Stephen L. Belgum
Stephen L. Belgum is a 1965 graduate of Whittier College. Entering the service of his country in 1966, on February 7, 1967, he graduated from Infantry Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He served three tours in Vietnam and was twice awarded the Bronze Star.
Steve then attended USC’s Gould School of Law, graduating in 1972 and becoming of member of the California State Bar, as well as the Federal Bar, that same year.
Steve practiced law in Long Beach, California from 1972 through 1988. He was the managing partner of two different law firms ranging in size from four to twenty-four attorneys. His focus was on trial work. He litigated cases involving criminal defense, probate issues, marriage dissolutions, business and commercial disputes, workers’ compensation, personal injury, wrongful death, and medical and legal negligence. He also served as a mediator and arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court system.
In 1988, he became a named and managing partner of a multi-office firm primarily specializing in the defense of litigated injury, death, and medical malpractice cases. He supervised the work product of the firm’s ninety attorneys as well as its more than one hundred twenty staff members. He personally tried multiple cases to verdict for clients including personal physicians, large medical groups, hospitals, and non-medical insureds.
In early 1998, Steve returned to solely representing individuals and families harmed by the negligence of others. Moving to the San Gabriel Valley, he committed himself to that singular purpose: utilizing his education and experience to bring justice to those aggrieved in cases involving claims of dependent adult (elder) abuse, medical and legal malpractice, wrongful death, and personal injury. He completely restricts his practice toward that end.
Garrett Fry earned his B.A. from U.C. San Diego where he studied political science and philosophy while also clerking at the San Diego City Attorney's Office. After graduation, Garrett worked in India as an international intern for a human rights organization.
Garrett earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School. While in law school, he worked at two civil litigation firms focusing on employment law and business litigation. He also worked in the Major Crimes division of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, focusing on capital murder trials, and volunteered at the Van Nuys Superior court helping victims obtain restraining orders against their abusers.
Since joining the firm in 2011, Garrett has served as the lead attorney on hundreds of cases, earning millions of dollars for his clients in settlements, and taking numerous arbitrations, bench trials, and jury trials to verdict. In 2015, Garrett was a made a partner at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen. In 2018, he graduated from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles' Plaintiff Trial Academy, a selective and rigorous six-week program designed to improve and hone the skills of serious trial attorneys. As part of his commitment to fight for individuals harmed by the misconduct of others, Garrett remains active in the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, American Association for Justice, and Eastern Bar Association.
In 2019, Garrett was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star, a distinguished title granted to only 2.5% of attorneys in all of Southern California.
Brian Van Allen
Brian Van Allen came to the firm with a diverse background. In addition to working in retail management and English language instruction, Brian served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Child Custody Division of the Juvenile Court of Cook County in inner-city Chicago. He graduated with his B.A. from University of California, Riverside and earned his J.D. at DePaul University College of Law.
While pursuing his legal education, Brian worked as a law clerk for multiple civil litigation firms and accrued broad-based experience in personal injury, family law, commercial litigation, and appellate practice. At these firms, he authored numerous writings filed in the circuit courts of Cook County and Illinois Appellate Courts.
Brian joined the firm as an associate in 2014. Brian prides himself as an advocate for the elderly and focuses his practice on obtaining justice for victims of physical abuse and neglect in skilled nursing, assisted living and similar elder support environments. He has obtained settlements for victims and their families in the several millions and has tried and arbitrated complex medical malpractice cases to decision.
Brian was named a partner at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 40 under 40 honor and in 2020 was also awarded with the distinction of being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Alan A. Carrico
Alan Carrico came to Belgum, Fry & Van Allen in 2018 with thirty-five years of litigation experience. After graduating with his B.A. in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine in 1978 and his J.D. from Southwestern University Law School in 1982, Alan was admitted to the California State Bar and Central District Court of California, Southern District Court of California, and 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.
Alan has served as general counsel, senior trial attorney, vice president, and litigation department supervisor for various practices specializing in bankruptcy reorganization, business, commercial and construction litigation, corporate legal matters, and more. Most recently, Alan spent eighteen years at a firm defending civil and commercial litigation. Throughout his career, he’s defended countless trials, arbitrations, and mediations, including a three-week jury trial he brought to verdict in a construction defect/contractual indemnity case.
Alan currently utilizes his experience in an “of counsel” role at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen.
Destiny M. Verdugo
Destiny M. Verdugo studied sociology at the University of La Verne before earning a Master of Social Work degree from USC in 2010. After graduating, she worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to ensure families facing eviction were provided legal representation and comprehensive case management. Later, Destiny joined the Los Angeles Unified School District as a Pupil Services Counselor in both the School-Based Counselor and Foster Youth Achievement Programs, advocating for the education rights of youth in foster care.
Destiny went on to obtain her J.D. from Loyola Law School while becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. While at Loyola, she studied the relationship between federal diversion programs and trauma as a research assistant. She also spent a semester teaching curriculum to women seeking refuge from domestic violence. Before joining Belgum, Fry & Van Allen in 2019, Destiny worked as a certified law clerk at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Pomona Courthouse.