Eugene C. Blackard Jr.

Of Counsel

“If you want to work with today’s thought-leading companies, you’d better start looking and acting like them. I approach any problem with the strategic mind set to be lean and efficient—like business today.”

Eugene C. Blackard Jr.

Of Counsel

2033 North Main Street, Suite 800, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
T: 925.930.6600 F: 925.930.6620


As former managing partner of Archer Norris, Eugene C. Blackard Jr. implemented a strategic push to look more like its clients because companies today want to know their law firm will approach a problem like they would. Lean and efficient with resources as the companies he serves, Gene focuses his practice on litigation. 

The Business of Law

During his tenure as Managing Partner, Gene applied the same creative, strategic and, when necessary, aggressive approach he brings to his cases to transforming Archer Norris into a leading innovator in California law. Alternative fee structures, efficient use of office space, and forward-thinking approaches to legal project management are hallmarks of how Archer Norris does business since the beginning of Gene’s watch. His enduring commitment to the firm’s client value proposition, focused on being lean, flexible, efficient and relatable, pave the way for Archer Norris to deliver highly efficient, cost-effective legal services to its clients.

Effective Litigation Defense Counsel

A litigation strategist for insurers, businesses and employers, Gene evaluates his defense for each case by its effectiveness and ability to achieve his client's objectives. Assertive investigations, skillful handling of scientific, technical and medical evidence, and deft management of expert testimony all contribute to Gene's sustained record of litigation success.

Gene focuses on insurance defense with particular expertise in mass and complex environmental and toxic torts, catastrophic personal injury, premises liability and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) claims.

Focusing on Industries Important to California

Construction, health care, manufacturing, gas and oil are among the industries where Gene has significant experience. He has successfully defended construction contractors and subcontractors facing asbestos and toxic torts claims on multiple occasions. 

Representing Clients Nationwide

Gene's clients include The Travelers Companies, Chubb, CNA, AIG, Arrowpoint Capital Corp, Atlantic Mutual, The Hanover Insurance Group, Fireman’s Fund and Valero Energy Corporation.  

Gene also served as national coordinating counsel of litigation for a leading international electrical distributor, managing its legal risks across 38 states.

 

Gene Blackard’s representative matters include:

Insurance Coverage, Mass Toxic Torts and Environmental Torts

  • Asbestos - Successful defense in a high volume of asbestos claims against individual, multiparty and class action defendants. Gene has in-depth experience handling multijurisdiction issues in complex asbestos cases and defending both target and tangential players. He has an extensive practice defending construction contractors and subcontractors in asbestos claims.
  • Benzyne - Defended independent oil company against claims made by survivors of a deceased plaintiff, a tree trimmer, alleging benzyne in his trimming machine’s gas exhaust caused his fatal leukemia. Using a sophisticated argument in court filings, Gene achieved a zero payment settlement and shut down future litigation threats.
  • Mold - An emergency room physician alleged serious injury due to mold caused by his hospital’s ventilation system and sued the HVAC contractor, who was Gene’s client. Following the results of a rigorous investigation which undermined the physician’s claims, the case was resolved for a fractional amount prior to a decision on summary judgment.
  • Toxic and Environmental Torts - Gene’s broad experience includes defending claims of injury caused by exposure to benzene, toluene, silica, tetrachloroethylene(PCE), water contamination and welding fumes.

Personal Injury and Premises Liability

  • Stunt Work Injury - Defended film production company in claim made by catastrophically injured water ski stunt performer; claim was resolved with low monetary payout by the insurer.  
  • Pepper Spray - Achieved a zero payment on a personal injury claim on behalf of a fast food chain covered by its insurer. Claim involved our defense of the restaurant’s security officer alleged to have injured a fleeing thief with pepper spray. 

National Litigation Coordinating Counsel 

  • Served as litigation coordinator for national defendant, a Fortune 500, $5 billion international distributor of electrical and communications products.  Gene oversaw and monitored its litigation in 38 states, ensuring a cohesive and cost-effective litigation strategy.  

