Walter M. Yoka

Partner

Walter Yoka is a nationally recognized trial attorney focused on litigating cases involving products liability, commercial disputes and class actions. In addition to having tried numerous high profile cases to verdict, Walter has also successfully argued in California’s Supreme and Appellate courts. 

Among his many affiliations, Walter is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), previously serving as the 2014 President of the Los Angeles chapter. He also currently serves on the Executive Board as Treasurer of CAL-ABOTA, and is on ABOTA’s National Board of Directors. Additionally, Walter is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Counsel, International Society of Barristers, and Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC). Walter previously served as President of the ASCDC and the California Defense Counsel, and currently serves on the ASCDC Executive Board.

In 2003, Walter was appointed by Chief Justice Ronald George to serve on the Judicial Council Blue Ribbon Panel of Experts on the Fair and Efficient Administration of Civil Cases, and formerly served as a member of the Judicial Counsel Civil & Small Claims Committee.  Chief Justice George also appointed him to serve on the Civil & Small Claims Advisory Committee on Electronic Discovery.  Walter was inducted into the ASCDC Hall of Fame in 2008.  Walter has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year since 2004, and selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006, and Los Angeles Times' Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers list.  Further, Walter was recognized by Southern California's Best Lawyers, as the "Los Angeles Best Lawyers Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year" for 2012, and he was also recognized by Best Lawyers as "Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability Litigation, and Personal Injury Litigation Defendants" for 2014.  

Walter was the recipient of the prestigious Champion of Justice award from Loyola Law School in 2016.

More recently, he was chosen as the 2018 Southwestern Law School Alumnus of the Year. 

Walter continues to be active the legal community as a member of several boards, including being a Trustee of Southwestern Law School’s Board of Trustees.

 Past Employment Positions

  • Morgan, Wenzel & McNicholas, Associate/Partner, 1979-1994

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California's Best Lawyer
  • Super Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Yoka & Smith has continually been chosen as a Fortune 500 Go-To Law Firm of the World's Leading Companies
  • Southern California's Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability Litigation, and Personal Injury Litigation Defendants" for 2014
  • Walter M. Yoka Recognized By Best Lawyers - 2019
    Walter M. Yoka Recognized By Best Lawyers - 2019
  • Yoka & Smith Recognized By Best Lawyers for 2019
    Yoka & Smith Recognized By Best Lawyers for 2019
  • Walter M. Yoka Recognized as Best Lawyers 2018 Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability Litigation-Defendants Los Angeles, California
    Walter M. Yoka Recognized as Best Lawyers 2018 Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability Litigation-Defendants Los Angeles, California
  • Yoka & Smith Recognized By Best Lawyers for 2017
    Yoka & Smith Recognized By Best Lawyers for 2017
  • Walter Yoka CHOSEN 2016 Champion of Justice
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon selected as 2016 Super Lawyers
    Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon selected as 2016 Super Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2015 Super Lawyers
    Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2015 Super Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2014 Super Lawyers
    Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2014 Super Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka Chosen as the 2014 "Lawyer of the Year" by U.S. News — Best Lawyers ® for Los Angeles Personal Injury Litigation — Defendants
    Walter Yoka Chosen as the 2014 "Lawyer of the Year" by U.S. News — Best Lawyers ® for Los Angeles Personal Injury Litigation — Defendants
  • Walter Yoka Named to Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka Selected as One of the Best Lawyers in America
  • Yoka & Smith Again Chosen by U.S. News — Best Lawyers ® "Best Law Firms" 2014
  • Yoka & Smith Selected as a U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"
  • Yoka & Smith Selected as a 2013 All Star Go-To Law Firm of the World's Leading Companies
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2013 Super Lawyers
    Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2013 Super Lawyers
  • Yoka & Smith Chosen as a Fortune 500 Go-To Law Firm of the World's Leading Companies
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza and Jeffrey Gordon Chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait, Christopher Faenza, Jeffrey Gordon Selected as 2012 Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka Has Been Selected as the Best Lawyers' 2012 Los Angeles Product Liability Litigation — Defendants Lawyer of the Year
    Walter M. Yoka Has Been Selected as the Best Lawyers' 2012 Los Angeles Product Liability Litigation — Defendants Lawyer of the Year
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith, Anthony Latiolait and Christopher Faenza Chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka Selected as One of the 2010 Los Angeles Area's Best Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith and Anthony Latiolait Chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka Selected as One of the 2010 Los Angeles Area's Best Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka and the Firm Chosen as Go-To Lawyers by the Fortune 500 Companies
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith and Anthony Latiolait Chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka Selected as One of the 2009 Los Angeles Area's Best Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka Honored as the Initial Inductee to the ASCDC Hall of Fame
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith and Anthony Latiolait chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka selected as one of the 2008 Los Angeles Area's Best Lawyers
  • Walter Yoka and the Firm Chosen as "Go-To" Lawyers by the Fortune 500 Companies
  • Walter Yoka, Stephen Smith and Anthony Latiolait Chosen as Southern California Super Lawyers
  • Walter M. Yoka Selected as One of the 2007 Los Angeles Area's Best Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • Southern California Best Lawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member, Executive Committee, National Board of Directors, Past President, Los Angeles Chapter
  • CAL-ABOTA, Treasurer
  • Product Liability Advisory Council, Member
  • International Society of Barristers, Member
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Past President, Board of Directors
  • California Defense Counsel, Past President
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Past Member Judicial Appointment Committee
  • Judicial Council Civil & Small Claims Committee,  Past Member

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1987

Education

Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, California, J.D., 1980

California State University, Los Angeles, California, B.A., 1977

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