF Chapter, Program Chair, 2001 2002

American Inns of Court, USF Chapter, Membership Chair, 2000 2001

American Inns of Court, USF Chapter, Executive Committee, 1999 2011

National Trial Lawyers, Member, 2012 Present

American College of Trial Lawyers, State Committee, 2015 Present

American College of Trial Lawyers, National Trial Competition Committee, 2015 Present

American College of Trial Lawyers, Admission to Fellowship Committee, 2015 Present


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