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McCarthy & 
McCarthy, LLP
A T T O R N E Y S  A T  L A W

McCarthy & McCarthy Attorney Profiles


Attorneys practicing with McCarthy & McCarthy include:

Kevin P. McCarthy, Managing Partner

Philip T. Bazzano, Senior Associate

Sheryl A. Traum,
Senior Associate

Catherine J. Chen, Associate

Kime H. Smith,

Grace Koss,

Jeffrey J. Brence, Associate

The Arlington Building
492 Ninth Street, Suite 220
Oakland, California 94607

McCarthy & McCarthy, LLP and its attorneys have a reputation for success and creativity in handling a myriad of legal matters. They are well known in legal communities throughout Northern California and also provide legal counsel in Southern California, Nevada and Colorado. Our attorneys are trial experienced and have participated in hundreds of mediations, arbitrations, and other alternative dispute resolutions proceedings. All attorneys are experienced and professional counselors to handle the vast array of legal inquiries and take necessary action to serve prospective clientele.

Kevin P. McCarthy, Managing Partner

Mr. McCarthy has and continues to focus his legal practice in the areas of corporate risk management, contract negotiation, construction defect defense, and general business litigation. His practice includes handling and managing developers, general contractors, joint venture partners, and their applicable insurance coverage in relation to disputes, which have a significant focus on construction failure, resultant property damage, diminution in value, and related personal injuries.


Mr. McCarthy has and continues to be the firm's chief and primary trial counsel. His litigation experience includes jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations, and multi-party mediation and dispute resolution.

His clientele includes real estate professionals, developers, designers, subcontractors, construction product managers, suppliers, engineers, corporate

affiliates to real estate and commercial improvements, and commercial insurers.

In addition, Mr. McCarthy's legal concentration includes insurance coverage, general commercial liability, employment related claims, professional liability, environmental impact claims, construction contract disputes, and risk management for the construction industry.

Mr. McCarthy is licensed to practice in California and Colorado. He is also admitted in each of the United States District Courts within California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Santa Clara University School of Law (J.D., 1989)

University of San Francisco (B.S. Business/Finance, summa cum laude, 1985)

Valedictorian, Class of 1985


American Bar Association


Philip T. Bazzano, Senior Associate

Philip Bazzano's current practice focuses on construction litigation and real estate. He has extensive experience with general liability litigation including construction defect, personal injury and workers compensation, toxic mold exposure, insurance subrogation and coverage, real estate boundary disputes and water rights, professional licensing matters, and general business disputes.

His expertise includes all aspects of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as mediation and arbitration, as well as risk

management and preventative counseling for clients.  

Mr. Bazzano strives for the effective and efficient representation of his clients' interests whether during litigation, risk management counseling, contract review, or general representation. He is licensed to practice law in California, and is admitted to the U.S. District Court of Northern California.


Tulane University School of Law (J.D., 2000)

Santa Clara University (B.S. Political Science)


Contra Costa County Bar Association

Association of Defense Counsel


Sheryl A. Traum, Senior Associate

With over 23 years of experience, Sheryl Traum is a seasoned litigator, negotiator and trial attorney. Ms. Traum concentrates her efforts on complex civil litigation, including construction, real estate, personal injury, and products liability. Ms. Traum continually receives favorable results for her clients and has vast experience taking lead roles in major complex litigation cases. Ms. Traum has earned an A-V rating from the Martindale-Hubbell peer review process, and in 2005 was recognized by Bay Area Lawyer as one of the top lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ms. Traum has experience representing contractors, developers, property owners, and homeowner associations in construction and real property disputes. Ms. Traum litigates personal injury matters from both the defense and plaintiff side of cases, including construction accidents, slip and falls, auto accidents, and both first-party and third-party insurance claims issues.

Ms. Traum also has experience representing both lenders and property owners in disputes relating to residential mortgages and deeds of trust, including non-judicial foreclosure actions and alleged predatory lending practices.  

In 2005, Ms. Traum expanded her practice to include serving as an Arbitrator and Mediator. Ms. Traum currently serves on the Alameda Superior Court Mediator Panel and is a certified Arbitrator of construction-related disputes for American Arbitration Association. Ms. Traum uses her extensive experience in the substantive areas of law listed above to assist parties with resolving disputes, both large and small.

Ms. Traum is licensed to practice in California and Nevada.


University of California Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1988)

Washington State University (B.S. English/Pre-Law, 1984)


Earl Warren American Inn of Court

Alameda County Bar Association

Bar Association of San Francisco

Contra Costa County Bar Association

State Bar of California


Top Lawyers in California, American Lawyer Media 2013

"Top Lawyer in Bay Area," Bay Area Lawyer Magazine 2005

"A-V" rating, Matindale Hubbell


View Kevin McCarthy’s page on SuperLawyers.com

Kime H. Smith, Associate

Kime Smith is an experienced Bay Area litigator. Mr. Smith’s legal experience includes areas of employment, business, personal injury, and complex toxic torts. Mr. Smith’s current practice focuses on construction defect defense.

Mr. Smith has represented a variety of clients including general contractors, subcontractors, product manufacturers, and construction material suppliers.  Mr. Smith has extensive law and motion experience and deposition experience defending San Francisco and Los Angeles based entities.

At Syracuse University College of Law, Mr. Smith

received Dean’s List honors and received a

certificate from the Technology Management Program where he assessed university based inventions for intellectual property protection.  During the summer of 2002, Mr. Smith studied Chinese intellectual property law at the prestigious Tsinghai University of Beijing, China.

Mr. Smith is an active member of the San Francisco Aquarium Society, the oldest organization of its type in America.

Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law in California.


Syracuse University, College of Law (J.D., 2003)

University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1998)


scale construction projects and residential developments.  

Grace is skilled at law and motion and settlement negotiations.

Ms. Koss is a member of the State Bar of California, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., 2001)

University of California, Berkeley (B.S., 1995)


Grace Koss, Associate

Grace’s litigation experience includes the representation of individuals and entities in catastrophic injury, commercial, contract, and high profile tort litigation.  She has experience in handling pre-litigation claims and enforcing indemnity agreements and additional insured obligations in construction defect cases.

Ms. Koss is also experienced in the representation of subcontractors, developers, and general contractors in complex civil cases regarding large-

Prior to coming to California in 2009, Mr. Brence studied at the University of Colorado and spent his weekends teaching skiing.  

Mr. Brence is a member of the San Francisco County and San Mateo County Bar Associations, and is licensed to practice in California.


Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D. cum laude, 2011)

University of Colorado at Boulder (B.S. History, 2006)


San Francisco County Bar Association

San Mateo County Bar Association


Jeffrey J. Brence, Associate

Jeff Brence has broad experience in civil litigation, including construction, employment law, unlawful detainer actions, real estate contract disputes, and litigating probate matters.

Mr. Brence has represented numerous clients including general contractors, subcontractors, real estate developers, and real estate purchasers.  Mr. Brence has experience in law and motion, has drafted several successful summary judgment motions, and has filed briefs in the California Court of Appeals.  

Catherine J. Chen, Associate

Catherine Chen currently focuses her practice on construction defect litigation where she defends contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers of construction materials in suits filed in Northern California.

Ms. Chen draws from her extensive knowledge and experience as a litigator, and is involved with all

aspects of case development, including all phases of discovery and law & motion practice.

Ms. Chen's background includes wide-ranging knowledge of other areas of law, such as toxic tort, estate planning, real estate transactions, and corporate formation.


UCLA School of Law (J.D., 2000)

University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Philosophy, 1996)