Phone:   858.922.2899

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John is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction earned by only 1% of his California peers. Having successfully first-chaired several jury and bench trials, John brings a unique combination of skill, experience, and perspective to the appellate arena. He has more than 30 years of experience handling civil appeals in state and federal courts in a wide range of practice areas, including business and real estate disputes, employment litigation, class actions, probate litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith, elder law, and personal injury. 

John’s skill as a top-notch appellate advocate has been recognized by Super Lawyers® and San Diego Magazine Top Lawyers. Trial counsel throughout California also seek John out because of his litigation background to assist with critical motion practice and develop an appellate-friendly trial strategy. 

John is a Master of the San Diego Appellate Inn of Court, where he joins a select group of judges and senior practitioners to teach appellate skills and elevate appellate advocacy. John is also active in the community at large, including as past president of the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club. He is licensed to represent clients in California, Nevada, and Arizona.  

Juris Doctor, Moritz College of Law,
The Ohio State University, 1989

Bachelor of Arts - Communications,
The Ohio State University, 1985

Awards and Recognition

Super Lawyers®, Appellate Law

Top Appellate Boutiques, Daily Journal (2014)

San Diego Magazine Top Appellate Lawyers (2013-present)

AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Judicial Edition 

Semi-Finalist, San Diego Daily Transcript Top Insurance Law Lawyers (2011)

Certificate of Recognition, San Diego Teen Court (2008)

Master, Lopardo Inn of Court (2015-present) 

Master, San Diego Appellate Inn of Court (2018-present)

Recent Success

Personal Injury:

Collins v. County of San Diego (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 1035

In this high-profile appeal, we successfully defended a $6.4 million judgment against the County of San Diego arising out of negligence by sheriffs and jail nurses that caused our client a life-altering brain injury.       

Writ Relief: 

Nagle v. Superior Court of San Diego County (2021) D079262 

We successfully obtained a peremptory writ in the first instance directing the trial court to set a trial date within the time mandated by Code of Civil Procedure section 36 because of our client’s failing health.    

Reversal of Summary Judgment:

Downes v. Belmont Park (2022), D077851

In this premises liability case, the Court of Appeal reversed a summary judgment against our client so that his case could proceed to trial.          

Published Decisions

Collins v. County of San Diego (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 1035

Lee v. Kotyluk (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 719

Severin Mobile Towing, Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA (2021) 65 Cal.App.5th 292

Usher v. White (2021) 64 Cal.App.5th 883

Golden Eagle Land Investment v. Rancho Santa Fe Assn. (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 399

Brinkley v. Monterey Financial Services, Inc. (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 314

Ukkestad v. RBS Asset Finance, Inc. (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 156

Muldrow v. Surrex Solutions (2012) 146 Cal.Rptr.3d 447

Munn v. Briggs (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 578

Photomedex, Inc. v. Irwin, 601 F.3d 919 (2010)

Dobron v. Bunch, 125 Nev. 36, 215 P.3d 35 (2009)

Mediplex of California v. Superior Court (1995) 34 Cal.App.4th 748

Recent Speaking Engagements

Top 25 Tips for Civil Appeals, La Jolla Bar Association, 11/2018

Co-Team Leader, Dispositions, San Diego Appellate Inn of Court, 10/2019

Co-Team Leader, Practicing During Covid-19, Lopardo Inn of Court, 12/2020

Team Leader, Multigenerational Practice of Law, Lopardo Inn of Court, 5/2022