Industries

  • Insurance
  • Construction Contractors and Subcontractors
  • Product Manufacturers and Distributors   
  • Oil Producers
  • Security
  • Healthcare and Medicine

Articles

Events

News

Press Releases

Overview

As former managing partner of Archer Norris, Eugene C. Blackard Jr. implemented a strategic push to look more like its clients because companies today want to know their law firm will approach a problem like they would. Lean and efficient with resources as the companies he serves, Gene focuses his practice on litigation. 

The Business of Law

During his tenure as Managing Partner, Gene applied the same creative, strategic and, when necessary, aggressive approach he brings to his cases to transforming Archer Norris into a leading innovator in California law. Alternative fee structures, efficient use of office space, and forward-thinking approaches to legal project management are hallmarks of how Archer Norris does business since the beginning of Gene’s watch. His enduring commitment to the firm’s client value proposition, focused on being lean, flexible, efficient and relatable, pave the way for Archer Norris to deliver highly efficient, cost-effective legal services to its clients.

Effective Litigation Defense Counsel

A litigation strategist for insurers, businesses and employers, Gene evaluates his defense for each case by its effectiveness and ability to achieve his client's objectives. Assertive investigations, skillful handling of scientific, technical and medical evidence, and deft management of expert testimony all contribute to Gene's sustained record of litigation success.

Gene focuses on insurance defense with particular expertise in mass and complex environmental and toxic torts, catastrophic personal injury, premises liability and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) claims.

Focusing on Industries Important to California

Construction, health care, manufacturing, gas and oil are among the industries where Gene has significant experience. He has successfully defended construction contractors and subcontractors facing asbestos and toxic torts claims on multiple occasions. 

Representing Clients Nationwide

Gene's clients include The Travelers Companies, Chubb, CNA, AIG, Arrowpoint Capital Corp, Atlantic Mutual, The Hanover Insurance Group, Fireman’s Fund and Valero Energy Corporation.  

Gene also served as national coordinating counsel of litigation for a leading international electrical distributor, managing its legal risks across 38 states.

 

Experience

Gene Blackard’s representative matters include:

Insurance Coverage, Mass Toxic Torts and Environmental Torts

  • Asbestos - Successful defense in a high volume of asbestos claims against individual, multiparty and class action defendants. Gene has in-depth experience handling multijurisdiction issues in complex asbestos cases and defending both target and tangential players. He has an extensive practice defending construction contractors and subcontractors in asbestos claims.
  • Benzyne - Defended independent oil company against claims made by survivors of a deceased plaintiff, a tree trimmer, alleging benzyne in his trimming machine’s gas exhaust caused his fatal leukemia. Using a sophisticated argument in court filings, Gene achieved a zero payment settlement and shut down future litigation threats.
  • Mold - An emergency room physician alleged serious injury due to mold caused by his hospital’s ventilation system and sued the HVAC contractor, who was Gene’s client. Following the results of a rigorous investigation which undermined the physician’s claims, the case was resolved for a fractional amount prior to a decision on summary judgment.
  • Toxic and Environmental Torts - Gene’s broad experience includes defending claims of injury caused by exposure to benzene, toluene, silica, tetrachloroethylene(PCE), water contamination and welding fumes.

Personal Injury and Premises Liability

  • Stunt Work Injury - Defended film production company in claim made by catastrophically injured water ski stunt performer; claim was resolved with low monetary payout by the insurer.  
  • Pepper Spray - Achieved a zero payment on a personal injury claim on behalf of a fast food chain covered by its insurer. Claim involved our defense of the restaurant’s security officer alleged to have injured a fleeing thief with pepper spray. 

National Litigation Coordinating Counsel 

  • Served as litigation coordinator for national defendant, a Fortune 500, $5 billion international distributor of electrical and communications products.  Gene oversaw and monitored its litigation in 38 states, ensuring a cohesive and cost-effective litigation strategy.  

Industries

  • Insurance
  • Construction Contractors and Subcontractors
  • Product Manufacturers and Distributors   
  • Oil Producers
  • Security
  • Healthcare and Medicine

News & Publications

Articles

Events

News

Press Releases


Education

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 1989
  • California State University, Sacramento, B.A., 1982

Admission

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Memberships

  • Contra Costa County Bar Association