Our Firm

A different kind of firm.

Hassard Bonnington’s excellent reputation and extraordinary client satisfaction is a result of our long-running delivery of unsurpassed legal services—experienced, efficient, effective.

In addition, vision and innovation, which contribute to our clients’ successes, are emphasized in our work, and have been for over 100 years. Our longevity and accomplishments speak for themselves.

Five Stars

Origin Story

From a small law office with two attorneys to the Hassard Bonnington of today…

Our firm started in 1910 as a small law office of two attorneys: Hartley F. Peart and Gus L. Baraty. In 1917, Mr. Peart began representing the Medical Society for the State of California -today known as the California Medical Association (“CMA”). From then on, the firm began to specialize in legal issues concerning the practice of medicine, including drafting legislation, lobbying and litigating.

In 1934, after graduating from the University of California Berkeley School of Law, Howard “Hap” Hassard joined the firm, taking on work for the CMA and going on to advise the organization throughout the next 50 years. Mr. Hassard was instrumental in the founding of Blue Shield of California in 1939; wrote the bill which resulted in the establishment of the first eye bank in the country; and conceived of the ‘Good Samaritan’ statutes that protect physicians who provide on-the-scene care. He was General Counsel for Blue Shield of California for over 50 years; as well as General Counsel (1945 to 1987) and Executive Director (1958 to 1967) of the CMA.

As the firm grew in size and practice, building a reputation as formidable litigators in the San Francisco Bay Area, we took on prominent clients such as Lindgren & Swinerton, Inc., Forderer Cornice Works, United States Fidelity & Guaranty, Globe Indemnity Company. In 1945, an official partnership was formed: Peart, Baraty and Hassard.

In 1948, as medical malpractice cases began to explode in California, Alan L. Bonnington, a former Marine Corps Officer, joined the firm as an associate. During the 1950’s, Mr. Bonnington and the firm gained significant experience and expertise in defending medical malpractice matters – a trait our firm is still known for today.

Throughout its history, Hassard Bonnington has handled a wide range of cases which run the gamut of civil litigation practice areas. Our over 110 years of experience in litigation, and proven track record of success, makes us a formidable opponent in any case we take on.


Howard “Hap” Hassard