Thomas E. Miller | CEO & Founder
tmiller@constructiondefects.com

THOMAS E. MILLER

Thomas E. Miller has been a distinguished construction defect attorney for 45 years. During his first eight years of practice he represented developers and their insurance companies. Since 1981, Miller has exclusively represented homeowners and associations in construction defects claims. He has been an Officer on the Board of Directors of his own Homeowners Association for the last 12 years.

A nationally recognized expert and pioneer in his field, he has recovered over $1 Billion for his association clients including 150 settlements and verdicts over $1 million. Miller is a Fellow Member of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, AV rated (highest possible rating in both legal quality and ethical standards) by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been voted by his peers a "Super Lawyer" since 2004 in construction litigation in both the Northern and Southern California regions. Most recently, The Miller Law

Firm was awarded the National Litigator Award by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents for two consecutive years. This award is the most well respected performance measuring symbol of litigation achievement in the nation, honoring only the top 1% of attorneys, and based strictly on tangible verdict & settlement dollar achievement.

DISTINCTION

Mr. Miller is the author of four definitive treatises, "California Construction Defect Litigation: Residential and Commercial” (1986 & 1993), "Handling Construction Defect Claims: Western States” (3rd Edition, 1999; Annual Supplement, 2009-2012), and the 4th Edition published in 2013 by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (Annual Supplement 2014-2017). He is also the co-author of the authoritative handbook on the subject, "Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction," second edition (2012).

EDUCATION

University of California, Hastings
     College of Law, San Francisco (J.D. 1973)
California State University, Long Beach (B.A.,
     Magna Cum Laude 1970)

MEDIA FEATURES

Wall Street Journal
CNN
Washington Post
New York Times
San Francisco/ LA Daily Journal
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Business Journal

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Habitat for Humanity

Children of Shelters

JUMA Ventures

Amigo de los Ninos Foundation Neighborhood

Parks Council Enterprise for High School Students

Mission Hospital Foundation

Food for Kids

Tipping Point Community

UC Hastings Foundation Board Member

UC Hastings Chancellor’s Circle 2018

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

CAI
CACM
ECHO
IREM
San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
The Bar Association of San Francisco
Construction Lawyers Society of America

ADMISSIONS

California State Bar
Association American Bar Association
The Bar Association of San Francisco
US-Mexico Bar Association

HONORS

Consumer Attorneys of California: Presidential Award of Merit; Board of Directors

UC Hastings College of the Law: Alumnus of the Year; Thomas E. Miller Distinguished Professorship of Law

CSULB: Thomas E. Miller President's Scholar Center; Alumnus of the Year

California Western School of Law: Thomas E. Miller Mock Trial Room

CAI: College of Community Association Lawyers, Founding Member

CACM: Visions Awards Recipient; Founding Member

University of California: Chancellor's Executive Round Table

Litigator Award, Trial Lawyers Board of Regents
2014 & 2015

AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell 2003 – 2018

California Super Lawyer 2004 – 2018 Northern & Southern California

Rachel M. Miller | Senior Partner
rachel@constructiondefects.com

Rachel Miller

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Community Associations Institute (CAI);

board member of several chapters

California Association of Community

Managers (CACM); legal advisory committee

Consumer Attorneys of California;

Board of Governors

Foundation for California Community

Association Education, Board of Director

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO);

legal resource panel member

HONORS

National Litigator Award, Trial Lawyers

Board of Regents, LLC (2014 & 2015)

CAOC Presidential Award of Merit

CACM Vision Award, Excellence in

Education

CAI President’s Award, Board Member of the

Year

Guest Editor, CACM Law Journal

CACM Law Seminar Series

Rachel M. Miller has proudly practiced law with The Miller Law Firm for 20 years with the primary and unique role of Senior Partner with a focus on client connection and providing immediate contact and communication to current and prospective clients, board members, and community association managers. Rachel has held many distinct positions in the Community Association Industry: board member of several chapters of Community Associations Institute (CAI), the elite President’s Club, CACM’s Legal Advisory Committee, ECHO’s legal resource panel, and Board of Director of Consumer Attorneys of California. Most recently, The Miller Law Firm was awarded the National Litigator Award by the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents for two consecutive years. This award is the most well respected performance measuring symbol of litigation achievement in the nation, honoring only the top 1% of attorneys, and based strictly on tangible verdict & settlement dollar achievement.

