William L. Banning

Top rated Transportation & Maritime attorney in Rancho Santa Fe, California

Banning LLP
William L. Banning
Banning LLP

Practice Areas: Transportation & Maritime, Personal Injury, Aviation & Aerospace; view more

Licensed in California since: 1977

Education: University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2011, 2014 - 2018, 2021 - 2024
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Banning LLP

PO Box 9600
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067-9600 Visit website


As the founder of Banning LLP, William L. Banning has built a reputation over the past 40 plus years as one of California's foremost trial attorneys on admiralty and maritime law issues, insurance law and personal injury/wrongful death. 

Certified as a specialist in admiralty and maritime law by The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Banning has served clients throughout San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and the state of California, as well as Texas, Florida, U.S. East Coast, American Samoa, Hawaii, Washington and Alaska in cases involving:

  • Car, truck and motorcycle accidents
  • Catastrophic injury accidents worldwide
  • Colorado River Basin accidents
  • U.S. and foreign fishermen accidents worldwide
  • Harbor and boating accidents
  • Inland or offshore Gas and oil rig accidents 
  • Cruise ship and harbor excursion accidents
  • Ocean going Seamen and passenger accidents
  • Products liability and other claims from jet skis accidents and recreational boat propeller strikes 

Prior to establishing his law firm, Mr. Banning worked for one of California's prestigious maritime insurance defense law firms, giving him extensive experience in the field. He understands that the months after a serious personal injury are stressful and frightening for victims and their families, and he dedicates himself to ensuring they have the committed representation. He has procured many millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of them. 

After receiving his Bachelor of Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara in 1973, Mr. Banning earned his Juris Doctor from the USC Gould School of Law in 1977. He is admitted to practice law in the state of California (1977); the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern and Central Districts of California; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Mr. Banning's experience has earned him the recognition of his peers. He has received the top rating of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell and was listed in The Best Lawyers in America and America's Leading Lawyers. 

An enthusiastic speaker, Mr. Banning has spoken on maritime personal injury claims at the American Association for Justice's annual convention and at seminars sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California. He is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Consumer Attorneys of California and The Maritime Law Association of the United States.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license 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 anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Transportation/Maritime, Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Aviation and Aerospace, Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff

Focus areas

Admiralty & Maritime Law, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Transportation Law

  • 50% Transportation/Maritime
  • 30% Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 10% Aviation and Aerospace
  • 10% Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff

First Admitted: 1977, California

Professional Webpage: https://www.maritime-accidentlawyer.com/attorney/banning-wil...

