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Edward M. Lai




Edward M. Lai specializes in representing building contractors and small business owners in commercial disputes, employment litigation, contract negotiation and more.  Edward has experience in the fields of commercial and residential real estate, landlord/tenant, construction and construction defect law, Americans With Disabilities (ADA) litigation, first party and third party insurance coverage, business entity formation, and perfecting/enforcing mechanic’s liens and stop notices. Edward recently served as former chairman and vice chairman of the City of Oakland Housing, Relocation and Rent Board.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Edward was an insurance claims litigation specialist for national insurance carriers The Maryland Casualty Company and CNA Insurance.  As a claims representative, he gained expertise in analyzing first and third party insurance coverage under commercial general liability policies, homeowner policies, marine policies, and professional general liability (errors & omissions) policies.  He also became skilled in negotiation from handling thousands of litigated and non-litigated claims.  His knowledge of how insurance carriers evaluate and handle their claims makes Edward highly effective in achieving the best results for his clients, whether it is through settlement negotiations or through trial.



  • Juris Doctorate, Golden Gate University 

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Maryland at College Park


  • Residential Real Estate

  • Commercial Real Estate

  • Landlord/Tenant

  • Business Transactions

  • Employment Law

  • Personal Injury

  • Litigation

  • ADA Litigation

  • Mediation


Edward is an Associate Professor at the California State University East Bay where he teaches college level paralegal and prelaw classes.  He is a Law Instructor for SCORE and he volunteers as a Special Master for the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Alameda County Meals on Wheels and Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, a member of the Redwood Heights Neighborhood Association, and a member of the Oakland Police Department Oral Board Assessor Team.


  • All Courts in California

  • U.S. District Courts for Central, Eastern, Southern, and Northern California

  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • United States Court of Federal Claims

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