DISTINCTION

Rachel is co-author of the only consumer handbook on the subject, “Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction”, (2001 & 2012). She is also the co-author of “Handling Construction Defect Claims: Western States” (4th Edition), the nation’s only legal textbook on the subject. Additionally, Rachel is editor and moderator of various university extension courses and regularly speaks on legislation, disaster response developer transitions, and mold as it relates to construction defect claims.

ADMISSIONS

California State Bar Association

American Bar Association

The Bar Association of San Francisco

EDUCATION

California Western School of Law (J.D. 1994)

Loyola Marymount University (B.A. 1990)

MEDIA FEATURES

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

Washington Post

San Francisco Daily Journal

Los Angeles Times

Orange County Register

San Jose Mercury News

The Arizona Republic

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Mission Hospital Foundation

Children of Shelters, Board of Director

Tipping Point Community

JUMA Ventures, Chair Field of Dreams

San Francisco Arts Junior Committee

Neighborhood Parks Council

South Beach Yacht Club

San Francisco Zoological Society

Raphael House

Enterprise for High School Students

San Francisco Education Fund

The Battery

National Charity League

Matthew T. Miller | Partner
matt@constructiondefects.com

Matt Miller

Matthew T. Miller is a partner with The Miller Law Firm and coordinates expert investigation and testing to insure all defect issues have been identified and addressed in the most cost effective manner. Matt is also a member of the research and editorial team on all firm publications, and with his vision, created the first web site directed solely to helping owner associations with construction defect www.constructiondefects.com. It remains today as the signature site for consumers and construction defect research. Matt took a year off to study abroad and earn a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2002.

DISTINCTION

Matt is co-author of the only consumer handbook on the subject, “Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction”, (2001 & 2012). He is also the co-author of “Handling Construction Defect Claims: Western States” (4th Edition), the nation’s only legal textbook on the subject. In 2012, Matt also helped organize an environmental management program that includes preserving the hatching grounds of sea turtles along a two mile stretch of the Mexican Pacific Coastline in an area called the Bahia de Chamela.

EDUCATION

University of California Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 2000)

University of California at Berkeley (B.A., 1994)

Le Cordon Blue, Paris (2002)

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Cal Bear Backers

Surfrider Foundation

JUMA Ventures

Amigos de los Niño’s Foundation

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO)

Community Associations Institute (CAI)

California Association of Community Managers (CACM)

ADMISSIONS

California State Bar Association

American Bar Association

The Bar Association of San Francisco

Craig W. Brunet | Senior Litigation Counsel
cbrunet@constructiondefects.com

Craig Brunet

Craig Brunet is a 33 year seasoned trial attorney with extensive litigation experience over a wide range of legal areas, including residential and commercial construction defects, first and third-party insurance issues, and bad faith litigation. Craig’s lengthy career includes the handling of over 2,000 cases arising from the Northridge Earthquake, including difficult insurance matters.

Craig’s vast experience includes SB 800 claims with homeowner’s associations, property management companies, builders, and insurers, involving damage and defects to multi-family housing, and high rise residential structures.

DISTINCTION

Following his graduation from law school, Craig received a coveted position as the Supreme Court attorney for Justice Charles Springer of the Nevada Supreme Court. During his time with the court, Craig assisted the justices and learned the justice system from the viewpoint of the bench. His involvement included evaluating and briefing the court on pending appeals and preparing proposed opinions for judicial consideration.

More recently, his extensive abilities in working with expert witnesses was recognized by his selection as a panelist for the California Conference of Arson Investigators' annual course on Expert Witness Testimony, and the National Business Institute's seminar on Advanced Expert Witness Deposition Techniques.

ADMISSIONS

State Bar of California 

State Bar of Nevada

U.S. District Court: Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California

EDUCATION

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., with distinction

Loyola Marymount University, Bachelor of Science

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO)

Community Associations Institute (CAI)

California Association of Community Managers (CACM)

Friends of Institute Real Estate Management (IREM)

MEMBERSHIPS

Los Angeles County Bar Association

American Association for Justice

Member, Roger J. Traynor Honor Society

T. Scott Tate | Senior Litigation Counsel
state@constructiondefects.com

Scott Tate

Scott Tate’s 32 years of wide-ranging litigation experience includes extensive construction and product liability litigation, financial services, corporate, commercial and real estate disputes.

