William C. Haggerty

Of Counsel

William C. Haggerty is one of the founding partners of Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar. Mr. Haggerty is currently serving as the President of the Orange County Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. His practice involves the defense of large-exposure construction accidents, products liability cases, healthcare, professional liability, including legal and medical malpractice matters. His trial experience also extends to toxic torts, wrongful termination, sexual harassment claims, and the defense of health care professionals and corporations. Clients include insurance companies, developers and contractors, public and closely held corporations, school districts, municipalities, professionals and other self-insureds.

Mr. Haggerty joined the State Bar of California in 1977 and is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts. Mr. Haggerty graduated magna cum laude from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1977. While at Santa Clara, he served as editor of The Santa Clara Law Review. He received a Merit Scholarship based upon grade point average and was the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Book Award for excellence in torts.

Prior to matriculating to law school, Mr. Haggerty received scholarships to attend Brown University. While at Brown, he was the stroke oar for the nationally prominent varsity heavyweight eight-man crew team for three years. Mr. Haggerty graduated from Brown University with honors in 1971. He then became a journalist and sportswriter for three years before attending law school.

Mr. Haggerty began his legal career in 1977 with the former firm of Shield & Smith and immediately began trying product liability, premises liability, false arrest and professional liability cases as an associate. In 1983, Mr. Haggerty was made a partner at Shield & Smith.

Having tried jury cases to verdict from Bakersfield to San Diego, as well as in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mr. Haggerty became a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 1984. In 1991, Mr. Haggerty began practicing in Long Beach as one of the founding partners of Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar. Mr. Haggerty remains active both in the management of the firm and in client development.

Mr. Haggerty was elected into membership as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2014.  Membership in the American College is limited to the top one percent of trial lawyers in the United States.  Mr. Haggerty was also elected to membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

A member of the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Defense Research Institute and Irish American Bar Association, Mr. Haggerty is currently listed in Who’s Who in California. He served as a member of the board of directors and as a committee chairman for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel for ten years from 1984 through 1993. He is a past chairman of that association’s annual seminar and its law firm management seminar.

Mr. Haggerty is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He has been AV rated by Martindale Hubbel for over 30 years. He has been elected and named as a Southern California Super Lawyer since 2010.  Mr. Haggerty has been named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of Southern California’s top attorneys from 2011 to present.  He was named Orange County Product Liability Defense Lawyer of the Year for 2017 by Best Lawyers Magazine.

Mr. Haggerty has volunteered his services as a settlement officer for the Los Angeles County Superior Court Special Civil Settlement Program and also serves as a private mediator. Mr. Haggerty frequently lectures in the health care field. He recently served as a panel member for the Orange County ABOTA “Masters in Cross-Examination” seminar.

As an active trial lawyer, Mr. Haggerty continues to handle high-exposure product liability, construction, medical malpractice and professional liability cases, many of which have received extensive media coverage.

Mr. Haggerty resides in Huntington Beach with his family. He is a past president and board of director for the Seacliff Estate and Community Associations. He is a member of the Seacliff Country Club.

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1977; United States District Court


  • Graduated magna cum laude from University of Santa Clara School of Law, 1977
  • Graduated from Brown University with honors, 1971