Joseph A. Creitz

For over twenty years, Joe Creitz has championed the underdog in conflicts involving employee benefits, insurance bad faith, and other complex employment issues. His integrity and skill as a litigator have guided countless clients to positive, practical, and cost-efficient results.

Joe’s early experiences working as a judicial extern in the chambers of federal district court judge Thelton Henderson ingrained an unwavering commitment to justice that has guided his career as a lawyer. His litigation experience includes numerous bench trials and jury trials, working as a private attorney and also for the U.S. Department of Labor in San Francisco.

Joe currently represents private clients through trial court proceedings, administrative agency proceedings, and appeal proceedings in both state and federal jurisdictions. Clients also rely on his professionalism and expertise to protect their rights and resolve disputes without resorting to formal legal action at all.

In 2013 Bloomberg BNA released the Third Edition of Employee Benefits Law, the most authoritative publication in this practice area. Joe was a contributing author to Chapter 13, Benefit Claims; and Chapter 20, Ethics, in the 2016 Supplement.

Areas of Practice
Employee Benefits
Insurance Bad Faith
Complex Employment Issues
Bar Admissions
California
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Education
Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California
LL.M. – 2003, with honors
Major: Taxation
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
J.D. – 1992
Dean’s Scholar, 1989–1992
AmJur Awards: Criminal Procedure, Prof. Peter Keane, 1990, Legal Writing and Research, Prof. Robert Nelson, 1989
ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Western Regional Champion, 1991
Moot Court Board, and Best Brief Award nominee, 1990
Law Journal: Hastings Women’s Law Journal, Editorial Board, 1989–1991
Law Journal: Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Note Editor, 1991–1992
University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.S. with Departmental Distinction in U.S. History – 1989
Published Works
In 2013 Bloomberg BNA released the Third Edition of Employee Benefits Law, the most authoritative publication in this practice area. Joe was a contributing author to Chapter 13, Benefit Claims and a contributor to the 2016 Supplement, Chapter 20, Ethics.
Representative Cases
Spinedex v. United, 770 F.3d 1282 (9th Cir. 2014), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 317 (2015)
Cyr v. Reliance, 629 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2011)
Stanton v. Chung (Alameda County Superior Court)
Cyr v. Reliance, 525 F. Supp. 2d 1165 (C.D. Cal. 2007), affirmed, 448 F. Appx. 749 (9th Cir. 2011), and 629 F.3d 983 (9th Cir. 2011)
Blankenbaker, D.C. v. United Healthcare of Arizona, Inc, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2005 WL 3803145 (D. Ariz. 2005)
Chao v. GSI, et al., 2005, unpubl. decision of the U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. Of Nevada
Chao v. Dearman, et al., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 1581, 187 Fed.Appx. 685, 2006 WL 1737179, (Not Selected for publication in the Federal Reporter), Pens. Plan Guide (CCH) P 23996N, C.A.9 (Cal.) Docket No. 04-56136 (9th Cir. June 20, 2006)
Chao v. Dearman, et al., 2004, unpubl. decision of the U.S. Dist. Court for the Central Dist. of California
Pacific Micronesia Hotel Corporation v. HERE Local 5
California Ironworkers Field Pension Trust, et al. v. Loomis, Sayles & Co.
Laborers v. Delbon
Cline v. TIMEC
California Ironworkers Field Pension Trust, et al. v. Loomis, Sayles & Co.
Ramirez v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 90 Cal. Rptr. 2d. 916 (1999) reversed in part by Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc., 24 Cal. 4th 83 (2000)
McMorgan & Co. v. First California Mortg. Co.
Honors and Awards

Joe was named a Northern California Super Lawyer in the area of employee benefits in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and a Blue Ribbon Panel member for 2016.

On February 15, 2012, the Daily Journal Corporation’s California Lawyer Magazine conferred its prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year, or CLAY, award on Joseph Creitz for his successful work for the plaintiff in Cyr v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company. The award was delivered by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye at a ceremony in March 2012.

In his January 2008 order awarding attorney’s fees to Joe and his co-counsel in Cyr v. Reliance Standard, later upheld by the Ninth Circuit, United States District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson described Joe’s legal work as “excellent,” “impressive,” and “superb.”

For his work on the Chao v. Dearman, et al., trial team, in April 2004 United States Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao bestowed upon Joe the Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Award.

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown named December 19, 2003, “Joe Creitz Day in San Francisco.”

Past Employment Positions
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California., Hon.Thelton Henderson., Judicial Externship, 1991
U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California., Adjunct Professor, 1994–present
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor of Labor, San Francisco, California, Trial Attorney, 2003–2005
415 Productions, Inc., San Francisco, California., General Counsel/Corporate Secretary, 1999–2003
The Law Office of Joseph A. Creitz, P.C., 2005–2013
Van Bourg, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, Oakland, California., Senior Associate Attorney, 1995–1999
Bell, Rosenberg & Hughes, Oakland, California., Associate Attorney, 1992–1995
Lawton & Cates, Madison, Wisconsin., Summer Associate, 1991
Professors Eileen Scallen, David Jung, D. Kelly Weisberg, and Vivian Wilson., U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California., Teaching Assistant, 1990–1991
Legal Writing & Research, and Torts, U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California., Teaching Assistant, 1990–1991
Professors Eileen Scallen, David Jung, D. Kelly Weisberg, and Vivian Wilson., U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California., Research Assistant, 1990–1992
Pro Bono Activities
AIDS Legal Referral Panel – Volunteer Attorney, 2012–present
San Francisco Children’s Council – Board Member, 2004–2008
San Francisco SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Program – Volunteer, 2001–2006
Briarpatch, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin. – Board Of Directors/Counselor, 1983–1987