Our History

San Francisco Bay Area photo

In September 1995, David A. McDowell established his own law office in San Francisco following a 15-year tenure at the law firm of McGlynn, McLorg & McDowell, where he was senior partner for 12 years. Prior to his employment with McGlynn, et al., Mr. McDowell was a prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where he concentrated on felony cases, representing the county in more than 75 jury trials.

Expansion of the firm commenced in 1997 with the addition of an office in Sacramento. This was followed by offices opening in Fresno and San Jose. The original law office, located in San Francisco, was moved to Walnut Creek in 1998, which enabled the firm to direct cost-effective litigation services from a more central location.

In 2005, Paula M. Shaw became a partner in the firm. Ms. Shaw has been practicing law since 1984. She has devoted her career to insurance defense-related litigation and continues to handle first- and third-party matters in most of the Northern California counties. Prior to joining the firm in 1998, she was a partner in the law firms of Jageman & Shaw, located in Walnut Creek, and Pave, Bogaards & Shaw, located in San Francisco.

Phaidra M. Garcia became a partner at the firm in 2010. Ms. Garcia has been practicing law since 1996 and joined the firm in 2000. Ms. Garcia has been working since 1996 for various major insurance companies in handling all aspects of insurance litigation and coverage. In 2011, Ms. Garcia became a named partner and the firm was renamed McDowell Shaw & Garcia.

The firm continued its expansion in California when it opened offices in Ontario in 2015.