Walter J. Lack is a founding partner and the managing partner of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack. He received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1973. Mr. Lack was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1973, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in 1979, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981. His areas of specialty are aviation crashes, class action, complex business litigation, environmental litigation, insurance bad faith, mass toxic tort and professional liability. Mr. Lack was lead counsel for more than 1,500 residents of Hinkley and Kettleman, California (the “Erin Brockovich” case) and lead counsel in cases with an aggregate recovery in excess of $10 billion.

Mr. Lack has earned numerous awards and honors and is recognized by LawDragon Magazine as one of the 500 leading lawyers in the United States (2005-2015), by Southern California Super Lawyers as a “Top Ten Super Lawyer” (2004-present) and a recipient of American Lawyer Magazine’s “Top 10 jury Awards” in the U.S. in five separate years. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a lecturer to trial lawyer groups throughout the country on a variety of topics within the civil justice system.


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA, 1973, J.D.
  • Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, 1970, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1973
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1981

Published Works

  • Construction Defect Law Caved in by Supreme Court: The Land of Aas — CAOC Forum, April, 2002
  • Three Trial Attorneys — Loyola Lawyer, Winter, 2001
  • Fiduciary Duties; What Are They? When Do They Exist? and Why Use Them? — CAALA Advocate, March, 2001
  • 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California — The Daily Journal, California Law Business, October, 2000
  • Top Ten Cases — LA Daily Journal Verdicts & Settlements Supplement, DeWald v. Knyal, listing #6, March, 2000
  • Insurance Bad Faith: Expert Witnesses and Evidence — CAOC Forum, November, 1999
  • Bum Deal — LA Daily Journal Verdicts & Settlements Supplement, June, 1999
  • Two Law Firms’ Teamwork Keys Success — LA Daily Journal Verdicts & Settlements Supplement, June, 1999
  • Personal Injury — The National Law Journal, February, 1999
  • Surviving a Toxic Tort Case from Retainer to Trial — CAOC Forum, May, 1997
  • Spoiliation: A Defense Perspective — CAOC Forum, January, 1996
  • Formulating a Defendant’s Discovery Plan in a Mid-Air Collision — Southern Methodist University School of Law, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Vol. 47, No. 4, 1982
  • The Availability of Strict Liability in the Excess Judgment Case — California Trial Lawyers Journal, Spring, 1973
  • The Anatomy of a Federal Employer’s Liability Act Case — California Trial Lawyers Journal, October, 1972

Professional Associations

  • Superior Court Arbitration Panel, 1976-Present
  • Chairperson, Bar Fee Dispute Committee
  • The Standing Committee on Discipline for the Central District of California, 1997-2000, Member
  • Governor’s Los Angeles Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, 1999-2003
  • American Arbitration Association, 1976-Present, Member, Panel of Arbitrators
  • State Bar of California, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Leaders Forum Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, 2001-Present, Board of Governors
  • Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, Member
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Member, Board of Directors
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Advocate
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, 1998-2001, National Executive Committee Member
  • Loyola-Marymount University, 1986-1989, Alumni Board of Directors
  • Loyola-Marymount University, 1991-1994, Alumni Board of Directors
  • Loyola Marymount University, 1999-Present, Board of Regents

Litigation Percentage

100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Notable Past Positions

Deputy Attorney General, State of New Mexico

Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent Lecturer, Trial Lawyer Groups throughout Country
  • Guest Lecturer, California Judicial College, 1995-1997

Honors and Awards

  • Top 500 Leading Plaintiffs Lawyers in America – Lawdragon, January 2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of The Year in Los Angeles, 2015
  • Best Lawyers in America 2009-2016
  • Top 10 Southern California Super Lawyers, 2007-2009
  • Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2017
  • Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2003-2004
  • Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Daily Journal’s Top 10 California Jury Verdicts, 1993-1994, 1996, 1999, 2004
  • Daily Journal’s “One Hundred Most Influential Lawyers in California” 2004-2005
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Top 50 Litigators in Los Angeles, 1999-2004
  • California Governor’s Judicial Selection Committee, 1998-2003
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys, 2002
  • Pat Summerall Success Story Aired on Fox News, 2002
  • Top 500 Leading Lawyers in America – Lawdragon 2006-2007
  • Top 500 Leading Plaintiffs Lawyers in America – Lawdragon, January 2007
  • “The Legends” Lawdragon Magazine 10th Anniversary 2015
  • Who’s Who in Law – Los Angeles’ 25 Most Powerful Attorneys – Los Angeles Business Journal March 4-10, 2002
  • Who’s Who in Law – L.A. Business Journal, March, 2002
  • Who’s Who in Law – L.A. Business Journal, February, 2001
  • Who’s Who in Law – L.A. Business Journal, February, 1999