“The only real lawyers are trial lawyers…” – Clarence Darrow.  While Mr. Darrow’s opinion is extreme, trial lawyers are definitely a different breed and Joe is a proven member.  In his first jury trial twenty years ago, he recovered over $25 million from the City of Anaheim due its leaking reservoir. In a recent case, he represented over 500 student tenants in a class action and recovered reimbursement of rent for each of the students due to the owner’s violation of the Building Code.  U.S. News and World Report “Best Lawyers in America” named him Orange County “Attorney of the Year” in real estate in 2013.

Joe has been a proud member of the firm since 1995 and his civil litigation practice encompasses business, real estate, construction, and insurance litigation throughout California.  He leads our construction litigation department and has counseled local and national developers and property owners in some of the most publicized construction cases, including the infamous Laguna Niguel landslide.  Joe constantly strives to improve efficiencies in defending complex, multi-party litigation.  He assists clients with simple business disputes as well as real estate litigation involving varying types of transactions gone awry. Over the years, Joe has recovered over $50 million in defense, indemnity, and bad faith damages from a multitude of the largest insurance companies in the world.

Very few cases actually reach a jury, but Joe’s trial record and reputation provide him with added leverage to negotiate settlements that favor his clients.  Settlement terms can be as tricky as trial strategies and Joe ensures to protect his client’s future interests. 


Awards & Recognition

  • Named Orange County “Attorney of the Year” by Best Lawyers, 2013
  • Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list, 2004-2018
  • Selected to the Orange County Best Lawyers list, Real Estate and Construction, 2012-2020
  • Selected to the Super Lawyers list of Top 50 Orange County Lawyers, 2010, 2012 & 2013
  • AV Pre-eminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Pear Review

Professional Affiliations

  • Richard Banyard Inn of Court
  • Orange County Bar Association


  • California, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles  (J.D., 1992)
    • St. Thomas More Honor Society
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo  (B.S., 1989)