Thomas D. Penfield

Thomas D. Penfield

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in San Diego, CA

Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP
 | 110 Laurel Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-238-1811
Fax: 619-544-9232
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1974
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (90%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts (10%),
  • Consumer Law (0%)
Attorney Profile

Thomas Penfield, a partner in the firm, has significant experience in personal injury and products liability litigation, especially automobile, bicycle, premises and dog attack cases.

Mr. Penfield has received recognition in numerous media publications:

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2011-2016 editions, personal injury, which is both prestigious and peer-selected.
  • San Diego Magazine, 2011-2016, peer-selected as a Top Attorney-Personal Injury.
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, July 2009, peer-selected as one of San Diego County's "Top Attorneys 2009" -- Personal Injury -- by his fellow attorneys.
  • San Diego Metro Magazine, February 2011, Top Attorney - Personal Injury.
  • Super Lawyers Magazine recognized him for the last nine years (2008-2016) as a Super Lawyer in San Diego (top 5% of Personal Injury Attorneys).

A leader in the local bar, he is a former vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Association and a past-President of the Bar Association of North San Diego County. He currently serves on its Board of Directors and is the past chairman of its Personal Injury section.

The American Bar Association, (Torts and Insurance Practice Section) named him Vice-Chair of its Trial Techniques committee in 2013. In addition, he served on its Scholarship Committee and is the Past-Chairman of the Task Force on Plaintiff Policy. He served as Chair of the Bicycle Litigation Committee of the American Association for Justice.

He is a past Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego Law School where he taught a jury trial practice course and is a past Clinical Professor of Law. Mr. Penfield is a Diplomate in the National College of Advocacy of the American Association for Justice--one of only two attorneys in San Diego to be so recognized---and a Fellow in the American Bar Foundation (One-third of 1% of licensed attorneys). He has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating available.

Mr. Penfield is a frequent faculty member and speaker at the National College of Trial Advocacy for the American Association for Justice, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and at the University of San Diego Law School.  He lectures on persuasion techniques both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Penfield believes that everyone should have access to justice, but only undertakes a jury trial after exhausting every available avenue to get a just result. "If there is no other way, our founding fathers prescribed a trial by jury."

Mr. Penfield enjoys his work and finds it meaningful: "I help people with serious injuries put their lives back together."

Mr. Penfield has handled several multi-million dollar cases during his tenure with the firm. In one case, he served as co-counsel in a jury trial representing H&H Cerritos against U.S. Mineral Products, Inc. and obtained a $14.1 million jury verdict.

A high profile settlement saw Mr. Penfield successfully represent thirteen Honda dealers as plaintiffs in a civil proceeding arising from a case the U.S. Attorney described as "the largest commercial bribery case in U.S. history." Mr. Penfield also successfully represented the family of a slain Navy veteran, stabbed to death following an altercation at a local San Diego bar, which became newsworthy because of the unusually successful result. Mr. Penfield generated significant interest with a jury trial verdict in Vista, California, in a difficult case involving a fall by a student at a vocational school, which resulted in a recovery of nearly $500,000. Before that verdict, he attracted news coverage with his excellent result in a difficult "Slip and Fall" case, a jury verdict of $261,000.

Mr. Penfield has helped recover over $90 million for the firm's various clients.

In 1996, Mr. Penfield was the proud recipient of the Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award from the Sierra Club's San Diego Chapter. In 2003, he was awarded the President's Star Award by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.

After graduating from law school, Mr. Penfield was a supervising trial lawyer with the Defenders Program of San Diego, and then a clinical Professor at the University of San Diego Law School before joining the firm.

As part of his personal commitment to public service, Mr. Penfield has served as Chairman of the San Diego County Juvenile Justice Commission, a pro tem Judge, as well as an Arbitrator for the San Diego Superior Court. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of San Diego.

In his spare time, Mr. Penfield enjoys photography, jogging and singing, and formerly played guitar in a popular local rock band. Mr. Penfield lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. He has three grown children.

About Thomas Penfield

Admitted: 1974, California

Professional Webpage:


  • See Resume attached below

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted in California and Nebraska

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Re-elected to the Board of Directors for the Bar Association of North San Diego County., 2016
  • Vice President, San Diego County Bar Association, President, Bar Association of North San Diego County;  Chair, Task Force on Plaintiff Policy, Tort Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association, as well as Vice-Chair of the Trial Techniques Committee.
  • Board of Directors, San Diego County Bar Association.

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Kiwanis Club of San Diego

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • See resume for listing


  • See firm website and resume for listings.

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Voted "Top Attorney" (Personal Injury) by peers as compiled by the San Diego Daily Transcript and many other publications.  Please see resume attached below., 2009
  • Environmental Attorney for the Year for the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club, 1996
  • Selected by peers for Best Lawyers in America, 2011-2014
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Office Location for Thomas D. Penfield

110 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Thomas D. Penfield:

Last Updated: 12/18/2019

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