Educational Background:
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, California, B.A., 1973, 1973
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Discussed traps to avoid in maritime personal injury cases, Speaker, Pitfalls and Traps in Maritime Personal Injury Cases, CAOC Hawaii Seminar, Consumer Attorneys Of California, 1992
  • Lecture on Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, Lecturer on Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, Admiralty and Maritime Law, Utah State Bar Convention, Admiralty And Maritime Law And Boating Safety, 2019
  • Speaker, American trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, 1993, Maritime Personal Injury Claims, Lecturer, Maritime Personal Injury from the Defense Perspective, AAJ Convention, 1993
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • $8,000,000.00 Doe v Roe Government, Concessionaire, Boat Driver, Boat Charter Company and Boat Retailer and Manufactures. Courts of Arizona and Utah Recovered $8M for boaters injured in boating accident, 2021
  • Collision between two private yachts at Marina Del Rey, California.  Settlement for $500,000.00 policy limits. , 2024
  • Doe v Roe Fishing Company. $1,650,000 recovered $1,650,000 plus all medical expenses and cure expense in a Jones Act personal injury case.  Plaintiff had a shipboard back injury that required a one level fusion at L4-L5.  Plaintiff was 44 years old.  , 2023
  • Doe v Roe Alaska Fishing Company.  Settlement for $650,000 new money plus maintenance and cure for back injury where there was no insurance.  , 2023
  • Doe v Roe Fishing Company $725,000 new money plus $100,000 plus in medical expenses and maintenance for injured knee of 62 year old seaman., 2022
  • $919,000.00 Sam Doe v. Roe Fishing Company, Washington State, Settlement involved payment by defendant of approximately $100,000 in medical expenses and $919,000 in other damages after mediation at JAMS San Francisco. Case involved steel plate falling on seaman and fish fall case.  Injury required lumbar microdiscectomy, 2020
  • $699,875 plus $125,000 in maintenance and cure expenses. Joe v Go Fishing Company.  Seaman/welder sustained repeated trauma injury to shoulder which required arthroscopic shoulder surgery, 2020
  • $1,600,000 Jury Verdict Boton v Cape San Lucas Fishing LP, 2018
  • $3,500.000.00 MOE V Elevator Maintenance Company, San Diego Superior Court. Construction elevator operator killed when elevator door safety mechanism failed, 2019
  • $12,250,000.00. Onoasai Faalele v. Pacific Princess Partnership Ltd., Singapore Technologies Marine, Ltd. et al.; U.S. District Court, Southern District of California; San Diego Superior Court; and, High Court of American Samoa. Wrongful death and survival action arising out of a crane accident aboard U.S. flag tuna seiner. Accident involved 38 year old longshoreman Papu Faalele.  Decedent was survived by wife and eight children.  Decedent was earning less than $500 a month at the time of death.  Economic losses estimated to be less than $500,000.  Case settled for, 2017
  • $990,000.00 Joe Doe v. Roe Fishing Company, US District Court, Southern District of California. Settlement involved payment by defendant of approximately $140,000 in medical expenses and $750,000 in other damages after mediation at JAMS San Francisco. Case involved accidental blow to the head from hammer during emergency. Seaman's injury required surgery to repair skull fracture. Seaman diagnosed with mild brain injury and chronic headaches, 2012, 2012
  • $610,000 plus $150,000 in medical expenses.  Ray Doe v. Fishing Company, Superior Court of California, San Diego.  Recovered $610,000 in new money plus all medical expenses for seaman injured when he was hit on head and shoulder by a falling fish during the rolling of the net on a purse seiner.  No surgery but microdiscectomy recommended. PTSD and vertigo diagnosed., 2015
  • $1.65 million plus $250,000 in medical expenses.  John Doe v. Roe Fishing Company, US District Court, Southern District of California. Settlement involved payment by defendant of $250,000 in medical expenses and $1.65 million in other damages after mediation at Judicate West, San Diego. Case involved blow to head from falling fish resulting in cervical and lumbar injuries to seaman-fisherman. Seaman's injury required cervical and lumbar fusion surgeries. Seaman diagnosed with mild-to moderate brain injury, 2012, 2013
  • $2.9 million plus $200,000 in medical expenses.  Jim Doe v. Gulf Area Vessel Company. Settlement after mediation at JAMS San Francisco by payment of approximately $250,000 in maintenance and cure expenses and $2.9 million in other damages. Chief Engineer injured low back during movement of heavy machinery. Two fusion surgeries required as well as implantation of narcotic pump, 2011, 2010
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • California Bar certified specialist in Admiralty and Maritime Law., 2022
Representative Clients:
  • Families and individuals who suffered injuries or wrongful death. Also, families and individuals who suffered losses from bad faith insurance practices, 2022
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Super Lawyers, 2022
  • Speaker at Utah State Bar Convention on Limitation of Liability Act , 2019
  • Member, State Bar of California, 1977
  • Best Lawyers in America, America's Leading Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1977
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1985
  • Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • California, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association
  • American Association of Justice
  • San Diego Top Lawyers, San Diego Union, 2024
  • U.S.C. Law School Legion Lex Alumni Association Scholarship, U.S.C. Law School Legion Lex Alumni Association Scholarship, 1976
  • Peer group award, Best Lawyers in America, 1991 - 1996 Admiralty and Maritime Law, Best Lawyers in America - Defense Bar, 1991
  • Peer group award, America's Leading Lawyers, 1991
Industry Groups:
  • Admiralty And Maritime
  • All Industries
  • Auto Accident Victims
  • Construction
  • Oil
  • Recreational Boating Accident Victims
  • Seamen

Office location for William L. Banning

PO Box 9600
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067-9600

Phone: 888-351-7055


10 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2011, 2014 - 2018, 2021 - 2024

Certificates and credentials

California Board of Legal Specialization
Immigration and Nationality Law
California Board of Legal Specialization logo

Attorney resources for William L. Banning

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