James C. Allen

James C. Allen

Attorney Profile

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in San Diego, CA

Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP
 | 600 "B" Street, Suite 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-544-0123
Fax: 619-544-1251
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • General Litigation (40%),
  • Environmental Litigation (30%),
  • Construction Litigation: Business (30%)
    Attorney Profile

    James C. Allen is a partner in Allen, Semelsberger and Kaelin, LLP, located in San Diego, California. With more than 30 years of experience in civil litigation, he has represented both businesses and individuals throughout the San Diego area in cases involving human exposure to toxic substances, real estate contamination, illegal removal of residents and a variety of other matters. Recent awards that Mr. Allen has obtained for his clients include a $110,000,000 jury award for resedents in a mobile home park where the park owner failed to properly maintain the park, a $58,000,000 jury verdict for resedents of a mobile home park where the park ownersip raised rents so high that rendered the mobile homes not saleble due to the rents, $425,000 jury award for a couple whose drinking well was contaminated with toxins that had leached from a landfill and an $11.7 million jury award given to 70 mobile home park residents after the property owner attempted to force them out so the property could be developed as a shopping center.

    After receiving his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland in 1979, Mr. Allen went on to attend the University of Puget Sound School of Law, now Seattle University School of Law, and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1982. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1982.

    A member of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Mr. Allen previously served as member of that organization's board of directors and has twice received its Outstanding Trial Lawyer award. Highly regarded by his peers, he was named by San Diego Magazine to its list of top lawyers in San Diego in 2013,and every year since,  He has received an AV Preeminent* rating from Martindale Hubbell. Frequently asked to share his experiences with others, Mr. Allen has been an instructor on litigation techniques for new members of the San Diego County Bar Association. In addition, as a result of his background with cases involving uninhabitable living conditions, the California State Legislature often asks Mr. Allen to testify regarding legislation that affects mobile home residents.

    *AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

    About James Allen

    Admitted: 1982, California

    Professional Webpage: http://www.asklawgroup.com/Our-Attorneys/James-Allen.aspx


    • Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges & Univ.
    • Mr. Allen has three times been recognized by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for his Trial Skills. In 2001,2008 and in 2015 he was Awarded the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award
    • Alpha Gamma Rho
    • This award is given by the plaintiffs’ bar organization to recognize to the lawyer(s) who have obtained the most notable trial results for this year awarded., Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, 2001

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Board of Directors, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
    • California, 1982
    • Associate in the American Board Of Trial Advocates, 2015


    • Andrade vs MHC Operating Limited, San Jose Superior Court, case number 109CV140751 62 residents sued the mobile home park owner for failing to properly maintain the park. A jury awarded the residents $111,000,000 dollars. Aranda vs Terrace View Partners, L.P. et al. San Diego Superior Court Case No. 37-2013-00057526-CU-PO-EC 15 residents sued the park owner over illegal leasing practices. The park owner raised rents so high that the residents could not sell their homes. Unable to move, the resident was forced to continue to pay the unreasonable rent or lose their home. At trial the park had acquired half of the homes in the park as residents lost their homes due to these practices. A jury awarded the residents $58,000,000.  Avalon Carson Mobilehome Park Cecile Earle, et al. v. Darryl Wong, et al. Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District Case No. TC009543  70 residents sued the park owner who tried to illegally remove the residents from the park so that he could develop the property as a commercial shopping center. The owner tried to force the residents out by failing to maintain the park and closing the common area facilities at the park. When the residents tried to sell their homes, the park owner refused to allow the homes to remain in the park. A jury awarded $11,700,000 to the residents. The verdict was reduced by the trial judge and a judgment was entered against the defendants in the amount of $9,917,717.  Dean Barnwell, et al. v. Robert H. Brown San Joaquin County Superior Court No. 191266  Residents of 18 homes  received drinking water contaminated with excess levels of iron and manganese. After a jury trial, the residents were awarded $3.6 million.   Western Skies Mobilehome Estates Martin J. Singer, et al. v. Anderson North Limited Partnership, et al., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 05CC11890 An Orange County jury awarded the residents of the Western Skies Mobliehome Park  more than $2.2 million against the park owners for failing to maintain the mobilehome park. In addition, an injunction was issued by the Court requiring upgrades to the park's utilities and the construction of a new swimming pool. Of the total amount awarded, $1.7 million was for punitive damages. The case settled for a confidential amount before the Court heard plaintiffs' motion for an award of attorneys' fees and costs. George Lucas, et al. v. County of San Diego San Diego County Superior Court No. 668274 George and Charlene Lucas received $425,000 after a jury trial for the damage done to their property by the County of San Diego. Their drinking well was polluted with toxic chemicals leaching from the County’s landfill. After the jury verdict the case was appealed.

    Educational Background:

    • University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, B.S., 1979
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    Office Location for James C. Allen

    600 "B" Street
    Suite 2400
    San Diego, CA 92101

    James C. Allen:

    Last Updated: 6/17/2020

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