Scott’s experience in representing general contractors and subcontractors in construction defect and land subsidence cases in Northern and Southern California generates important insight for our Association clients, providing a practical approach to critically evaluate construction defect claims and implement effective resolution strategies through mediation, settlement negotiation, and trial.

DISTINCTIONS

Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, Scott has overseen numerous claims in state and federal courts nationwide. Prior to joining The Miller Law Firm, Scott represented builders and subcontractors, and structural warranty companies and manufacturers, including windows and industrial metal deformation products in construction defect cases. He previously served as the co-chair of his law firm’s Construction Industry Practice Group, where he generated extensive knowledge of testing protocols and industry standards.

ADMISSIONS

State Bar of California

U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. Supreme Court

EDUCATION

UC Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1984

Claremont Men’s (McKenna) College, B.A., 1980

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Community Associations Institute (CAI)

California Association of Community Managers (CACM)

Friends of Institute Real Estate Management (IREM)

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO)

MEMBERSHIPS

American Bar Association

San Francisco Bar Association

Alameda County Bar Association

Association of General Contractors’ Legal Advisory Committee

Commonwealth Club of San Francisco

National Glass Association

John E. Bauman, III | Litigation Counsel
jbauman@constructiondefects.com

John Bauman

John Bauman has over 14 years of extensive litigation experience in California, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, representing plaintiffs in premises liability, products liability, insurance coverage, employment discrimination, and commercial litigation.  He has handled cases from inception to settlement, through the appeals process and even trial.

These experiences generate important insight for our Association clients, providing John with a practical approach to critically evaluate construction defect claims and implement effective resolution strategies through mediation and settlement negotiations.

DISTINCTIONS

John previously served as Executive Articles Editor of the Hastings Law Journal, and his clerkships include the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges, working on federal whistleblower claims under statutes, as well as an externship with Honorable Susan Y. Illston, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco. 


INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO)
Community Associations Institute (CAI)
California Association of Community Managers (CACM)
Friends of Institute Real Estate Management (IREM)

ADMISSIONS

State Bar of California
State Bar of Michigan
State Bar of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Wisconsin

EDUCATION

UC Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2003
Ludwid-Mazimilians Univesitat, Munich, Graduate Casework in History, 1999
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A., 1998

Joseph A. Seltzer | Attorney
joseph@constructiondefects.com

Joseph Seltzer

Joseph is a first year Associate Attorney with The Miller Law Firm, joining the team of leading industry professionals after passing the California State Bar in November of 2016.  During his tenured internship with the firm, Joseph developed and enriched his unique research skills for our team of attorneys.  As an Attorney at The Miller Law Firm, Joseph’s responsibilities include attending both plaintiff and developer inspections and testing, assisting with litigation matters, and acting as a communication liaison for homeowners, realtors and tenants on the current status of our client’s association claims.

DISTINCTION

While attending UC Hastings College of the Law, Joseph was a member of the International & Comparative Law Journal, competed as an appellate advocate and served as a teaching assistant for both Legal Writing & Research and Moot Court.

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO)
Community Associations Institute (CAI)
California Association of Community Managers (CACM)
Friends of Institute Real Estate Management (IREM)

ADMISSIONS

State Bar of California

EDUCATION

University of California Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 2016)

Dominican University of California (B.A. 2011)

Kim Province | Director of Client Relations
kim@constructiondefects.com

Kim Province
 

Kim Province joins The Miller Law Firm as Director of Client Relations, enhancing the firm’s commitment to its Association clients and to the CID industry. Kim has over 20 years experience in marketing and relationship management with a diverse background in construction. In the last 5 years alone, Kim facilitated hundreds of large-scale reconstruction projects in homeowners associations and multi-family communities. Her knowledge of construction lends a truly unique perspective into the already very long list of SB 800 building performance violations our clients face. Experience in identifying building performance needs from the perspective of a construction expert brings an added layer of knowledge to our Association clients and the community managers that service these clients.

