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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Gregory Owen

When it comes to certain types of litigation there are two choices an attorney can make either representing the injured client or defending an insurance company. Greg Owen knew from the start of his law career that he didn’t want to represent insurance companies. There was no compassion, no emotion involved. Decisions were based on business considerations. “On our side when we get a result for our clients it makes a different in their lives,” Owen said. Owen, a name partner in Owen, Patterson & Owen in Valencia, said he gives a voice to injured people who might not otherwise have one in going up against major corporations. The firm initiated the ongoing litigation against Merck & Co. and its medication Vioxx over increase risks of heart attacks and other health problems. In 2002, Owen represented Courtney Triana who was left brain damaged after a light pole struck her in the head while walking in a grocery store parking lot in Palmdale. The case settled for $35 million, a national record for the largest amount ever given to a single plaintiff, Owen said. During the case, Owen became part of the family, said Greg Triana, Courtney’s father. Owen put his heart and soul into the case, kept the family aware of what was going on and didn’t make any big promises, Triana said. “He didn’t put us out there to expect something that wasn’t going to be there for us,” Triana said. Owen has also taken on individual claims and class action cases in the Dow-Corning breast implant litigation, the Lockheed water contamination class action, several pharmaceutical defective drug actions, and against waste haulers overcharging Santa Clarita residents for trash pickup. If he had his way, Owen said, he would be on trial every day and not be in the office. Going before a jury takes the ability to think on your feet and constantly make decisions on which direction to take a case. In the end, one relies on a gut feeling over which theory to present to the jury, Owen said. In cases involving multiple expert witnesses, Owen meets that challenge by having those witnesses go from being scientists to being teachers. The best way to present complicated information to a jury is the use of visual aids charts, graphs, blown-up photographs, and illustrations, Owen said. But on the flipside, Owen thinks his firm has a duty to settle every case. The best way to get a case to settle is to aggressively prepare for a trial, he added. “A decent settlement is always better than a great jury verdict,” Owen said. A native of East Los Angeles, Owen took an early interest in the legal field participating in a court watch program to monitor courtroom procedures. He graduated Southwestern Law School in 1981 and has always worked for himself. He founded two other law firms prior to Owen, Patterson & Owen, which has a total of six attorneys and three paralegals. Working on his own allows him control over which cases to take and the ability to take time out for his family, Owen said, adding, “There’s nothing like being your own boss.” Mark R. Madler

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