Ernest D. Faitos is Of Counsel in Selman Breitman’s San Francisco office and is a member of the firm’s Toxic Tort/Environmental and Insurance practice groups. Ernest represents manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and insurers in asbestos and other insurance matters, including cases arising out of claimed exposures to asbestos and insurance coverage questions and disputes. Ernest’s clients include floor manufacturers, automotive retailers, small businesses, and a wide variety of individuals and businesses involved in insurance matters. He has experience in defending civil malpractice suits, products liability suits, personal injury claims, and business contract litigation in disputes that involve complex multi-party litigation. 

Ernest has completed 41 jury trials through verdict. His decades-long experience in General Liability provides him a keen ability to assess each aspect of litigation to determine how it furthers a client's interest in settlement or trial. His extensive trial experience provides him the ability to keep the client's goal of resolution or trial at the forefront of every stage of litigation. He works closely with clients, to make sure he understands what each individual client needs to have accomplished in any lawsuit. He works to secure his client's interests beyond the lawsuit, including at times obtaining wage garnishments and property liens when necessary. 

Prior to joining the Selman Breitman firm, Mr. Faitos practiced in a variety of areas, including catastrophic injury actions, product liability matters including nationally-coordinated product liability actions, toxic tort matters, automotive personal injury actions, bad faith litigation, product liability, professional malpractice claims, and breach of contact actions.

Mr. Faitos is a former criminal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He was an Assistant District Attorney in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Assistant District Attorney and Assistant Attorney General in Barrow, Alaska.  He has tried felony cases to jury verdict as a public defender.  He has practiced in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Faitos received a B.A. in Political Science (1980) (Dean's List) and a J.D. (1983). He is admitted to practice in the trial and appellate courts of California and Alaska, and in Federal Court.

Ernest is originally from Santa Cruz, California, and presently resides in San Francisco, California. When not helping clients with their legal needs he spends his time reading, traveling, running, and swimming.

Representative Matters
Mass/Toxic Tort

  • Defense of a glove manufacturer in a living mesothelioma case. Plaintiffs have made demands in the range of $400,000 to over $1 million, among the numerous defendants. Glove manufacturer client has one of the lower demands.
  • Successful defense of a gasket distributor in several asbestos cases in which plaintiffs have claimed illness, or death of another, as a result of an asbestos-related illness.


  • A dismissal was obtained of a mechanical contractor, after researching and producing credible evidence that plaintiff had mis-identified our client, and that there was another similarly-named mechanical contractor that was more likely to have been at plaintiff's work site.
  • Very favorable settlement of personal injury claim against a popular racetrack was obtained after the jury submitted questions during deliberations suggesting that a defense verdict was likely.

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Hellenic Law Society
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Bar Admission

  • California, 1985
  • Alaska, 1983
  • U.S. Federal Courts


University of California, Davis School of Law, J.D., 1983

University of California, Davis, B.A., 1980

Dean's List

Major: Political Science