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

California Association of Community Management (CACM)

  • Regional Forum Committee Member

Community Association Institute (CAI)

  • Co-chair of the “Outreach Committee”
  • Member of the Springtime Education Committee
  • Member of the Orange County Excellence of Community Awards Committee, Orange County Chapter
  • Member of the Business Expo and Education Forum, Coachella Valley Chapter
  • Member of the Education Committee, Greater Inland Empire Chapter
  • Member of California Legislation Action Committee (CLAC)
  • Member of the Fundraising Committee, Greater Los Angeles Chapter

Sara Brown | Director of Client Relations
sara@constructiondefects.com

Sara Brown

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Sara completed her Paralegal Certification program with Honors from the University of San Diego and joined The Miller Law Firm in 2011 as a Case Manager. She has worked closely with Tom and Rachel assisting New Clients in the Due Diligence & Research phase, evaluating their potential claims and seeing them through SB 800.

Over the last 5 years she has developed a strong identity and community in the CID industry, working hard to educate and connect community managers and board members through several important organizations. 

Sara has coordinated several important educational sessions for the San Francisco Manager's Information Group (SFMIG) including recent programs by Karen Conlon, former President and CEO of the California Association of Community Managers (CACM), and her successor David Zepponi. She is also the coordinator of The Miller Law Firm's annual UC Hastings' Symposiums.

Sara has a strong role in our communications department, assisting The Firm with media response. In the wake of the 2015 Berkeley Deck Collapse, she coordinated daily media interviews and responses in this very intense media storm, giving her the insight and expertise to help local, national and international reporters obtain the necessary information for community association focused news pieces.

INDUSTRY AFFILIATIONS

Community Association Institute (CAI)

  • Rookie of The Year Award, 2015
  • Co-chair of the Annual Awards & Holiday Event
  • Member of the Annual Awards & Holiday Committee, 2014-2016
  • Member of the CAI Ladies Tea Committee, 2015 & 2016
  • Member of the CAI Cares Committee
  • Regional Educational Director, San Francisco

Builder’s Connection Network (BCN)

  • Member of the Board, East Bay Chapter
  • Member of the Board, South Bay Chapter

Linda Hughes | Senior Case Manager
linda@constructiondefects.com

Linda Hughes

Linda has 22 years’ experience in the plaintiff construction defect industry, as well as 6 years’ experience as a case manager/administrator in mass tort cases. Linda coordinates daily with clients, attorneys, and case experts, assisting in case management, mediation and trial preparation. Linda is also actively involved in the firm's marketing and client services departments as well as being a Notary Public for the State of California.

Maly Thongphanith | Paralegal
maly@constructiondefects.com

Maly Thongphanith

Maly supports our Association Clients from inception to the accelerated settlement of complex construction defect cases for multi-million dollar recoveries.

Maly has over 9 years' experience working in the legal arena, and worked as a Senior Paralegal for over 7 years specializing in construction defect, insurance defense litigation, toxic tort and environmental claims, and has a previous background in general counsel representation.

She has previously supported a construction defect litigation team in resolving several complex claims in Northern and Southern California ranging from water intrusion, soil and structure issues, building product failures, and trial preparation. Her experience covered initial factual research and analysis to coordinating the forensic testing of hundreds of units in residential and commercial condominium developments. 

Maly obtained her Associate of Science Paralegal Certificate from Everest University and is currently obtaining her Bachelors of Arts in Business Management at Contra Costa College.

AFFILIATIONS

CACM

CAI

ECHO

Northern California Association of Paralegals

Brittany Marquez | Office & Client Services Coordinator
brittany@constructiondefects.com

Brittany Marquez

Brittany works diligently behind the scenes as the Office & Client Services Coordinator, supporting the entire Case Management and Client Relations Team.  Prior to joining The Miller Law Firm she worked as a Legal Assistant and special events Manager at The Moraga Country Club. Her strong legal administrative, organizational and client services background makes her an integral part of the Case Management and Client Relations Team, supporting our Association Clients on a daily basis.

Terry Yu | Accounting Clerk
terry@constructiondefects.com

Terry Yu

Terry graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s in Business Management Economics and worked for a local wholesale company before joining The Miller Law Firm. Terry works diligently behind the scenes in the accounting team to provide monthly cost reconciliation and accounting updates to each one of our Association Clients.