William D. Turley

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in San Diego, CA

The Turley Law Firm, A Prof. Law Corp.
 | 7428 Trade Street, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 619-234-2833
Fax: 619-234-4048
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1986
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Transportation/Maritime (30%),
  • Workers' Compensation (20%)
Attorney Profile

Bill Turley is President of  The Turley Law Firm, APLC  a boutique maritime personal injury and work injury California law firm.  The Turley Law Firm, APLC  has offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland.                

Bill Turley is a trial lawyer.  Bill joined the Board of Directors of San Diego Trial Lawyers as a four  year lawyer in 1990.  This is still unprecedented. In the mid ‑ 1990's the organization changed it’s name to Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.  Bill quickly worked his way up the ranks, from Parliamentarian to President‑Elect.  In 2000, Bill served as   President  of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.   Bill also served on the  Board of Governors of California Trial Lawyers Association / Consumer Attorneys of California for 11 years.                                                                              

Bill’s Dad was a career Naval Officer. Bill grew up on the water.  His maritime experience started while sitting on his Dad’s lap, driving his Dad’s boats. Bill’s first job was working on a crab boat.  He went to law school to become a maritime lawyer.  Bill has been practicing Maritime Injury Law in San Diego since 1987. 

Bill’s maritime practice started in the shipyards and waterfront of San Diego.  As a young associate working for a maritime personal injury firm, Bill represented San Diego shipyard employee Byron Gizoni at the trial court level in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.   The U.S. District Court granted  summary judgment  against Mr. Turley’s client ‑ Mr. Gizoni - as to the issue of Seaman Status.  The District Court held that Mr. Gizoni could not be a Seaman - and thus be entitled to powerful Seaman’s rights and remedies because he was a shipyard worker that was entitled to Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act benefits. The Court scolded Mr. Turley for having the audacity to suggest that his client could ever be a Jones act seaman.

The United States Supreme Court went on to agree with Mr. Turley’s position in the trial court.  Bill’s going aboard all the Southwest Marine barges, skiffs, and floating work platforms and attaching the photographs to Declarations was one of the compelling factors supporting the Supreme Court’s ruling.  These photographs provided  vivid  visual evidence that Mr. Gizoni was regularly subjected to the hazards of the sea.

The United States Supreme Court held Mr. Gizoni, a shipyard worker,  who was entitled to Longshore Act workers compensation benefits,  could also be a Jones Act Seaman if he spent enough of his work time aboard Southwest Marine’s vessels. Southwest Marine v. Gizoni, 502 U.S. 81 (U.S. 1991). The Gizoni decision was a ground breaking decision for shipyard workers and harbor workers. The Gizoni case opened up potential powerful  Jones Act Seaman civil remedies to many thousands of shipyard and harbor workers across America.  

Early in his career, Bill was co‑plaintiff’s counsel with esteemed San Diego Trial Lawyer Dan Broderick on the infamous NASSCO crane accident case.   Five shipyard workers died and six were severely injured when a crane malfunctioned and dropped a personnel basket to the deck of the U.S.S. Sacramento.   Bill has been handling catastrophic and wrongful death product liability cases ever since.

Due to attrition (the other members of the San Diego Maritime bar retiring or becoming a  Judge); Bill is now  the Dean of the San Diego Maritime Injury Bar.   Bill handles Jones Act Seaman cases, boat accidents, ship accidents,  Longshore accidents, and  passenger cases.  Bill represents clients whom are injured in vessel accidents  all over the world ‑ ‑ from the Colorado River to Mexico and Costa Rica to Mission Bay to ports up and down the west coast to all seven seas.   Bill frequently lectures and was an invited Presenter at the 2011 California Maritime Personal Injury Seminar. 

Now Bill handles all types of catastrophic and wrongful death product liability cases; from recreational boats to industrial equipment to consumer products.    From the beginning of his career Bill has been representing injured workers.  Bill represents  seriously injured workers in third ‑party work injury cases.  Oftentimes, this involves manufacturers of industrial machinery in products liability cases.  Bill is very experienced in  all types of work‑place serious injury and deaths cases.  

Bill and his firm also handle wage and hour class action cases.  It was a natural fit, because Bill has been handling cases involving the California Labor Code since 1987.  His firm represents injured workers. Wage and hour cases are another way workers are harmed.  Bill has always been there for  injured workers.  In 2011, Bill and his firm  represented  over 65,000 California workers in wage and hour cases. Bill was an invited presenter at the 2011 13th National Forum On Wage and Hour by the ACI.

Bill is currently co‑Plaintiff’s counsel in the biggest wage and hour case before the   California Supreme Court in 2012: Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. S.C. (Hohnbaum)196 P.3d 216; 85 Cal. Rptr. 3d 688; 2008 Cal. LEXIS 12467.   The Brinker case is of monumental proportions to all California employees.    Quite literally the right of workers to take meal and rest periods  hangs in the balance.  This decision will affect nearly every worker in the State of California ‑ millions and millions of workers.   Oral argument in Brinker was on November 9 of last year, and a decision is expected by the summer of 2012.

Bill has been representing shipyard workers, longshoremen and harbor workers in  Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act cases since the 1980's.    The Defense Base Act (DBA) is an extension of the Longshore Act that covers civilian defense contract employees.  Such as ex-Special Forces and linguists that assist the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Bill and his firm are one of the very few firms in California that handle DBA cases. Since Bill had such long experience handling Longshore cases and due to the ex-military Special Forces personnel concentrated in the San Diego area, handling DBA cases  was a natural fit for Bill and his firm.

However, Bill is not just a trial lawyer and he is no stranger to the California Supreme Court.  Bill has been a member of the Amicus Curie Committee of the California Trial Lawyers Association and then the Consumer Attorneys of California since the 1990's.  Bill is listed as Amicus Counsel on 22 California Supreme Court Cases.   

Bill has been published over 100 times.  Many of the publications have been in Consumer Attorneys of California Forum Magazine and Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Bar News.  Bill lectures on  trial advocacy, maritime injuries, products liability, third party work injuries, and wage and hour litigation.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Personal Injury - Products (50%)

Transportation/Maritime (30%)

Workers' Compensation (20%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 9 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2019

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About William Turley

Admitted: 1986, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.turleylawfirm.com/bio/william-turley.cfm

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Parliamentarian, Secretary, and Vice-President, President San Diego Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board of Directors, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association (SDTLA)
  • Board of Governors, California Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA)

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • California Maritime Personal Injury Seminar, 2011
  • William Turley has been published over 100 times. For example, Consumer Attorneys of California "Forum", Consumer Attorneys of San Diego "Trial Bar News."  He has regularly lectured for Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego,  Association of Trial Lawyers of America/ American Association for Justice.

Representative Clients:

  • Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. S.C. (Hohnbaum)Cal. LEXIS 12467, 2008
  • Southwest Marine v. Gizoni, 502 U.S. 81 (U.S.), 1991
  • Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. S.C. (Hohnbaum)85 Cal. Rptr. 3d 688
  • Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. S.C. (Hohnbaum)196 P.3d 216

Industry Groups

  • Board Of Governors Of Consumer Attorneys Of California
  • Past President - Consumer Attorneys Of San Diego
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Office Location for William D. Turley

7428 Trade Street
San Diego, CA 92121

Phone: 619-234-2833

Fax: 619-234-4048

William D. Turley:

Last Updated: 10/17/2016

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