Markus Willoughby

Markus Willoughby

Founding Partner
Oakland, California

Markus Willoughby is a former partner of Willoughby Doyle and currently lead attorney at Willoughby Law Firm. Mr. Willoughby is an AV Peer Review Rated Attorney. An AV rating is the highest rating available from Martindale-Hubbell to rate lawyers’ ethics and legal ability and reflects the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Mr. Willoughby concentrates his law practice on litigation. He is an experienced civil trial attorney specializing in plaintiff's civil litigation with an emphasis on medical malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse, but litigates all forms of medical injury-related cases. He has tried numerous civil jury trials and/or binding arbitrations in multiple jurisdictions on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Mr. Willoughby is often called upon by other attorneys at the last minute to try their medical malpractice jury trials. As lead counsel, Mr. Willoughby has litigated over a thousand cases, involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, birth injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, elder abuse, hospital liability, motor vehicle accidents, dog bites, personal injury, slip and fall, trust and estate disputes, will contests, property issues, and breach of contract.

Mr. Willoughby is licensed to practice law in both Ohio (inactive) and California and has also tried cases in both states. He has served as an Arbitrator for the Common Pleas Court of Ohio, Chairperson of the Inter-professional Committee of the Alameda and Contra Costa Medical Associations and the Alameda County Bar Association resolving disputes between physicians and attorneys, and on the Executive Committee of the Barristers assisting younger lawyers. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association where he is chairperson of both the Committee on Directors and the Mock Trial Committee.

Mr. Willoughby has lectured frequently on deposition techniques, discovery practice, trial tactics, responsibilities of mental health counselors, informed consent and handling difficult medical malpractice cases at Continuing Medical Education seminars and Continuing Legal Education seminars. In addition, he has authored course material and articles on deposition techniques, discovery practice and effective use of medical expert witnesses. Mr. Willoughby is widely regarded as a skilled, knowledgeable and effective advocate on behalf of his clients.


Mr. Willoughby graduated in 1992 with high honors from California State University with a degree in philosophy. He obtained his law degree in 1995 from Case Western University School of Law where he received the Nathan Burkan Award and Governor's Commendation.  He is a Board Member of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and was nominated as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2012, 2013, and in 2014 was awarded the prestigious Civil Justice Award for "fighting the good fight, every day, for his clients." Mr Willoughby has also been selected as a Northern California SuperLawyer for 2015.  Most recently he received the 2016 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year.

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Markus Willoughby

Areas of Practice

  • Medical Malpractice

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California


  • Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio
    • J.D. - 1995
    • Honors: Nathan Burkan Award and Governor's Commendation
  • California State University - 1992
    • Honors: With High Honors
    • Major: Philosophy


  • Teaches Continuing Legal Education Courses

Honors and Awards

  • Nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year 2012, 2013 - San Francisco Trial Lawyer's Association, 2012 - 2013
  • Received the prestigious 2014 Civil Justice Award from the SFTLA, 2014 - Present
  • Selection for inclusion in 2015, 2016 and 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers, 2015 - 2017
  • Inducted into the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2016, 2016 - Present
  • Received California Lawyers Magazine's 2016 "California Lawyer Attorney of the Year" (CLAY) Award, 2016 - Present
  • Is AV rated by his Peers for excellence in ethics and legal advocacy
  • Is AVVO 10.0 rated for excellence in medical malpractice

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Ohio State Bar (Inactive), 1995 - 2013
  • Common Please Court of Ohio, Arbitrator
  • Alameda and Contra Costa Medical Association, Inter-professional Committee, Chairperson
  • Alameda County Bar Association, Member
  • Executive Committee of the Barristers, Member
  • California State Bar, 1998 - Present
  • Frequent Contributor of Articles to Professional Legal Magazines
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Treasurer