Mission Statement

Acker & Whipple pursues excellence in defense litigation. We commit to providing professionally and personally satisfying career opportunities for attorneys and staff with challenging and rewarding responsibilities and enrichment of career skills in a nurturing, team-oriented environment. We believe this foundation enables us to better provide high quality, full-service legal representation in civil tort litigation. The fundamental responsibility of the firm’s leadership is to implement and maintain this mission.


The firm was started in 1979 in Los Angeles by William W. Huss, whose areas of law practice emphasis included property insurance law and defense of liability claims. Since that time, the lawyers of the firm have represented service and manufacturing businesses in many industries, as well as local and regional government entities, in state and federal trial and appellate courts.

In 1989, upon being appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor George Deukmejian, William Huss left the firm and its name was changed from Huss, Acker & Bailey and then to Acker, Kowalick & Whipple. Shareholders at that time were Stephen Acker, Fred Kowalick and Anthony Whipple, who have since been joined by Jerri Johnson, Leslie Burnett and most recently, Colette Magnetta. The firm has recently changed its name to Acker & Whipple.  Following the retirement of Fred Kowalick and semi-retirement of Anthony Whipple, the firm was certified in 2014 as a women’s business enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.  The main area of law practice continues to be defense of civil liability claims, assigned both by insurers as approved counsel to represent their insureds, and by self insured businesses.

Areas of particular emphasis are product liability, professional liability, and numerous types of personal injury and property damage claims including commercial transportation, construction workplace accidents, premises liability, general negligence, construction defect and asbestos claims. Acker & Whipple is enjoying its current location in a vibrant area of downtown Los Angeles.